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Basic, advanced technology options abound at weddings

By Mariah Smith
Extension Center for Technology Outreach

Smith click to enlarge

Technology has integrated itself so far into our daily lives that it is even making its way down the aisles at weddings. The concept may be a little difficult to embrace, but there are some aspects that may appeal even to traditionalists like me.

If family members insist on inviting the black sheep or other unwanted guests, couples can invite them to Skype into the wedding ceremony. Skype also can solve transportation challenges. I’ve heard of a bridesmaid who couldn’t make it to the wedding so Skype enabled a groomsman to carry her down the aisle on an iPad.

If you need a task for your second cousin once removed, consider making her the official Twitter correspondent for the wedding. Her job would be to update the world as the wedding unfolds, but don’t forget an all-important hash tag for the occasion such as “#weddedbliss.”

In the past, many couples have used websites to get information out, but more often these days couples are opting for social media platforms, such as a Facebook page, so family and guests can chat and upload photos to one central location.

The favors for guests to take home can be tech related as well. Out with the tiny bubble bottles or chocolate-covered almonds, and in with a song from iTunes or an e-book. Place the link to the song or e-book on the back of the place card or envelope, and you have a very unique way for guests to remember your special day.

Google is getting in on the special day with http://www.google.com/weddings/, which is a one-stop shop for website hosting, to-do lists that can be shared with others and easily accessed, and sharing photos with Picasa, Google’s online photo album. Google weddings include templates for budgets, wedding seating and guest lists.

If you are tired of endless online searches to find the ideal floral arrangement, check out the new Internet search engine that only returns wedding results. Access it at http://lover.ly/.

Many couples are streaming their wedding ceremonies live on their websites using software such as Ustreamtv.com, while others are taking the more traditional approach and simply placing iPads around the room so guests can update photos from the reception for others to enjoy.

On the subject of breaking with tradition, many couples are opting out of the gift table. Instead, they are choosing online registries and simply having the gifts sent directly to their homes. This way, no one has to worry about hauling out presents when the event is over or when thoughts should turn to the honeymoon escape.

Brides are also getting used to planning their weddings on the go with convenient wedding apps such as the Knots’ http://tinyurl.com/knotweddingapp for iPhone or iPad. Wedding Scan is an app that allows couples to use their smartphones to scan items at any store to create their own unique gift registry. Other apps, such as WedPics, give guests the ability to take photos with their smartphones, apply filters and upload them all to one photo album.

Technology can play a role in your wedding and make the big day special. Just remember when it comes to technology, anything can happen, so keep it simple and have a back-up plan.

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Released: January 18, 2013
Contact: Mariah Smith, (662) 325-3226

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