This will be my 15th year of celebrating weddings. During this time, I have observed the advances in technology – along with the good and not so wonder things about this. There are great things technology has made easier. However, easier may not always translate into a good thing.
Weddings have come a long way. When I married my Sweetheart in 1981, the telephone and single reflex cameras were the pinnacle of technology. Let’s put this in perspective. The HP laser jet printer was released in 1983. The late 1990’s saw the release of the first compact digital cameras and wide spread use of the internet.
Technology advances are pervasive. Now everything can be connected, digitized, miniaturize, and stored. What has that meant for today’s bride and groom planning their wedding.
When we were planning our wedding, there were a lot of phone calls and visits. We attended wedding shows because they gathered all the wedding vendors in one spot. We could chat with them, see their offerings, and compare/contrast to what we envisioned.
All this can be done online now. In fact, the old format of rows upon rows of wedding vendors at a show is dying. Wedding shows need to be more interactive to attract today’s bride and groom. A couple can browse through a website to see a photographer’s style, a caterer’s placing of food, the inventory of wedding gowns. Online browsing has made shopping for a vendor more effective by allowing couple to narrow their choices more quickly.
The pressure to go online has been a challenge for some vendors. Some have adopted it more than others. It can take considerable resources to position and display your product on a website, while being interactive and responsive to your audience. Some products and services lend themselves more easily to a web presence.
However, in the end, the bride, groom, and vendor must at some point come together. You have to taste the cupcakes – not just see pretty pictures. Meet with the photographer to see if their personality fits with you. The venue may seem pretty but are the staff accommodating and friendly? By the way, brides and grooms, vendors are also evaluating you to see if they want you as a customer – so be aware of that too.
More Accessible Does Not mean better service
Technology has become more accessible to more people at lower price points. However, just because you have a good camera does not mean you can take great pictures. Technology is just one aspect, but there is artistry in the delivery.
One year I took a defensive driver training class at a local racetrack. All day I was driving a Corvette, avoiding collisions, four tire skids among other things. Wow it was great to be in a high performance car. At the end of the day, I got to follow the instructor on the race track. Even though I had spent all day in the car, I was having difficulty keeping up to him. The lesson, you can have the same technology, but the knowledge on how to use it is what makes the difference.
This is the same with any technology based wedding service. Over the years, the two that have been most affected are DJ’s and photographers. Accessible technology has resulted in pop-up vendors who promise to do it for a better price. But…. and it is a big but, they can’t replace the years of experience in using that technology. A novice DJ may not know how to keep the dance floor full with their selection of songs. Great photographers know when the precious moments are and watch for them.
The same can be said for other areas of technological advancement. Custom jewelry has benefited from 3D printing for molding. Cards can be laser cut for interesting designs.
There are emerging technologies which may add or alter services. Drones did record the wedding in a few cases. Projection lighting for amazing effects will make a presence. And just to be way out there… an Artificial Intelligence DJ who learns what the crowd likes and gives them more of it.
Despite all this. You need to remember. This is a wedding. It is about two people who fell in love and are willing to commit to one another. A wedding is not about technology. It is about our humanity.