“The Coronavirus forced everyone to make sacrifices but we were standing strong as a family. Be it putting an extra effort into finding a new solution or making some sacrifices on salary fronts. The whole team understood how hard these times were and what we need to do to come through the other end.”Himanshu Kapsime, Founder & CEO, ShaadiSaga
Weddings are one of the most important affairs in people’s lives. A wedding is not only the start of a new life but it is also a new journey and the beginning of a new story altogether. “In the Indian context, the couple spend more than 20 per cent of their life income on their marriage. And, that is why a wedding is an important decision-making process for the bride and groom who are planning to get married soon,” says Manish Garg, COO, ShaadiSaga.
Brain-child of two IIT Delhi Graduates, Himanshu Kapsime & Manish Garg – ShaadiSaga is on a spree to make wedding planning in India exciting and hassle-free. With a millennial army of wedding fanatics, ShaadiSaga aims to aid the wedding blues of every new-age couple across the country. Rewinding the journey of how ShaadiSaga started Manish added “Right out of college one of our seniors were facing some issue while planning their wedding in Delhi. In the process of helping them on their journey, we realised that this is a very big unsolved problem and a huge market itself which got our interest in it. So, we then started deep-diving into the nitty-gritty which ideally became our passion to help the bride and groom. After investing a lot of time and effort, ShaadiSaga was established at the end of 2014.”
Talking about how they derived the name of the organisation Himanshu Kapsime, Founder & CEO, ShaadiSaga says, “We wanted to combine these two elements: wedding, which is ‘Shaadi’ and story behind it, which is ‘Saga’. So, that is how ShaadiSaga derived its name from the word – wedding story”.
ShaadiSaga is a wedding market place where we help people plan their wedding with the help of the trusted vendors (within your budget) in the most convenient, cost-effective and reliable way possible. In India, more than 80 per cent of people are turning to the internet and planning their weddings. Being an aggregator in the wedding planning industry we are trying to standardise this unorganised market where one side many people are trying to plan their weddings but do not have a good solution. Whereas on the other hand, many wedding service providers find it difficult to build customers where the majority of the market is dependent upon the word of mouth.
So we at ShaadiSaga set in the process where we brought in a lot of reliable, cost-effective and great partners on board. Once we started this chain we saw that more reliable service partners provided better services to the wedding couples. This helped us acquire more customers and made our platform attractive for even more wedding vendors, thus, creating a virtuous circle. In fact, most of this thing is driven by what couples need in planning their wedding. For instance, based on what the bride and groom are looking for at their wedding, we try to create a systematic plan for our service partners, which is an ongoing process. Thus, understand what kind of service partners are more needed in the market on that basis.
Looking at the challenges that we faced at ShaadiSaga while creating the perfect blend of wedding photographers, designers, planners and creative experts.
- Initially, service providers didn’t know about ShaadiSaga and did not believe that customers would choose and plan their wedding online.
- Secondly, the set of vendors was a challenge. We ourselves went convincing them that many wedding couples would plan their weddings online, which ideally took us some challenges.
- Also, a lot of aspects of wedding planning was experiential decision making so creating those experiences online took a lot of thought behind it.
- Lastly, after putting in a great time and effort we were successful in building a solution for the wedding couples and as well as for service providers, which is significantly better than an offline experience.
The onset of COVID-19 has been really challenging for all of us as a society. Since we are in the wedding industry we are a bit more impacted by it because it involves gatherings. From the beginning of March, we had a bit of idea about the impact that this could make on our industry. We at ShaadiSaga, in these hard times, took a very cautious approach and also the whole of the team has been very supportive.
Sailing through tough times Himanshu Kapsime, Founder & CEO, ShaadiSaga added “The Coronavirus forced everyone to make sacrifices but we were standing strong as a family. Be it putting an extra effort into finding a new solution or making some sacrifices on salary fronts. The whole team understood how hard these times were and what we need to do to come through the other end.”
Having an optimistic approach Kapsime further revealed “The bright side in these times of difficulties forced us to think out of the box and hence, we were able to build things which were really helpful for the brides and grooms when coming to their decision-making process. To help couples and vendors out there we introduced 6 major things during the pandemic, which are as follows:”
- Flexible Payment Policy: ShaadiSaga launched the first-ever flexible policy in India. This policy ensured that the couple loses less or no money, even if their guest count number changes due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, government restrictions, rescheduling or cancellations of the wedding date.
- Safety Assurance: We also identified those wedding vendors who took all the safety precautionary steps to handle the situation. Also, ensuring that every person in the wedding family, guests and vendors follows safety measures as per the WHO & government guidelines.
