Our guest writer Alex Ridd of CherryTop Weddings explains the rise of wedding technology and the options available.
Technology has played an important role in many aspects of our lives during the pandemic, and weddings are no exception. From live streaming to technology-based wedding entertainment, wedding tech is here to stay. Alex Ridd, General Manager of CherryTop Weddings, discusses the rise of wedding tech and how his business is helping couples use technology to bring in-person and virtual wedding guests together.
In a year like no other, technology has been vital in allowing us to work remotely and stay connected with friends and family. Long after the pandemic has receded, this digital legacy will still be felt.
A trend set to last
Technology has also been important for many couples getting married during lockdown. Live streaming has helped them share their celebrations with family and friends who are unable to attend in person. Even after coronavirus restrictions are lifted, I expect that trend to continue, with couples looking for ways to involve friends who cannot attend their weddings for health reasons or because they live too far away.
The two elements
Although the idea for CherryTop Weddings came before Covid-19, the interactive experience we have developed meets Covid-19 safety rules and is a perfect way to bring together guests who attend in person and guests who join virtually. There are two elements to the experience: a printed personalised Love Story booklet with activities and games for guests to enjoy, and an online interactive ‘Wedding Wall’, where guests can take part in activities, share their photographs, well wishes and watch a live stream.
When we were developing CherryTop Weddings, we considered several factors which are useful for anyone in the wedding industry planning to tap into the rise in wedding tech.
Allow couples to inject their own personality
A wedding day is a couple’s chance to craft the day of their dreams. They want everything from the flowers to the room décor to reflect their own personality and style. The same goes for technology.
At CherryTop Weddings we achieve this by allowing couples to create their own Love Story booklet, which they can personalise with their favourite photographs.
Couples can also choose from, and personalise, a range of activities including a Happy Couple quiz to find out how much their guests know about them, wedding speech bingo, word searches, codebreakers, I Spy games and more.
Help virtual guests feel included
Hybrid weddings, which include guests attending in person, as well as friends and family joining in virtually using live streaming, are here to stay. However, the challenge of live streaming is that virtual guests may not feel as involved in the weddings as guests who are attending in person.
We overcome that by ensuring that guests attending the wedding in person or virtually will all receive their own copy of the couple’s Love Story booklet.
Guests will be able to upload their responses to the activities, photographs of the day and their messages and good wishes for the couple to the online interactive ‘Wedding Wall’.
The Wedding Wall also contains an area for absent friends to watch a live stream of the wedding. This technology allows guests who are attending the wedding virtually to still feel as involved and included as in-person guests, by taking part in the same activities as well as by contributing their own content in real-time.
Simplicity and ease of use are vital
With so much happening on their big day, even the most tech-savvy couples won’t want to be worried about the technology. Technology should enhance the wedding celebrations, not create extra stress and worry.
Throughout the development of CherryTop Weddings we kept this in mind and have created a simple to use content management system so couple can easily create their Love Story booklets. Our interactive online Wedding Wall is also easy to use, and we send couples everything they need to pass on to guests joining in via live stream.
Create memories to treasure
As well as making a couple’s wedding day extra special, technology can also help them to capture memories to treasure forever.
Our Wedding Wall platform means that guests can continue to upload photos and comments after the day itself. After 12 months the site is made into an offline version for couples to keep, with the option to create their own photo album or printed guest book.
Our aim is to help couples and guests create and share the moments and memories on their special day. The Love Story booklets and Wedding Wall mean they can look back on those memories for years to come.
Technology does not need to be obtrusive
Although there is a trend towards greater use of technology at weddings, couples will vary in how visible they want it to be on the day.
The beauty of our approach is that couples can make the interactive games a key focus, perhaps showing them on a big screen at their reception, or, if they want to keep the tech lower key, they can encourage guests to add their photos and comments to the Wedding Wall after the day itself.
There is no doubt that technology is going to play an increasing role in weddings over the coming years. There is a great opportunity for everyone working in the sector to embrace this trend.
Alex Ridd is General Manager of CherryTop Weddings. For more information, please visit www.cherrytopweddings.com