When I visualized my wedding day as a little girl, it was always big picture: smiling faces, a special dress (back then it was rhinestone-encrusted denim), anonymous foods and ambient music. Now a 30-something tomboy/priss-pot who works as a wedding coordinator and who recently planned my own unconventional wedding (sans denim), I know that the impact of such a milestone event is all about the granular details and how personal you're willing to make it.
According to The Wedding Report, a market research firm, there are more than 2 million weddings in the United States each year, comprising an industry that rakes in more than $50 billion annually. Not surprisingly, start-ups and established companies are constantly coming up with innovative, sometimes bizarre ways to get a piece of that consumer pie. Below are five items that you may not have heard of and probably never knew you needed, but could add both practicality and pizazz to your nontraditional wedding adventure.
1. A custom wedding website and mobile application: The Appy Couple (www.appycouple.com) provides couples a platform to create their own informational and interactive app for guests. Within the application, the soon-to-be weds can create content and upload event, weather, travel and hotel information — basically all logistical particulars to prepare invitees for the big day. This is wildly helpful, considering that you will undoubtedly get 4,635 phone calls, texts and emails requesting all of the above. After "I Do," guests can also use the app to upload photos and text to share with others.
2. Pinch Provisions: These little "mini-mergency" kits (www.pinchprovisions.com) are absolutely brilliant for brides. The custom bridal kits hold more than 15 emergency items within one little, adorable pouch, ensuring that if anything unexpected and solvable goes awry, you're covered. This little guy can address everything from a blister to a tear in your gown. I purchase these in bulk and give them to my clients as day-of gifts. They would also make thoughtful favors for bridesmaids.
3. A wedding music video: Marryoke (www.marryokes.com), which rhymes with karaoke, is a company that films your big day and then splices all of the best footage, along with a sing-along to your song of choice, into a hilarious music video that you can treasure and giggle at forever. This is a dream come true for diva-nerds like me, who have been waiting for their opportunity to be a video girl since the age of 8.
4. A theme: Gone are the days of simply choosing a color scheme. Everyone, even your crotchety grandpa, loves a theme. Having one is a pretty fool-proof way to ensure that your day stands apart from the rest. Themes are also a fantastic way to work in impactful details, your personal brand and a lot of freaking fun. It could be a movie, a book, holiday, pattern, quote, pun (i.e., Ball and Chain), or even a shape — the important thing is that it reflects both of your individualities and uniqueness as a couple.
5. A bridal photo with a dinosaur: TapSnap (www.tapsnap.net) is a photo booth, or, as they call it, a "phototainment system," from which you can snap pictures and then insert doodles, animation and text before the photo is shared or printed. The platform is touch-screen and allows for instant sharing to social media. Photo booths are always fun for guests, and this is a great way to send them home with a memento apart from the ordinary, while saving the money on props and accessories. The TapSnap photo of me, my best friend, a Tyrannosaurus Rex and an equally fierce-looking great white shark will hang in my office forever.