- Intimate Wedding Package: We saw a wave of intimate weddings, which has become a trend until now so we launched a 50 people wedding package for couples who are getting married soon.
- Guest Management: Due to various restrictions the number of guests in a wedding kept changing from time to time. To ensure that all your “live guests” as well as “virtual guests” are kept engaged we came up with innovative ideas such as video/VR call techniques available for the virtual guests, etc.
- Adherence to your city restrictions: Complete adherence to restrictions and safety guidelines of your city/zone. Facilitation of getting permission from relevant authorities.
- Engaging Content: We also did a lot of content where we were engaging with the community in those hard times.
We earlier had thought that the outbreak of Coronavirus and this crisis would have a lot of change in people’s behaviour of celebration. But, interestingly when we look at people’s pattern closely we observed that there hasn’t been a tectonic shift in how people celebrate their weddings. In fact, more or less the structure has been, however, due to various restrictions as per the government the number of guests has decreased as compared to the pre-covid times and there have been fundamental shifts in how couples go about in planning their wedding.
Addressing intimate weddings Chandni Kumar, Assistant Editor, Content at ShaadiSaga says, “Due to Coronavirus outbreak in 2020 many couples who planned their wedding had to either postpone their wedding or cancel a one. But, thanks to the new trend in town, Intimate Weddings. With the wave of micro-weddings taking over the grand nuptials, we saw many couples getting married with the attendance of their closed family members and friends. Ensuring to follow all the possible precautions at the ceremonies we also came across brides who picked their wedding venue as their home or even backyard for their intimate wedding.”
She further added “In the times of coronavirus what came to a blessing in disguise was the movement of virtual weddings where zoom calls and facetime calls were the go-to-go for the virtual guests as the safety was kept as the topmost priority. In fact, we observed behaviour that brides were way than happy to save more and spend less on their small wedding. For example: picking flowers from a local vendor or even from your garden and doing DIY decor around it, wearing your mom’s saree rather than buying an expensive bridal lehenga, preparing home-cooked food for the in-house wedding, etc. However, with improving situation now the couples have started booking vendors from ShaadiSaga where safety measures continue to go so.”
The Internet now plays a much larger part of people’s planning and decision-making process. Whether it comes to the latest wedding ideas & inspiration or booking a service – ShaadiSaga believes in helping the twosomes in planning their wedding in a hassle-free manner. In fact, social media has become a major driver for couples in deciding on what kind of wedding they want and we’re a driven team of wedding enthusiasts working to build a new way of wedding planning through delightful products and amazing customer service. So, in a nutshell, we believe that how couples used to celebrate weddings is more or less the same before the pandemic where only safety precautions have come to place.
HOW DO YOU STRIKE THE CREATIVITY BALANCE?
ShaadiSaga is an Indian online wedding planning platform and a wedding media publisher, enabling couples to plan their weddings in a convenient & cost-effective manner. We believe that a wedding is a very important event in people’s lives, which is also an expression of their own individuality and personality. India is a diverse country and its traditions and culture are such which binds us all together and it becomes very important as far as the Indian wedding context is concerned.
Today, millennial couples (especially to-be-brides) want to showcase their own unique personality, values, beliefs, culture and traditions at their weddings. Being an important phase of life they want to feature everything that defines them. Thus, one can say that the way of celebrating a wedding keeps on changing with times.
Understanding the essence of Indian traditions that are deep-rooted in the Indian culture, ShaadiSaga is an Indian online wedding planning platform that enables an individual to be into their culture. We have trusted vendors such as wedding photographers & videographers, decorators, venues, bridal wear designers, choreographers, bridal makeup artists, wedding planners, mehndi artists, wedding invitations, etc. all across India who are a tool for expressing the people, its culture and customs in their unique way.
There is an ever-growing trend that people are getting more comfortable with mobile commerce and planning their wedding online. We at ShaadiSaga are well known for our way to capitalise upon this trend. We plan to become India’s most trusted wedding planning platform. Focusing on increasing our market share out of total wedding planning share we are furthermore launching in more cities, adding more categories and building tools, which would help brides-to-be and grooms in planning their wedding significantly and more conveniently.
Apart from building new tools for vendors and couples, we are also innovating solutions, which would give more options in a cost-effective, convenient and reliable manner. Hence, ShaadiSaga offers an end-to-end wedding planning solution for couples to ideate & realize their dream wedding conveniently & reliably.
https://www.shaadisaga.com/ – India’s most trusted wedding planning platform