Planning a wedding can sometimes seem like an insurmountable task, but equip yourself with the right online tools and you’ll be a click or two away from wedded bliss. Julia Braime, editor of top UK wedding blog Brides Up North, explains how you can use social media to surf your way smoothly from engagement to altar.
I’m the editor of one of the top wedding blogs in the UK and the only wedding blog written especially for brides in the North. My blog – along with some of the other more popular sites – features bridal fashion, wedding inspiration, supplier showcases, real weddings and more in a double daily dose. Wedding blogs are a dynamic, easy to access and free source of wedding planning know how, with a personal touch. There’s a blog out there to suit almost every bride, so bookmark your favourites and return daily for a rapid turnover of ideas, inspiration and tips.
As the editor of Brides Up North I am also on hand by email to respond to any queries or to help you connect with industry experts and try to answer each of my reader’s emails personally.
If you are buried under the weight of wedding magazines, subscribe to every wedding blog out there, have a wedding fair in your diary every weekend, feel troubled by budgets, trapped by family dramas and still don’t know where on earth to start – I hear you!
Sometimes, it just helps to know that you are not alone, and that’s where dedicated forums or chat rooms can come in handy. You can search the database for recent posts on a topic that is troubling you, start your own topic feed or contribute to discussion boards. The result: peace of mind and helpful hints from likeminded ladies, without the worry that your friends are comparing you to Bridezilla.
Twitter is a giant online marketplace just waiting to be explored. Here you can get real time responses to your queries, requests for information and supplier searches at the touch of a button and on a no obligation basis. You’ll find that the wedding industry is live and loud on the Twitter airwaves: keen to offer advice, sell their services and attract new customers.
Use Twitter to source suppliers in your area, keep in touch quickly with your current ones and pick your followers’ brains for a helping hand in the right direction. Follow inspirational sources like wedding planners and bridal magazines to pick up tips that you can utilise in the design for your own big day.
Remember to do your bit too: post recommendations for the suppliers who have impressed you, “retweet” news of giveaways and discounts and be on hand to impart your own advice when the times comes. With Twitter, the more you put in, the more others will want to give back.
Facebook is a great way to research wedding suppliers by browsing through photographs of their past events and reading client feedback on their business pages. As a consequence of cost, most industry professionals keep their Facebook page more up to date with recent weddings than their brochure or websites, making it easier for you to get a sense for their current work.
You can also use a Facebook page as a reference for guests attending your wedding. Whilst I would advise stopping short of a Facebook invitation, a dedicated page to keep all the information that your guests might need for making their own arrangements for your wedding like travel, hotel and gift information is always going to come in handy. You can also ask your photographer to upload your images to the site after the big day to share them quickly and easily with the private group.
As a huge fan of my “wedding folder”, I wish that this online resource had been around when I had been planning my own wedding. Pinterest is literally an online scrapbook, where you can pin and re-pin your own and other members’ images to create inspiration boards featuring everything from wedding flowers to make up looks. Send your completed mood boards to your suppliers, family and friends to help them to see your wedding day vision in pictures.
A quick search of the Apple Store reveals apps galore for wedding planning on the move. From budgeting to brainstorming, you can bet that there’ll be an app for it. Whilst apps can be fun, take care to store important details in another safe place too.
After The Event
As well as sharing your professional images via Facebook, why not ask your guests to give their own photographs a particular Flickr tag – that way every guest will be able to enjoy all of the snaps even if they aren’t connected on Facebook. You could also consider uploading video footage to a sharing site like Vimeo: that way even friends who couldn’t travel will still be able to see you say I do.