Weddings are going high-tech... and that can be a money-saver

Don't Waste Your Money

(WXYZ) - Imagine inviting everyone in the world to share in your wedding… and not have to worry about cost per plate.

Now brides are able to do just that, by incorporating high tech tools and social media into their big day. With new technology, come new rules of etiquette. Annick Gilbert, a wife who has recently used the new technology, shares her experience.

As their wedding day approached, Gilbert and her groom-to-be received the news that Gilbert's grandmother had been injured and wouldn't be able to attend the ceremony. Taking matters into their own hands, and the hands of technology, they decided to bring the ceremony 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," says Gilbert.

Emerging technology and social media is now changing the face of modern weddings. Website, www.theknot.com has found that 45 percent of brides have incorporated social media into their big day.

Site director Anja Winikka says, "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 via an iPhone application.

Friends and family are also requested to tag pictures to specially created albums on Facebook or Pinterest, making cuts to the invitation list easier than ever.

"Some couples are frankly obsessed with reality TV and they're into the wedding shows and this is their chance to broadcast their wedding," says Philip Lee, owner and founder of the site www.idostream.com .

Potential Pitfalls

Owning one of the largest wedding webcasting companies, Lee warns that live streaming is not without potential pitfalls and 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," says Lee.

New Rules of Etiquette

In fact, Winikka says new technology brings all sorts of new rules of etiquette to the party. For example, should guests post Facebook photos the day of the event?

"She may not want that to happen," says Winikka.

The same goes for live tweeting the event, the bride may encourage it or consider it disrespectful. Winikka 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," says Winikka.

A Gift?

Wedding webcasting also raises the etiquette question of, 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," says Lee.

As for Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert, they're glad they were able to use technology to let grandma share in their special day.

"She was able to enjoy the wedding as well," says Gilbert. "That meant very much to all of us."

While wedding webcasts can be done by professionals, you can also do them on the cheap. All you need is a camera, laptop, some special software and an internet connection, then you're good to go!

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