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Tuesday, September 23, 2014         

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Apps for the altar

Tech-savvy couples can find vendors, communicate with guests and view photos from their big day, all with the tap of a finger

By Jenna Sweeney

Orange County Register

POSTED:

"Today's bride is tech-y," says bridal consultant Natalie Good of A Good Affair in Tustin, Calif. "She will ‘Pin' from her phone and search for vendors as well."

A search of iTunes for wedding apps spews out more than 2,000 platforms that help communicate with guests, ensure details and deadlines are met and capture moments via mobile device cameras.

Here are a few apps for the altar:

» Carats & Cake: Founded in November 2012, this app connects bridal couples with high-end wedding vendors. With reviews posted to categories such as catering and music, the app enables users to narrow down vendors to a desired location. Carats & Cake also allows users to view photos from actual weddings. Brides can click on the weddings they like and find sources for pictured items.

» Yapp: For those looking to customize communication for guests, Yapp allows users to make their own mobile apps that can track schedule changes, introduce the wedding party, link maps to directions and capture a QR code to enable guests to upload wedding photos to the app's Crowd Pics page. According to Yapp, many bridal couples are opting out of paper altogether, instead sending all invitational details through the app.

"Busy couples are planning on the go, and it helps to have all the key information on the device they are looking at an average of 150 times per day," says Yapp CEO and co-founder Maria Seidman. "Wedding-planning apps can help bring geographic and contextual information to planning."

» Wedding Party: I often hear from brides that amid the flurry of the wedding, they hardly remember conversations with guests or how the cake tasted. This app lets guests log in with a custom wedding name code provided by the bride and groom. The Wedding Party app provides a platform for guests to upload photos during the wedding and "like" favorites. Not only are bridal couples treated to more photos from their nuptials, but they also gain different perspectives and feedback from guests.

» Wedpics: According to Wedpics, more than 35,000 photos are uploaded to the app every day. The media app provides unlimited video and photo storage for guests and bridal party to upload. Useful for engagement parties, wedding showers or bachelorette/ bachelor parties, Wedpics also offers printing services.

Kristin and Joe Daher of Irvine, Calif., used Wedpics in August for their wedding. A photo of Joe's 2-year-old nephew playing with Kristin's 82-year-old grandfather — the youngest person in Joe's family and the oldest in Kristin's — was snapped by a wedding guest and uploaded. A moment that could have gone unseen is now a cherished photograph.

Because weddings usually include a mosaic of generations, introducing apps might require some finesse. For less tech-savvy guests, the couple might want to have a few disposable cameras handy and consider keeping the traditional mailed paper invitation.

"Over 80 percent of young people aged 25-34 have a smartphone, and that number is over 60 percent for the U.S. population, according to Nielsen," Seidman says.

"So, when it's time to plan a wedding, there is most certainly an app for that."

Be sure to check the details and fine print of wedding apps.

Yapp, Wedding Party, Wedpics and Carats & Cake are free and compatible with IOS and Android.






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