November 29, 2011

Creative Ways to Use Technology in Weddings

Here are some creative ways to use technology in weddings:


1. The Wedding Website
A multitude of websites offer free personalized wedding websites where couples can share their story, details about the wedding and photos. Some also offer video, RSVP and custom registry. Google's free wedding sites also incorporate the bride's planning needs, as she can sync with Google Docs and collaborate with her bridal party on guest lists, schedules, addresses and more.
Bride-to-be Kimi Raspa of Maryland decided against a free site and opted to customize a regular blog for her 2012 wedding. "I'm so glad I decided to go with BlogSpot because it allowed me to create a highly personalized site that really captures me and my fiancé," she said. "I also like that it's a blog environment where I can continuously post wedding updates or fun stories about our wedding party or pictures. It's not a one-time done deal where people come to see our wedding location but it's also a documentation of our experiences leading up to the big day."
2. Finding Vendors
In years past, brides would load up on bridal magazines to see the latest styles and wedding ideas. Today they turn to wedding blogs and inspiration sites like Pinterest. Couples can download music to play and also find vendors for their wedding day while reading personal testimonies from real couples via social media sites. Craig Finlay is a wedding photographer in Illinois who, like most other wedding photographers, relies solely on word-of-mouth for business. But Finlay's referrals come entirely from Facebook, where friends and family tag themselves in "sneak peek" wedding photos uploaded to Facebook, creating a steady stream of interest in his services.
3. Online Registry
Couples are turning to online options for registering to add flexibility and convenience. CardAvenue.com allows couples to request gift cards from their guests, giving them the option to pool them toward a large purchase, like furniture, or customize to their interests, like eating out. And since the gift cards are from national retailers, out of town guests can easily participate without dealing with costly shipping fees or bringing a bulky item to the wedding.
4. You are E-invited...
Traditional wedding etiquette is going the way of the 8-track as couples are turning to evites and online RSVP. Perhaps the most practical use for this who still prefer a sending a traditional printed invitation in the mail is to use the online RSVP (via email or website), and sending an electronic "Save the Dates" announcement prior.
5. Wedding Day Live
One of the most exciting ways couples are using technology in weddings today is streaming video of the ceremony and reception live for guests who were unable to attend. Magazine sites Brides and The Knot say 65 percent of couples are setting up special sites to manage RSVPs and stream video of the ceremony and-or reception. This comes with a price tag between $200 - $1500 or more. The wedding is archived for 60-90 days in most cases.
6. Drawing the Digital Line
It's easy to cross the line between smart and tacky when using technology in weddings. iPads are great to use as a guest book or streaming photos, but some couples are using them to FaceTime in members of the bridal party who couldn't make it to walk down the aisle. Brides Magazine and David's Bridal surveys show that nearly half of couples update Facebook status to "married" within one day, but no one can forget the couple who made it Facebook official at the altar. Use discretion and remember the actual event is more important than its virtual representation.