iDo - here comes the iBride
By Dahlia Kurtz, QMI Agency
"Something old, something blue, something borrowed." What's the something new? Social media.
Increasingly, brides and grooms are going online when it comes to planning and executing their weddings. Yes, social media has created social wedia.
iDo? There's an app for that.
From documenting your journey to saving time and money, to adding that e-xtra magic to your matrimony, you don't have to be a tech-geek to be social media chic. Bookmark these tips:
Forget the wedding planner: The worldwide web is the worldwide wed too. Don't run around looking for vendors, Google them instead. And those vendors you can't afford? Get inspired by their tweets and work online. Check out sites like OffBeatBride.com for testimonials and fun and affordable suggestions.
Click yes for the dress: Brides.com says about 18% of women buy their dresses online, used and new. Claire Korba is one of them: "I don't want to pay more than $500." When she finds a dress online, Korba calls around to find a local shop where she can try it on before she clicks to buy. (Some sites tailor dresses for brides.) Find surprising deals at sites like craigslist, eBay and anyweddingdress.ca.
Document an interactive journey: Theresa Thomson and her husband were among the 65% of couples who made a wedding website. "It saved us money, paper, and is a great way to get others excited for you and the wedding." Not tech savvy? Sites such as eWedding.com do the technical work for you. Use your www. for an announcement, invitation, album, blog, guest book, registry, hotel bookings and more. And get your guests involved in creating playlists - if you are so brave.
Facebook it: Not into a website? Create a Facebook page or event - a great save-the-date feature too. Today, one in five couples go paperless with online invitations (Evite.com). Even those who are not paperless go green with e-RSVPs - simply create an email address for replies.
Tweet of Honour/Best Twit: Some couples have tweeted their "I do's," though you don't have to take it that far. Smartphones can be considered the plus-1 at weddings, but you'd rather people be present for your ceremony than their phones. So, appoint a Tweet of Honour or Best Twit to keep your guests and absentees present too. During the reception, this liaison can also announce incoming tweets or Facebook messages. To track your event on Twitter from the start, create a hashtag (#TheRealRoyalWedding), add it to your website, invitations and table number cards.
No one misses out: Perhaps no one benefits more from the new world of social media than our older loved ones. With live streaming, Bubby can join you under the chuppah from her bed and Gramps can make a speech from Florida. Your mom can help you choose a dress from several provinces away, or bring everyone together at your destination wedding. If hiring a videographer, ask to incorporate live streaming. Do it on your own - free - with Skype or at webcastmywedding.net for a fee.
The gifts and the hon-e-moon: A green (double-entendre) alternative to typical wedding gifts, DepositAGift.com offers friends and family a click-away way to give you what you want, without worrying about cheques or cash envelopes. And HoneyFund.com serves as a registry for your honeymoon.
Oh, snap!: Ask your photog and guests (or just guests if your budget is anti-photographer) to share photos on Facebook or Flickr (which doesn't compress as much). Use an Eye-Fi card to upload photos wherever you wish as you take them. Go nuts, and as you upload pictures, project them onto the wall at your reception. (Cordon off a social media section - those who don't want to be filmed won't.)