Imagine the headache of wedding planning in a simpler time, a time before high speed internet and smartphones—a time just a few years ago known to many as the Stone Age. Everyone seems to be amazingly competent in this age of information, from the self helpers to DIYers, and the tools to plan the wedding of your dreams have never been easier to reach. You know, it wasn’t so long ago when brides had to communicate with vendors over crackling land lines, but now phones with cords feel about as new and exciting as the invention of the wheel. And don’t even get me started on the long, arduous journey brides used to make to shop INSIDE a brick-and-mortar store for bridesmaids’ gifts. Tsk tsk, such primitive times. Shopping should be done without lifting a finger—well, okay, lifting a finger and then putting it back down on your mouse.
Modern technology allows you to plan an entire wedding in the palm of your hand—literally. Smartphone, anyone? With limitless information on everything wedding-related, your smartphone is your best friend for wedding planning on the go, and it barely takes up room in your bag. With downloadable apps, smartphones can do everything from budgeting, to sending invitations, to snapchatting pictures of your teary-eyed “I do” to your study abroad friend from Australia smack-dab the middle of the ceremony (if you really wanted to). The internet is making everything easier, and thankfully, that includes wedding planning. Here are 7 ways the internet has made the stressful uncertainty of wedding planning easier.
7 Ways the Internet Makes Wedding Planning Easier
1. Wedding Inspiration
Before you start contacting vendors, researching venues, or even setting a date, it’s important to decide how you want your wedding to look. Picking a theme or a color palette can be very difficult, especially if you are even the slightest bit indecisive. Do you want your wedding to be rustic? Whimsical? Vintage? Running a simple search through the image based site, Pinterest, will have you dazzled, inspired, and gleefully shouting to all your friends, “I want my wedding to look like THAT.” Every bride deserves to have the wedding of her dreams, and having the wedding of your dreams means knowing what you want. The internet will provide you with all the inspiration you could hope for (and more), from enchanted pixie forest to geek chic Star Wars themed weddings.
2. Virtual Planners
Did you know there are many downloadable apps for iPad, iPhone, and android devices that specifically function as virtual wedding planners? According to UKAWP, 41% of couples planning their weddings did. Right now, the most popular virtual planner is iWeddingDeluxe which allows users to keep tabs on guests, create to-do-lists, and much, much more! Search your play store for Wedding budget, an app designed specifically for budgeting your wedding. Freaking out about how much to tip the vendors? TheKnot has a free app that provides expert wedding advice for your wedding-related questions on the go.
Everyone knows the web is THE place to shop. From the very particular, hard to find items to big, heavy products you don’t feel like lugging home, online shopping is the best way to find exactly what you want for everything wedding. Looking for groomsmen gifts? A quick search on Google lands me on TheKnot’s page for customizable groomsmen gifts. What about tablecloths? Try an online table linen store. A little birdie told me LinenTablecloth sells high quality, affordable tablecloths. Trying to book your dream honeymoon? It’s just like booking any other trip—head over to Kayak, Travelocity, or whichever site is kindest to your wallet!
It’s easy to take e-mail for granted in a world where new technologies like 3D printing are stealing the spotlight, but e-mail really does make corresponding with vendors and guests so much easier. Touching base with your guests is crucial for the final head count before your big day, and doing so online prevents you from making the tedious efforts of calling guests individually. It’s always a good idea to initially speak to vendors on the phone or in person, but when working out small kinks and asking questions, e-mail is a fast and easy way to communicate with your vendors. Also, how else would we find and research vendors if not for the web?
5. Planning Tools
New online tools for wedding planning are being created all the time, and many of them are free! For instance, LinenTablecloth offers an event layout tool that allows user to input the dimensions of a venue and strategically position chairs, tables, and stations. Trust me, it’s not worth estimating your floor space. There’s nothing worse than realizing you invited more people than the venue could comfortably hold. A lack of space means the dance floor is the first to go, and no dancing means no party. Save yourself the nightmarish uncertainty of layout planning and plan ahead with a layout tool! Other useful tools include tablecloth sizing tools and color coordinating tools.
6. Building a website
No, you don’t have to be a big tech-nerd to build a website for your big day. Building a wedding website presents your guests with all the major bullet points about your wedding in one place. Why put forth the energy? A website means you won’t have guests calling to ask you about the registry while your mouth is occupied by delicious cake samples! Guests calling to ask questions can be very frustrating when you’re in the middle of stressing about wedding planning. Building a website will answer the majority of questions your guests may ask, and a website is a great way to get your guests excited about your wedding! You can post updates, teasers, or images to update your friends and families about the wedding planning process. You can build your wedding site the old fashioned way with a purchased domain, or you can choose from sites eWedding.com, theKnot, and mywedding.com—these “wedsite” building sites are free!
It’s one of the worst feelings in the world to be planning a beautiful wedding with the knowledge that a loved one is unable to attend. Whether it’s a an illness or expensive flight, there are many scenarios that will prevent someone from attending your wedding even if they really want to be there for your big day. Problem? Not anymore. Sites like idostream.com allow the happy couple to stream their wedding for loved ones to watch in real time. It’s not exactly being there in person, but at least they get to see the smile on your face in HD during those precious moments like when your father walks you down the aisle–just try not to worry about the live broadcast of your less-than-flattering angles.
The wedding industry has greatly benefited from new tecnologies, and makes wedding planning much easier in a lot of ways; however, don’t let technology use get out of hand at your wedding! It is YOUR wedding, after all. Guests blinding you with the flash from their cellphones and guests uploading pictures from the wedding during the middle of your reception can be very bothersome—you have photographers for that, PAID photographers. Your guests should be enjoying the wedding you spent so long planning! Know what you’re comfortable with, and make sure guests are clearly informed about your policy regarding their phone/social media usage during your wedding. Wedding planning can be extremely stressful, so don’t let your hair turn to silver like the ring on your finger during planning–utilize internet software, tools, and informative blogs so you can spend more time making goo-goo eyes with your fiance and less time worrying about your wedding!
Credits: Online shopping cartoon found at catalogs.com || StarWars cake found here || Customizable Pilsner Glasses by TheKnot || Event Planning Layout tool by LinenTablecloth || Prince William and Kate’s wedding live stream picture found here || Statistics based on this infographic || Featured image found at ipweddings.tumblr