Has The Big Day Lost Its Appeal For New Brides?
MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, that 4th of July feast is just around the corner and many of us are hoping to load our plates with meat, but one cook is saying, why not go vegan? Anupy Singla will share her cookbook, "Vegan Indian Cooking: 140 Simple and Healthy Vegan Recipes." That's in just a few minutes.
But, first, we're in the thick of summer wedding season and the big day means the end of what has become, for many couples, months and even years of planning. But not everybody wants a long and winding road to the altar. Now, there's a new website for those couples. It's BrideRush.com. If offers last minute and dates specific deals.
The founder and CEO is Anita Malik and she is with us now. Welcome. Thanks for joining us once again.
ANITA MALIK: Thanks for having me. I'm excited to talk.
MARTIN: And I understand that the idea for Bride Rush actually came out of your personal experience planning your wedding. And congratulations, by the way. Happy news.
MALIK: Thank you. Thank you very much. Yes. Definitely. When I got engaged, we realized very quickly that we would need to rush our wedding planning. My brother-in-law is a Marine and his schedule was a little bit tricky to work with. And so we said, you know, we've got to do this quickly. Otherwise, it'll be the dead of the summer or we'll have to wait over a year.
You know, we're very busy - my husband and I - and we don't have a lot of time, regardless of how long our engagement was, so we couldn't spend all this time calling around to multiple vendors just to get basic information, such as pricing, availability - very key things when you're planning your wedding - and so we thought, there has to be a better way and that's where Bride Rush came from.
MARTIN: Isn't it also true, though, that there's this myth that you have to spend a year, that even if you spend a year planning, you're pushing it. You're saying it really isn't that hard.
MALIK: I'm not going to sugar coat it and say wedding planning is the easiest thing you've ever done, but you know, I think there's a misconception out there that you need over a year, particularly to get the vendors and venues that you want. And I think that that's not necessarily true. I think people just don't go out and look and if you're not flexible on your date at all, then - yeah - you might have a little trouble.
The other misconception we've heard so much, which is so surprising to me, is that you'll actually spend more if you're rushing things and I think the reason that myth is out there is that there was never a centralized place to say, oh, OK. These dates are available. I can get a good bargain. And so people were just going out and getting the first thing they could because they were in a rush and they were worried, and sometimes spending more because of that.
MARTIN: Explain how this service works.
MALIK: Basically, a bride comes on the site and we like to call it the price line of weddings because it's a very similar experience. You search on your wedding date, your wedding location and the type of vender you're looking for or you can leave it more open than that and you get results. You see the different offers. From there, if there's a deal that looks really great to you, but your date's not listed, you can request your date and we'll do our best. We call ourselves the bargain-zillas. We're out there trying to get things done for brides and every deal on Bride Rush is a $25 purchase to get any deal and then, from there, you work the rest out with the vendor. But you know the price ahead of time and you know the availability, so you're definitely secured for your date.
MARTIN: You know, one thing I do have to ask you about is why is it Bride Rush? Where's the groom in all this?
MALIK: You caught me. You caught me, as do many others. You know, the interesting thing is that we have had grooms purchase deals and we have interest and we talk to them quite a bit, so we do recognize this and we do have plans, kind of - I'll announce it here first - to do a site called Groom Rush, as well, which will focus on similar deals, but then also things that are specific to the groom and the big day and then also on the bachelor party, that kind of thing. So that's coming, grooms. Just, you know, be patient, but we love you on Bride Rush, as well. They're allowed to shop. No problems.
MARTIN: Does anybody ever raise eyebrows about the idea of getting married sooner rather than later, and not planning the whole year long thing? I mean, it used to be - you know, and I'm not being mean - but these people associated a bride in a rush...
MARTIN: Right? With a shotgun wedding, which is - maybe there was somebody coming that, you know, you wanted to kind of...
MARTIN: ...hurry that up and I just wondered. Does it ever raise eyebrows for people when you say, look, we want to do this quickly. Or are people just over that?
MALIK: I think, to most degree, people are over that, but - yes. I think there's always going to be people that ask you that question. I'll admit it. We had people ask us that and close family members, so you know, no matter what, you're going to have different reactions. I think most brides and grooms that we run into that did have a shorter engagement, the theme is the same, but they just didn't want to be waiting so long to get married. They were excited to start their marriage and the wedding was just a great celebration to have to get there. And so why not? Why not go through the process quickly if you can?
MARTIN: Is there anything that people often want for a wedding that you cannot do in a hurry? I mean, I'm thinking a custom-made gown might...
MARTIN: ...be kind of hard to get in a hurry.
MALIK: Dresses. Yeah. Yeah. Dresses are definitely the hardest thing. There are ways around it. There are different ways to get your gown if you want to really pursue that. The only other thing I would say is that, sometimes, certain favors can take longer, but if you're open to doing different things, then there's plenty of options for favors, as well as dresses, if you're a little creative. So...
MARTIN: What did you do for your dress, if you don't mind my asking?
MALIK: Well, we...
MARTIN: You bought it off the rack or...
MALIK: Well, we had a very East/West wedding, so I actually wore an Indian outfit, so I didn't have as much of an issue there. Although our clothes were shipped from India and we got them, I think it was the Friday before our wedding, so it was a little bit stressful, yes. But you know, we kind of went with the flow with everything with our wedding. We just wanted it to be a big happy party and we weren't going to stress about it and I think that's the attitude you see a lot more with I would say the modern bride that's a little bit more busy with life and just, you know, really happy to have found that special someone and want to get married.
MARTIN: Well, congratulations again.
MALIK: Thank you so much.
Or I'm sorry, best wishes is what I think one is supposed to say...
MARTIN: ...to the bride who is in a rush.
MALIK: Very true.
MARTIN: Anita Malik is the founder and CEO of BrideRush.com. That's a site that she describes as kind of Priceline for the busy bride and groom if you want to get married in a hurry. And she was kind enough to join us from Phoenix, Arizona.
MALIK: Anita, thanks much for speaking with us.
Thanks so much for having me. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.