Planning and conducting a wedding can sometimes seem more complicated than coordinating a space shuttle launch. The combination of high cost (often tens of thousands of dollars), desire for high quality (mostly to please people you probably won’t see after the open bar shuts down), and an immovable completion date (unless you want people to think you’re having second thoughts) can give pause to even the toughest project manager we all carry within ourselves. However, there are numerous online tools to help make planning such a special day easier and even save money. Here are three ways to add online tools to your wedding plans.
User-Generated Wedding Ideas: Wedding Wire
Once words gets out that you’re getting married, you’ll receive countless pieces of advice from family and friends. While you may be fortunate to have wedding experts in your circle of friends, it can be beneficial to find an online forum of people who are currently planning their own weddings. One website that provides such a benefit is Wedding Wire.
Wedding Wire provides national and local forums where you can post questions you have about planning your ceremony. You can also read questions posted by other users and possibly discover ideas that you have not yet considered. Some of the questions/topics on Wedding Wire at the time of this writing are:
- Am I the only one allowing kids at the wedding?
- Ringbearer’s Tux…Who pays?
- Bridesmaid problems
- Photo Booth – a Worthwhile Splurge or a Waste of Money??
- Trendy or tacky??
Every discussion has buttons that allow you to post them to Facebook or Twitter. One of the best benefits of Wedding Wire is its openness to vendors. Vendors that make wedding cakes, create floral arrangements, make invitations, and provide other wedding products and services are welcome to join the site. If your question is in a discussion thread that is marked “vendors allowed”, then you can get connected to multiple vendors who can bid on meeting your specific needs.
The Wedding Planning Dashboard: The Knot
Since many readers of Black Web 2.0 work with technology everyday, it can be tempting to create your own detailed spreadsheets to track every aspect of your wedding planning. I know I’ve seen my fair share of wedding Excel spreadsheets with multiple pages, wide columns, and pivot tables. However, using pre-generated tools lets you centralize your planning while taking advantage of best-of-breed thinking from people who plan weddings every day. The Knot is a web site that provides a full features wedding dashboard.
In order to take advantage of the planning tools provided by The Knot, you’ll have to create a user account. This requires filling out a straightforward form, or you can use Facebook Connect sign in with Facebook. If you do the latter, then you can easily post tips, articles, and pictures from The Knot to your Facebook wall.
Tools provided by The Knot include a checklist that is pre-filled with common wedding tasks. These tasks are linked to articles and pictures to help you go about completing them. You can also add your own tasks and share them with other. The guest list manager is another tool that lets you manage guest for various events like the bridal shower, bachelor party, and the wedding itself. You can provide secure access to others so that your mother can invite those family members who live way out in the sticks.
Broadcast Your Wedding to the World – Live Streaming Video
It is very likely that not everyone who wants to attend your wedding will be able to be there in person. For example, perhaps you’re planning a destination wedding and some people can’t afford the trip. Fortunately, you can use online tools to lives tream your wedding so that even those not physically present can witness your nuptials.
Sites like Ustream and Justin.tv can be used with a laptop, webcam, and Internet connection. These tools work best when used over WiFi or a wired internet connection. If you make your stream public, then guests can make comments on the live stream as they watch your wedding. You can notify your friends that the stream is live via integration with Twitter and Facebook. Many of these sites also have an iPhone app that makes mobile live broadcasting even easier.
Using these tools will give you access to the advice and information you need to plan a wedding that lives up to your dreams without breaking your bank account. You can also provide a way for absent guests to watch on the web as you enjoy your special day.Category: How-To | Tags: planning, theknot, wedding, wedding planning, weddingwire