Guest blogger Jeff Kear, who owns the online wedding planner My Wedding Workbook, has a few tips to share today about making the most of technology when planning a wedding.
When my wife and I planned our wedding a few years ago (we got married in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in November 2009), we looked high and low for tools that would make planning our wedding easier. Like many couples, we both work full time and have lots going on, so finding techie timesavers was the first thing on our list when we started planning. Here are a few of the things we used that we found really useful.
First, we used the My Wedding Workbook online wedding planning system, which helped us track all our details and provided us with a really cool wedding website that also had an online RSVP page for our guests. (And for all you wedding consultants we have a version of their online wedding planner software for professionals, and we're starting work on DJ booking management software and florist software).
My wife and I always try to be environmentally conscious and wanted to make as small a carbon footprint for our wedding, so we decided to send out our invitations electronically. We used Pingg, which is an online email invitation service, to send out our invites, and for the most part it was pretty good (we chose the paid version because we didn't want ads all over our invitations and landing page).
Next, we created a unique email address for our wedding with a Gmail account. Brides (and even grooms) tend to sign up for lots of accounts on many wedding-related sites, and when you sign up you tend to get lots of email from those places. By creating a special email account for your wedding, you can collect all those wedding-related emails in one place and, best of all, shut it off when your wedding is over so you don't continue to get pummeled with all those emails from sites and vendors.
Instead of hiring a DJ or a band we went the iPod route. I would recommend this with a few reservations. First, you need to have an ear for what your guests will like. DJs and bands have an intuition about what to play when, and since you are going to create your playlists beforehand, you will need to have a sense of flow and timing when it comes to the music. Second, you should create multiple playlists with different kinds of music. This way, if the mood of your reception changes, you want music that matches the mood. Third, you should have enough music to last twice as long as your reception, ensuring that you won't run out of tunes. Lastly, you need to have the right setup. Your venue needs to have the right equipment, and you need to put a trusted friend in charge of running the iPod. In addition, you should make sure someone at the venue can help out if you have issues with their sound system.
Finally, to offset the carbon footprint of our wedding, we bought carbon offset credits at CarbonFund.org. Hopefully this gives you a good start on how you can use technology to save time and get better organized for your big day!