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Monday, January 5, 2015

E-Corporating for the Modern Bride & Groom

Its 2015, and if you're not "E-Corporating", you're behind the times...

No matter how formal your wedding may be, incorporating social media and other tech-friendly aspects into your wedding is not only trendy but also a valuable way to share information and capture memories. Many of these methods will not be used by everyone, but in the day and age where my grandmother has both an iPhone and an iPad, offering up these simple touches will help you to develop your wedding brand further and incorporate the perspectives of many of your guests.

Online Registries

Online Registries are basically amazing. I'm just going to highlight Amazon because Amazon literally has everything. EVERYTHING. From toothpaste, to paleo food you can't find in stores, to board games, to camping equipment, to normal, run of the mill registry items...Amazon is one stop shopping. I'm not suggesting you register for toliet paper per se, but for most couples who already live together and have most of the household basics, Amazon provides a unique place to register for a few off the wall items that aren't available at Bed, Bath and Beyond or Macy's. They also have a lot of unique items that might be special to the couple. For instance, I believe there is a light saber BBQ set on our Amazon registry because my future hubby loves Star Wars. Its perfect for him, but certainly isn't found in just any store. Amazon also offers competitive pricing and special offers on registry items, just as many in store retailers. If you're interested in checking out an Amazon registry, scroll on over to the right and click the banner. It'll take you right over there to start your own.

The #Hashtag (yes, I hashtagged Hashtag)

On Friday, I discussed the need to use Pinterest in order to develop specific ideas and projects for your wedding brand. The #hashtag takes this process one step farther and creates way for you to chronicle moments during your engagement and wedding that are actually happening, rather than potential moments that may or may not happen on your Pinterest. For those who are new to social media, the #hashtag is a searchable word or phrase that can be used on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and when searched, will pull all of the posts that have the #hashtag attached to it. For instance, when you pull #MoralesPartyofTwo on Instagram, you get the following collage of images from the time we got engaged to our current project of putting together Save the Dates. Its got photos we've tagged, photos our bridal party tagged, some from our engagement party, so on and so forth, creating an awesome timeline of our engagement thus far.

We'll be including framed reminders to utilize our #MoralesPartyofTwo at our actual wedding and hopefully we'll get a few candid photos from our guests of our special day that we may not see otherwise. While I don't expect everyone to play our social media games, even just a few additions to our storyline will be awesome.

There are heaps of printable signs available for purchase on Etsy (on the left) or just visit one of many websites where you can create personalized signs for free, print and frame for your big day.I just created one for my own hashtag because why not?

If you want to get extra fancy, there are a number of services like WeddingHashtagWall out there that will help to build a program and display your Instagram hashtag posts at your wedding on a TV monitor or projection screen as they come in real time. For the right couple, its a really cool personal touch.

Wedding Websites

This is essentially a no brainer for most couples today. Popular wedding websites like The Knot, Wedding Wire and WeddingBee offer free hosting of websites that you can customize to your liking using premade templates to suit most every couple. For the more tech saavy couple, you can build your own website and buy a customized URL to host your wedding website for as little as $2 for a year long domain license. We bough our own URL and built a website hosted through Wix.

You can view our site at MoralesPartyofTwo.com
Our wedding website will be on any wedding correspondence we send out. It appears at the bottom of our save the dates and most likely on an insert card in our invitations. Its an easy, one stop shop for our guests to access information about where your wedding is, how to get there, where to stay and where you're registered. Its also a perfect place to convey information about the preferred dress code at your wedding, if the ceremony will be outdoors and people should bring sunglasses or warm clothing, or if any part of your day will involve heavy walking or specific parking instructions. This is also the best place to display registry information as it strongly suggested not to put registry information on formal invitations. The website is a great place for engagement photos and sharing a personal story about the couple or how you met/ got engaged.

If you have an large amount of out of town guests, I would also add sections about things to do. John & I opted to list several of our favorite "must do" Chicago area attractions as well as restaurants local to the hotel where our room block is located, just in case we have weary travelers who need to get a bite quickly and conveniently.

Uber

On the note of making wedding information for out of town guests readily available, we've decided to utilize Uber for our guest's convenience of getting around the Chicago suburban area. Uber is a state of the art taxi service and excellent way to get around. With any smartphone, you can download the Uber app. Once downloaded, you can easily get a fare quote from your current location to your final destination, hail a driver right from your phone and get a text message as soon as they arrive.

I contacted Uber regarding my wedding and they provided me a unique promo code for $30 off the first ride for new Uber users. This option potentially saves our guests time, money and stress during their travel to our wedding. I highly suggest placing this option on your wedding website and spreading the word to anyone traveling. With the promo code, you also receive Uber credit for the referral to be used any time you'd like. We'll be using our extra referral credit to have our guests join us at Great America the day after our wedding!


Online RSVPs, Save the Dates & Invitation

Depending on the formality of your wedding, your budget or your dedication to saving the planet one piece of paper at a time, online invitations, save the dates and RSVPs might be something you're interested in doing. I am not a particularly eco-friendly or budget bride, but I've seen this trend take off on the popular wedding forums over the past few months.

If you've started looking into wedding stationary, you know that it is not an inexpensive venture. Even DIY projects are fairly costly because of the color, paper and volume needed to create quality products. My vendor of choice is Green Envelope. For a very low cost, you can get the "experience" of a real wedding invitations, including a graphic of an envelope being opened before your eyes on the screen, and a number of classy and elegant invitation template options.

This is one of those "know your guests" type of option. For me, I know that my guest list isn't tech savvy enough to partake in electronic invitations. Some of your older guests may want to do it the old fashion way. Also, since I'm having a more formal wedding, the only option is to have a more formal and traditional invitation. With a small guest list or a casual atmosphere, this could be a great option for the eco-friendly or budget conscious couple. Feel free to comment below with further questions on this topic.

Alright kids, that's enough wedding chat for today. I do hope I shed some insight on your wedding planning process today. Next up- our first giveaway will be posted tomorrow!

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