weddings

Brides-to-be: there is now an Airbnb for wedding venues.

You’re searching for a wedding venue in NSW, or QLD, or anywhere in Australia. Instead of trawling through search results and dissecting websites, you simply click the map. Select the price range. Choose your region.

Filter by facilities, setting, style, number of people.

You’re presented with everything from official wedding venues, to restaurants, farm houses, boat sheds, woodsheds, old police barracks.

You’ll find what you’re looking for.

It’s the new way to discover wedding venues, like the “Airbnb of the wedding world”.

It’s called WedShed and was started by Amy Parfett and Melany McBride, both 29, in March last year.

The duo discovered the gap in the market while living London, when they were called upon by a mutual friend to help plan a wedding in Australia. Research, research, research. No suitable locations.

“The same traditional, function-style weddings kept popping up,” Parfett told the Sydney Morning Herald

Reddit users detail the worst (best) wedding disasters. Post continues below video

Meanwhile, Parfett and McBride continued travelling through Europe. Staying in other people’s houses, apartments, bedrooms, organised through Airbnb.

An idea was triggered.

“The concept of renting out private property for personal space or events was becoming less and less foreign; we couldn’t believe no one was doing the same in the wedding space,” Parfett said“We sat on the idea for a couple of years until it felt really urgent.”

After six months working on their new venture part time, and gaining some experience in the wedding hosting industry, the pair launched WedShed in March of 2015.

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Now, the website www.wedshed.com.au has more than 150 venue listings.

Each venue pays an annual fee to WedShed, and you can find everything from established wedding venues – for example Watson’s Bay Hotel on Sydney Harbour – to private farms and properties.

“There’s a good percentage of people that are completely new to hosting weddings,” Parfett said. “They’ve just realised they’ve got space on the farm or a workshop that’s only used a few weeks a year. It’s as hands-on or as hands-off as they want.”

Like using Airbnb for booking accommodation, this style of wedding-venue-shopping assists couples in comparing prices, and saving money where possible.

It affords unique locations, priced from anywhere between a couple of hundred dollars to $10,000 for a ceremony and reception.

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Like all good ideas, WedShed is a clever answer to a glaring problem.

It makes life easier for brides and grooms-to-be, and it brings business to places where before there was none.

The only catch for Parfett and McBride?

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It’s a never-ending-source of wedding envy.

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