Let's Get Digital
Photo: Akil Bennett Photography
There’s a balancing act going on in the wedding world today. While ceremonies and receptions are rightfully steeped in beautiful traditions, young couples increasingly face the temptation to take advantage of modern technologies that can simplify the way they ultimately orchestrate their big event. It’s up to today’s couples to strike a proper balance between the convenience of hot technologies and the time-honored rituals that so many of our family and friends hold dear.
Here are five ways technology can help you throw a successful wedding, without alienating those who are weary of tech’s intrusion on the formal proceedings. They’re designed not only to make the actual business of planning a wedding go more smoothly, but also to make life a little easier for those on your guest list. You’ll be surprised to see how many of those guests are tech-savvy enough to take advantage of these hacks. Best of all, most of these are fun ways to excite and engage all your wedding participants, before, during, and for months after your “I do’s” are done.
- Think of this as your central hub—a one-stop information center where your guests can reference the logistical details of your upcoming nuptials. These might include: dates and times, lodging and transportation options, special requests, registries, etc. Directing people to this page, where all of your wedding details are spelled out for them, saves you from having to answer individual phone calls and emails.
- These services can assist in negotiating the best room rates for your visiting friends and family. They also streamline the booking process for your guests, making it a breeze for them to manage their own reservations without the usual hassle of identifying and always communicating with a designated contact at the host property.
- Sit down with your future spouse, and cook up a cute and creative #hashtag you and your guests can use when posting wedding-related messages and photos on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Just make sure your hashtag is unique (use an online hashtag tracking site to find out if your hashtag is already in use), and not overly lengthy (to ensure that users can make the most of social media posts’ limited character counts). Once you’ve created and let others know about your hashtag, you can simply search for it on social media sites, and all posted material becomes easily viewable.
- In addition to retail registries, an online cash registry allows your guests to gift using a credit card, where they take advantage of awards and cash-back programs. Most online registries allow you to set up a personalized giving page that includes your photos and any specific needs you may have for a cash gift. The site will update you with a list of who has provided gifts, and even offers the option to send out free digital thank-you notes immediately, in addition to the thank-you cards you will write and send after the wedding.
- This way you won’t lose an RSVP or important question in your personal email account. And it will be much easier to monitor your spam or trash files, should a communication get misplaced.
A great option is to make your Gmail address the same name or phrase you choose for your hashtag campaign. Let all your guests know this is how you’d like to be emailed for all wedding-related correspondence.
While none of these hacks is going to make your wedding go viral (and, for most couples, that’s probably preferred), they will let you and your spouse-to-be use technology to make select wedding tasks less cumbersome and time-consuming. And that will allow you more time to focus on the wonderful details that will make your day unforgettable. They also will let your guests become active participants and content creators throughout your entire wedding process, giving everyone you love sweet memories of your special day for years to come.
Jeff Beil is a wedding etiquette expert and the CEO of Tendr, an online cash registry