Is Technology Changing The Landscape Of Weddings...For The Better?
Wedding Technology Trends & Ideas
By Jeffrey House Photography
Just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean you should!
In this article, we are going to embark on wedding technology trends and ideas. This is a hot topic! When considering these trends and ideas, it will be important to the see the "big picture" and realize the potential downsides too. What do you mean - downsides? Yup, I'm sorry to say that some of these trends do have downsides. You may be so excited by these ideas you forgot to consider them or you just didn't know.
Technology and weddings. Until recently, these two words were rarely used in the same sentence unless you overheard a couple of photographers talking about the latest gear. But now, discussions about technology and weddings have become commonplace. So, let's take a look at some of the technology being used in weddings, discuss the pro's and con's, and help you determine whether it's right for your wedding.
Online Wedding Invitations
Pros: cost, convenience, and speed
This is a trend picking up some steam - online wedding invitations. You simply select and create your wedding invitations using companies like Greenvelope and Evite. Everything is sent to your guests electronically and you can even track your RSVP's. Can you imagine no longer sending paper invitations? That's so 15 minutes ago!
Obviously, one of the biggest attractions to online invitations is the cost. There are a lot of variables with wedding invitations, so it's difficult to pinpoint the exact cost savings, but it should result in at least a few hundred dollars. Convenience of online invitations is another big feature. You can literally create your invitations while lying in bed or sitting on the couch in your pj's! And, it's available to you 24 hours a day without having to worry about store hours, driving, etc. Speed is another great benefit. Unlike paper invitations, you don't have to wait for the order to be placed, printed, shipped, etc. Everything is at your fingertips!
Cons: impersonal and sometimes impractical
Depending on your guest list, many of your guests may find an electronic invitation impersonal. Many people still enjoy receiving that paper invitation in the mail and it represents the "first look" at your wedding. This doesn't mean you need to purchase extravagant invitations, but something simple, clean, and elegant can really impress your guests.
How old is the average guest at your wedding? If your guest list is predominately older, an electronic invite could be a huge annoyance because they don't use e-mail or don't like to use e-mail. Or maybe your invite goes to their spam/junk folder - what happens if you're dealing with someone that wouldn't know to look there? They may not realize they received your invitation and you may assume they're not coming.
Electronic invites are certainly something to consider, but it's important to consider your audience before making that final decision. If your guest list is older, it's probably best to stick with traditional paper invites, but if your guest list is younger, electronic invites will probably work very well.
Drones & Aerial Wedding Photography
Pros: creative and unique images from angles, and locations that normally couldn't be captured
I love drones and aerial wedding photography, but for couples considering a drone for their wedding you definitely have some details to consider.
Drones, if a good quality, are unique because they can capture both still photographs and video. But keep in mind, most drones with video capability don't allow for audio. However, the images and video they capture can be very unique unless your wedding photographer can fly.
Cons: dangerous, loud, and distracting.
Drones can be risky and dangerous.
Don't just take my word for it though, just ask the two women that were recently in the news for being struck in the face by one during a recent wedding. Between the two of them, they sustained a fractured jaw, fractured orbital bone, and plenty of stitches. Now they are suing the drone company, the wedding venue, and the bride and groom. It's a nightmare!
Drone owners, whether used for recreation or commercial purposes, must register it with the FAA. If you're going to use it commercially (i.e. wedding photography) you have to also carry additional licenses and insurance specific to drones. And it goes without saying, but never hire anyone that doesn't have sufficient training.
Before hiring a drone, be sure to check with your wedding venue to see if they allow them. Because of all the legal issues popping up, many venues are now restricting drone usage.
Hashtags & Social Apps
Pros: sharing wedding socially and with those that couldn't attend
Creating a wedding hashtag has become one of the more popular technologies. Your wedding guests can take pictures and then upload them to Twitter or Instagram using your custom hashtag. There are other social apps that can used as well and they are designed specifically for weddings, but most guests prefer to just upload them to social platforms they currently use.
Obviously, the photos posted of your wedding to social medical are available immediately. You can view them in real time to experience your wedding from another perspective. This can create a unique experience for brides, grooms, and their guests.
