20 years ago, brides spent hours flipping through stacks of wedding magazines, dog-earring pages to rip out for inspiration look-books. Couples planned their weddings after work and on the weekends, touring venues with their hired wedding planners, who helped them to schedule cake tasting sessions, and escorted couples to department stores to create their wedding registries.

In 2019, modern-day wedding planning allows brides to open their wedding plans, budget, and inspiration boards online and on-demand. Couples are touring venues from their couch, watching 3D virtual videos, and connecting with the thousands of other couples who were married there. The registry? It’s all online, and anything can be shipped right to the newlyweds’ doors.

Crystal Gardens- Howell, MI - The Digital Age of WeddingsCrystal Gardens- Howell, MI - The Digital Age of Weddings

As with every other industry, the wedding industry has been completely transformed as a result of digital innovation and the dawn of social media. Couples are increasingly relying on technology throughout the entire wedding journey—from sending invites, to communicating with guests, and posting photos.

Our event specialists at Crystal Gardens Banquet Center see first-hand how technology has changed some of the oldest wedding traditions and, inevitably, the entire modern wedding experience.

The Birth of Internet DIY Wedding Planners

Today, the internet is the first place couples start when planning their wedding, utilizing an array of planning tools to help manage the process.

The WeddingWire 2018 Newlywed Report shows that 83 percent of the wedding planning process is done online—42 percent on a mobile device or tablet, and 41 percent on a desktop. Additionally, 52 percent of couples use a wedding planning app.

Crystal Gardens- Howell, MI - The Digital Age of Weddings

There are many platforms and apps that are incredibly helpful with wedding research and planning. Simple tools like checklists and budget trackers help brides and grooms stay on track with up-to-date information. Blogs and websites provide inspiration and a community of experts, and many apps connect couples with caterers, venues, and vendors in their local area.

Here’s a snapshot of a few of the ways technology helps couples to plan their weddings:

  • Pinterest is used 2X more than any other social platform, with 69 percent of couples using it as their main source of inspiration. Additionally, 60 percent of couples use Facebook for ideas and 45 percent use Instagram.
  • Couples are saving paper: 36 percent send online save-the-dates
  • More than half of couples create a wedding website—62 percent, to be exact.
  • In 2017, for the first time ever, online wedding registries became more popular than in-store registries—55 percent online versus 44 percent in-store.
  • But no matter what kind, 96 percent of couples with wedding registries primarily manage them online.

Crystal Gardens- Howell, MI - The Digital Age of Weddings

Digitally and Virtually Browsing Venues

Today, couples can browse and compare venues online without leaving the comfort of their own home. Thanks to the internet, they have access to all the information they need to narrow their search to fit their criteria and maximize their time. In fact, 65 percent of couples utilize wedding-related websites for vendor discovery, and then rely predominantly on price and availability, followed by recommendations and online reviews, when deciding who to book.

The top sources couples use to find their venues are:

  1. Wedding-related websites
  2. Online searches
  3. Pinterest
  4. Wedding shows/expos
  5. Facebook

The Role of Social Media

Social media plays a huge role in nearly every aspect of sharing and remembering the wedding experience, beginning with the engagement announcement.

86 percent of couples announce their engagement on a social media platform:

  • 76% on Facebook
  • 35% on Instagram
  • 12% on Twitter

Crystal Gardens- Howell, MI - The Digital Age of WeddingsCrystal Gardens- Howell, MI - The Digital Age of Weddings

Crystal Gardens- Howell, MI - The Digital Age of WeddingsCrystal Gardens- Howell, MI - The Digital Age of Weddings

Many couples create personalized Snapchat filters, and 54 percent of couples generate wedding hashtags. Nearly 20 percent like to keep the wedding conversation going, so they start group chats!

Although social media is taking over the wedding industry, couples still value the intimate privacy of the experience—1 in 4 couples ask guests to “unplug” with a phone-free wedding.

Some couples do allow phones, which means guests can take their own videos and pictures and share them in a place where everyone can see the collection of memories after the celebrations are over. This doesn’t mean couples are skipping professional photographers; rather, they’re also choosing to add to their collection of wedding memories with images from the dozens of guests who have smartphones, using photo and video apps like Scripin and Eversnap to gather and organize the videos and photos uploaded by guests and put them into private online albums.

Crystal Gardens- Howell, MI - The Digital Age of Weddings

Technology and social media are changing everything around us—and the wedding industry is no exception. Download your apps, and get started with your wedding planning and searches today! Contact our event specialists at Crystal Gardens Banquet Center for more tips and guidance.