Louisville Bride

FAL-WIN 2015

Louisville Bride magazine is Louisville, Kentucky's premier bridal publication, featuring photos of wedding gowns and listings for Louisville reception halls, caterers, wedding planners, photographers, and other wedding service providers.

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1 2 Fa l l | Wi n t e r B R I D E 2 0 1 5 Weddings in the Social Media Age Michelle Eigenheer How couples are planning by using Pinterest, organizing via custom websites and preserving memories of the big day with hashtags. When Sieanna and Mason McFarland got engaged in December 2014, they knew that they wanted their engagement to be a relatively short one, and planned to get hitched in May or June of 2015. With just six months to pull a wedding together, McFarland turned to Pinterest. The website works like a bulletin board, allowing users to "pin" aspirational photos of food, clothes and d├ęcor along with links to sites where they can buy or get instructions on how to make those things. McFarland's not alone. Seventy percent of married couples surveyed by the websites Mashable and The Knot say they pinned wedding-related content during their planning process. McFarland had two boards: one for general wedding ideas and the other with pins more specifcally tailored to her wedding. Pins include long tables with minimalist runners, simple bouquets and woodland wedding scenes with peonies woven throughout. "Most of what is on the board found a place in the actual wedding," she says. She used tutorials she found via Pinterest to do her own foral arrangements for her small ceremony at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest. Communication became a secondary purpose of the site, which allowed McFarland to share her vision for the wedding with her then-future husband when it was time for him to veto or approve ideas. She was also able to share it with other people, like her makeup artists and Bernheim's event coordinators to express what she wanted for the wedding. Another trend the couple got in on: organizing information for guests on a wedding website. Mason is a graphic designer and he matched their site, mcfarlandmarriage.com, to the couple's save-the-date cards and invitations that he had already created. On the site, guests could RSVP, make their selections from the dinner menu and access the couple's gift registry. The McFarlands were also able to communicate more about themselves than they could through paper invitations. The site features a timeline of events in their story together, from their frst meeting in a cofee shop to the proposal at the Nutcracker ballet. For couples without graphic design expertise, web-hosting services like Squarespace and Wordpress provide pre-designed templates to which users just add words and photos. Sites like The Knot provide profle pages where couples who don't want to create a full website can share information with guests. Last year, 55 percent of couples surveyed on Mashable and The Knot had used a hashtag (a way of labeling photos on social media sites like Instagram and Twitter so they'll be grouped together in a search) at their wedding and related events. Emily and Seth Singleton are part of that group. Emily's sister came up with their hashtag, #notsosingleton, a play on Emily's future last name. On their wedding day, many couples that pick designated hashtags publicize them with a sign or cards on tables at the reception venue. Guests at the Singleton wedding documented the celebration from each of their own angles: a photo from the backseat as the bride is driven to the wedding; a selfe of a groomsman making a ridiculous face; a snap of Emily whispering to Seth as they sit at the head table during the reception. In August 2014, the Singletons found out that they would soon be welcoming twins into the world, giving their wedding hashtag a new life. Lone babies are called "singletons," and with that, #notsosingleton cemented its place in the family's story. Other Helpful Tools: Etsy is an online marketplace for independent retailers where brides can fnd and purchase wedding decorations, craft supplies, clothing and jewelry. If you're not looking to order online, it still serves as a good starting point for some inspiration. Snapable, and other smartphone apps like it, allow guests to take and upload photos to an online album. It's an alternative to the wedding hashtag for couples who don't necessarily want their wedding photos to go viral. Some of these apps allow couples to order a printed album of their guests' photos. Music services like Spotify and Pandora have already-made playlists to draw inspiration from. Find a wedding playlist that you like as a starting point for your DJ.

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