By Mary Kilpatrick Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) "Flutter Social"connects engaged couples to wedding vendors using a smart algorithm that factors in what the couple wants for their celebration. Think of it like a dating app, but for wedding planning.
A new female-owned Northeast Ohio tech company called Flutter Social aims to make wedding planning less stressful.
Couples hire an average of 14 wedding vendors for their big day -- from photographers, to DJs, to florists -- and typically find and research these companies one by one, said Flutter Social co-founder and Willoughby native Kaleigh Gallagher. A typical wedding costs $33,391, according to a 2017 survey by the Knot.
"I am at a point in my life where all my friends are getting married. I was maid of honor at several weddings at the same time, and I saw how time consuming and stressful the whole wedding process can be," Gallagher said.
Flutter Social, which launched in Northeast Ohio in December, connects engaged couples to wedding vendors using a smart algorithm that factors in what the couple wants for their celebration. Think of it like a dating app, but for wedding planning.
The soon-to-be newlyweds enter the details of their event -- number of guests, wedding style or vision, values, budget -- and what they're looking for -- caterers, bands, venues, videographers, ect.
The algorithm also considers the wedding vendors' typical customer and business values to make connections. It takes wedding vendors' previously established work relationships into account. That way, the couples can create a team of vendors they're confident will work well together, because they've worked well together in the past, Gallagher said.
Then the online tool makes customized matches for each couple.
Already have a venue picked out, but need a photographer? Flutter Social will show you photographers who have worked at the venue in the past.
Want to work with women-owned businesses, or minority-owned businesses? Done.
Couples can check out samples of vendors' work and easily connect with them through the platform. The site is always free for couples to use. It's at a cost and invitation only to become one of the initial 200 Northeast Ohio businesses featured on Flutter Social.
Gallagher and Philadelphia area-based co-founder Marcie Reilly started Flutter Social in Philadelphia in late 2016 after meeting in Cleveland while working for the Cleveland Clinic Innovations, which takes big ideas from the health center and bring them to market. They brought the company back to Northeast Ohio in June and made Northeast Ohio their headquarters. Beyond the Cleveland area, the company is also working in Philadelphia, New Jersey and Delaware.
"Cleveland right now has a really exciting opportunity in the start-up community and so we wanted to be a part of that," Gallagher said. "We came back and have been working with local organizations who have been really great and supporting us as entrepreneurs."