It was inevitable, I guess, and now it’s getting attention from the press. Details:
As her grandfather sat pleasantly perplexed at her wedding, Lauren Barnes reached into the recesses of her strapless white gown, whipped out her iPhone and accepted her groom’s Facebook relationship change to “married.”
“Nothing’s official,” she said, “until it’s Facebook official!”
In today’s $78-billion-a-year business of getting married in the United States, those wacky viral videos of whole wedding parties dancing down the aisle seem positively 2009. Social media, mobile tools and online vendors are abundant to offer the happy couple extra fun, savings and convenience, though most of the nation’s betrothed aren’t ready to completely let go of tradition.
Some send out video save-the-dates, include high-speed scannable “QR” barcodes on invitations, live-stream their ceremonies for far-flung loved ones to watch online, and open their party playlists to let friends and families help choose the tunes.
They invite guests to live tweet the big day using special Twitter keywords, called hashtags, and create interactive seating charts so tablemates can chat online ahead of time.
One couple featured a “guest of the week” on their wedding blog. Another ordered up a cake with an iPad embedded at the base to stream photos at the reception. A third Skyped in a “virtual bridesmaid” who couldn’t make it, so she was walked down the aisle by a groomsman via iPad.
For Steve Poland, 31, in Buffalo, NewYork, it was the whole shebang for his Sept. 10 wedding.
“We used the Twitter hashtag ‘polandwedding,’ our nuptials were read from an iPad by our friend, who got ordained online, and our wedding invites were printed by the hip Us.moo.com as postcards that we mailed out. I was really hoping to use Turntable.fm as our music, but it didn’t work out,” he said.
Oh, and Poland and his wife, Caryn Hallock, spent part of their honeymoon in a Hawaii tree house they found on Airbnb.com.
According to surveys by the magazine sites Brides and The Knot, tech is on the rise in the world of weddings, with 65 percent of couples now setting up special sites to manage RSVPs, stream video of the ceremony and-or reception, and keep guests in the loop.
One in five couples use mobile apps for planning. That includes chasing down vendors, and virtually trying on and locating dresses. Seventeen percent of couples use social media to plan, shop or register for gifts, along with sharing every detail online. About 14 percent to 18 percent of brides buy their dresses online, according to Brides.