Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The White Connection, a must-click for every bride to be

"I was a fresh graduate, have just gotten engaged, and was looking forward to plan one of the most memorable evenings of my life: my wedding.“ says 25- year-old Noor AlKhaja, moderator of The White Connection, a UAE-based online wedding blog and directory.

“I thought that if I go online and search for “Emirati wedding directory, I would easily find a reasonable place to start from.”

To her surprise, no such directory existed.

That is when the idea started shaping in Noor’s head, a user-friendly online resourceful and well-designed database that any bride-to-be can easily refer to, for anything and everything related to preparing for her big day.

“I had in mind a directory which provided brides with high quality services that they can trust."

Noor started planning it, and involved her fiancé who was supportive and who thought it was a great idea.

“We decided that it was a project that we both were going to work on and launch as soon as we are back from our honeymoon, “ she said.

The first step was research, plenty of it. The couple had to extensively browse the web to see what’s available, and get an idea of how similar initiatives are run and managed.

Then there was the identity creation stage. Noor, a visual communications graduate, is quite picky when it comes to design and was the creator of her brand’s logo.

“I wanted something simple, modern, elegant and at the same time reflected the beauty and sentimentalism of a wedding.

While Noor designed, her husband, Mohammed, structured the website and provided her with the technical support required.

The website was launched gradually. It started as a blog with simple photoshoots and entries capturing different wedding dresses, flower arrangements, wedding décor and jewelry.

An instagram and twitter account accompanied the blogging phase, and was enthusiastically welcomed by brides-to-be who loved following the latest trends, and updates, and also wedding service providers who started providing feedback and showed interest in being featured.

“During our pre-launch phase, we focused on social media to interact with our audiences, and to spread awareness through short, catchy and visually attractive entries with plenty of photos.”

At the same time, the couple was preparing for the official website launch.

“We were choosing vendors by either contacting the ones who we found during research and found suitable, or the ones who came across our blog and contacted us requesting to be listed. “

While the soft launch, which included the blog, instagram and twitter account took place in December, the official website went live on the 24th of June and lists 90 suppliers from across the GCC that specialize in everything from hair, makeup, wedding dresses, jewelry, photography, invitations, catering, stationary and honeymoon packages.

“I love the flexible hours, and being able to work from anywhere at anytime of the day, “ she says about freelancing and managing her own website.

“Startups are not easy to make come to life, and maintain, though “ she adds.

“You need to be disciplined, determined and set goals for yourself. Don’t be afraid of learning new things, and don’t be discouraged by issues that arise. “

“As long as you have a clear idea, start implementing it, and slowly, things will start falling into place.” She adds.

Visit their website : www.thewhiteconnection.com
Follow them on Instagram : @thewhiteconnection 
Follow them on twitter : @thewhiteconnect