2015 was a fantastic year for me in many ways. Not least because I got engaged in June to my wonderful other half Sean. Since then, we’ve enjoyed just being engaged. We’ve made no attempts to arrange a wedding, although we are asked about it regularly. Now 2016 is in full swing, I feel it’s time we started to plan our big day. We are both really looking forward to actually being married to each other. The problem is, I don’t know where to start! I’ve never been a person who dreamt about and planned her wedding day in her head, neither as a girl nor an adult. I feel this leaves me somewhat at a disadvantage when planning a wedding now. I really have very few ideas about what I do and don’t want!
With this problem in mind, plus my inability to spend a huge chunk of my time in the planning stages, I was very pleased to discover the website Bark.com. Described as ‘a revolutionary way to hire local services’, Bark provides a tailored solution to any project or problem you encounter. If you are looking for a lawyer, a decorator, a magician, a personal trainer, a chef or a language teacher in your local area, Bark can find it for you.
The site is incredibly simple to use. You just need to type in what you are looking for and the town or postcode in which you need it. Bark will run through a short series of questions with you to pinpoint exactly what it is you need. You generally get an option to provide a little extra information about your particular requirements. Your ‘Bark’ is then sent off to the team for action.
What happens next is incredible
The team receive your request and set about contacting local services and professionals who can provide what you need. These services are able to contact you via your Bark account if they can meet the brief. You can then log in and start looking through the responses and contact them if you’re interested. So simple yet so ingenious! The range of services they can search for is astounding; you name it, Bark will find it. Give it a try yourself and see what you can come up with.
Getting started with planning a wedding
For me, Bark is going to play a huge part in my wedding planning. As a clueless newbie, I typed ‘wedding’ and ‘Oxford’ into the search boxes (you can also visit this page to be directed to their wedding services search itself). I was then asked which category met my needs. The range of categories shown was immense, and ranged from Wedding Toastmasters to Dove Releasing. I decided to start with the first problem, and that was the Wedding Venue. Bark asked me what kind of venue I preferred (hotel, church, castle, outdoor, don’t know etc). They also asked if I required the venue to provide any services such as food and drink or sound and lighting, how many guests I wanted, the ideal date and any other things I wanted to mention.
You can even upload photos showing the kind of thing you’ve seen that provided inspiration and which you’d like to emulate. I sent my Bark off and sat back and waited for the team to reach out to professionals and venues local to me, who will then contact you via the site. I’ve been able to review the messages I’ve received with anonymity. There were no hassling emails or calls from venues, and could pick and choose my responses.
Taking the stress away
The beauty is that it has opened my wedding planning up to places I didn’t know existed. There are companies I didn’t realise were out there, and wedding services that hadn’t even crossed my mind. There are so many different components to a wedding day. There’s the cake, flowers, photographer, hair and makeup, and catering. Bark can look at all of these for you. Bark also showed me the possibility of hiring a videographer, a wedding decorator, a photobooth, a wedding music consultant, buses and coaches, and a jewellery consultant to name just a few. I’m not saying I need or want all of these things, but the process has really enabled me to think about what it is I need or want when I tie the knot.
Having people approach me, rather than me spending hours scouring different websites, has also saved me an enormous amount of time and stress. The pieces of the wedding have started to come together. It has been a huge relief and an excitement to log into my Bark account and review the latest local offerings.
I will continue to use Bark during my wedding planning, and now for anything else I am looking for locally. I love the ease of use and the practicality of the process which makes finding anything possible.
Have you tried Bark? What advice do you have when planning a wedding? I would love to hear any tips and advice.
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