E-There, a Birmingham-based live streaming service that connects honeymooners with loved ones around the world, said bookings have quadrupled in the past three months, with inquiries from around the world.
The start-up, with which guests can virtually take part in a wedding, had 57,000 spectators from over 124 countries in six months.
The UK wedding industry typically hosts 20 million wedding guests and 252,000 weddings per year, which is worth over £ 10 billion for the UK economy.
The pandemic has shortened dream weddings for couples and has put thousands of wedding venues at risk of being closed.
The E-There HD streaming gives wedding parties access to a customized viewing page where guests can also interact and leave private video messages for the couple.
The concept was developed in 2019 – before the success of Coronavirus – by entrepreneur Mark West, the former European sales director for global leadership trainer Tony Robbins.
Robbins switched to the role of sales director for a restaurant tech start-up, Quandoo. It grew from a handful of restaurant customers to 6,000 in the UK and sold for £ 200 million in three years.
Then he started E-There after a close friend complained that he couldn’t afford a big wedding.
Robbins said, “We crave connection, even more lockdown. I wanted to do something where I can look back and know that I have connected millions of people. I’m actually pretty cheesy – my mission for E-There is to make a million people cry happy tears. The world needs love and celebration more than ever.
“The pandemic has accelerated innovation. We’ve spent 18 months developing and automating this affordable, high-quality technology so that it can be easily deployed to wedding venues and couples who only need to download an app. It is his time. “
Event venues, including hotels and registry offices, are installing E-There.
It is used at wedding venues such as Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland, the Blackpool Registry Office, Broadoaks Country House and Gwel an Mor in Cornwall.
Most recently, hand-picked hotels have joined the technology.
Francis Watson-Armstrong, owner of one of Britain’s most famous landmarks, Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland, made history when he was the first member of his family to marry Mrs. Claire turned to E-There in a safe Covid-19 ceremony in the 1,400-year-old fortress so that friends and family around the world could join them for the historic event.
He said, “One of the main reasons we decided to continue our wedding and not postpone it was to know that our family and friends around the world can join us via E-There live stream. It made what was already an incredibly special event absolutely magical for everyone.
“We have received exceptional feedback from our guests who have flown to New Zealand, Australia and Spain as well as from Great Britain itself and were unable to come to us due to Covid restrictions. Our virtual guests sent pictures and video messages of them in their most beautiful wedding with screenshots of our ceremony. It was such a happy occasion.
“It is a wonderful service that we will offer couples who want to get married at Bamburgh Castle in the future.”
E-There was launched in the US just before Christmas and has venues in Maryland, Maine, Kentucky, and LA.