The big news that I hinted at yesterday? We’ve sold Weddingbee!
I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you guys about it sooner; we needed to wait until the deal closed. As soon as it did, I called as many Bees as I could to let them know the news in person. (Can you believe we’ve had over 100 Bees?!) While talking to the Bees, a number of the same questions came up – so I thought I’d answer some of those questions publicly as well.
Am I going to leave Weddingbee?
Nope, I’m going to stay on and continue editing and managing the site. Mrs. Penguin has been helping out with editing and applications for the last few months (thanks Pengy!), and she’ll keep helping out there. I’ll continue to focus on adding new features and growing the site.
What does this mean for Weddingbee?
Weddingbee will have access to more resources, like programmers and designers. That’ll help us launch more cool features faster! I’ll also be getting help on the business end of things, where I haven’t been focusing as much energy (e.g. selling ads, hosting servers, etc.).
At the same time, I’ve been assured that editorial decisions regarding the Bees and the content on the site are still in my hands. I’ll continue to ensure that the site maintains its editorial integrity.
Why did we sell?
In a word: competition.
There are an increasing number of wedding websites (and wedding blogs) launching! It seems like every week, we get a press release about a new vendor review site or wedding social network. The wedding space has become very competitive in the past year, and will continue to become much more so in the coming years.
Earlier this year, we started to get emails asking if we would consider selling. A lot of the companies were big names in the wedding sector: magazines, media companies, and vc-funded dot coms! A number of the companies were deciding between buying an existing site, and building their own to compete with us. *gulp*
I’m very confident that Weddingbee has something unique to offer, but there’s just so much competition online now! We don’t currently have the resources we’d need to stay competitive and take Weddingbee to the next level. Partnering though, would give us a lot of resources to stay competitive and scale up a lot faster.
But most of all, it’s been a tough two-and-a-half years! Running Weddingbee has consumed my life completely; and I haven’t been able to really take vacations. Mr. Bee and BIL Bee have been working nights and weekends too (they have day jobs), so it’s been tough on all of us.
Who are you selling to?
We’re selling to eHarmony.
Huh, a wedding site and an online dating site?
Yah, that’s what we thought too! Most of our readers are past the dating stage, and are engaged or recently married!
But it turned out our initial thinking was backwards. eHarmony’s stats show that they’re responsible for more than 2% of all the weddings in America. That’s a lot of potential future Bees for the hive! That strategic fit is a big reason they got in touch.
Once we both realized the potential fit, we started talking. They were really flexible about me staying on, and were supportive of Weddingbee maintaining its own team and brand (viva la hive!). And the people I talked to were just really nice. It may sound corny, but I have a soft spot for nice people. It felt like a fit, and so after a long discussion… we got hitched.
eHarmony also purchased Project Wedding recently — you may have received an email from PW about this if you’re a member. We saw Project Wedding as one of the best sites in the wedding industry, so we’re really glad to be on the same team as them!
When I was in LA recently for my cousin’s wedding, I got the chance to meet with Project Wedding’s team: Margaret, Joe, and Srini. They’re all super nice, and I’m really looking forward to working with them. They said that the acquisition has gone well for them, so I’m optimistic about it going smoothly for Weddingbee too.
Am I somehow joining eHarmony.com as a part of the acquisition?
Definitely not. Your information will not be shared in any way with eHarmony.com.
Is eHarmony going to protect the information I’ve put into Weddingbee?
Will eHarmony.com start sending me emails marketing their singles matching service?
Will it start to cost money to join Weddingbee?
No, Weddingbee is and will continue to be a free, ad supported site.
Will Weddingbee continue to have same-sex or queer brides?
Absolutely. We have had same-sex and queer brides on Weddingbee in the past, and will continue to add more in the future (if you are interested, please apply here!).
What’s the plan for the future of Weddingbee?
I started Weddingbee to help other brides – that will continue to be the focus of the site. I really love the blogging format, and how it’s so personal and friendly.
Along those lines, I’ve been thinking about adding a new blog site to the Weddingbee family: this one focusing on blog posts by wedding photographers (and other vendors). We’ve been vigilant about not allowing vendors to blog on Weddingbee, as it would take us away from our roots as a brides-only site. But lately, I’ve been amazed at all the great wedding vendor blogs so I was thinking it might be cool to have a separate site where we feature the best posts by wedding photogs, cake bakers, florists and wedding planners. I’m hoping it’d be a fun addition to the Weddingbee family? What do you think?
That’s just one idea we’ve been playing with over here. Most of all, I just want to try and bring innovation to the wedding industry… while continuing to do my best to serve brides.
Speaking of which, I would like to give a huge shout-out and thank you to all the Bees who have helped build up Weddingbee into one of the top wedding blogs out there! I remember when Weddingbee was just a personal blog on Xanga… and then I asked some blog friends like Miss Ladybug, Ant and Butterfly to blog with me (can you believe I once knew every Bee from following their personal wedding blogs?). The first non-friend Bee was Miss Firefly. I met her on the Knot boards, and she subsequently started a wedding blog. Her blog was awesome so I asked her to lunch to beg her to become a Bee. Luckily she said yes!
I can’t believe that people actually apply to blog on Weddingbee now… and that we’ve had 15 generations of Bees on the site. A huge thanks to each and every one of you for all your love and support, from the first generation of Bees to the fifteenth!
I know you guys have put a lot of trust and faith in me over the years, and I promise to do everything I can to continue to earn that trust each and every day.
Please let me know if you have any questions about any of the above! I will do my best to answer questions, both in the comments and in follow-up posts.