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Crowdsourcing Your Wedding

How you can use crowdsourcing to turn up the fun on your wedding day.

The word crowdsourcing comes from a combination of the words “crowd” and “outsourcing,” which actually makes a lot of sense, as crowdsourcing typically means reaching out to other people for contributions, including ideas, labor and/or money. Companies have done this for years to get ideas for new products. With the Internet, mobile technology and social media, today individuals are using the concept of crowdsourcing for everything from funding small business ventures to getting ideas for what to do on a vacation in Chile.

When it comes to weddings, couples are exploring how crowdsourcing can help them produce the wedding of their dreams. There is a lot of debate over the appropriateness of crowdfunding a wedding or honeymoon — that is, asking guests (and perhaps even non-guests) to chip in on the costs instead of giving a more traditional wedding gift. 

Whatever your opinion of crowdfunding a wedding or honeymoon, there are other crowdsourcing ideas that can help make your wedding day more special and fun — without the controversy!

Crowdsourcing wedding photos

Even if you have a professional photographer at your wedding, sometimes it’s friends and family who capture the best moments on the big day. In the “old” days, you’d ask them for the negatives or the digital files and get them weeks after you returned from your honeymoon. Today you can create an online album in near real-time if you set up a hashtag (e.g., #j&awedd) to share them over social media as well as upload them to a cloud-based photo storage site. Guests have a blast taking photos during the wedding reception and then the couple has a “photo book” to look through the morning after.

Crowdsourcing wedding music

A great idea to create a playlist for a wedding cocktail hour or for the entire reception is to reach out to wedding guests to contribute to cloud-based playlists. This can be done either real-time during the wedding (consider how much you trust your guests and/or how good your wireless connection will be) or it can be done ahead of time through a cloud service and saved to play later. Crowdsourcing music for your wedding can be a fun way to discover new music as well as make sure at least some of the tunes you play appeal to all of your (probably) multi-generational guests.

Crowdfunding a charity

Some couples prefer that wedding guests wanting to give a gift make a donation to a charity instead. Often the couple will choose a charity they believe in strongly and make it easy for guests to donate by providing a link to the charity’s website from their own wedding website. Being the coordinators of a larger donation than they could make by themselves to a charity or cause they support is a very special way for some couples to celebrate their marriage. 

With people connecting more and more over social media, sharing experiences digitally with friends is now the norm. For weddings, crowdsourcing some of the fun items like photos and music can be a great way to more intimately include technology-savvy guests in the festivities. 

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