On a day like today, with the sun shining bright and the birds singing, the last thing I want to be doing is sitting at my computer, sorting the receipts for things we’ve bought for our wedding. Thankfully, we’ve got ourselves a shared Google Docs spreadsheet that’s keeping track of our budget, and a last-minute to-do list on the whiteboard.
Our friends will know that ThatScottishEngineer and I are both rather heavy tech-users.
When we began our wedding planning, we were thrilled that Google had created www.google.com/weddings which helped us keep organised. At the time, I was living in Cambridge and he was living in Newark, so most of our planning was done over Google Talk and using these shared spreadsheets. Our wedding website was set up using Google Sites and our RSVP was a Google Docs spreadsheet form.
But not everything is on Google’s servers. Our very-digital wedding registries are at Amazon.co.uk and Argos.co.uk. Invites were drawn in InkScape, our seating plan was drawn up in Microsoft Office Powerpoint, and all the letters I’ve had to send with cheques were written up in LibreOffice. Constantly having to move files from my Windows work machine to the Linux machine with the printer or my WordPress server has deepened my appreciation for both FileZilla and DropBox.
But what sort of documents are needed for a wedding that are well suited to the digital world? I didn’t think it would be that many until I got engaged and got started planning this massive project. Here’s a rough idea of what we’ve cobbled together:
- Website — Google Sites
Just like context-sensitive HTML help! It helps if you make it clear to everyone that it’s being regularly updated and that they should check it frequently for changes. Not all grandparents understand RSS feeds.
- Invitations — Designed with Inkscape, printed on postcards from Moo.com. Digital until publishing, like some other items that I’m including in this list. No hand-drawing/writing for me! In fact, doing these on the computer was not too different to flyers I’ve done before. Probably the easiest thing about the whole wedding was designing these.
- Guest list — Google Documents
Name, household, address, phone number, email address, invites sent, kids ages (kids don’t count for the meal), etc.
- Photo shoot list — Google Documents
A comprehensive list of all the shots I want taken (lists of guest names for each) of our wedding day for my pretty album.
- RSVP spreadsheet — Google Documents
Urgh, spreadsheet from HELL. Because it was a Google form, it ended up being very poorly formatted. Name, address, phone number, email address, which events attending (UK wedding, UK reception, US reception), whether transportation is needed to/from reception, Dietary requirements…. I rather wish I’d done it in Microsoft Office Excel so I could colour-code it all, but it was attached to the RSVP and very much a Google Doc. Ended up copying most things over to the Guest List (#3).
- Seating Plan — Microsoft Office PowerPoint
If you have £10 to spend, I’d suggest using www.toptableplanner.com. For the amount of time I’ve wasted fiddling with PowerPoint, it’s probably worth the cost.
- Gift Registry — Amazon.co.uk
- Gift Registry — Argos
- Thank You list — Google Documents
Consolidated from the Gift Registry pages and extra notes of personal cards we’d gotten.
Those are just the digital documents. Certainly, though, there’s a lot of scraps of paper in the expanding file folder on the shelf, including sketches of the wedding venue and schedules. But for the most part, this wedding has gone digital because it lets me collaborate with my partner and parents and anyone else who wanted to help.
So I guess digital is better for documents. When it comes to other things, though, I still suspect that an organist would be more reliable than an MP3 player…