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My Wedding Whizz: Irish firm using AI and fintech to streamline wedding planning and digital gifting

Platform aimed at couples and wedding venues, with B2C solution now available and with B2B application on way

Some of the best ideas for new businesses are inspired by personal experience. When Laura Downes found herself trying to keep track of cash and gift cards at a friend’s wedding, she decided there had to be a better way. Downes started off looking for a solution to the money problem, but quickly discovered that wedding planning as a whole was ripe for a shake-up. In 2021 she teamed up with co-founder Orla McDonnell and their idea for the integrated digital wedding planning platform, My Wedding Whizz, was born.

The platform is aimed at couples and wedding venues and the B2C solution is already available, with the B2B application to follow in the fourth quarter.

“My Wedding Whizz is not just another wedding planning platform. It’s an all-in-one digital management tool that pulls everything together in one place for the couple, and also incorporates a fintech element to facilitate the stress-free handling of deposits, payments and cash gifts,” Downes says.

“The average amount of time a couple puts into planning their wedding is 500 hours over an 11-month period, so there was plenty of scope to streamline the process,” she adds. “With My Wedding Whizz, couples can seamlessly create their own wedding website, send out digital invitations, track guest RSVPs and efficiently manage their guest lists online. In addition, our platform features a digital wedding post-box which is an integrated gift registry service that facilitates the transition to online gifting for couples and their guests.”


Downes believes that digital gifting as a practice will really hit the spot, as it removes the headache of keeping cash and cards safe on the day. “There’s a lot happening during a wedding, and if guests hand over a gift then someone has to keep it safe,” she says. “We know from talking to couples that envelopes get misplaced or left lying around and can get stolen. There can also be uncertainty about who gave what gift, and at the end of the event someone has to lodge the cash or keep the money with them, which is a security risk. Some hotels provide post-boxes for gifts, but others have stopped the service for fear of the boxes being targeted and easily removed.

Co-ordinators already have access to basic planning tools, but none can match the suite of benefits we offer, right down to guest meal choices

—  Laura Downes, My Wedding Whizz

“The idea of digital gifting is a no-brainer for younger generations, and we don’t just provide a ‘cold’ link – we have presented the option in an elegant way, so it feels special,” Downes adds. “We’re also partnering with retailers to create digital gift registries and with travel companies to allow friends and family to contribute directly towards a couple’s dream honeymoon.”

The company’s B2B solution will initially target venues in Ireland and the UK. “By leveraging our digital tools, wedding co-ordinators can significantly reduce the amount of time they spend on routine planning, leaving them free to concentrate on the detail, so nothing falls through the cracks,” Downes says. “The system provides them with a digital trail for every wedding and also relieves them of the liability and burden associated with holding large sums of money overnight. Co-ordinators already have access to basic planning tools, but none can match the suite of benefits we offer, right down to guest meal choices.”

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My Wedding Whizz will make its money by charging venues for using its platform on a SaaS basis. For couples it will be a freemium model. Investment in the business to date is at about €150,000 between founder funds and pre-seed investment from Enterprise Ireland.

Downes, who was a recent participant in the New Frontiers programme at TU Dublin Tallaght, comes from a background in PR and event management. Orla McDonnell has over 20 years’ experience in retail and digital marketing. For now, the founders are focused on weddings, but Downes says they have the digitisation of the full gamut of life celebrations in their sights.