So just had a fairly momentous moment in my life. A fantastic celebration of our recent wedding. And now I’m back to normality, and busy working on clients’ website marketing, it got me to thinking could we have got married without the internet?
And no, I’m not talking about the wonders of internet dating or Tinder. I’ve been with my now husband for a while. In fact we got together the same year that Google was launched so it’s fair to say the online world was completely different back then. Search engine optimisation didn’t exist, you could buy a few things online – Amazon and ebay were in existence but it was all very rudimentary. Social media hadn’t even entered into the equation.
So if he had popped the question and we got married back then, I’m guessing the whole business of organising the wedding would be extremely different from the one I just had in 2017.
The internet played a critical part in our wedding planning. That’s not to say that we didn’t rely on the traditional method of word of mouth or recommendations but somewhere always lurking in the background was the laptop or smart phone. Take these few examples:
Finding the venue
Someone had recommended a lovely wooden village hall in the middle of the forest near us. But when we went to look there was no clue of who to contact. Quick online search and in the small print of the local community website was a contact phone number.
A big investment and one when you would ask around first for recommendations. But they were all fully booked so I went to the internet to search for caterers / hog roasts in the area. Looked at their website, recommendations, social media and then got in touch. I’m very glad to say I wasn’t disappointed with my choice – they had a great website as well which really helped.
This was a recommendation but I couldn’t get to see them live so had to go to their facebook and Youtube pages to see them in action.
Ideas from Pinterest for rustic weddings. Ebay, Amazon and other sites to buy all the stuff, from table cloth and chair covers to LED lights and candles. We had a lot of deliveries coming through in the last few weeks!
Again a recommendation but I checked out their website and their reviews before I went to see them.
Paperless post – a great online system for sending out invites and tracking responses.
Online research (brilliant reading by Bob Marley in case you were wondering).
And now its over – reselling what I can on ebay. Photo sharing sites and social media to relive the day with the guests.
And what it made me realise is the majority of the decision we made did rely on the internet in some guise. If I had no clue about something I would go online to research. If I had a recommendation, I would go online to check them out. If I wanted to buy something I would go online to do it. If I needed advice I would chat to friends via social media or Whatsapp.
Is there a message in this for business owners?
Want to be the next big wedding flower supplier or the taxi firm picking up drunken guests at the end of the night? You need an online presence in some shape or form if you want to be taken seriously. The important thing to bear in mind is that you can’t choose how a prospective customer first hears about you (the first customer touchpoint) – it may be from a friend, a social media post or through an online search but when they do come looking for you, you need to have a presence online together with a consistent message. Have a website, engage in some form of social media, get yourself listed in directories, get some reviews, put up some photos or videos – it all helps to make up the mind of someone like me whether I’m going to use you or not.
So in answer to my own question, could I have got married without the internet. Well of course I could but I’d probably still be planning the logistics of the wedding now and stressing over where I could buy enough hops and seat covers to decorate the hall, instead of revelling in what was one of the most amazing days of my life…..