Did your dream wedding turn into a total nightmare? Did you discover your bride is diddling your dad, or that your groom is actually your brother? Or maybe you're Bridgette Wilson, and you realize Matthew McConaughey's heart will always belong to
his bongos Jennifer Lopez. But the problem is, you already paid the effing deposit on that g-d field of wild flowers in Switzerland and, in addition to mending your broken heart, you're now staring down an avalanche of debt.
Well, there's a new business that seeks to be a ray of light in the shitstorm that is the dissolution of a relationship right before the wedding day.
Just as Phyllis and Robert bought up Pam and Roy's entire wedding, you too can be the proud owner of someone else's busted big day. Bridal Brokerage launched last summer; a unique online business founded by Lauren Byrne, who thought of the idea after a friend's St. John's destination wedding was cancelled.
NBC 29 reports:
Chief marketing officer Jeff Smidt said, "The friend said I've purchased my bridesmaid dress, the plane ticket, the hotel room. I'm going to lose all that money. Why can't one of our other friends just buy the entire wedding? And that's sort of when the light bulb clicked for Lauren."
Originally marketed to people in need of quickie nuptials — think folks facing military deployment and elopers — they soon noticed that their main business was actually bridal bargain hunters. And those lovebirds in search of a good deal? There are droves of them; Bridal Brokerage currently has over 2,500 interested buyers in their database.
Bridal Brokerage says the average wedding costs $27,000. It wants to try and make the industry more affordable.
"When somebody goes and cancels a wedding, they've usually spent a whole lot of money on deposits and pre-payments and before Bridal Brokerage launched, they were just losing all of that money," Smidt said. "We found that new couples might be willing to take over those deposits and then pick up the balance of the contract and purchase the rights to these beautiful pre-planned weddings at a fraction of the cost."
They say that over 250,000 weddings are called off every year — and if that's the truth, this is a helluva market.
For those looking to buy or sell a wedding, their website is easy to navigate. If you're looking to sell, they ask for basic info like venue and florist, and how much you've already spent. If you're looking to buy, you get a "Congratulations! Weddings are carefully matched to meet your needs!" and asked for a rough guideline of what you'd like for your big day.
It's surprising nobody's thought of this already — especially if the stats of 250,000 cancelled wedding a year is true — or if that's just in the United States, or what. However, if there are 2.3 million couples getting wed every year in the United States, it wouldn't be shocking.
Regardless, there's definitely a significant amount of cancelled weddings, and it's nice that people can recoup some of the enormous expenses associated with them. Plus, as a bargain hunting bride, it's good to get some good deals on unreasonably marked up puff pastries.
That said, there's a bit of a used car salesman feeling to the whole thing. Check out a recent tweet from Bridal Brokerage:
Although, it's probably hard to convey the specialness of the wedding package in 140 characters or less.
For those looking for a fast wedding, there are currently five weddings (in addition to the one in San Ramon) available.
May 11th and 26th in Charlottesville, Virginia (Castle Hill Cider)
June 14th in Annapolis, Maryland (Herrington on the Bay)
June 30th in San Ramon, California (San Ramon Golf Club)
July 13th in Minneapolis (Semple Mansion)
August 24th in Philly (Hilton City Avenue)
September 28th in Cincinnati (Elements Event Center)
Get to planning, groat-saving grooms and bootstrap brides. Good luck, young lovers!
Photo credit: Ivan Cholakov / Shutterstock.