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.
But with new technology, comes new rules of etiquette.
As their wedding day approached, Annick and Peter received some sad news. Annick's grandmother had been injured and wasn't able to make the ceremony. So they decided to bring the wedding 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," Annick says.
Emerging technology and social media is changing the face of modern weddings. TheKnot.com found 45-percent of brides incorporated social media into their big day.
Anja Winikka, Site Director of TheKnot.com
says, "Technology just makes it easier in a lot of cases for a bride."
More and more guests are being asked to quote "sign in" without pen and paper. Instead they leave video comments in a guest book produced with an iPad app. Friends and family are also requested to tag pictures to specially created albums on Facebook or Pinterest. And cutting the invitation list in half is easier than ever with a wedding webcast.
Philip Lee, owner of one of the largest wedding webcasting companies, warns of course, live streaming is not without potential pitfalls. And nothing is edited out.
"Some couples are frankly obsessed with reality TV and they're into the wedding shows and this is their chance to broadcast their wedding," Philip Lee, owner and founder of IDoStream.com
says."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."
In fact, 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?
Winikka says, "She may not want that to happen."
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,” Winikka says. 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."
Lastly, 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,” says Philip Lee. “So I think it is appropriate for you to send a wedding gift."
As for Annick and Peter, they're glad they were able to use technology to let grandma share in that special day.
"She was able to enjoy the wedding as well,” Annick says. “That meant very much to all of us."
While wedding webcasts can be done by professionals, you can also do them yourself and in the process, save yourself a lot of money.
All you need is a camera, laptop, some special software and an internet connection and you're good to go.
As long as your partner says "I do."