Bootstrapped with Rs 80K, Bengaluru-based WedMeBae plans weddings of all sizes and budgets
Weddings in India — or the big fat Indian weddings — are traditionally known for their grandeur and elegance. A report by KPMG suggests that in 2017, the Indian wedding industry was around $50 billion in size. Statista further states that an Indian is willing to spend an average of Rs 1 lakh for their wedding.
Additionally, with celebrities and influencers indulging in grand celebrations tying the knot, every Indian desire a social media-perfect wedding. This has led to the popping up of several wedding planning startups, willing to leverage the opportunity and allowing customers to have the perfect wedding.
Wedding location as designed and decorated by Bengaluru-based wedding planning startup WedMeBae
Mumbai-based Shaadi Squad (startup which planned Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma’s wedding, and Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra’s engagement), Weddingplz, Shaadimagic, andare some of the notable wedding management startups in the Indian startup ecosystem.
However, Adarsh Shukla, Founder of Bengaluru-based WedMeBae, says he has a differentiator to offer. “WedmeBae differentiates itself as being the wedding planner irrespective of the scale and size the clients demand,” Adarsh tells YourStory.
Founded in 2017, WedMeBae expanded its geographical presence by starting a new office in Lucknow last year. “Lucknow is very accepting and always looks forward to something new,” he adds.
Adarsh Shukla, Founder of WedMeBae
Betting on wedding planning
Millennials want everything available at their fingertips. Young startups leverage this opportunity to provide services that were traditionally done by customers themselves. There are delivery startups Zomato and Swiggy for every food craving,for groceries, and for everything else.
So, why not have services to organise a mammoth task like a wedding?
Adarsh is leveraging this possibility with his wedding management startup.
“Bengaluru is startup heaven and has a very cosmopolitan culture. The crowd here is young and extremely busy. They are always looking forward to services to ease their workload,” Adarsh says.
He further explains that with his startup, he wants Indians to get rid of the notion that wedding planners are only meant for big fat weddings and not for small and intimate celebrations. “Our couples might spend extra by hiring a wedding planner, but we make sure you spend it right and get the best value for money,” he adds.
Illustration courtesy: YS Design
Addressing personal pain points
Adarsh’s elder sister was getting married when he was pursuing a Bachelor’s in Computer Science from Christ University. “Handling the wedding was not a cakewalk. You ought to do everything without getting a break,” he recalls.
While Adarsh enjoyed the process of connecting with people, this particular event made him realise the importance of having a wedding planner. Unlike popular belief, he says that a wedding planner’s job is not to make a wedding grand. “They are responsible for making the process smooth, stress-free, and fun,” he explains.
To allow clients to enjoy their wedding without any stress and hassle, Adarsh changed his career path to becoming a full-time wedding planner. Initially, he approached pubs, restaurants, and banquets to get inquiries and manage small celebrations such as birthday parties. After one of his clients liked Adarsh’s work, they allowed him to plan their sister’s wedding.
Thus, WedMeBae’s journey began, and Adarsh bootstrapped the startup with an initial investment of Rs 80,000.
Team at WedMeBae
How does it work?
WedMeBae has a team of four. The startup has registered itself with different wedding wires to get leads that are ultimately converted to clients.
WedMeBae works like a one-stop solution, providing end-to-end services. It takes care of weddings from concept to completion, working closely with the couples and families according to their style, needs, personality, and budget.
“My five-plus years of experience in the event industry in Bengaluru gives me the added advantage in the city. I have a strong network of vendors across every conceivable vertical of a wedding event,” Adarsh says.
Besides organising weddings from scratch, WedMeBae also provides customised packages for its clients. He says, “We charge eight percent of the total budget to bring a dream wedding into reality.”
WedMeBae has so far organised 30-plus weddings. Post the pandemic, 80 percent of the weddings were postponed. However, WedMeBae still organised three weddings, following all the COVID-19 protocols.
Wedding organised by WedMeBae amidst the pandemic
The business of planning weddings is not easy; it requires the utmost dedication and expertise. Planners have to upgrade their skills and be up-to-date with the latest trends and methods to create desirable packages for clients.
“With 500-plus registered wedding planners in the state, we have to think out of the box every time,” Adarsh says.
Going ahead, Adarsh wants to further expand WedMeBae’s offerings to different geographical locations. He is also planning to raise the first-round investment soon.
“We look forward to organising a lot of weddings post-COVID,” Adarsh says.