By: Christina Hunt
Hashtag generators, Facebook groups like The Wedding Connection, personalized websites, Pinterest, online registries and apps are sweeping the wedding industry. When I got engaged, I was introduced to all of the ways technology makes planning your big day easier for everyone involved.
According to a July 2014 survey conducted by TheKnot.com and Mashable, 55 percent of couples used a hashtag for their wedding, 20 percent shared the hashtag in their ceremony program and 10 percent said that they didn’t use a hashtag but wish they had. Why is this trend sweeping the nation, you may ask? Because a unique hashtag allows the betrothed couple and their guests to easily search through all photos posted to social media, ranging from the day of engagement through the nuptials.
Companies like The Knot offer hundreds of resources to couples planning their wedding. One of those is an easy to use template to create a personalized wedding website. The site allows you to put pertinent wedding details like time, place, dress code, local hotels and directions in an easy to access place for guests. You can also add fun extras your family and friends will love like wedding party bios, engagement photos and your couple story.
Pinterest allows girls to show others what the wedding they’ve been planning in their head since they were five years old actually looks like…even if they aren’t engaged yet. I’ve had a board dedicated to my wedding for almost four years now; long before I met my fiance. There are pros and cons to this trend:
- Pros: It is easier to communicate to vendors about what you want by showing them pictures. My fiance looked at engagement rings I pinned and used that to find a band I would love. The social network offers great ideas you may have never thought of.
- Cons: Perfect Pinterest pins are known for creating high expectations that require large budgets to execute; something that is not always realistic and could lead to bridezillas. Idea overload is a real thing.
To start my registry, my fiance, my mom and I went to Bed Bath & Beyond. Three hours later, we thought we’d added everything we would ever want or need. But when I reviewed the print-out of our registry, I realized that there were some edits I needed to make (like nixing 21 chip clips that were added by my fiance and the BB&B employee who was helping us when my mom and I stepped away to look at something else). Thanks to technology, I didn’t have to go to the store to make those changes. I could simply log on to their website and add or delete.
Registry apps for stores like Bed Bath & Beyond, Target and Amazon allow couples to interact with their registry on the go without having to deal with websites that aren’t phone and tablet compatible. Despite my mom’s protests, I was able to conveniently check my registries on my phone to see which gifts had already been purchased in the days leading up to my bridal shower. (She argued it wouldn’t be a surprise at my shower, but I pointed out that I had already picked the gifts out and still didn’t know who got me what until the shower.)
My friend Kim and her fiance, Josh, are a perfect example of a couple using technology to their advantage while preparing for their big day. Instead of going the traditional registry route, they decided to register online with Royal Caribbean.
“I had heard about honeymoon registries from other people,” she said. “Once we decided on where we wanted to have our honeymoon, I looked on the website and found a link to creating a honeymoon registry. After creating an account and setting up our cruising information, I had the option to choose from many different gift items: meals, spa experiences, gratuity, bar packages.”
Kim continued by saying, “We are going to register for a traditional Bed Bath & Beyond registry in addition to our Royal Caribbean registry. With over 300 people being invited to the wedding, we wanted to make sure that we had plenty of items to choose from, if people decide to give us a gift. After hearing comments like, ‘We have so many things off our registry that we haven’t even used yet!’ we didn’t want to register for 100 items at a traditional store and end up with many unopened gifts. Cruises can be expensive, so we decided to give people the option to help us make it a memorable experience.”
After saying “I do” Kim and Josh plan to depart on a 7-night cruise with stops at St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Cococay.
“Technology…made the whole (registry) process much easier. I was easily able to select which items were most suitable for us and our interests. The link to the registry will be shared on our wedding website. The link to the wedding website is printed on our Save the Dates, giving any person with access to the internet the ability to find any information about our wedding weekend, such as suggested attire, things in the area to do, and where we are registered.
If someone decides to give us the gift of a cruise item or a Bed Bath & Beyond item, he or she can easily access each registry online (or in person for Bed Bath & Beyond), select the item they would like to purchase, and pay for the item. It makes it so easy; they can do it from the comfort of their couch if their lives are too busy!”