BUDGET-SAVVY brides are turning to Facebook, Twitter and online shopping sites to save money for their big day.
Forget pounding the streets for the expensive wedding dress and table settings, social media has changed the way people are planning and experiencing getting hitched.
Instead of traditional snail-mail invites, more couples are sending Facebook notifications to friends as a save-the-date, according to industry experts.
And rather than book a photographer some brides are relying on their friends to take photos on their smartphones.
Hunter Valley wedding photographer, Zoe Ambler, said couples are increasingly asking their friends to take Instagram photos that will later be used in an online or print album.
“The main thing with portrait photography for weddings is people are going to share those images and they want people to see them straight away and if they can do that with Facebook or Instagram or Twitter it cancels out that need to hire somebody to do it for them,” she said.
Adhering to the trend, Ms Ambler said she takes a single Instagram photo of the couple on their big day “because people have come to expect an instant photo”.
According to a recent survey from Bride To Be Magazine, having friends take photos and record videos at a wedding could save up to $4324.
A further $471 savings could be made by sending out Facebook invites instead of splashing out on fancy stationery.
Albury bride-to-be Noni Martin told News Ltd she bought both her wedding dress – which cost $600, and bridesmaids’ dresses, which cost $350 each – through online vintage store, Etsy.com, saving her thousands of dollars.
“It’s an antique 1900s Edwardian day dress, embroidered with lace, it’s beautiful,” she said.
Similar Edwardian antique wedding dresses can carry a price tag of up to $4000.
Ms Martin said she and her fiance would not be hiring a photographer, as it was too expensive, and she would consider creating a wedding book out of smartphone photos instead.
Couples are also using social media to update friends and followers during the wedding.
Triple J film critic and presenter of Radio National’s Download This Show, Marc Fennell harnessed the power of social media by live tweeting his own wedding, using the hashtag “#mmwedding” (Marc and Madeleine’s wedding).
The pair updated their relationship status within 30 seconds of saying “I do”, Mr Fennell said.
Wedding planners said social media has impacted the way they do business but has not changed demand for their services.
Anthea Leonard, of Sweet Art Wedding Planners, said social media had taken a lot of the hard work out of her job.
“Before Pinterest, you used to beg people to bring in any of their ideas just so you could get a thread of what they were thinking, now they come in with complete mood boards on their phones,” she said.
Ms Leonard said social media has allowed people who are not used to being constrained by budgets to find the best deal that doesn’t break the bank.
TECHY TIPS FOR THE BIG DAY
– Facebook invites instead snail-mail stationery
– Instagram photos instead of hiring a photographer
– Purchase dresses online for discounts
– Purchase your table accessories and decorations online
– Include a ceremonial updating of the Facebook status during the wedding