App keeps weddings on track

Fran Simon
Caleb White, class of 2010
“Although I majored in psychology, I always had an interest in becoming an entrepreneur.”

When Tulane University alumni Allison Shipp and Jonathan Brouk were married in New Orleans on Oct. 17, 2015, they opted to use an innovative wedding-planning tool, WedTexts, a websiteand app that allow engaged couples to communicate easily with their wedding guests through pre-scheduled text messages.

Allison Shipp Brouk (who graduated from the Tulane School of Liberal Arts in 2008 and the Tulane School of Law class of 2011) is an environmental and natural resource damages attorney and Jonathan Brouk (School of Liberal Arts class of 2007) is a corporate attorney with a focus in the healthcare industry. They were pressed for time to coordinate the wedding.

“WedTexts was a huge help during our wedding weekend,” says Jonathan Brouk. “Most of our guests were from out of town, and with so much to compete with here in New Orleans, we were thrilled to have WedTexts to help keep everyone on track. Scheduling the texts in advance allowed us to focus on our big day and not have to worry about whether people remembered the ‘when and where’ of the weekend’s events.”

Caleb White and his wife, Kelly Caravella White, both 2010 grads of the School of Science and Engineering, developed WedTexts with people like the Brouks in mind. They were their own first customers.

After starting a web-based business called GrassCuttersUSA, working in sales and as an investment adviser, Caleb White participated in a technology accelerator in Columbia, South Carolina, with a company called Rchivos, which sought to improve the communication between a business and its customers.

“A few weeks before our wedding, Kelly recommended that we use the software we had built for Rchivos to communicate with our wedding guests via scheduled text messages throughout our wedding weekend. And just like that, WedTexts was born,” he says.

“We have had many couples from around the country use our service, and we have taken everyone’s feedback and made our product better.”

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Allison Shipp and Jonathan Brouk celebrate their wedding in New Orleans on Oct. 17, 2015. They used WedTexts, a company founded by Tulane alumni, to communicate with their wedding party and guests. (Photo by Greer Gattuso, Greer G. Photography)