Two popular wedding websites that connect vendors to clients—Style Me Pretty and WeddingWire—underwent ownership changes in April and May, with one nearly shutting down and the other getting a major cash infusion along with a new majority owner.
Style Me Pretty’s parent company Oath Inc., a subsidiary of Verizon, announced in April that it would be shutting down. While the company offered no explanation, some vendors speculated online that changes in the site’s vendor listing structure resulted in fewer benefits for vendors paying to be on the list.
Within a few weeks of the announcement, the site’s founder, Abby Larson, and her husband, Tait Larson, announced that they had reacquired the Style Me Pretty assets and would be rebooting the site. Having founded Style Me Pretty in 2007, the Larsons sold the site to AOL in 2012, but stayed on as president and CEO before moving on in 2017. With the reacquisition, the pair are “now embarking on the amazing journey of running [Style Me Pretty] for a second time, complete with a fresh pair of eyes and hearts to build the beloved brand into something even better,” according to a post on the site.
Also founded in 2007, WeddingWire Inc. announced in May that global private equity firm Permira would invest $350 million in WeddingWire, becoming the company’s majority shareholder. As part of the transaction, WeddingWire’s management team and existing investor Spectrum Equity will maintain a significant minority ownership in the company. According to a company press release, the new investment will support WeddingWire as it expands in the United States and internationally, launches new innovations and leverages the industry’s ongoing shift to online advertising.