WEDAWAYS is an online booking, planning and travel itinerary platform for luxury destination weddings and honeymoons.
Internationally renowned, Renee Strauss is synonymous with weddings. She founded and operated the premier luxury bridal salon in Beverly Hills for more than thirty years. Renee also stars in TLC’s reality show “Brides of Beverly Hills” and is a contributor to the Huffington Post.
When we met Renee she was looking to start a new venture. She wanted to found a start-up with her co-founder Pamela to help couples in North America plan their dream wedding at luxurious destinations around the world. While both founders had deep expertise in travel and wedding planning they were new to the technology world.
Renee met with 17 different companies before she chose to partner with DesignedUX. She chose us for our extensive experience building startups and our partnership approach.
Destination wedding and honeymoon planning, perfected.
Research & Customer Discovery
DesignedUX partnered with Wedaways as an extension of their team. We began with developing a brand strategy and business plan. The brand strategy included a new logo design, brand identity and style guide.
We used the business model canvas to help define the business opportunity and model. We worked with the founders to define the customer discovery strategy and they travelled to Italy for 4 weeks to understand if luxury hotels would be interested in working with Wedaways as partners. This was the first of two trips.
DesignedUX completed a thorough competitive analysis and helped to identify market opportunities. We built a financial model complete with 3 year projections for various revenue scenarios.
When the Wedaways team was satisfied with the business model and had validated customer discovery we began to conceptualize the product requirements. We conducted several product ideation workshops with the two founders to come up with a complete set of requirements for the design phase.
Our design phase began with user research. We wanted to understand what couples needed to make the daunting task of planning a wedding simpler and more enjoyable. We defined user personas that included a summary of the obstacles couples, venues and wedding planners face when planning a wedding. We used these insights to come up with a technology solution to solve these problems.
The biggest challenges facing couples are time constraints, lack of knowledge of venues and options and fear of the unknown all while keeping the budget under control.
Our solution included designing a wedding planning dashboard for couples that included:
Budget calculator and tracker
Payments schedule with reminders and reporting
Guest List Management
Save the date invitations and RSVP
Tasklist with tracking and recommended completion dates
Online payments for venue and wedding planner
Comparison of up to 3 venues
Real time messaging with venues and planners
A six-step online process for proposals, estimates and contracts including signature and contract tracking
The result? An end-to-end solution for couples to research, plan and pay for a luxury destination wedding from anywhere in the world with the assurance that the destinations were reputable and vetted by experts.
The biggest challenge for venues is to attract couples and promote the unique and desirable amenities of their properties. Communication with customers from around the world in different time zones also poses challenges.
Our solution was to build a custom travel directory for Wedaways that showcased the beautiful properties available to couples in luxurious destinations around the world. Photos and an elegantly designed microsite make the properties ‘pop’. Couples now have a one-stop shop to learn everything they need to know about their desired venue.
We also integrated a world map view for couples to know exactly where the property was located without giving away the address which could create a leak in the customer funnel.
Properties are searchable by location type (beach or mountain), available amenities, property services and room services. The properties also have the opportunity to show exciting activities available in the area. A key detail for destination weddings is to include the distance from the airport to each property.
We also designed and built a dashboard for properties to manage their microsites, update photos and communicate with prospective couples. The Wedaways platform manages the entire proposal, contract and payments workflow all in one place.
The biggest challenge facing wedding planners is finding new customers and working with venues. For destination wedding planners time zone differences and venue locations also pose a challenge. We build a comprehensive wedding survey to help couples define their needs, wants and desires for their special day. Wedding planners received the request for proposal through the Wedaways platform and could respond with some options for couples.
Through the instant messaging tool on Wedaways, wedding planners can ask for clarification and more information. The next step is to share a proposal with the couple, settle on a custom package and set-up the payment schedule.
We built a custom administration dashboard for the Wedaways team to monitor and maintain all transactions on the Wedaways platform. This included custom analytics and reporting. We also built tools to support all three user types including microsites set-up, payment auditing and user management. Finally we build in a custom content management system so that the Wedaways team could make updates to the site without requiring a technical team.
Additional Features we incorporated to support Wedaways
Paid memberships - We build 3 membership levels with access to different packages of features
We integrated online payments via Stripe with payments tracking
Automated emails with reminders and notifications
Newsletter and save-the-date custom designs
Honeymoon survey and planning tool
Stylescapes and Mood Boards
Design of Website and Web Application
User Experience Design
Information Architecture and workflows
High Fidelity Mockups
Website and Application Development
Developed a custom Ruby-on-Rails web application with a Wordpress Blog
Responsive design for mobile, web and tablet
Built a custom document signing and contract workflow
Built custom microsites and dashboards
Research and Competitive Analysis
Identify and Define Revenue Streams
Define Business Requirements
Identify Partner Opportunities
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