Weddings are back: new apps and websites make planning easier

MAY 2ND, when Jenny Chen and Kenny Song got married next to a lily-strewn pond in a Napa Valley vineyard, the event certainly lived up to the adage “something old, something new”. Forty-four guests gathered in real life at cocktail hour, but all were vaccinated or just tested. And upon signing the marriage license, the couple, both medical residents, released the deed to people as far away as Taiwan from the venue’s WiFi-enabled wine cellar.

Ms. Chen and Mr. Song’s virtual guests watched the feed as they opened the couple’s page on the Zola wedding planning site, the same site they had used to access the gift registry and invitations. Welcome to the summer of hybrid marriage – a mix of traditional nuptials with sophisticated high-tech strategies for remote events during the pandemic.

You can practically “ walk ” 360 degrees around the dress, evaluating it from all angles, right in your living room

When Covid-19 handed over the lemons to the wedding industry, it made lemon-dripping martinis and quickly found ways to allow couples to choose tasty cakes, examine dresses, and greet the guests. remote guests. Today, as we move through the days of the Zoom-only nuptials, wedding planners claim that many of these practical and effective virtual strategies remain popular with their clients.

“After that, it’s impossible to go back to the way we used to do it,” said Jung Lee, event organizer and founder of virtual wedding registry site Slowdance. In fact, 90% of her interactions with customers now start online, she added, up from just 30% before the pandemic. “From a time efficiency perspective, it really works,” she said. In a recent survey, Zola found that 49% of wedding vendors believe wedding streaming to distant guests will continue until 2022 and beyond.

Engaged couples also enjoy more freedom when it comes to expressing their desire for gifts without a toaster. Rather than registering only with Bloomingdale’s, they are increasingly opting for flexible online registries that allow them to specify items from any retailer with a webpage. At Zola and the Knot, guests have the option to donate a GoFundMe-style honeymoon donation or a down payment on a home.

Slowdance will even “hold” purchases from the ledger, shipping gifts only when a couple is settled in after the wedding. The hold service also allows the newlyweds to exchange an item for something better – useful when your aunt buys you a single champagne that you will never use. Beatrice Volkmar, an props buyer who will host around 200 live guests and 50 virtual guests at her June wedding, opted for Slowdance’s wait service “so you don’t get bombarded with packages and you can get all you [actually] want, ”Ms. Volkmar said.

Meanwhile, David’s Bridal, the nation’s largest wedding dress store chain, twirled on its jeweled heel, putting more emphasis on virtual assistance. Now you can make a Zoom appointment with the channel’s stylists and let up to 100 beloved friends and family help you say “yaaas” to the dress. His website also offers 24/7 live agent help, if the groomzillas wake up at 3 a.m. panicked that their bow ties don’t quite match their belts. You can even use your cell phone camera to view an array of 86 David’s wedding dresses on models and “walk” 360 degrees around them, evaluating the dress from all angles, right there in. your living room.

Even the cake-cutting strategy is disappearing. Back in April, the owner of Creative Cake Design by Tammy Hodge bakery in Wilmington, NC, started charging $ 100 for four-flavor overnight squares and six toppings at customers’ doors ahead of a Google tasting. Meet. Ms. Hodge did 83 virtual tastings, including one with Johanna Morgan, a medical technology salesperson. “He came via FedEx,

Said Ms Morgan, who will be married in October. “The lady handed me the box and I jumped for joy – I knew exactly what it was. The winner? An almond cake with a coffee infused filling. And she made the crucial decision “in the comfort of our home and in comfortable clothes”. Nothing borrowed, no blue.

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