Getting Hitched - is there an App for that?published May 16 2012, filed in NewsTips and Tricks
Today’s smartphones provide much more than a way to stay in touch with each other. While I don’t think anything will replace the time honoured tradition of carrying around a folder of colour swatches, business cards and photos from magazines, smart brides (and a few clever grooms) now have a whole host of wedding planning tools at their disposal – right in the palm of their hand.
Newsflash - while most couples have smartphones and can take advantage of some of the coolest (and most useful) wedding apps around, the sales of iPads are going through the roof. Easy Weddings has responded and it's all great news for marrying couples.
Diamonds are a girl's best friend
But hey, why wait until you're actually planning your wedding? The Tiffany & Co. Engagement Ring Finder allows you to start searching for the ring of your dreams before he even pops the question! It has cool features like being able to browse the collection by style, setting, design or metal and you can zoom in for a close-up, pair the engagement ring with a wedding band and share your selection by email, Facebook or Twitter. Put an existing ring on the screen and the app will even size it for you – incredible! I'd be pretty tempted to 'accidentally' leave my iPhone somewhere conspicuous around the house to see what happens.....
Australia's No 1 bridal directory goes mobile
Easy Weddings is known to Australian brides as THE ‘go-to’ website, recently winning the Victorian Business of the Year and the MYOB Small Business of the Year at the Telstra Business Awards. The Easy Weddings website has amazing planning tools, forums and helpful articles - since May 2011, Australia's No 1 bridal directory is now also available on your smartphone. It's FREE and it's available for iPhones and smartphones using Android. You can search suppliers by nominating a suburb (or your current location), make a list of your faves and read reviews from other couples to help you make up your mind. The directory has an inbuilt contact form, gallery and link to the supplier's website. You can even get directions there from your current location! The app interfaces with the Easy Weddings website and Facebook. Visit the Easy Weddings website here to download the app.
iPad to become THE planning tool of choice for brides
On Thursday 2nd February 2012, Easy Weddings launched the Easy Weddings iPad Planner. The smartphone app, available in iPhone and Android was already terrific, but it was a terrific supplier directory with brides having to return to their laptops to take advantage of the planning tools on offer from the company. No longer. The iPad app (which is free) has six fully functional planning tools: budget planner, to-do list, guest list manager, seating planner, suppliers' directory/list and bridal notes. Easy Weddings has an amazing following in Australia with 12 000 daily visits to their website.
I feel the need to buy an iPad. Now.
Manage your RSVPs and seating arrangements on the run
Wedding Girl is a fun free app quickly catching on Australia wide. In fact there were over 8 500 downloads from the iTunes Store in the first 12 weeks following the launch! It has the directory function just like Easy Weddings and you can search by category and share the details by email, Facebook or Twitter. It doesn't have the power of supplier reviews like Easy Weddings but makes up for that with plenty of planning tools including a guest list and seating plan function (which you can export to email in spreadsheet form). You can also update the inbuilt wedding checklist of things to do, keep your budget, document key contacts, favourite suppliers and keep notes. The welcome page even has a cute countdown to your wedding day! I played with this one, pretending to be getting married again (you put yourself and fiancee's name and date of wedding into the app) and searched for a few suppliers in different categories. Cindy, the Director and brains behind Wedding Girl, tells me there are a few more functionalities such as supplier galleries, a direct supplier contact form and link with the Australian Bridal Industry Academy (ABIA) that become more visible as each state comes on board. I'm pretty impressed and predict this one will really take off in WA in the coming months. You can wach the promo video here.
The American dream?
The iWedding Deluxe app isn’t Australian and it costs a few dollars but it has so many features you won’t have time to use your iPhone to do anything else. This one's not for the faint-hearted. You can record EVERY single detail of your wedding from your menu to song choices, flights and accommodation for your honeymoon, insurance and rental items and it cleverly tracks your budget too. It is a little limiting for Perth brides from a 'directory' point of view as it relies on Googlemaps to find local suppliers. Saying that though, the app and had no problem giving me ‘inspiration’ for local businesses which means it's a useful app outside the US. Weirdly, there was no category for 'celebrant' to choose from? There’s a guide for every aspect of wedding planning from choosing venues, proper etiquette for invitations and 'who pays for what' and lists of duties for the best man, etc. Wow.
There's an App for that.....
There’s no doubt the phrase ‘there’s an App for that’ holds true when it comes to the bridal industry. I found apps for best man speeches, step by step guide to tying a tie, top wedding music playlists, dress ‘look books’ and some cool little games, including one capitalising on the wedding of Wills and Kate. No doubt this will be an area of growth and with 12.7 million mobile phones sold in 2010 (57% being smartphones), suppliers would be mad not to make it easier for potential clients to reach them.
Apps are cool, apps are handy, but you and I both know that your iPhone and your iPad will never sparkle like the real diamond on your left hand or feel as good as that little swatch of silk you have in your handbag right now.