Here comes the bride! Tool helps couples visualise their wedding day
Hayley and Barry Devlin are preparing to embark on the working holiday of a lifetime.
The couple will jet out of Brisbane in May with their four children, aged 3 to 12, to spend six months in Bali and six in Thailand, expanding the global reach of their wedding startup, Neon.
It’s a bold move for a fledgling business that won’t even launch until March, but one the Devlins are ready to embrace.
“I cannot wait! I’m so excited,” Hayley says.
A wedding planner with a decade’s experience, Hayley first had the idea for a wedding visualisation service 10 years ago but was hamstrung by technology and logistics.
“I first came up with the concept of Neon as a place where couples could go to experience all the different elements of their wedding in one area. Obviously, the technology back then wasn’t what it is now so it just wasn’t possible.”
The distinction between Neon and most of the wedding planning platforms out there is they’re designed to help you plan your wedding whereas Neon is about helping people visualise how their day is going to look.
“In my experience, the couples who make the most mistakes, waste their time and spend unnecessary amounts of money are the ones who don’t have a very clear vision of what they want.”
Neon’s vision is to allow brides and grooms to style every aspect of their wedding; from virtual venue walkthroughs; to experimenting with bouquet shapes and flowers; to customising a cake’s flavour, size and decorations; to perfecting the table settings, centrepieces and colour scheme.
Through Neon, they can then contact venues and suppliers directly, share their creations with the bridal party and connect with other soon-to-be-newlyweds.
The idea took flight in mid-2017 when Barry came on board, bringing with him a background in corporate finance and sales and experience running his own wedding supplier startup.
In 2018, they successfully applied to take part in the three-month Collider Accelerator Program delivered by QUT Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA) and that’s where their confidence to move overseas grew.
“For me the highlight of Collider was the Asia Immersion Week and the connections we made during our week in Thailand. The response we got to our startup in Bangkok let us know it would be very well received in Asia,” Hayley says.
“The goal for Neon has always been to be a global business but I don’t think we would have accelerated that quickly into Asia without Collider.”
“One of our mentors had suggested to us that instead of staying where we were, we might want to look at where the highest concentration of destination weddings occur.”
“Neon is a wedding visualisation platform and the couples who would benefit most from it are those who can’t get to the destination they want to get married in. I mean, you can’t really go to Bali every couple of months to see how something looks.”
Southeast Asia is the first stop on Hayley and Barry’s global itinerary with plans to expand into Europe next.
Their goal is to establish a footprint in key wedding destinations, recruit small teams in each region then return to Australia to oversee operations from home.
Learn more about Neon at: http://neon.wedding
Register your interest for the 2019 CEA Collider Accelerator Program at: www.collideraccelerator.com