The wedding services industry is expected to total $63.1 billion in revenue leading up to the year 2021, according to IBISWorld research. With everything from virtual reality tools to view a fully-designed ballroom, to drone coverage of the occasion, new technologies are revolutionizing the way we plan, attend, and celebrate the big day.
Here are 5 ways tech has revolutionized the planning, gifting, and overall experience of modern weddings.
“Gift registries have been around for almost 100 years, but what’s relatively new is the use of technology that supports a ‘universal’ registry,” says Susan Miller, SVP Business Development at MyRegistry.com, in an interview for this article. These registries allow engaged couples to easily request items from various stores at once.
Miller explains, “Consumers can take advantage of an easy-to-use browser button that allows them to click/add items from any site for anything. These registrants can create a list with items from dozens or retailers/providers all on one list — a convenience for them and gift givers. All the while, the retailer will always process/fulfill the order and have the ability to retain full control over the shopping experience.”
In the past, visiting and comparing venues took valuable time away from other planning decisions. And if a couple was planning a long distance wedding, all they’d have to go on was pictures of the resort. Not anymore.
In an interview for this article, Chef Stuart Reb Donald with Bella Sara Gardens said, “We have used drone technology to showcase the 15 acres and all the buildings we have at our facility. Posting the drone video on YouTube has played a huge part in bringing prospective new brides on to our property.”
Hashtag photo collections
To ease the wait for professional photos, newly-married couples who choose a wedding hashtag can binge on pictures of their big day immediately.
In an interview for this article, Katie Kernozek, Executive Sales Manager at Ocean Blue Catering explained, “With the ever-growing popularity of social media channels, especially Instagram, and the subsequent hashtags that come with each post, many couples create a hashtag especially for their wedding – most of the time that’s a creative blend of their names or a fun twist on their new shared last name. In creating and sharing this hashtag with their guests, all of the wedding photos tagged will gather in a single album on the social channel.”
Collaborative planning tools allow the engaged couple to work directly with their vendors, while also greatly reducing the amount of time sharing information.
“No longer a paper and pencil approach, floor plans, guest lists, and seating charts are now managed online to improve efficiency and organization across the board. Wedding couples are able to interact with their vendors and entourage to plan their weddings in real time from anywhere in the world,” says Sandy Hammer, co-founder of AllSeated, a collaborative event planning network, in an interview for this article.
One of the best ways that technology has changed the wedding experience is by making it possible for those unable to attend the big event to still be part of the festivities.
“We’ve seen a pretty dramatic shift in the coverage of ceremonies, dances, and toasts with the advent of decent live-streaming. At the average wedding these days, at least 3 or 4 people are live-streaming the event on their phones or tablets. This means we’re seeing less professional videographers at weddings,” says photographer Trig Bundgaard in an interview for this article.