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Wedding web-streams: High-tech tacky

Trends in wedding planning change quickly, but the trend to live-stream your nuptials is gaining popularity, for better or for worse.
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Karen Green, July 14, 2013 3:19:07 PM

Wedding season is upon us. Behold, the dashing couple, the excited guests, the webcast live stream feed…

It may sound like a strange item to add to a wedding checklist, but web-streaming service, UStream reports that between May 2012 and May 2013, nearly 20,000 couples broadcast their weddings online – and it’s a trend that seems to only be growing.

Mashable suggests that, with the average guest spending about $529 on every wedding they attend, watching the event from the comfort of one’s own home is a great option to have, but is this service really for the absentee guests, or is it simply one more way a narcissistic couple can ensure that as many eyes – and gifts – as possible are trained their way.

It truly is a shame when a loved one cannot attend your wedding, but wishing Great Aunt Norma were there does not seem like a good enough motivator to spend upwards of $3,000 on a wedding webcast. Is web-streaming just one more frivolous expenditure that couples are willing to make in the name of their “special day,” or is it a savvy and somewhat distasteful choice to make in the face of rising wedding costs?

With the average wedding in 2012 costing nearly $30k, offering a webcast is a good, if not impersonal, way to keep the guest list, and therefore costs, down. Wondering if you should invite your mother’s second cousin Grant, the one most likely to hit on the bridesmaids before yakking in the coatroom? Of course you shouldn’t! Not when you can inform him that the wedding will just be an intimate affair, but that he has been given the privilege of watching the whole thing via webcast. Hopefully the gift will already be in the mail before cousin Grant realizes that he is the only member of the clan dialing in.

The news lately has been littered with stories of brides behaving badly, sparking much debate over wedding etiquette and the limits of good taste – both on the side of the guests and the newlyweds. And while attaching a web component to a wedding celebration might not in itself be tacky, doing it with the intent of saving yourself money or the pretense of saving a guest a hassle – while still expecting a gift, of course – sits firmly in the realm of distasteful moves. Unless the service is purely for the benefit of guests that really wish they could be there, a web-cam has no place at a wedding.

And while we’re at it, can we also find a way to banish the Macarena for once and for all?

Image credit: Thinkstock

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