Those in the know will tell you that while attending a wedding is fun, planning one is usually far from it. There are many months of pain as you try to turn that day you have dreamt of as a little boy or girl. Often you will have sleepless nights, there are nights you will wake up at witch hours breaking in sweat as you try to decide between venues, colour schemes, cakes, music, seating arrangements, night versus day wedding and whether your favourite pastor/priest will make it to the venue.
The pressure to plan the perfect wedding has resulted in many a sane bride turn into Bridezillas. Bridezilla is a scientific term used to refer to brides-to-be who begin to lash out at everyone as the wedding planning process starts to get to them. They hurl abuse at anything and anyone, throw tantrums and generally make everyone miserable.
NiftyPlanr , according to its Zimbabwean developers, was designed to take some of that pressure away and make the planning part less of a pain. Dubbed as “Your Pocket Event Planner” the app was clearly designed primarily with weddings in mind but it can do much more:
- Plan a wedding
- Plan a religious such as a conference, revival etc
- Plan Entertainment events such as a fair, carnival and fair
- Plan Education events
- Plan Personal events such as baby showers, birthday party or if you don’t need any excuse just a party
- Music events such as concerts
- Find public events taking place near you that you might be interested in
You can find out more on their Facebook Page.
Downloading and using the app
This is one of those rare local apps that’s available for both iOS and Android devices. To download the app head over to the App’s website and select your device’s store.
Signing up is easy. All you need is input your phone number, choose a password and a verification SMS will be send to your phone. Use the the code to verify, enter your name and address (complete your profile) and you are good to go start planning parties.
To plan an event you have to go to your dashboard and create a new event. Here you are given event categories from which you can select your desired event, select the time and date, choose a venue (there are predefined venues but you can just use your own venue e.g. your house, you can even defer choosing a venue), select the dress code, say how many people are invited and most importantly set a budget.
The App has superpowers
Once you have created your event that is when the powers of the app kick in. Depending on the event you have created you are presented with a checklist i.e. the most important things you need in order to have the perfect wedding/party/event. For example if you are planning a wedding you will need:
- A venue
- A cake
- Bridal gown
- Wedding bands
- Colour scheme
- Officiating officer
- Rides otherwise you will be walking
- A honeymoon destination
- Flowers, balloons and decor
- Photos and video
The checklist makes sure nothing is left out forcing people to see your Mr Hyde side. The app has another neat trick up its sleeve. Instead of you wasting your time driving around town/the country with the checklist they have already on boarded a number of service providers for most of the checklist items.
So all you have to do is to browse through their list of service providers and depending on your budget add a service provider to your event. The service provider will then send you an invoice for proposed service. If you are happy you can pay the invoice using PayNow.
Will it catch on
There is no doubt the app is useful but it has several hurdles to clear. The most daunting one is prevailing attitudes: People loathe change even if it is progress. Most people would rather run around town with a worn out list doing things the traditional way than use their phones. It’s the reason why online shopping is yet to get traction in Zimbabwe.
Then there is the prevailing price madness which makes planning anything hard. Though that’s not the App’s fault it’s no doubt going to impact on its success.
Then there is the kombi boarding problem that affects apps like NiftyPlanr. Sometimes lots of people gather outside a kombi waiting for others to go and fill up the back seat. The result is a crowd just waiting outside. A lot of people will wait and see and only use the app once they have seen someone use it successfully.
The app will also have to contend with the chicken and egg problem. More people would use the app if it had a lot of service providers giving people choice. On the other hand, more service providers would join the service if more people were using it. The developers are working hard to mitigate this and have already signed up a number of service providers so they are hopeful the people will come.
Needless, therefore, to say the developers have their work cut out for them but they were optimistic when I spoke to them.