Thursday, December 5, 2013

How We Planned Our Runaway Wedding

Hi everyone it's Mike here. As most of you know, I'm big on technology as a tool to make life easier. We have accomplished all of our wedding planning in under 60 days and I want to share with you a few of the technology tools, tips, and tricks that made this possible.

Google Drive -
There was a lot of collaboration between Kathryn and I while planning our Vegas wedding. Running back and forth to each others computers can become very tedious and annoying though, so to solve this problem we kept all of our documents online in Google Drive. Google Drive lets you create text documents, spreadsheets, drawings, and more all online. Think of Microsoft Office, but free and much easier to share. In our case, we kept our wedding budget, itinerary, and guest list online using this fantastic tool. You can use Google Drive from the browser on your PC or on most iOS and Andriod mobile phones (perfect for brainstorming wedding plans over dinner). Google drive is free only requires a Google account.

Moo -
Moo is simply the best company online for ordering printed cards. They have excellent customer service, high quality prints, and fast turn-around times on orders. We used Moo for our wedding announcement / invite postcards and they arrived ahead of schedule and looking beautiful. The best part, less than a dollar per postcard!

Travelocity, Priceline, Kayak, etc.
Most of us already know how to buy our flights online. What I want to share though is how I got our flights at such great rates. Most websites advise you to avoid flying on weekends and book in advance. Booking on Tuesdays and Wednesdays seems to help as well. These tips do make a difference and they should be your starting point, but I have found that the key to scoring cheap flights is to check fares all the time. I don't just mean once a day, I mean checking flights fanatically. About to go to bed... check fares! On the toilet... check em! Waking up at 5am to take the dog out... gimme those fares! All in all, I did this for a week. I saw fares as high as $500 and as low as $200. Checking often gave me a good sense of what a  good "deal" was. When I finally booked our tickets for $225, I did it at 4am on a Wednesday morning. I was so high from the rush of savings that I jumped into the bed to wake up Kathryn!

My Maps in Google Maps -
Here is another technology most are familiar with, Google Maps. One of the often missed features of Google Maps is the ability to create your own customized maps. You can drop in "pins" to note points of interest such as hotels, restaurants, parks, etc. It's an extremely useful tool and fun as well.

To tech or not to tech, that is the question...
While technology did make the majority of our planning easier, there were a few times when it wasn't the right tool for the job. Such us....

  • When you have a bunch of questions to ask somebody. It's easier to just give them a call! I know, making calls from my mobile phone scares me too. I just thought this thing was a mobile internet machine!? Kathryn found out more about our wedding chapel in 5 minutes on the phone than she could in an hour of web-surfing.
  • When you need to book show tickets for Vegas, don't waste time online. Usually, you can't pick exact seats. I spent an hour hoping to get good seats for Cirque du Soleil but was foiled by the seemingly random seat assignments I kept getting. I gave up and after a 10 minute phone call, I had the best seats in the house AND cheaper than what I could buy them for online. Score one for human interaction!!!
  • When you need to make special requests for a hotel room. I called the MGM Signature Grand, chatted with an extremely helpful woman, and had all of my questions answered and problems solved in 15 minutes.
I hope this post can be helpful to someone out there. I have barely scratched the surface of all the tools that are online to help you plan a wedding. These are just a few that have helped us! Finally, to all the friends and family reading this, I will not fix your computer!


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