Saturday 24 August 2019

'Weddings could definitely be less wasteful' - meet the Irish couple aiming to make celebrations greener

Software developers Laura Cavanagh and Colin Vaughan
Software developers Laura Cavanagh and Colin Vaughan

Gabija Gataveckaite

AN Irish couple is aiming to help make weddings greener and paperless.

Laura Cavanagh and Colin Vaughan are set to launch a new mobile app which is hoped to lead the way in environmentally friendly weddings by scrapping paper invites.

BeOurGuest provides a mobile platform and hub for couples to invite guests digitally, notify them immediately of changes and keep track of details such as catering, song suggestions and toasts.

Speaking to Independent.ie, Laura, who is from Donegal, explained how this is the first big venture for the environmentally friendly couple, who had the idea when they started talking about the process of wedding planning. 

“We came up with the idea together and we talked about it, searched to see what was out there and nothing similar seemed to exist,” she said.

The app provides a digital, paperless platform for wedding couples to invite and keep track of their guests in a way that is both “private and secure” as well as environmentally friendly, according to Laura.

The bride and groom can download a custom hub application, which allows a lists of guests and their emails to be imported. The couple can then send out digital wedding invitations, be notified immediately of RSVPs, organise catering, song choices and seating plans well as many other details of their big day.

It also features a countdown to their big day.

Laura and Colin hopes that the app will help with reducing the use of paper invitations and make for greener, more environmentally friendly weddings as well as help make life easier for budding brides and grooms. 

“We found that there are 21 steps in sending a wedding invitation, from choosing stationary to deciding on the message,” she said.

“The app does it in three steps.”

Having met online in 2015 and started their company GlitterBug a year later, Laura and Colin are life as well as business partners.

“We’re planning to start with weddings and then expand into other celebrations like festivals.

“We do all of our work ourselves,” explained Laura.

However, she says that the lovebirds don't clash but that there is little break from work for the young entrepeneurs.

“We spend a lot of time together and it’s something we’re both passionate about,” she said.

“We very seldom fight but we work all hours and there’s very little time to switch off from  work and the biggest challenge is switching off.

“Our living room is our working room,” she laughed.

BeOurGuest is the latest project from GlitterBug, the couple’s company of three years. Having launched several other mobile trivia applications including games and an interactive fiction novel, BeOurGuest is the first big venture for the technology-smart couple.

The software developers are both passionate about the environment and Laura also dabbles in artistry, with all of the wedding invite designs on the app being painted or drawn by her.

“We’re both very passionate about the environment and weddings could definitely use greener technology to be less wasteful,” she said.

“We’re always looking out for ways to reduce paper waste.”

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