Turning data into browsable, actionable, inspiration

A key differentiator for Borrowed & Blue was our dataset of assets from real weddings. We had thousands of galleries submitted by wedding photographers with the approval of the couple, and the associated vendors + vendor profiles. This breadth of info meant that we had a unique opportunity to turn the inspiration phase of the wedding planning process directly into action.

In existing searches at the "inspiration" phase of wedding planning (Pinterest), you might stumble upon a photo of a beautiful centerpiece – however, that search is completely dissociated from vendors available in the same area as your wedding venue. On B&B, access to purchase/more info is *immediately accessible*, a key value proposition for local vendors on the platform.

To improve this inspiration --> action flow, I designed a new photos experience where couples could easily browse photos by location or venue. We already had the photos (attached to weddings)...and wedding had venues (and therefore geographic coordinates)...and with some clever joins to optimize query speed, we could tie locations + all vendors + weddings together on photos.

Reducing search overhead

At the photo detail level, in addition to the usual save and share, we were able to associate each image with the wedding it came from, the venue it occured at, and the exact vendors who were at that wedding. Getting actionable information about the florist who made *this* bouqet is only a single click away.


It worked! People loved browsing our imagery, and found the ability to filter by location incredibly helpful. It also increase time on site and average page views for users earlier in the wedding planning process.

As a v2 improvement, we also supplemented our data by training our image set in Clarafai in order to identify the characteristics of each individual image and surface the most appropriate vendors as needed (aka, a picture with flowers should show the florist for the wedding, but not the DJ).

Borrowed & Blue was acquired by Zola, but the data from this work lives on at www.zola.com/inspiration.