Digital Media Turns Wedding Planning into a Whole New Monster
With the month of May just around the corner, many come to find their mailboxes are more full than usual: wedding season is upon us! Nowadays, wedding season translates to picturesque outdoor gatherings, romantic flower arrangements, and TONS of new Facebook posts about that special day. While this digital age we live in brings great advances to the world of white dresses and decadent wedding cakes, it also poses some unpleasant problems. There are plenty of ways social media and other digital mediums have completely changed the way people say “I do”; for better, and for worse.
While wedding planning is exciting, it can be extremely stressful. Between budgeting, time managing, and dealing with all the relatives involved (especially the “opinionated” ones), it’s enough to make a couple wonder if it’s really worth all the trouble. Thanks to advances in the digital world, planning has become infinitely easier in many respects. One of the biggest wedding planning websites is the knot.com. The site provides links to wedding invitation manufacturers, photographers, wedding garb, catering services, and just about every other vendor you could possibly imagine.
The days of sitting on the floor of a Barnes and Noble rifling through bridal magazines are long gone. Websites like Pinterest.com have also become somewhat of a wedding planning staple. The site features thousands of pictures of everything “wedding”. Visitors can save these images or “pins” to their boards, and be infinitely inspired, or overwhelmed- depending on what way you look at it.
One wedding trend that isn’t going anywhere, is wedding photography. But these days it has something new to compete with: enter smartphones. Wedding guests just can’t help themselves; they have to take pictures of all the exciting, beautiful moments happening around them. And then post them, of course. To ensure all these wedding pictures can be viewed easily and in one place, most young couples create a wedding hashtag. Guests are encouraged to include the Hashtag in all their pictures so they are saved together forever.
While being able to see these pictures online is great, many couples find it takes away from the moment. Instead of the professional photographer capturing special moments like a kiss, or a bout of laughter, they end up taking pictures of people taking more pictures. Because the latter doesn’t usually end up in the fancy silver frame above the fireplace, many couples kindly request that guests refrain from snapping photos during the ceremony.
Because so many people take their own pictures, there end up being tons of Facebook and Instagram posts about the special day. While this can be a lot of fun, it can also become somewhat of an annoyance. While it may be fun to look at the wedding pictures of a person you haven’t seen since middle school in the comfort of your sweatpants, it can also prove to be obnoxious. Perhaps someone who isn’t married yet (who would really like to be) sees a constant stream of everyone’s wedding photos, and starts to feel bad about themselves. It can almost feel like these precious moments are constantly being rubbed in their face. It depends on the person of course, but sometimes this oversharing can be less than pleasant.
Many other traditional wedding rituals are moving into the digital space. Many couples opt to be environmentally friendly and send wedding invitations and “Save the Dates” via internet. The Bride and Groom are also able to put their entire gift registry online. This makes it extremely easy for guests to buy a gift without having to leave the house. Long gone are the days of aimlessly wandering through Macy’s trying to hunt down the much needed crystal candy dish.
And for couples who like all these digital options but have no time or energy to actually handle it all, there’s a wonderful (but expensive) solution. In 2014, the world was introduced to the Social Media Concierge. This concierge works hand in hand with the wedding coordinator to take control of everything digital, for a cool $3,000. Whether it’s sending out electronic save the dates, controlling an online registry, or even live tweeting on the big day; the social media concierge handles the wedding’s presence online. This way you can ensure that relatives who couldn’t make it to the wedding can see it (not to mention that kid who made fun of you all through high school can finally see how happy you are #whoslaughingnow).
While it’s easy for couples to feel pressured to have a wedding as perfect as the ones they see all over the internet and on countless websites, they should feel empowered to have all this technology at their fingertips. Weddings should be personalized by the couple, and they should use as little or as much digital media as they’re comfortable with. Who knows what new media technology will exist in five years. Maybe couples will be able to broadcast their vows on the moon! #howcheesy