At the end of 2015, almost half of the world’s population used the Internet for some purpose or another. People around the world use it to buy and sell, connect with friends, work and, of course, procrastinate working. It’s one of the many advancements in technology aimed at making our lives easier. And you can put this, and plenty of other tech tools, to work for your wedding.
There’s plenty of debate around technology making our lives easier or more complicated. And although the answer is probably right down the middle, tech tools can definitely make parts of your wedding—and planning it—easier. We’re not talking about a total tech takeover. Instead, these tools can be helpful whether you’re planning a large, local wedding or a small destination celebration.
Take a look at these five tech tools that are free, easy-to-use, and probably something you’ve done plenty of times before. Just not for your wedding! And if we missed any tips, be sure to let us know in the comments below.
Tech tools, of course, aren’t limited to cool gadgets. In 2018, almost 15% of all retail shopping was conducted online. That might seem low, until you discover that that 15% represents more than $517 billion dollars. While that statistic might not include the venue for your wedding, it does show the significance—and ease—of online shopping. And that does include vendors and venues. Before the Age of the Internet, vendors and venues were chosen by word of mouth or—if you can imagine!—visiting in person to see what it looked like. You weren’t able to sit and scroll through thousands of businesses from your couch.
And that’s not a bad thing! You’re likely trying to squeeze in calls with the caterer on your lunch break, and spending weekends driving from venue to venue looking for “the one.” All while trying to remember to put the trash out on Wednesday. Online venue shopping means you can see if the pictures match your vision without spending the gas money. Plus, you can read real reviews and see actual photos from past guests. You won’t have to gamble with a venue that looks nice, only to find out the staff is inattentive, or the nearby restaurant gets loud on Saturday nights.
Once you’ve set the date and booked your venue, it’s time to start spreading the word. As dated as it might seem, we still recommend mailing physical invitations to reinforce the importance and formality of the event. (Sticking the RSVP card on the fridge is a time-honored tradition, after all.) But that doesn’t mean there aren’t helpful tech tools available! Sending your guests to a wedding website gives them a one-stop-shop for everything they need know—including the details that wouldn’t fit on your invitations.
Plus, wedding websites offer handy tech tools for you, too. Eventective’s website builder lets you manage guest lists for multiple events—like the reception, shower, and rehearsal dinner—all in one handy spot. For each event, you can also list local attractions for out-of-town guests visiting, or even room blocks at nearby hotels. You can also link online registries, so guests don’t have to visit one site to buy glassware, and another to get the dishes you want. They simply have to visit your wedding website!
Because online RSVPs are such handy tech tools, they deserve a second mention. Like we said earlier, you can manage multiple guest lists online—because not everyone who attends the bridal shower can make it to the wedding. But the benefits don’t end there. Online RSVPs are immediate, so you’re not waiting for your guests to remember to drop it in the mail—and then wait for it to be delivered to you.
Bonus Tip: As handy as digital RSVPs are, you should still offer physical RSVPs.
If you’re worried about random strangers (or uninvited friends) going online and agreeing to attend your wedding—tech tools come to the rescue again! You can password protect your website, so only guests with the password can enter and RSVP. Plus, if you upload a guest list, guests have to find their names before RSVPing. That means if they’re not on the list, they can’t attend!
“Back in the day,” the happy couple would leave a disposable camera on each table for guests to capture special moments during the reception. More recent tech tools include renting a photo booth, so both you and your guests can take the photos home same-day. But even with an on-site photo booth, guests are still going to be snapping photos on their smartphones. While you don’t want to discourage friends and family from having a good time, you do want to see the moments they’ve captured. Wedding hashtags allow you to do just that.
Create a unique hashtag for guests to use when they post images to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. You won’t have to chase down the camera enthusiasts in your friend group, or wait for them to upload images to an online drive. Simply browse social media when you return from your honeymoon, and relive (or save!) the memories from your special day.
Live Streaming Services
No, we’re not encouraging your DJ to live-stream your wedding on Instagram. But consider using available tech tools to share the ceremony with friends and family who can’t make it in person. Inclement weather can turn “wouldn’t miss it for the world!” into “will celebrate from afar.” Aging relatives may not be able to travel for the occasion, or friends may be deployed in the military.
Bonus Tip: You can also use video chats for bridesmaid dress shopping or connecting with the caterer.
Setting up a live video can be as simple as Skyping with the long-distance friend or family member. Ask a member of the wedding party to hold a portable device during the ceremony. It won’t get a close-up of the happy couple, but the viewers will still be able to see what’s going on, and participate in real time.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with a color-coded binder to help you stay organized. But that binder can’t manage guest lists, handle vendor selection, collect photos, and share the wedding with long-distance guests. Explore some of the tech tools that can make your wedding planning even a little easier—for you and your guests.
Have you ever tried any of these tech tools at a wedding? Did they make things easier?