As the first global wedding-booking platform, Kiss & Tell makes planning a destination wedding a breeze.
By Amanda Pinney, Photos courtesy of Code PR
When it comes to weddings, Amy Jarczynski is quite familiar with booking happily-ever-after events in today’s digital age. For the last 12 years, she was in charge of international corporate partnerships for The Knot, an online wedding-planning platform and the market leader in the bridal digital-media industry. It was this exposure that helped her realize there was a need to fill.
With her knowledge of the digital wedding-planning industry, Jarczynski created Kiss & Tell, a platform for couples looking to plan a destination wedding, allowing them to book their venue, vendors and guest rooms directly on the platform. The idea is for Kiss & Tell to serve as an integrated social calendar through which couples can seamlessly communicate with their guests and share details about the event. Guests can RSVP to multiple events through the platform, as well as book their own rooms.
Jarczynski says she hopes the platform becomes an inspirational marketplace creating global collaboration and lifelong connection.
“We wanted to be the first wedding platform with a global focus for the destination-wedding consumer,” Jarczynski says. “We also wanted to be guest-focused.”
Kiss & Tell started off as a company based in the United Arab Emirates with a focus on the Middle Eastern consumer. Since Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is a large market for both South Asian and Middle Eastern weddings, Jarczynski and her team spent time there, where they outsourced original development, conducted market research and created the platform initially under a Middle Eastern brand specifically targeted for that demographic.
“Destination-wedding planning was really being underserved with the fact that all of the existing platforms and websites were regionalized, at best,” Jarczynski says. “From the information-gathering stage, couples really had to research multiple locations, so I was aware of the challenge that the users or couples faced from the beginning.”
An American, Jarczynski knew she eventually wanted to end up back in her home country. The brand relocated to Austin in 2017, and as a city with a growing tech industry, she feels it was definitely the right fit. Later that year, Kiss & Tell won Capital Factory’s $100K Investment Challenge, a contest that brought valuable brand awareness before the website’s official soft launch on Valentine’s Day.
“We have a social-media campaign that we’re getting together right now, #first100couples, and we’re working with any of those couples who are looking to book a destination wedding,” Jarczynski says. “We’re offering complimentary travel and wedding-concierge services to walk them through our platform and test out the booking of their wedding.”
Kiss & Tell was featured at South By Southwest this year as part of the Startup Crawl, and its station allowed couples to pose for pictures as bride and groom in a photo booth. The brand has also partnered with Visit Mexico to give away a destination wedding at El Dorado Royale Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico. The giveaway, called Love Rescue Me, will support a couple who has faced a hardship, and Jarczynski wants to honor a couple from Texas.
“We’d like to find a Texan couple who suffered some sort of loss or had to perhaps cancel their wedding due to a recent natural disaster,” Jarczynski says. “Since our business took a turn, we’ve found that Texas has been a really welcoming state to us, and that’s our first way of giving back.”
Advancements in technology have drastically shaped the wedding-planning industry, and Jarczynski believes the digital world is the No. 1 reason destination weddings have grown rapidly in the past 10 to 15 years. Prior to wedding-planning services on the web, planning was far more challenging for couples, especially those planning a destination wedding. Today, the average couple relies on computers to accomplish 90 percent of all planning, whether it’s finding vendors on social media or through a wedding website.
“Technology has helped the consumer tremendously. If you look at the marketplace now, couples plan almost everything digitally,” she says. “You can plan your wedding in a far more time-efficient and cost-efficient manner.”
Currently, the Kiss & Tell is primarily focused on weddings and the surrounding celebrations of love, such as engagement parties and anniversaries. Looking ahead, Jarczynski hopes the platform can tackle group destination travel. She also hopes to do something unique in bridal fashion, such as allowing brides to match gown selections with venue selections and combining the two purchases.
Although the future is bright for Kiss & Tell, Jarczynski is taking it one day at a time.
“Our near future is definitely reaching those first 100 couples and their guests, so that’s an immediate goal,” Jarczynski says. “As far as the future goes, there are definitely a few ideas I have as we grow.”