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Technology can make wedding plans easier
Planning a wedding can be an intimidating experience, but technology can help the couple and their guests enjoy the day.
The Internet can be a good source of information about local photographers, caterers and florists, so investigate before signing on the dotted line. Check the reviews of other customers, and be sure to click on the Images tab to see if any photos of the person’s work are available in addition to the pictures on their website.
While most brides want the details of their wedding kept secret until the big day, local businesses should consider taking photos of their work and stamping their name and website on the photos. After the wedding, the bridal party can “like” or share the photos from the businesses’ Facebook page so friends and family can see the details of the day. If the business wants to link the design to the family, a signed photo release is a good idea. It’s an easy way to advertise and build customer loyalty.
Stamping or watermarking your information is easy to do in free photo editing programs like Picasa (http://picasa.google.com/). After editing the photos, simply select the photos to which you wish to add a watermark. In the photo tray, left-click the Export button, check Add a Watermark and enter the desired text. Left-click OK.
Some websites, such as http://www.theknot.com/, offer a one-stop resource that allows brides to choose vendors and select items for the registry. The only downside of such sites is that once your information is out on the World Wide Web, it’s out there forever.
Websites that might be more useful in planning your wedding are http://www.pingg.com/ and http://www.evite.com/. Both sites allow you to send out electronic invitations to everyone in your e-mail address book. Additionally, these sites allow recipients to respond immediately to the invitation from the convenience of their computers.
Etiquette experts agree that you still have to send out a traditional paper invitation for the wedding itself. However, rules are relaxing for events, such as bridal showers and rehearsal dinners.
Many couples are opting to put together a blog or website that answers frequently asked questions. One important aspect of wedding planning is getting everybody to the same place at the same time. Including directions to the wedding and reception venues on your website can be invaluable to your guests. Mapping websites, such as http://maps.google.com/ and http://www.mapquest.com/, allow you to copy a link to a map and e-mail the link to guests or to embed the map into a website. Simply type in the location and left-click Link or Embed to see available options.
Another option is to provide a small printed card insert with directions. Use the websites listed above to find the location. Use the print screen button on your keyboard to capture the image of the map. You may have to press the print screen button and then the control key plus the letter C simultaneously to copy the map.
Open a document editing software and press the control key plus the letter V simultaneously to paste the image into the document. Use the crop tools to crop the map to the desired size or use the corner handles to resize the map proportionally. Be sure to give credit where credit is due by providing a small source reference somewhere on the card.
Last but not least, tech-savvy couples can use QR codes to point guests in the right direction. Many couples are including QR codes on their save-the-date cards to show guests their website. QR codes are small barcodes that the guests can scan with their smartphones. When scanned, the code opens up to the couple’s wedding website. QR codes can also help keep forgetful attendants on track, as they can be linked to the to-do list and official wedding schedule.
As you plan your big day, use technology to alleviate some of the planning burden.