Business Spotlight: WeddingDates
Champion Green is supporting the recovery of enterprise and the local economy in Ireland. The Wedding Industry has been one of the most impacted industries but Ciara Crossan, Founder and CEO of WeddingDates, is determined to rise again after the upheaval her business has faced.
Covid-19 has dramatically impacted her business but the team at WeddingDates are pulling together to brace the storm for the remainder of 2020. She says supporting local suppliers and the hospitality sector will be key to recovery.
Ciara Crossan says that when it comes to planning a wedding – the difference in the date. On its customer facing website, couples can search for venues and suppliers by date and theme and all those available for the date searched are returned. This takes the hassle out of contacting providers individually and simplifies the wedding planning process for couples. For hotels, Wedding Dates provides software to help them manage their booking dates.
Since founding the company 12 years ago, the company now works with 750 wedding venues and 1,500 suppliers across two countries.
Making life easier for couples is at the heart of her business model. When COVID-19 hit, this was turned upside down. Suddenly, couples were facing wedding cancellations in huge numbers, with 18,000 couples across Ireland forced to confront the reality that what was to be the happiest time of their lives would now be one of the most stressful.
Ciara and her team quickly shifted their focus to finding new and helpful ways to be of service to the couples, venues and suppliers impacted by the temporary shutdown of the wedding industry.
“We have kept close to our clients during this time and aim to provide support, knowledge and guidance for our industry. We conducted an extensive survey with over 500 couples and produced an in-depth report on the impact of COVID on the wedding industry. This has proved valuable to our client base who are looking to restart their wedding sales and marketing activities in the coming months,” she said.
One of the most concerning results of the survey revealed that 45% of couples were experiencing panic attacks, which they attributed to planning a wedding during COVID. These figures, which are triple the pre-COVID numbers, motivated Ciara and her team to reach out to provide free advice and support about their wedding cancellations, as well as promoting services offering discounts to Healthcare Heroes and those on the front line.
Ciara is passionate about supporting local business. She uses Irish companies whenever possible, for everything from her business software to the venues and suppliers she partners with. She says that because her business is firmly rooted in the Irish wedding and hospitality industry, she relies on local businesses in the sector to thrive just as much as they rely on her to generate revenue. She is passionate about the Champion Green campaign because it puts a much-needed focus on the importance of supporting local businesses to secure the future for communities all across Ireland. Visit her website here: www.weddingdates.ie
Champion Green is Supported by Kilkenny Design and Visa, in association with Retail Excellence, Small Firms Association and Chambers Ireland.