Not to spoil the romantic mood, but let’s be honest: There are lots of people who’d like to make some money off of your wedding day.
To wit: Tech companies catering their products to the engaged crowd. We’re calling the trend based on a stack of press releases in our Inbox, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that two new wedding-related riffs on existing techie tools won’t make your pre-and-post wedding life a little easier.
First, consider a wedding planner template from Microsoft OneNote 2010. If you haven’t used OneNote, think of it as a digitized spiral notebook; you can type anywhere, draw shapes and diagrams (seating charts, anyone?), make tables and checklists (his and her to-do’s?), and a lot of other stuff we haven’t tried yet. Notes are easily organized, and the search tool is definitely decent.
OneNote’s wedding template works by importing prearranged tabs, lists and tables into the application, allowing you to easily keep track of venues, vendors, prices, menus, and just about anything else you can think of. Best of all, the template is a free add-on. If you don’t have OneNote (every version of Office 2010 includes it), you can try it free for 60 days.
Think you can squeeze your planning into a two-month period? Sure gives you motivation to try, huh?
Of course, there are many couples for whom an actual real-life wedding planner is a must. Actual humans being so much more responsive, communicative, and, well, capable of making phone calls and meeting you at appointments and offering opinions and so forth.
But there’s no human-replacing when it comes to this next example: cloud storage. You’ve heard the term. It’s like using everyday storage units you’d rent from Seattle Public Storage, only it’s for your digital life. Folks use cloud storage when they run out of space on their own hardware, or if they want to keep something safe from household disasters or computer crashes. Files are copied and whisked away via an outside provider with a broadband internet connection; images, MP3s, documents, whatever are stored on high-security computer servers that are…well, it doesn’t really matter where they are because they’re not on your kitchen table.
Back to your wedding. Most couples would like to keep their wedding photos for as long as they live and then some, and with cloud storage, your wedding media is stored on different servers in different locations simultaneously in case anything at all goes wrong with one of them. Snazzy.
MiMedia.com, a cloud provider, offers seven gigabytes of storage for free, forever. What exactly does that get you? Seven gigs equal less than two hours of HD video, which is nowhere near enough to cover the extent of the reception’s open-bar debauchery. You may need an upgrade sooner than you think, so don’t get too lured in by the “f” word (free, c’mon).
And then there’s the issue of privacy.
A casual search of “privacy” on MiMedia.com yields no results, but the license agreement states in no uncertain terms that as long as you have your files on their servers, they can access and do just about whatever they want to with them. Amazon has a similar clause for their cloud storage solution. Yikes.
For most people and their wedding memories, this would seem to me to be a non-issue. But for sensitive information, artists who rely on copyright for income, and FBI, CIA, and government executives, a real storage unit might be in order. And a padlock.
P.S. – Sorry, Mac users; MiMedia is Windows-only for the time being, but Apple’s iCloud (more music-based, but boasting five gigabytes of free storage) is coming in the fall.