July 17, 2015 7:10 am

From drones to GIF photo booths: a look at top wedding tech trends

Here's a look at some of the tech trends that could add to your special day.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Melissa Sung
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TORONTO — Wedding season is once again upon us and for many couples tying the knot, technology is an integral part of their big day.

“I definitely see it being incorporated more. It’s a millennial game right now,” said Toronto wedding planner Arthur Kerekes from Fusion Events.

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“I think in general people who are getting married now are very tech-savvy. We’re married to our smartphones…But, on the other hand, there’s still an element of tradition.”

The tech frenzy can start far before the wedding day, with many turning to Pinterest and apps to help with the planning process. And almost every couple has a wedding website.

READ MORE: Mobile apps to help you plan a wedding

When the wedding day finally arrives, most will now also have a hashtag, which they’ll encourage guests to use when posting photos to social media. That helps create a digital scrapbook of sorts, however there can be some drawbacks and hashtag etiquette that should be followed.

WATCH: To hashtag or not to hashtag. Minna Rhee examines the ups & downs of this new #WeddingTrend.

That covers the basics. At the “most tricked out, high-tech wedding in history,” put on by The Knot last month, some of the wedding technology included:

  • A Swarovski crystal wearable health monitor (for the bride) and a FitBit (for the groom) to capture every heart-racing moment.
  • A GoPro video camera in the bride’s bouquet for a unique view of the ceremony.
  • A robotic bartender mixing drinks to guests’ personal preferences.
  • A 3D-printed cake topper of the bride and groom made from body scans to create an exact replica. The bridal party gifts were 3D-printed bracelets and cufflinks.
  • Smart-technology cocktail rings discretely delivered important messages from bride to bridesmaids.

Here are a few more of the biggest tech trends:

Drones

“Drone photography seems to be the newest tech trend that is taking hold for outdoor events,” said Danielle Andrews Sunkel, Toronto wedding planner and president of The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada.

“I actually don’t like it for the ceremony because it is distracting,” Kerekes cautioned. “They’re pretty noisy.”

A better way to incorporate them, he thinks, is getting aerial shots of the venue (especially if it’s a gorgeous outdoor one), and when the bridal party is taking photos.

GIF and slow-mo photobooths

Photobooths are always a hit, but now there are also slow-motion and GIF booths.

“So you can actually, instead of a static photo you can create a GIF. So it’s like an animated picture. And then…you can email the picture to yourself automatically, you can post it online using the hashtag,” Kerekes explained.

“Similarly, slow motion booths are really fun.”

That one is a little more expensive (around $3,000 compared to about $2,000 for the GIF photo booth). It also requires post-production work, so guests won’t be able to see the images right away.

“Some of the really cool ones I’ve seen was with confetti, because it looks really cool in slow motion,” he added. “Blowing raspberries looks really funny in slow motion…[It’s] more about people’s faces and expressions because they just look hilarious in slow motion.”

Digital guestbook

The traditional guestbook is going digital at some weddings, with couples setting up a station that lets guests record their messages on an iPad. Or they’re encouraged to make short little videos of themselves and upload them to social media using the hashtag.

Livestreaming

If you have friends and family who can’t attend your wedding, you can always livestream it.

“I did a wedding where we broadcast the whole ceremony on Skype, so all their relatives from Central America could join the couple,” said Andrews Sunkel.

Others choose to use live video apps like Periscope or Meerkat.

READ MORE: Twitter launches Meerkat-killer Periscope – How do they compare?

The other alternative: Unplugged weddings

Of course, high-tech weddings aren’t for everyone. And sometimes those mobile devices can not only be disruptive but can ruin the professional photographs being taken.

A guest is seen capturing an image on her cellphone at a wedding photographed by Lainie Hird Photography in May 2015.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lainie Hird

READ MORE: ‘Unplugged weddings’ trend encourages no smartphones or tablets during ceremony

Ottawa-based officiants Keith and Lynne Langille have started encouraging couples to opt for unplugged ceremonies, which Keith said now account for about 90 per cent of their weddings.

Photographer Lainie Hanlon also encourages the practice.

“I give them an example: If I’m standing at the altar with the groom and I’m looking down, all I see are cellphones, is that something that you’re going to want to see in your photo? Ninety-five per cent of them now say: ‘Yeah, you’re right, this isn’t something that we want.’ … You can’t redo a ceremony.”

With files from The Canadian Press

© 2015 Shaw Media

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