Planning Your Wedding in the Digital Age

In our digital age, there’s no denying the growing presence of technology in every aspect of our lives. New technology has been a major game changer for wedding planning. I’m not going to lie; planning a wedding is no small task, but luckily all the new technology available can make the process loads easier on the couple if a wedding planner is not in the budget.  There are so many amazing tools the technological world has to offer for planning and the actual celebration.   First, let's start with the countless technology tips and tricks we’ve learned for the planning process.  

One of the first steps in planning your wedding is to develop a vision. With all the beautiful wedding images available now, it’s difficult to sort through and create a cohesive vision {especially if you love so many different looks!} The easiest go-to for vision creation is Pinterest. Pin what you love to one board, look for common threads, delete what doesn’t fit and continue to edit the board until it makes sense and works well together. Make sure your board has personality.  Is it dramatic?  Whimsical? Edgy? Fun?  If it looks like it could be anyone’s board, then add more touches that speak to you. Check out our Pinterest boards to get you started! More often than not, if you find a picture you like on Pinterest, there is a website linked to it. Websites and blogs provide insightful articles to help you on your inspiration search. They are also valuable in providing resources to assist in turning your vision into a realistic, attainable plan.

Inspiration can come at any hour of the day, even when you’re laying in bed scrolling through Instagram before going to sleep. Be sure to save your fav Instagrams to Pinterest so your late night browsing doesn’t go to waste.

So now that you have a solid vision, how are you going to pay for it? The often dreaded, but always necessary budget, is a key step in the early stages of your planning process. When we work with a couple, we spend a lot of time on budget before we ever book a vendor.  Budgets are a blueprint for your spending and a practical way to allocate money to priorities first. There are a few online budget tools on Wedding Wire, Brides, and The Knot. Brides allows for you to enter some variables like number of guests, number of attendants etc. that can impact how you would allocate spending.  Wedding Wire generates a basic budget solely based on overall budget, but makes it easy to adjust the budget for reallocation.  Keys things to keep in mind:  these numbers are not necessarily attainable for your vision and you should always vet your numbers by getting actual quotes.    

Online save the dates are not for everyone, but they can be a quick and inexpensive way to let your guests know that your big day is coming, especially if you have guests coming in from out of town. The downside – needing to know everyone’s email addresses.  Keep in mind the formality of your wedding when deciding between paper and online save the dates. If you have an extravagant day planned, a paper save the date and invitation is expected. A more casual wedding or younger crowd would be perfect for an online save the date. Wedding invitations should never be paperless {at least we don’t think so}, but keep paperless invitations in mind for all the smaller events that surround a wedding, such as showers, bachelor and bachelorette parties and rehearsal dinners.  

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You need a “hub” for you and your guests to get the 4-1-1 on all the details of your wedding. Your wedding website includes addresses, event dates, photos of you and your fiancé, links to your registry, and anything else you would like your guests to know! Plus, it is the only place you can list registry information and the fact that you don’t want kids in a way that doesn’t breach etiquette! Try and match your website to your theme or paper products for a consistent look.

If you aren’t looking forward to receiving tons of little RSVP cards back with a simple “Yes” or “No” answer, opt for online management of your guest list and RSVPs.  No more worrying about illegible writing, blank cards, or even worse: no response at all.  Your lovely wedding website is a great place to direct your guests to RSVP for not only the wedding, but any other events you may have planned {rehearsal, welcome reception, Sunday brunch}. While online, guests can decide on their meal choice, let you know who their +1 is, and RSVP to any of the week’s events.

Similar to guest lists and RSVPs, the best place to let your guests know where you are registered is on your wedding website. Of course, you can create a registry at your favorite stores the old fashioned way and then include a link on your website.  However, there are several other interesting options available to you as well. Amazon and My Registry allow you to add items from any store onto one master registry.  This makes it easy to receive gifts from a variety of different stores.  There are also other master registries that, instead of sending the actual gift, transfer the cash value to you so that you may make the purchases or spend the value how you like.  Simple Registry is one example.  If you are looking for alternatives to a store registry, consider creating an “experience registry”.  Websites like Honeyfund allow guests to pitch in for “big ticket” items for everything from honeymoon plans, a big screen TV, or even a down payment on a car or house. {Be creative and think about what you want.}  Bonus: you can always download the apps for these tools on your phone to keep track on the go!

It may seem overwhelming, but all of this technology is here to help. These tools can make your planning process much easier and way more fun.  Watch for part two in an upcoming post which addresses incorporating technology into your wedding day!