How to Plan a Wedding in 5 Minutes with Pyaari Weddings
Manali Shah and Raj Kamaria are shaking things up in the wedding industry with their business Pyaari Weddings.
The couple got engaged in early 2020 and quickly realized how overwhelming the wedding planning process can be and how hard it is to get information from vendors. Enter the idea for Pyaari Weddings; a wedding planning website that helps couples plan desi weddings in less than 5 minutes. Manali and Raj chatted with us for season one of Back of the Napkin.
How Pyaari Weddings Began
When Manali and Raj started planning their wedding, they were surprised at how much time went into the research. Manali was working a full-time job and Raj was working on his MBA so they were already pretty busy. To kick off the planning, they were calling multiple vendors per day and spending 30 minutes to an hour on each call, which adds up. Additionally, they were surprised by how many vendors you need to make a wedding happen. From calling venues, DJs, décor, lighting, and more, you may end up calling 15-20 vendors in each category. The other challenge they ran into is packages across competitors do not translate meaning there is no apples-to-apples comparison for packages and pricing. The information is overall very secretive and couples are required to meet with the vendors before getting pricing or even learning if that vendor is available on the desired date.
With all of this research for their wedding, Manali and Raj realized that couples across the country were facing the same struggles and wanted to make the process easier. They took the research a step further and contacted vendors in major cities across the country and made the world’s largest spreadsheet. The spreadsheet was then uploaded to use on their website and now couples in those major cities can plan their wedding in five minutes. Weddings are always seen as a major life event, but in Indian culture it goes one step further and is really a major celebration for family and friends. Raj explained that an Indian wedding is “almost like a grownup sweet 16 type of thing”. Because of that emphasis on celebration, the guest list can reach up on average 400 guests, which makes planning and cost even more complicated.
The Small Business Journey
There seem to be two types of people when it comes to running a small business; the type that always wanted to run a business, and the type that it just happens one day with a great idea. For both Manali and Raj, they knew they always wanted to run some kind of small business, just didn’t know what that was. Manali said she was always jealous of the people who could think of a great idea and start a business, so she was just always waiting for that moment for herself. Raj had a similar experience and remembered professors during undergrad saying that the best business ideas come from personal experiences. He always had that thought in the back of his mind and it finally came to life during the wedding planning process.
Manali has already completed an MBA program, and Raj is working on his program now. They both agreed that they have learned a lot about different aspects of running a business, such as marketing or accounting. Raj explained that the core of actually having a business is never really addressed because that’s the hardest to replicate; “there’s no way to be like here’s the business, do it.” When asked about the small business journey, Manali summed it up as every day is a new learning experience. Whether they are researching social media best practices or SEO, there is always something new to learn, and some challenges to overcome and grow from. But the duo is enjoying the process and is having a great time going through their first small business adventure.
What’s Next for Pyaari Weddings
In 2020, Pyaari Weddings was selected as a finalist for the inaugural The Everygirl’s Women-Owned Small Business Grant. This was a huge celebration for Pyaari Weddings as it helped give their business some legitimacy. The grant, a total of $5,000, has been used to help marketing and SEO expenses to bring awareness to the business, and also will contribute towards growing the business further. Next up on the expansion plans is branching out to other cities across the country. From there, they’d like to explore having a centralized location for all of the items that need to be purchased for a wedding, such as tuxedos, dresses, favors, and more. While there are plenty of options to find those items separately, there isn’t a one-stop-shop to get it all.
To learn more about Pyaari Weddings visit their website and follow them on social media.
Facebook: Pyaari Weddings
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