The wedding startup space continues to heat up, and today another new entry called Carats & Cake is launching to connect newlyweds and the newly engaged for wedding planning purposes. The platform allows newlyweds (generally, recent brides) to share photos from their wedding which others can view in order to discover the local vendors who made one aspect of a couple’s dream wedding possible.
Based in New York, the concept for Carats & Cake ironically emerged from the minds of two unmarried co-founders, Jessica Levin (CEO), whose previous experience with startups was from the VC side of the table, as she previously worked as an associate at J. Christopher Capital, and Shane Parrish, who now serves as the startup’s creative director.
Levin explains that the idea for Carats & Cake came not from her own experience as a bride, but from watching her friends go through the wedding planning process. “I had a couple of friends getting married, and it was really interesting to me because they would look at things and get a lot of inspiration, but they had difficulty when it came to taking the images and the inspiration that they saw and turning that into reality,” Levin says. After the weddings took place, meanwhile, other newly engaged friends would ask her things, like, for example, did she know who did the bride’s hair or makeup?
Carats & Cake, founded around a year ago, was created to more directly connect those planning their weddings with those who have completed their own. It competes in a busy space filled with wedding-focused startups like RegistryLove, Appy Couple, Wedit, Lover.ly, WedPics, Wedding Party, WeddingLovely, Weduary, and, most recently, HoneyBook, which may be the closest competitor to what Carats & Cake is now doing. Like the beautifully-designed HoneyBook site, Carats & Cake also encourages users to upload their wedding pictures and tag them with the names of their vendors. The idea being that a future business model for these startups would involve creating a large directory of wedding-specific vendors.
The difference between HoneyBook and Carats & Cake is that the former is about creating and sharing online wedding albums with family and friends, while Carats & Cake goes more directly after its goal of simply asking new brides (or grooms, as the case may be) to share their photos for the sole purpose of recommending vendors to others planning their own weddings. The service restricts brides to tagging one vendor per photo, and brides can’t upload unlimited photos – only those that are showcasing the vendor in question. These are not “social” photo albums, they’re more like bragging boards, I guess you could say. (Look at my cake, my dress, my shoes, etc.)
Others can share or like the items, or reach out to the couple who posted the photos through a private, direct message for more information. Users are also able to search Carats & Cake by location – currently New York and L.A. are the only locations featured, as the initial 50 weddings featured on the site came from those areas. However, because the site’s content is fed through user-generated submissions, anyone can use the service as of today.
But will brides (or grooms) want to do so? After all, this isn’t a complete wedding album like HoneyBook offers. Levin thinks they will. “Anything you’ve spent an incredible amount of time on, and then you spend all these moments planning it, talking to your friends about it, and actually living it, then all of a sudden it’s over – beyond just sharing your photos and being able to look at them – you really start to have this letdown afterwards,” she says. “We’ve talked to a lot of newlyweds who feel that they don’t really have an outlet where they can not only share, but talk about it.”
Carats & Cake, open to the public as of today, currently has friends and family funding, but is now raising a seed round.