Cons: possible sharing of private moments, bad representation of wedding, possible issues with wedding professionals
Having guests post pictures on social media of your wedding, as it's happening, may seem innocent enough. But many relationships have been strained and even destroyed when someone posted something that shouldn't have been posted. As a bride gets ready for the day, a bridesmaid snaps a picture of her in her dress and posts it to Facebook. The groom sees it five minutes later and the first-look is completely spoiled.
Guests have posted private moments that couple's didn't want posted or they wanted to post first. If you're going to allows guests to post photos and you have any restrictions to what's posted, it's critical to understand that it will be nearly impossible to control this situation.
Many couples don't want guests posting pictures or video online because they only want professional quality images/video posted. The majority of your guest pictures/video will be blurry, dark, and low quality. You may not want your wedding to be represented like this.
"Cell phone wedding photographers" have become a hot topic discussion. Your professional images are cluttered with guests arms, hands, and cell phones raised in the air trying to capture that award-winning moment. Many guests are actually blocking your professional photographer by leaning and standing in the aisle. Including a hashtag, while fun, may create even more difficulty for your wedding photographer, and possibly result in missed moments. This is especially true when it comes to important events like first dances, toasts, cake cutting, etc. A hashtag could create a bit of a "paparazzi" environment.
Pros: fun, convenient, informative, and useful
Wedding websites have been around for a while, but they continue to improve and offer a professional looking design. Obviously, they are fun because you can easily share your engagement photos, wedding details, registry info, etc. Guests can visit your website and find all of this information in one convenient location. Everything they need to know can be found on your website and some of them allow your guests to RSVP and select their dinner option! You don't have to worry about answering e-mails, phone calls, etc.
Cons: Can be "cheap" looking, custom URL
Many of the wedding websites out there are cheesy - they look old and outdated. The great thing about wedding websites, is you can include the site directly on your invitation. However, unless you use a service that provides custom URL's, it doesn't work very well. For example, let's say you're using a service that doesn't allow for custom URL's. The web address to your site might look something like this:
But a custom wedding URL will look like this:
Not only is a custom URL more aesthetically pleasing, but it's much easier to fit on an invitation. Also, if your guests are trying to type the web address into their browser, it's less likely they will make a mistake and have issues getting to your site. This too will prevent emails, phone calls, and text messages.
[DISCOVER: LEARN MORE ABOUT CUSTOM WEDDING WEBSITES]
Pros: money for your wedding
Crowd funding is a relatively new technology being seen in the wedding industry. You set up a "crowd funding" profile using "go fund me" or "kickstarter" and essentially ask friends and family to pay for your wedding. Brides have posted pictures of their dream wedding dress and asked friends, and family, to donate money so she could get it. Other couples have done this with their overall wedding costs, honeymoon, etc.
Cons: rude and insensitive
Weddings are expensive and asking friends and family to pay for it definitely comes across as rude and insensitive. I've seen several stories online where people donated to a couple's wedding and were then skipped over when it came to getting an invite. This is a great way to alienate friends and family. If your wedding costs are exceeding your budget and you can't live without something, consider taking out a loan. I don't recommend going into deep debt over a wedding, but asking family and friends to foot the bill goes against all wedding etiquette.
Pros: allows you to share your wedding with friends and family not in attendance
Live streaming allows you to broadcast your wedding to the world. If you have friends and family that can't be attendance, they can still watch your wedding by accessing the feed. There are DIY options or you can get more elaborate and hire a production team. Even DIY options will likely require multiple people to pull it off because you need to address video, audio, and lighting.
Cons: expensive, obtrusive, and is it worth the investment?
You will most likely have a group of people you can't invite or are unable to attend your wedding. Live streaming will allow them to experience your wedding even though they aren't there. When you weigh the expense against the number of actual viewers, is it really worth it? And how long will they actually watch? Most viewers are likely to watch the ceremony, but that's all.
The other issue with having a live stream team on hand is space. Even when you hire a photographer and videographer, they are in constant communication to avoid being in each other's frames. And it can be challenging at times because there are only so many angles available. Add a live stream team to the mix and it's likely someone "working the wedding" is always going to be in the frame. This is far from ideal and really detracts from your photos/video. It's very likely with these extra people, someone's going to miss moments because they will be blocked.
Are you planning on including any of these ideas at your wedding? Do you know someone that did? Share your story with us!