A couple of weeks ago, there was a blackout in our neighborhood because of a big wind storm, and we didn't have any electricity for the evening. My husband and I spent the night entertaining ourselves playing cards by candlelight, but it really made us realize how reliant we are on technology for absolutely everything! We made it through the night okay, but we really didn't know what to do with ourselves, if I'm being totally honest...we ended up going to bed at 9 p.m. that night!
With that being said, it's no secret that technology is seeping into everything we do, all the time, so it seems only natural that weddings go digital, as well! I've come across some great ideas for ways a bride and groom can integrate technology into their wedding day. However, you have to be careful, because integrating things like social media into your wedding can easily turn distasteful. Here are my top five (not-so-tacky) Picks on Paper!
Picks on Paper - High Tech Weddings
- Tweet it. To be honest, I think there's a fine line between what's fun and clever, and what's awfully tacky, when it comes to integrating social media into a wedding. Tweeting or Facebooking during your vows? No, no, in my opinion. But during a reception? It's a cute idea! One couple had a sign up at their reception encouraging their guests to "Tweet your well wishes," using the hashtag, #TyandLiz. To go a step further, you could even have the tweets up on display in the background during your reception. Twitter can also be a fun addition to those slide shows that are so common at weddings, where guests can instantly post their favorite memories or inside jokes with the bride and groom.
- i do, iPad. I personally don't have an iPad, but it seems like I can't go one day without seeing one, somewhere, somehow! There are so many ways to integrate the iPad into your wedding day.
- iPads are becoming the new spiral notebooks at weddings. Officiants are using them to refer to their notes and scripts during wedding ceremonies, and members of the bridal party are referring to and even using them as props during their toasts and speeches!
- iPads can easily be set up at ceremonies, cocktail hours and receptions to display photo slideshows, directional signage, romantic quotations or poetry and even table numbers.
- They are increasingly being used as guestbooks, as well. One couple had a "pixelated wedding" theme, and had a little booth set up at their reception so that their guests could actually write a post on their special wedding blog right there on the spot! Or, consider using the ever-popular Instagram. It's a great digital replacement for Polaroid cameras, but your guests can share them with each other, upload them all to one place and you can even get them all printed out for a cool display in your new home later on!
- iPads are the new photo booths! I found a couple some tutorials here and here on how to actually do it yourself - what you need, how to set it up, etc. Or, you can use the iPad simply as a prop. Instead of giving your guests chalkboards, you can provide an iPad so that your guests can write funny notes on them to hold up while taking pictures in photo booths!
Erin Hearts Court via SMP
- Share the (photo) love. Invite your guests to take and share the photos that they take at your wedding with everyone. I actually did this for my wedding, and it went over really well! Set up an account on a photo website such as Flickr that will be dedicated to your wedding. Be sure to choose a login and password that's more generic or relevant to your wedding day, and then share the account information, including a link to your photo albums/profile page, the username and password, with your guests. You can do this with a sign on display at the event, but you're better off also including it with the favors or something else that guests will be actually taking home with them at the end of the evening. Don't forget to put it on your wedding website, too! Then, once your wedding is over, you'll not only have your own photos of the event, but all of your guests' uploads, as well! Everyone will be able to log into your account, add their photos from the wedding and view what others have posted, as well. I was so glad that I did this with my destination wedding, because I felt like I never missed a photo opp, and it alleviated a lot of the pressure for us to always be taking photos throughout the weekend.
- Stay in touch. A more popular thing to do at weddings nowadays is to stream video of the wedding online for any of your guests who aren't able to attend your big day. More and more wedding venues are offering web cams as part of their event packages, or you can always rely on other popular internet video services like Skype on an iPad, laptop or even an iPhone!
- Go digital Many are opting to go digital to announce their engagements, distribute save the dates and even manage wedding day RSVPs. I have to admit that I'm not too excited about this growing trend, but I definitely understand its popularity. Not only is it cheaper than printing on paper, but it's also more practical and it's green! I want to be clear that I am definitely not a supporter of getting rid of paper wedding invitations all together. There are some things that just should be done "the old fashioned way," but I think that there are ways to incorporate technology into the entire process to make it easier for all of us!
Uploaded by user via Pinterest
Yun Gen Yang Photography via SMP
- Once you've distributed your printed wedding invitations in the mail, you can digitally manage your guest list and RSVPs, rather than dealing with all of those pesky response cards. Websites like Mightyvites provide a one stop shop for you to design your printed invitations, mail them out via US Postal, then direct your guests to a website where they may create and change their RSVPs and view up-to-date event info. It also allows you to manage your guest list, send email notifications and even share music, photos, videos and other files with your guests. It's an awesome concept, isn't it?
- Many (including myself) believe that wedding invitations should not be electronic, but more informal video engagement announcements and save the dates are usually considered okay because they're not strictly required according to proper etiquette. I found this cute one on Green Wedding Shoes, but they can also be as artistic as this one, as elaborate as this one, or as simple and whimsical as this one.