Denver Startup Wedfuly Accepts Shark Tank’s Proposal

The virtual wedding company had a “whirlwind” of business offers after Friday’s broadcast.

Written by Jeff Rumage
Published on Nov. 11, 2021
Denver Startup Wedfuly Accepts Shark Tank’s Proposal
Wedfuly CEO Caroline Creidenberg
Wedfuly CEO Caroline Creidenberg wore a white dress and veil for the 'shark tank' broadcast. | photo: wedfuly

Although she runs a virtual wedding company, Wedfuly CEO Caroline Creidenberg doesn’t consider herself a big wedding person.

But that didn’t stop her from putting on a white dress and a veil for the business moguls on ABC’s Shark Tank.

“My friends posted on Instagram that if you ever want to see me in a veil, this is the one and only time you will,” she said.

After delivering an enthusiastic and funny business pitch, saying “we handle the tech so couples can handle the love,” one of the “sharks,” Robert Herjavec, made Creidenberg’s dreams come true with a proposal: $200,000 for 10 percent equity in her wedding live-streaming business.

She said yes.

When the episode aired last Friday, Creidenberg watched the episode on a big TV with her friends, family and employees. On a separate screen, they watched their website analytics, which spiked when she received an offer.

Over the next three days, her team was overwhelmed with inquiries and offers from prospective investors, partnership opportunities with other wedding companies and parents wanting to schedule a virtual wedding for their child.

“We had a plan in place to take on all of the calls that we had coming in,” she said. “We loaded up on Starbucks and bagels and made a whirlwind of a weekend out of it.”

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Creidenberg owns 100 percent of Wedfuly — and had intended to stay that way — but she wanted the support and resources of the entrepreneurs on Shark Tank.

She was especially happy to receive an offer from Herjavec, who founded BRAK Systems, an integrator of internet security software, and The Herjavec Group, a large IT and computer security company.

“Having his expertise and the ability to help us scale is going to be super helpful in this process,” she said. “The network and the reach that he has is going to be hugely impactful for us in any partnership.”

Before launching Wedfuly, Creidenberg was one of three women software engineers in a 60-person software development department at a large financial organization. Creidenberg felt like she didn’t fit in with her coworkers, which is what sent her searching for an industry with more women.

“I wanted a culture where I could still be coding, because I love coding, but get along with the people that I work with,” she said. “Instead of playing Super Smash Brothers, which is what we played in the office every day during lunch, I wanted to go to a cute restaurant or something.”

Once she started working in the wedding industry, Creidenberg saw how people were being sucked into expensive weddings that were more stressful than fun. 

A scene from one of Wedfuly’s virtual weddings.
a scene from one of wedfuly’s virtual weddings. | photo: wedfuly

So, while it may seem surprising that someone in the wedding industry doesn’t like big weddings, Creidenberg argues Wedfuly is working to make weddings more accessible to people who may be stressed out by the cost and time associated with a big production.

“We heard from hundreds of couples last year that were going to have to take out loans or forego buying a house,” she said. “The couples who did pivot to a virtual wedding were able to purchase their first house sooner than they would’ve thought or pay off student loans because they had ‘x’ amount of money they were able to spend elsewhere. The sentiment across the board was that they felt so much better about spending their money in that way, and that they still had an amazing wedding that they were over the moon about.”

When the pandemic struck, people shifted hard and fast toward virtual weddings. With national press attention from Today and the New York Times, Wedfuly has streamed 700 weddings and generated $1 million in sales during the pandemic.

Creidenberg anticipates the virtual wedding trend will endure beyond the pandemic.

“It really freed couples from the wedding industrial complex and allowed them to have the wedding they wanted without all the rules that came with a traditional wedding,” she said.

During 2020 and most of 2021, the on-site camera and technical work was done entirely by wedding guests. These days, Wedfuly is able to hire freelancers to provide on-site support in Denver, New York City, Los Angeles and other markets.

Wedfuly has four full-time employees and 15 part-time employees. The part-time employees run livestream productions remotely, broadcasting videos about how the couple met and juggling the multiple cameras and virtual participants through virtual processionals, group dances and virtual reception rooms.

“It's a very exciting, entertaining experience that guests really enjoy,” she said.

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