We are living in the digital age. So long paper and pen everything! Helloooooo apps! Technology is helping to simplify much of our lives. And while I sometimes find myself reminiscing about my younger days when texting was just invented and when you actually had to talk to someone face-to-face to communicate with them, I can totally embrace the parts of technology that makes our lives run better and more productively! PLUS my husband is a total techie and loves his job at the tech start up he works for. And I love supporting and learning from him.
I have been on the receiving end of technology simplifying not only my job as a planner, but wedding planning for my couples as well. So whether you are the tech savvy couple that is simply wondering how to digitalize your wedding, or the couple who isn't sure where to even start, then today's post is for you! Read below for 7 tips on how to go digital for your wedding.
1). Stream your guests in. Streaming services like FaceTime, Skype, or Google Hangouts are an excellent way to include family and friends that cannot physically be at the wedding. Streaming allows them to witness your ceremony in real-time and can help them feel like they are a part of your celebration, even if they are miles away. Have a brother or sister in the military? Consider streaming them in for the ceremony. Have a long time friend that is 8.75 months pregnant but would love to have her as a bridesmaid? Stream her right on in. Having a destination wedding at a fancy resort that Aunt Meryl can't afford or take time off for? Stream her in too!
Tips. Make sure to have wifi at your ceremony location and test it out beforehand. In addition, make sure you have more then one streaming device (like an iPad) on hand in case something happens (deep breaths here) to the first one and you need a backup.
2). Send your guests electronic wedding invites. If you want to be tech savvy and kind to the environment simultaneously, consider sending electronic save-the-dates or invitations on sites like Paperless Post or Evite. There are several benefits to using an online invitation software such as: 1) you can keep track of your RSVP's as they come in (and bonus! they are all in one place) 2) this option is typically more affordable than hiring a graphic designer and 3) guests can leave comments and interact with one another on your RSVP wall. Paperless Post also gives you the option to hire a designer if that is more fitting for you or if you are feeling brave and artsy you can design your own concept on Evite! I still personally like having a formal paper invitation because it feels more personal and makes for a great keepsake. But for interest polls or save-the-dates, digital is a great way to go!
Tips. Consider your aesthetic and color choices when selecting an electronic invite. If you decide to hire a graphic designer for the formal invitation, show them your digital save-the-date so they can tie it all in together! And most of all, have fun with it!
3). Download ''couple friendly" apps. There are apps for everything now and some are even geared just toward couples! The two "couple friendly" apps I would recommend are Appy Couple and Couple. Appy Couple is an online website and app that keeps track of all your wedding planning information in one easy-to-use location. With Appy Couple you get access to lots of features like: creating a personalized wedding website and app, free app downloads for guests (an amazing way for guests to keep track of pertinent wedding info), the ability to take and upload photos to your app (a fun, interactive feature for guests!), a wedding day countdown, live day-of streaming, wedding planning guides, and more! There is a fee for this app and you can choose between two package options depending on your needs and budget: the Boutique Collection or the Luxury Collection.
Couple is not a wedding planning app, but is more of an an "intimate place for two". Couple is a private conversation between you and your partner, that no one else has access to! The app allows you to share photos, videos, voice messages, location information, and much more with just each other! Couple is a great way to document the days leading up to your wedding and is like a time capsule that only the two of you are privy too. Keep the spark alive during the stress of wedding planning by sending each other love notes and sketches along the way. Best of all: the app is free!
Tips. Make sure to include the information about Appy Couple on your save-the-dates and wedding website.
4). Use online registries. Give guests the option to buy your gifts online and have them sent to you prior to the wedding. This makes the shopping process easier on your guests and (bonus!) there is less clean up to worry about at the end of the night! There are some great online registries like My Registry which connects you to tons of retail stores and allows guests to easily search by your registry name. Instead of jumping from site to site, your guests can find all of your registries in one location!
Another great online registry option is Honeyfund where your guests can gift you money to go towards your honeymoon! This registry is a wonderful option for older couples or couples that have been together for a while and who already have most of the "stuff" they need. Honeyfund also allows you to break the registry up into category items like: travel, hotel, food, etc. I wish I had known about Honeyfund when I was getting married!
And finally, if getting gifts is not your thing, you can always ask guests to make an online donation to the charity of your choice. My husband and I gave our guests two charity options in addition to our registries, and I was thrilled when I learned that some people actually donated!
Tips. Sometimes online registries can get "glitchy". Make sure to check in periodically and ensure that all is working and in order for your guests.
DIY Wedding Videos
5). Have guests record and upload your wedding videos in real-time! I have a client who recently told me about two amazing and unique companies, Wedding Mix and Wedit, that allow guests to record your wedding on HD cameras and iPhones and have the footage professionally edited! Here's how it works: the companies send you the HD cameras (or iPhones) in the mail prior to your wedding day, you assign people to take footage of the wedding festivities (several hours of coverage are available), you send the cameras back and the company uploads the footage, the footage is edited by a professional, and then you download and share the video with family and friends! Voila! What are the benefits in filming your own wedding you might be asking? There are several: 1) Guests get to take an interactive/fun role at your wedding 2) it is much less expensive than hiring a professional videographer (hello more honeymoon/down payment on a house money!) 3) guests can virtually "attend" your wedding if they are unable to make it and, 4) you get more footage than you would with a professional videographer.
Tips. Make sure and test the cameras out ahead of time; this is very important! Also, make sure to test the internet connectivity and bring plenty of chargers!
Digital Wedding Favors
6). Give your guests digital wedding favors! Consider gifting your guests or bridal party attendants something digital or downloadable instead of a traditional wedding favor. The gift could be anything from an eBook on Kindle, to some totally rockin' tunes on Spotify or iTunes, to some eco-friendly Uber rides for your friends. The sky is the limit here! The benefit in going digital is that you can really spend some time gifting something personal, meaningful, and unique to each attendant or guest.
Tips. If you are going digital for the favors, wrap them up pretty and let them double as the place card! Two birds - one stone!
7). Have 3D cake toppers and decor made. Companies like Twindom make photorealistic, three dimensional cake toppers of brides and grooms. The way it works is that you have a full body scan of you and your partner and that is then turned into a realistic, 3D figurine for your wedding cake topper. You can even have the scans done separately if you want to wear your wedding dress. I love the idea of having a cake topper that represents a couple in all their unique and personal forms!
Tips Pricing varies depending on the company, and you will want to find someone local since you will have to do the scan in person.
Well there you have it. I hope these ideas give you lots of inspiration when thinking through how to be tech savvy at your wedding! And as always, thanks for stopping by.