March 2, 2015

WeddingWire and Wedding Planner tie the knot with merger

Weddings are big business on the Internet, from sponsored Pinterest boards devoted to dream ceremonies to matrimonial websites dedicated to one couple's big day. WeddingWire, a Maryland-based software developer, has created planning solutions for brides and grooms. This week, the company announced that it would acquire Barcelona-based Wedding Planner, a firm that provides similar platforms for organizing weddings. 

"We have admired WeddingWire's product innovation and growth for many years and are thrilled to join forces as global thought leaders," explained Wedding Planner in a statement. "With our combined scale, resources and industry knowledge, we can accelerate our shared vision to be the largest global destination for online wedding planning and deliver increased value to our business partners."

This acquisition effectively takes WeddingWire global, a jump in reach that companies face when they expand overseas. From an acquisition strategy standpoint, international mergers and acquisitions present another set of hurdles to gain clearance. The company's statement about the acquisition emphasized the global nature of the wedding industry and represented the deal as savvy positioning to gain wider recognition. 

Global mergers and acquisitions require a painstaking attention to the integration phase, as the disparate geographic locations can cause logistical difficulty. But WeddingWire is no stranger to expansion. In the last three years, DCInno reports that the company has grown from a staff of 150 to a team of 550. This rapid growth could be just the beginning in an effort to dominate the global market for wedding planning solutions. 

The companies also tap into a do-it-yourself mentality that permeates lifestyle corners of the Internet in 2015. It could be that like "travel agent," wedding planner is the next profession to be phased out by innovation