The Latest Wedding Tech Trends
Words by Tara Eglington
A recent survey by The Knot revealed that one-third of all couples use technology on their wedding day, with a huge 89 percent using their smartphones for key stages of the wedding planning process.
Technology — from gadgets that make our lives easier, to the social media platforms where we share the details of our personal lives — is such an integral part of modern life, that it’s not surprising to see couples wedding technology and tradition when it comes to their ‘I Do’s.’
Creating a wedding website, using Pinterest for inspiration and brainstorming cute and clever wedding hashtags is now standard practice for a millennial bride and groom, so we wanted to introduce you to a few new innovative ways that you can use technology to not only plan your big day, but make it an extra special one.
Use Instagram to find your vendors:
It’s no secret that Instagram can provide amazing inspiration for your big day — from virtual wedding dress hunting, to finding the perfect accessories, or narrowing down colour schemes — the visual nature of this social media platform makes it a bride’s best friend.
But have you ever thought about using Instagram to find your dream vendors? It can be a great way to check out their work, whether that be a photographer with an amazing feed, a calligrapher displaying their latest custom invitation suite, or a florist or stylist showcasing their skills from a recent wedding. If you’re a local bride or having a destination wedding (perhaps in our beautiful Sunshine Coast region!), another tip for finding region-specific vendors, is to search via destination-related hashtags (for example: #sunshinecoastwedding, #sunshinecoastweddings #sunshinecoastbrides) as many of the local wedding vendors will post using these tags. You can also search imagery via ‘places’ — enter the name of a wedding venue (say, ‘Maleny Manor’) and you’ll be able to see all photographs taken at that spot. Not only will you be able to see your prospective venue styled in different ways, but you’ll also spot a range of different vendors (florists, celebrants, cake-designers etc) tagging themselves and others from the industry in their posts — meaning you can easily build a shortlist of professionals that you might like to have involved in your day.
Create your own Snapchat Geofilter:
Snapchat addicts will be thrilled to hear that Snapchat Geofilters, which were introduced late last year, are becoming increasingly popular at weddings around the world. Essentially, Snapchat now registers your location, and then makes suggestions of filters (special imagery/text/frames that are applied over Snapchat photos) that reflect your surroundings — for example, if you’re at Disneyland, special Disney filters will be available to use only when snapping from that location. In terms of using this feature for your wedding, creating your own custom Geofilter can be a fun way to further personalise the occasion, at a very small cost (from $5).
If you’re creating a Geofilter yourself, all you need to do is open the Snapchat app on your phone or tablet, or visit https://geofilters.snapchat.com via your desktop computer. From there you’ll be able to select a filter that appeals to you (there are lots available!). Choose the date and time that the filter will be active, and geo-fence the area that the wedding will take place (minimum range is 20,000 square feet). Then all you need to do is make your payment and submit the design to Snapchat for approval (you’ll only be charged if the design is approved). Once approved, the custom Geofilter will be all good to go on your special day, and guests will be able to swipe to add this to their photos.
If you’re not design minded, or want something completely custom, you can always leave it to the experts. There’s a large range of online vendors that specialise in creating one of a kind Snapchat filters for special occasions.
Are you anxious that these awesome captures from your day will disappear? You shouldn’t be. It’s super simple for guests who use Snapchat to save their Snaps to their Memories, or alternatively, they can be downloaded to the phone’s camera gallery.
Consider a drone for jaw-dropping footage:
It’s not surprising that as drones have risen in popularity, they have started making appearances at weddings as well. If you’re getting married somewhere particularly picturesque, such as by the coast, or in the beauty of the hinterland, drones are able to capture these grand vistas from above, and deliver jaw-dropping footage of your wedding location.
It’s important to remember that drones are noisy and can therefore be distracting — personally, we wouldn’t advise that you have a drone hovering above your ceremony site whilst you are saying ‘I Do.’ Drone technology is best left to professionals who are trained in capturing beautiful imagery. Many wedding videographers are now using drones to capture aerial shots of the venue, or local scenery, a few hours before the wedding commences. This allows them to get great footage without interrupting key moments. Have a chat to your videographers and see if they offer this special service.
Livestream Your Day:
If you have relatives who are elderly, unwell, or living abroad, and can’t physically attend your big day, they don’t have to miss out on the magic. Many couples are now opting to livestream their weddings — sometimes the live stream will be kept to key moments (i.e. ceremony, cake-cutting, first dance) — but for other couples, it might be whole-day footage.
If your budget is limited, Facebook Live, and Google Hangouts on Air are both free services where you can stream your wedding. With Google Hangouts, the video is also streamed simultaneously to YouTube. You can choose to make the event public (anyone can watch), private (only those who you invite can view) or unlisted (anyone who you send the link to will be able to see the footage). There are also a large range of live video apps available for tech-minded bride and grooms, like Periscope or Meerkat.
If you have a small amount of people joining you live, you can always use Skype — it’s super-easy to operate and you can have up to 25 people join the call.
If you’re after something more polished, or don’t want to burden a family member or friend with the responsibility of capturing those key moments, there are a large number of companies that you can outsource the job to. Professional wedding streaming services provide all of the equipment needed to capture high quality video and audio — from multiple cameras that take footage from different angles, to wireless mikes to ensure that those attending virtually don’t miss a word of your vows. These companies will usually also have their own portable internet device that provides fast and stable signal, meaning you won’t have to worry about dropping out of range.
Create a one-of-a-kind cake with 3D printing and image projection:
As 3D printing technology advances, wedding cakes are becoming more sophisticated. Not only can you have designs or images printed directly onto icing, but many cake designers are now able to create intricate 3D shapes and cake toppers. Forget hand-shaped fondant — think amazing 3D appliqué florals or ornate lace-like patterns. Some brides and grooms are stepping into 3D scanners to capture their favourite ‘pose’ as husband and wife — these images are then transformed into life-like cake toppers that amaze their guests.
Another trend gaining traction online is projection mapping — originally developed to project imagery onto buildings — this technology was used for the first time in the culinary world in 2014 by Disney Weddings. Wedding cake projection mapping allows you to project images that can change or move — so a tiered, plain white cake can be brought to life with vivid animations, changing colours, photographs, song lyrics, or congratulatory messages — the only limit is your imagination.
Modern memory making: consider a digital guestbook:
A guestbook doesn’t have to be the traditional handwritten type. What about stepping up the fun-factor and having your guests leave you interactive video messages? Digital guestbook apps like Wedding Kiosk ( https://weddingkiosk.co/) Video Booth ( http://www.videobooth.mobi/) or Guest Book App (http://www.guestbookapp.net/) allow your friends and family to upload photos or videos, add visual effects, and post funny notes, as well as written messages. Essentially, all you need to do is to download a suitable app and have an iPad available for guests to use on the day of the wedding.