Monday, May 16, 2011

Balancing Your Wedding Planning In Our Digital World

While I am completely for the technological evolution that allows people and ideas to be shared almost instantly, I wanted to take time out to advocate for stepping back from the keyboard during wedding planning.  Keeping bridesmaids updated on group emails, skyping dress fittings with out of town VIPs and of course subscribing to wedding blogs for inspiration are the key highlights to be connected online.  I've seen people on facebook sending out requests like "looking for a great caterer/DJ/photographer/site in this city. any referrals?" which is a really great use of getting real client reactions.  Yes, there are many advantages to the social media outlets we all use daily. 

My concern is that brides may be obligated to share every detail and photo on social media which can create many problems.  Here are three basic rules to keeping your sanity in this over-sharing social media world.

1. Limit the information you are sending out
Your betrothed, your families, your wedding party and your wedding planner are the people with whom you should spend the most time discussing wedding plans.  Constant oversharing is already rampant on facebook ("today I ate a turkey sandwich", "I hate when it rains", "I hate traffic, boooo!") much less oversharing of wedding plans.  Offbeat Bride even has a post "how to talk about your wedding on facebook without pissing people off".  How can this be a problem?  Do you have a huge friend/ acquaintance list that may include people who are not invited but assume they are invited since they receive all the updates?  Or are you not inviting everyone to the pre-wedding parties & feel awkward posting a status & photos online for everyone to see?  Posting photos of your linens, the bridemaids dresses or sharing too many details online not only leaves little to the imagination for guests, but it opens up a portal for every 'friend' to give his/her opinion.  There is a delicate balance to this, since I've also heard a lot of brides that complain their out of town relatives ask repeatedly for wedding updates on facebook so they can feel connected.  Each couple has a different comfort level with how much information they are putting online.  Make sure you speak with your beloved before posting wedding info to avoid any unnecessary stress.

2. Don't let social media turn you into a bridezilla
Whether it was on purpose or just an accidental effect, the wedding industry has created this overwhelming competition aspect to planning a wedding.  In addition to scouring wedding blogs, looking at your friends (and friends of friends' friends) wedding photos online can turn any calm, well intentioned bride into feeling like "I must out-do this wedding" or "my wedding is so lame compared to this one".  Every wedding is different because it is a personal reflection of your tastes, families, friends, cultures, religions, and overall couple style.  That is what makes wedding so fun to go to for guests, each one is a new experience.  Step away from the rat race and focus your energy on the aspects that will make your wedding special.

3. Allow yourself a technology free wedding day to celebrate with real actual guests

I always insist that my clients pass their cell phones to the maid of honor so as not to be bombarded with texts, emails, calls and facebook notifications all morning when the bride should be relaxing as she is being pampered.  Then there is the issue of uploading mobile photos online, most couples want to preview the photos before they are sent out instantly to hundreds of people.  The most important part of the wedding day is staying in the moment and celebrating with the honored guests you have invited, not updating your 600 acquaintances, most of which you have not even seen in the last year.  Remember when missing a wedding meant that you had to wait until the couple shared their professional photos with you in person? 

Sharing your excitement during the planning process is one of the best parts of the engagement period, make sure that every resource you utilize is helping you stay excited, organized and enjoy the planning. 

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