Match made

A new app helps couples swipe their way through planning a wedding

Right Hearted Weddings is intended to match local vendors with engaged couples.

Right Hearted Weddings is intended to match local vendors with engaged couples.

Photo/matt Bieker

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When it comes to dating apps like Tinder and Bumble, the best-case scenario for many users is that a single, fateful swipe to the right could introduce them to someone they'll spend the rest of their lives with. But local business owner Candi Block thinks that swiping could also serve couples who are long passed the awkward small talk stage and onto taking the big step. To that goal, she released her new app Right Hearted Weddings, on Jan. 1 of this year.

“So the app functions a little bit like Tinder or Bumble, but for wedding planning, so we're connecting engaged couples with wedding vendors,” Block said. “All they have to do is swipe right if they like it or swipe left if they don't. And then we keep track of the way that they're swiping, and we'll actually match them to the vendors that best fit their style and their wedding location.”

After opening her own wedding planning business in the Seattle area in 2015, Block began to assemble a convoluted web of vendor connections she would do her best to explain to engaged couples when she could schedule a time to sit down with them—which is how most wedding planning operates. After moving to Reno last year, and faced with the prospect of rebuilding her connections from scratch, Block decided there had to be a better way to help couples using her services. Not to mention the almost 80 percent of couples who don't hire a wedding planner at all—according to the yearly Wedding Report from popular online service

“For couples, I mean, the wedding directories that are currently available really haven't changed much since the '90s and a lot of those are really advertising agencies as well,” Block said. “And so for vendors to be on those platforms, there's actually a pretty high price tag, and then it can get really overwhelming to look through that many different profiles. You're reading bios, and after a while what I found is that couples, they just get overwhelmed, and everything starts to blur together.”

With Right Hearted Weddings, couples can make individual profiles with basic information like where they're located and when they plan to get married. There are 10 different categories like venues, food and photographers, and those vendors upload images for different services they offer. Couples can swipe individually in their down time—helpful for busy schedules, said Block—and see combined results for what they've both picked. The app then provides a percentage match with specific vendors whom the couples can then message directly.

“From the vendor perspective, they can actually see the couple's wedding details—so their date and location—and then they can see which pictures they liked from their portfolio,” Block said. “So let's say they are a florist, they would kind of get a really good sense of what that couple might be looking for on their wedding day, which is just a great starting point to have that conversation and get a proposal together for them.”

There's also a little green progress bar attached to the wedding checklist to keep of track of which contracts have already been booked, and Block said it always feels good to tick a box and after hiring someone. Right Hearted Weddings is free for couples and a flat $30 rate to be hosted as a vendor, of which there are about 80 listed on the app so far. Vendors also can't outbid each other for more exposure on the app.

“And then they also have coordinators on the platform, too,” Block said. “So, if somebody has started planning a wedding and they're looking for a coordinator, they can connect with them. Or, if they're already working with a planner, they can work together.”

The app only serves the Reno-Tahoe and Seattle areas at the moment, but Block hopes to expand all over the country. To Block, it's a tool she wishes was around when she was planning her own wedding in 2016. Even as a professional, she still felt like the wedding process was ready for a major update.

“I think, within the industry, there's a sense that we really need to change the way that couples are planning and finding and connecting with vendors,” she said. “I even had some of my own past clients that I've told about the platform that we're creating and they're like, ‘I wish you would have created this two or three years ago.'”