Maybe it was the news of the royal wedding last weekend, or maybe it’s my own personal experience with wedding planning, but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the role the internet plays in planning, promoting and archiving a major life event like this.

Whether you’re investigating ceremony sites, honeymoon destinations, or managing guest lists and gift registries, there are troves of information and free planning tools online. I can safely say that every wedding-related task that I’ve set out to accomplish has involved some use of the internet. I shudder at the thought of planning a wedding from afar without it.

Beyond my personal observations, our past research has also pointed to the internet’s potential to impact this aspect of our lives. Our “Use of the Internet at Major Life Moments” report from 2002 found that 14% of internet users who had recently been married said the internet played a crucial or important role in that event (stay tuned for a forthcoming update to this report). While we haven’t asked specifically about how many people use the internet to help plan their weddings, the process of orchestrating this type of event encompasses many of the tried and true activities that internet users will do online:

  • Researching a product or service before buying it – 78% of all adult internet users have done this
  • Getting travel information – 73% have done this
  • Buying a product – 67% have done this
  • Take a virtual tour of a location online – 45% have done this
  • Look for religious or spiritual information – 30% have done this
  • Sending or receiving an invitation to a meeting or party using an online invitation service – 12% have done this

And beyond the planning process, for those of you who are struggling to fit your second cousins and co-workers on your guest list, you could even opt to have your ceremony webcasted live from chapels like this.

Viva Las Vegas…