The traditional role of the maid of honour includes helping the bride plan the big day.
As a bride living in British Columbia and planning a wedding in Ontario, the Internet has been the equivalent of my maid of honour.
“She” has helped me announce my engagement, take marriage preparation courses, confirm wedding etiquette, pick a photographer and find the perfect flower arrangement.
I am not the only bride who has enlisted a virtual maid of honour. The online-wedding bible, TheKnot.com closed off 2008 with an astonishing 1.9 million members. The Knot Inc., which owns several wedding planning web properties and a popular wedding magazine, has made being a virtual maid of honour profitable. It is listed on the NASDAQ with a current stock price of 7.28 and a 52-week high of 15.09.
A quick Google search and you are convinced you can plan your whole wedding from your couch. Still, I have to ask how helpful and reliable of a maid of honour can the Internet be?
With my wedding date exactly 100 days away and my bridesmaids living at least 4,000 kilometres away, I enlist the services of my virtual maid of honour regularly.
Here are a few examples of how the Internet can help you achieve your perfect wedding.
TheKnot.com provides a timeline of tasks to keep you on track and links to articles or services providers to help you complete the list.
Stores also allow you to create and monitor a gift registry as you scour your cupboards for items you need.
Invitations are also solved by the Internet. Now you can just send e -vites.
Planning a destination wedding? The Internet can broadcast your ceremony for loved ones who can’t make the trip.
In some American states, the Internet can even ordain your closest friend so they can officiate your wedding.
Plus, any wedding web site worth its stock price provides countless opportunities to buy products to make your day “unique”. Dresses, garters, favours, musicians, calligraphers, videographers. You name it, you can buy it while sitting on your couch admiring the sparkle of your ring as your fingers make swift key strokes.
But like all maids of honour, the Internet has its limits.
The Internet can be a jealous maid of honour. It can disracts you from the human beings that will truly make your experience special.
While I considered ordering bridesmaid dresses online from HouseofBrides.com, my bridesmaids weren’t sold. They wanted to try on the dresses before they dropped cash on a dress they won’t wear again. Plus, the nightmare of customs delays deterred me.
The story is the same for wedding dresses. Although my mother is not very sentimental, she would have been disappointed if I had ordered my dress online. She wanted to experience the process of finding a dress with her daughter. Plus, the Internet wouldn’t have told me if a dress made me look like Princess Fiona from Shrek.
I thought I wanted to avoid these details, but the memories I have created by including my loved ones in the process are a valuable part of my wedding that I wouldn’t want to pass up. From The Bay’s registry assistant to my grandmother, the array of human emotion in wedding planning is something that just can’t be replicated online.
More importantly, I’ll still need to rely on the real-deal at my wedding to straighten the veil, bustle the dress, sign the registry and do a toast (probably one she lifted from a website).