It would be fair to say, that the biggest impact on the modern wedding comes from recent advances in technology.
From the moment a couple begin planning their wedding, to their departure at their reception into married life, modern technology will have played a key role. Put simply, the modern wedding is spiraling vertically through a range of exciting technological nuances.
The Internet, Social Media, & Web Security
The first and most obvious advance, is the way couples use the Internet to plan, shop, and research every aspect of their wedding day. From the comfort of their home, wedding couples literally trawl social media sites and wedding portals, gathering, comparing, and shortlisting everything from ceremony venues, dresses and flowers, to event hire companies, cars and celebrants.
The Internet has arguably empowered modern wedding couples, especially with the development of social media sites that help couples to accurately authenticate and verify particular suppliers and services.
Credit card services and online transactions have also become more secure in recent years, and are virtually second nature to the modern bride and groom. This means that securing wedding services and suppliers is dramatically accelerated, not to mention more convenient.
Wireless and ‘i’ Devices
Another major advance in technology is the explosion of wireless and next generation devices. The big plus is that couples can connect and communicate from just about anywhere; 24 hours a day, once again, speeding up the marriage planning process exponentially.
As a celebrant, I notice more and more couples supplying their ceremony music (and reception music) on ‘i’ devices or USB memory sticks. I’ve even witnessed couples read their personal vows from their ‘i’ device, which can be downloaded in realtime from a Cloud Service.
My own personal presentation method is sourced from an Apple iPad, giving me enormous flexibility as a presenter (during a ceremony) to capture images, record video, play music, expand text size, increase backlighting, or connect to the Internet (if required).
As an MC, I have witnessed couples receive ‘Telegrams’ (at their reception) via text, as well as play (previously uploaded) youTube videos through a projector, creating an entirely new reception segment.
The ‘i’ Camera
Another major advance in the modern wedding, is the ‘i’ camera. It seems everyone is a photographer, and it’s now commonplace for guests to ‘snap’ eagerly during a wedding ceremony, often keen to be the first to post an image (of the happy couple) to a social media site.
The ‘i’ camera has also seen several wedding services become (virtually) obsolete, such as: the reception portrait photographer who (in days gone by), would capture couples sitting happily together at their table, and charge handsomely for the priviledge; or the humble ‘disposable camera’, that would be ubiquitously used as a bombonierre.
The video function on most ‘i’ devices, has also led to a decline in couples hiring a professional videographer, where as the advances in SLR video cameras has seen the fusion of the professional photographer and professional videographer, because the high definition quality of video can virtually be used to extract precise photographic stills.
Another fascinating feature of the modern wedding, is (arguably) the ability to Skpye. This enables guests (who are unable to attend a wedding), to watch the ceremony from afar. I have performed many weddings, where Skype has been used to transmit ‘live’ images to overseas guests, the elderly and even the unwell.
Who would have thought that you could watch your closest friends or relatives get married, from the comfort of an off-site location, for free!
For me, the most exciting (and daunting) of all modern technologies, is the recent development of the 3D printer (aimed at the consumer market). The mind simply boggles at the possibilities, especially for wedding couples.
Couples will be able to (and already can) print everything from their bombonierre, table centre pieces, bridal jewellery, shoes, and just about anything else that can be imagined. The effect this will have on wedding suppliers and services is yet to be assessed, but (without doubt) 3D printing technology will reshape the consumer landscape.