Business

Skip the costly wedding. Elope with an intimate ceremony. This Boise company will help

This Boise couple had a business idea for small, intimate weddings in exotic locations

Simply Eloped cofounders Janessa White and Matt Dalley made a business organizing smaller, intimate wedding ceremonies at 13 locations around the United States. An investment from Indie.vc has helped them grow their idea and get to the next level.
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Simply Eloped cofounders Janessa White and Matt Dalley made a business organizing smaller, intimate wedding ceremonies at 13 locations around the United States. An investment from Indie.vc has helped them grow their idea and get to the next level.

Most people can’t imagine planning three wedding ceremonies in three years, much less 3,300. But that’s how Boiseans Janessa White and Matt Dalley make a living.

White, 34, and Dalley, 31, began Simply Eloped, a company that helps make eloping easier, three years ago. As more people look to elope because weddings are more and more expensive, the couple’s business has quickly grown.

“We felt like there had to be a third option,” White said in an interview. “There was City Hall and doing it on the cheap, and then there was the big wedding. But there was no down-the-middle option, where you could have a high-quality, personalized, intimate ceremony while not breaking the bank.”

Simply Eloped will help with just about everything one might need for a ceremony: officiant, photographer, flowers, hair and makeup, location permits and more.

The typical wedding costs more than $44,000 in 2018, according to Brides. Simply Eloped can help a couple set up a ceremony for far less.

The Bloom package, which is the company’s all-inclusive package, starts at $900 and includes officiation, photography, flowers and permit coordination.

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Janessa White and Matt Dalley, cofounders of Boise-based Simply Eloped, started their idea for a wedding planning business three years ago. It’s a service that offers smaller, intimate wedding ceremonies at 13 locations where they arrange for officiants, photographers and location permits. Darin Oswald doswald@idahostatesman.com

Dalley said Simply Eloped’s Wildflower package is growing in popularity as well. The package is part of an experience where the couple, an officiant and a photographer go to a natural location. It costs $2,800.

“You’ll get married in an incredible location, incorporating only what speaks to you – and we’ll be there to guide and document it from start to finish,” Simply Eloped’s website says.

The company has organized ceremonies the day after a couple asks, but the sooner a couple can start planning, the more time Simply Eloped will have to personalize the ceremony, White and Dalley said.

When they started, White and Dalley did everything themselves, manually, and just for friends and family. They focused on giving customers a great experience, not on funding.

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Zoe, an “office mascot,” at Simply Eloped, keeps a vigilant eye for employees in need of petting a furry friend. The staff was recently increased with help from Indie.vc, a venture-capital firm that helps small businesses already doing well get to the next level. Darin Oswald doswald@idahostatesman.com

Now, three years later, they have a business model they say is working. They have a proprietary software that handles bookings and a team of 20 people. They recently received funding from Indie.vc, a venture-capital firm that invests in companies already making money but need help becoming a sustainable business.

White and Dalley declined to say how much Indie.vc invested or what the firm’s terms were, but they said the money has helped make them more confident and allowed them to hire people for key roles.

Simply Eloped now organizes elopements in 13 areas, including Colorado, New York City, Hawaii, New Orleans, California, Asheville, Gatlinburg, Idaho, Savannah and the Florida Keys. White said they plan to offer services abroad in 2020.

White and Dalley said Boise has been crucial to building Simply Eloped. White has lived in Boise her entire life, and Dalley for 10 years. They said their business wouldn’t be what it is now if they had started it in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles or other big startup cities.

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Matt Dalley, cofounder of Simply Eloped, works in his Boise office where the staff helps plan wedding ceremonies for couples looking for something more than exchanging vows before a courtroom judge, and less expensive than a full-scale wedding ceremony with a hundred guests. Darin Oswald doswald@idahostatesman.com

“There’s a very entrepreneurial spirit here,” Dalley said. “There are a lot of wonderful people who are in Boise who are looking for companies like ours that are growing and providing a service people want. They’re interested in collaborating with us.”

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