First it was baches. Then it was beds. And now there’s wedding venues to add to the private online booking mix.
The idea behind Backyard Weddings was hatched by Tamarin Vermeer, who is originally from Auckland, but currently lives in Sydney.
The website, she said: “is a place where people who have beautiful lifestyle properties, or gorgeous gardens, can upload them, and then couples who want something that's not too expensive, or something a little different, can get in touch and book through the website.”
People are already doing this, Mrs Vermeer said. “They’re using Airbnb and BookaBach. But Airbnb doesn’t have a keyword search, and Bookabach sometimes requires a deposit before you can even contact the property.”
“I’m looking forward to launching officially next month, once I have 15 properties on the site.”
Mrs Vermeer came up with the idea when she and her husband were reflecting on the wedding process, while on their honeymoon.
“Often venues charge per head and require a minimum of 50 people, and it can get expensive really quickly.
“After my honeymoon I tested the waters with brides-to-be on Facebook by asking how they found their venues.”
Emma Bryce, who recently married in Auckland, said, “I couldn’t really find what I wanted in Auckland. Prices and locations were just a bit of a pain.
“We wanted it to be much more simple,” said Mrs Bryce. “When you Google ‘wedding venues’, too much comes up, and I didn’t know where to start.
Becks Murray, owner of wedding planning service Envy Events, said venue issues are dependent on where you are in New Zealand.
“Bigger cities such as Auckland have a lot more to choose from, but then there are a lot of people getting married, so you are fighting for dates.”
The only problem Mrs Murray could see for Backyard Weddings was the burden on the property owners.
“The host has got to come to the party and be reliable; they’ve got to offer all that a normal wedding venue would.”
Backyard Weddings is Mrs Vermeer’s second wedding-related venture. She also runs a wedding video business, which is booked until March next year.
“My goal for Backyard Weddings is to have 100 listings up and running in a year,” said Mrs Vermeer.
The site offers a six-month free period for listings, after which an annual fee of $150 is charged. It will be active and ready for weddings in September.