Tying the knot on the web: Is this the future of weddings?
With new technology, comes new rules of etiquette. Here's what you need to know before you say 'I do'.
As their wedding day approached, Annick and Peter received some sad news. Annick's grandmother had been injured, and wasn't able to make the ceremony. So they decided to bring the wedding to her through a live webcast.
"She actually had her friends over, got dressed in her dress that she was going to wear to the wedding," Annick recalls.
Emerging technology and social media is changing the face of modern weddings. 'The Knot' found 45% of brides incorporated social media into their big day.
Anja Winikka is site director for The Knot. She explains, "Technology just makes it easier in a lot of cases for a bride."
More and more guests are being asked to 'sign in' without pen and paper. Instead they leave video comments in a guest book produced with an iPad app. Friends and family are also requested to tag pictures to specially created albums on Facebook or Pinterest. Cutting the invitation list in half is easier than ever with a wedding webcast--catering to modern couples who are obsessed with reality TV and wedding shows.
Philip Lee, owner of one of the largest wedding webcasting companies called 'idostream.com' warns of course, live streaming is not without potential pitfalls. Nothing is edited out.
"I've had grooms who have been mic'ed up and didn't realize they were mic'ed up. They kept chatting and people online could hear everything they said," Lee warns.
In fact, new technology brings all sorts of new rules of etiquette to the party says Anja Winikka of The Knot. For example, should guests post Facebook photos the day of the event? The same goes for live tweeting the event - the bride may encourage it - or consider it disrespectful. Anja suggests brides make a social media policy and be clear about it. "Spread the news through family and friends, bridal party, letting people know. And if she really wants people to follow the rule, I would say even leave like a little note at the bottom of the program."
Lastly, if you're invited to a wedding webcast are you still expected to send a gift?
"Even though you're not there in person, you have been invited. So I think it is appropriate for you to send a wedding gift," Lee says.
As for Annick and Peter, they're glad they were able to use technology to let grandma share in that special day.
"She was able to enjoy the wedding as well. That meant very much to all of us," Annick exclaims.
While wedding webcasts can be done by professionals, you can also do them yourself on the cheap. All you need is a camera, laptop, some special software and an Internet connection, and you're good to go.