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When the wedding planner is you

Newport Beach-based Wedding.com helps couples plan for the big day.

October 06, 2011|By Sarah Peters
  • Brett Reynolds, founder, with Elina Ayzenberg, Todd Cook, Stephen Enright, Hannah Dvorak, and Yenith Ang of Wedding.com, left to right, in their Newport office.
Brett Reynolds, founder, with Elina Ayzenberg, Todd… (DON LEACH, unknown )

NEWPORT BEACH — Brett Reynolds wasn't your average groom.

While some husbands-to-be shy away from the extensive process of planning a wedding, Reynolds, 32, chief executive of Wedding.com, created a software program for it.

"I saw my then-fiancee making calls and reaching out to vendors and kind of throw her hands up," the Newport Beach resident said of planning their 2009 wedding. "It seemed like a 9-to-5 job, and she already had a full-time job in addition to that."

Reynolds' ideas were integrated into the July launch of Wedding.com, which pairs brides with wedding vendors, upping a bride's negotiating position.

"He really took the reins and was able to get different vendors and different pricing," said his wife, Stephanie Reynolds, 30. "We were able to have our dream wedding in reasonable budget. It was the best party I've ever been to in my whole life. I would do it over again."

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Changes being added to the website in coming weeks will increase vendors' exposure to potential client matches.

The site provides helpful tools, such as vendor price comparison, budget tracking, checklists and personalized wedding web pages, where details such as a gift registry and dates can be posted.

"Our goal at Wedding.com is to simplify the process and not make it so stressful," Brett Reynolds said. "We can help brides still get their unique vision, still have their personalized wedding that they've dreamed of, by providing the tools that allow the process to still be enjoyable and fun."

So far, the website averages 20,000 to 30,000 hits a month. Reynolds said he expects that number to jump to 50,000 in peak wedding-planning season, typically May through October.

Wedding.com will eventually include features that will help the entire bridal party and family with helpful tools for selecting tuxedos, dresses and other attire. The goal is minimize stress from start to finish of the entire wedding process, Reynolds said.

"If your wedding is not your happiest day, then what's the point?" he said.

The site wouldn't be available to those thousands of couples had two teenagers from separate San Fernando Valley high schools not locked eyes in a Starbucks' parking lot 15 years ago.

The company founders dated for more than a decade while pursing degrees and careers — hers in dentistry and his in Internet marketing — before Reynolds popped the question in front of family and mutual friends in 2008.

"There was a waking-up point that had something to do with maturity," Reynolds said. "It was the best decision I've ever made."

Their June wedding was held at Ramsey's at The Club, Toluca Lake, in front of an intimate crowd of 100. The bridesmaids wore pink, the groomsmen brown — the couple's favorite colors.

sarah.peters@latimes.com

Twitter: @speters01

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