Dreaming about a wedding in Greece? Don’t know where to start? Marissa Tejada tells us about a Greek start-up that can make your dream wedding a reality.
Greek start-up for wedding planning in Greece
Many couples dream about tying the knot in Greece or Cyprus but don’t even know where to start. Now, a new online company is making that easier than ever. As part of our ongoing Greek start-up series, Marissa Tejada tells us about how BookYourWeddingDay.com is making wedding dreams come true.
Making Greek wedding dreams a reality
From the whitewashed churches on idyllic island settings to seaside resorts set on gorgeous sandy beaches, Greece’s romantic landscape is one of the most dreamed about destinations on the planet.
But to make that happen for couples living outside of Greece, a lot of organization and planning is paramount. From choosing and booking venues to dealing with all types of foreign bureaucracy, planning a wedding in Greece has often proved to be no small task.
That’s what got entrepreneur Maria Evripides thinking and, as a result, she invented a solution: a website that could combine it all and make wedding planning that much easier. Maria explained.
“We support – not compete with– all the players in the destination wedding industry to make the big day that much smoother.”
That’s the premise of this Greek start-up, called BookYourWeddingDay.com.
For her site, Maria developed an online system which synchronizes the calendars of the various overseas wedding venues with their respective town halls. As a result, she created the first and only international online booking platform that allows tour operators, travel agents, wedding planners and wedding couples themselves to securely book overseas wedding venues and dates with instant online confirmation.
She says it is a service that effectively solves a problem and she’s quite proud that there isn’t another site quite like it.
The Idea for BookYourWedding.com
During her tenure in sales and marketing for a leading hotel group in Cyprus she recognized the value and potential of wedding tourism.
“There are many factors that make Greece an ideal wedding destination. Couples appreciate the complete package: sunny weather, amazing locations, lovely beaches, breathtaking views, great food, luxury hotels, and the warm hospitality.”
While Greece offered everything that couples wanted for their big day, Maria said the industry simply wasn’t organized enough.
“Each wedding couple is escorted by an average of 30 guests who stay for an average of 10 nights at the chosen destination. I was aware of the obstacles that travel agents, and of course, the wedding couples themselves had to overcome in order to book their preferred overseas wedding venue and date.”
She indicated the entire wedding booking process, via email correspondence, took up to two months due to the many parties being involved.
“In my mind, this was unacceptable. I knew there had to be a better way. I spent days and nights thinking about a practical, viable solution that automated the booking process.”
Moving forward with her idea, she says she faced one major challenge: bureaucracy. What kept her motivated to push through with the paperwork and frustration was the positive response from hotels and major BookYourWeddingDay.com launched in March 2017. Luckily, the economic crisis didn’t directly affect her Greek start-up. She says that’s because the platform is free to partners.
“Our partners in the wedding industry responded because they had nothing to lose by being listed on our platform. On the contrary, thanks to this project, Greece is now more accessible to the larger tour operators and individual clients.”
Since then, Maria has landed two major partnerships: the UK tour operators TUI (Thomson & First Choice) and Thomas Cook. She adds that the major and most popular hotels in Greece and Cyprus are also working with BookYourWedding.com.
As her team continues to establish themselves in the market, testimonials are the positive proof points to their success including repeat use by wedding planners and an increasing number of monthly bookings. Additionally, investors have started to take notice.
“This trust from the key players in the market was extremely reassuring and confirmed that I had indeed solved a huge problem.”
Maria envisions that her online business will gradually feature additional destinations for overseas weddings, but Greece will always be special.
“Getting married in Greece adds another level of romance to the experience. Hardly anything can compete with a wedding on or overlooking a sandy beach with endless views across the turquoise waters and enchanting scarlet sunsets over the sea. There is no doubt that Greece offers newlyweds a genuine and intimate escape unlike any other.”
Learn about more Greek start-ups:
Follow Marissa Tejada on her blog, Travel Greece, Travel Europe; and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
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