The big day is finally here; all the hard work, countless nights of excitement (and stress), years of dreaming about this one day and the new chapter in life that’s about to start. Family and friends can’t wait to arrive and adore the gorgeous flowers, colorful dresses, exquisite food, catchy music, and the perfect dress for a beautiful blushing bride.
Now rewind 9-24 months before the happy couple meets at the alter. What you’ll see is an overwhelming, extensive list of planning to be done and a tight budget to deal with. In 2011, the average wedding came in at over $27,000. Ouch. While no one would argue that planning the perfect wedding is inexpensive, couples don’t have to break the bank to ensure a special day and a memorable time for guests.
In an effort to keep costs in check while having access to a wide variety of options, brides and wedding planners are turning to online resources to put together a wedding that is both budget-friendly and jaw-dropping beautiful. Heavyweight wedding sites like The Knot allow the bride access to the latest and most popular wedding trends. Unfortunately, many ideas and vendors showcased on The Knot are advertised from budget breaking businesses appealing to the most affluent of couples. It’s a great website to browse and fantasize, but most of us are not in the position to spend many thousands of dollars on wedding needs and wants for one day…even if it is the most special of days.
Deciding where to splurge a bit and where to be frugal is one of the most important introductory steps in wedding planning. This is clearly evident in very business of wedding planning which has taken a turn from oft-expensive and impersonal sites such as The Knot, to micro-businesses focusing on brides with a limited budget using a more personal and intimate focus.
This new genre of the wedding industry has been labelled “Wed-Tech”; a community of wedding vendors utilizing technology to provide brides and wedding planners affordable, personalized wedding solutions. Unlike wedding portals like The Knot, the Wed-Tech industry helps customize weddings with unique elements aimed at distinguishing your wedding from the masses. Today’s brides are moving away from the huge, over-the-top, Kim Kadashian and Jessica Biel weddings, to realistic and do-it-yourself weddings. These online sites give the soon-to-be happy couples the opportunity to find fresh & fun ideas to match their personalities at a cost that is more realistic.
Rental items are a fast-growing field for weddings, as a result of couples wanting to stay in budget and not collect boxes of once-used items. Happily Ever BorroWED is a popular online resource for rentable bridal accessories and is expanding to carry gowns and other formal attire. Brides can save hundreds of dollars just by renting these beautiful, one-time accessories.
Wedding Snap is another example of a Wed-Tech site capitalizing on the fact that some of the best pictures taken at your wedding may not be from your photographer but instead captured by your many guests snapping away on their iPhones. Wedding Snap allows your guests an easy way to upload and share their photos of your wedding. The new bride and groom have so many friends and family to greet and dance with, that they often miss out on most of the fun happening right behind them. Allowing guests to share their photos and videos gives the bride and groom access to timeless memories they may have missed out on at their on wedding.
Pinterest, the online idea showcase gives brides a place to create their very own boards full of links and helpful advice about putting together the perfect wedding. Pinterest has become “the” place to come check out unique wedding ideas, many that are low-cost and not featured on the large wedding mega-sites.
Pinterest wedding boards contain pictures and links with everything custom-made stationery, cake toppers, wedding favors, and much more. The rapid growth of sites like Pinterest has allowed brides and wedding planners to find useful wedding tools that they never would have thought to look for.
These are just a few ideas of the way the wedding industry is evolving to meet the needs of modern brides embracing the latest technologies. As more startups focus on meeting the needs of brides in a targeted area of their planning needs, the opportunities for creating that ideal wedding without overspending become less of a dream and more of a reality.