Multimedia Weds Tradition
More Couples are Utilizing Technological Touches to Create a Personalized Multimedia Experience.
Gone are the days when newlywed couples’ wedding receptions were limited to dancing and mingling with relatives and friends. Now, the dancing and mingling increasingly happens as part of a multimedia event — from projecting video and photo retrospectives onto jumbo screens to producing light shows. It’s no wonder: As the generation that mastered social networking, text messaging and cyber dating takes their vows, they also take to the Internet — using technology in just about every aspect of their special day, from its planning to its production.
Many wedding planners say weddings are, by and large, still traditional, but brides are using technology more and more to make their wedding more green, and in some cases, more flashy. “Today, brides have an ever-increasing number of resources available to them that didn’t exist a few years ago,” says Jim Miller, owner of After Five Productions in Hagerstown.
Many are turning to Internet do-it-yourself programs to help them plan their special day and to produce, create and design their own products. Even more environmentally-conscience couples are using E-vites — a free electronic invitation service — to invite guests, or to send “Save the Date” reminders to use in place of R.S.V.P. cards, says Bonnie Schwartz, owner of Bonnie Schwartz & Company, an event planning company in Bethesda, Md. With social networking and photo-sharing websites in abundance, many brides also are leveraging the Internet to share their wedding photos and videos online, she says.
Still, many couples are finding ways to weave technology with their tastes. For their wedding day and rehearsal dinners, brides often ask if they can set up large projection screens or small televisions so that they can show guests photo montages and bridal party introductions, Jim says. The montages range from personal love stories to retrospectives into the bride and groom’s lives through pictures. Some couples have even used the screens to project trivia games about their relationship history. “These additions make the event more personal and have added the benefit of entertaining guests.”
Phantom Shadow Entertainment of Shippensburg, Pa., offers 6-, 12- and 15-foot video screens on which to display custom montages during the reception, says owner Donovan Yaukey, who encourages couples enamored with the idea of a video montage to hire a professional company to produce it. “Collages are only as good as the professional you choose to design and produce the collage,” he says. Most couples choose to project those images in down moments — while they are taking pictures and freshening up before their wedding reception, Jim adds. Also popular are video messages — good luck messages from wedding invitees captured on DVD as a lasting memory — and photo booths. “Just like the old-time photo booths, we have mobile photo booths that allow your guests to take their photo with them,” Donovan says.
by Latasha Lazelle Ball and Pepper Ballard
Originally published in HM Bliss Bride 2010