Digital media has had a huge impact on many different industries, especially where personal relationships are involved. With new technologies, apps, and services shaking up the dating world, it only seems natural that digital media would have an impact on all aspects of relationships – even when a couple gets to the “I Do”s.  In fact, it has completely revolutionized the way that things are done in preparation for the big day.

These are some of the biggest changes that digital media has caused when it comes to weddings:

Ring Shopping Is Done Online

When couples decide they want to get married, many will still go into a store to look at different styles, try them out, and make sure they choose the right size. They won’t necessarily make an in-store purchase, though. Once they know what they want, they can go online and find what they’re looking for for a better price than in the store.

Not only that, but more and more couples are starting to use man-made diamonds and other precious gemstones in rings to preserve the earth and avoid supporting conflict jewels. Man-made stones are cheaper than the real deal but are even more impressive, and with those retailers all online, it’s no wonder that couples are doing their ring shopping via the Internet.

Inspiration Is Constantly Available

Pinterest is a huge catalog of wedding ideas that couples can pin to idea boards to save for later. There are thousands of ideas out there, so no matter where they are or what time of day it is, couples can find inspiration for their upcoming wedding and save it for later. Other sites, like The Knot and Azazie, also offer all sorts of inspiration to help couples plan their big day.

Wedding Planners Have Been Exchanged for Apps

Many wedding planners still do well for themselves, but couples who are more hands-on or on a budget are enlisting the help of family and friends instead of hiring someone to manage everything for them. Apps do everything, from providing a checklist of when to plan what to leaving post-wedding reminders and guides for things like name changes. Other apps connect couples with caterers, venues, etc. in their local area and help them find what they’re looking for.

Venues Are Easier to Find

As mentioned, with websites like The Knot, apps featuring top-rated venues, and even Google Maps, it’s easier than ever for couples to find venues to hold their event. Instead of being limited to venues listed specifically as wedding venues, couples can see if other locations (like barns or historic buildings) are also available to rent for their event.

Not only is it easier to find venues, but with other couples leaving reviews, couples can read about others’ experiences and determine whether or not that venue will be the right choice for them. Perhaps they think they’ve found the perfect one, but upon reading reviews, they find out that the guest limit is smaller than their invitation list, so they’ll know they need to continue their search.

Finding the Right Caterer Is a Breeze

Like with venues, numerous websites and apps make it easy for couples to find the perfect caterer for their wedding. Whether they want food worthy of a black-tie event or they’re looking for an authentic taco truck to cater the big day, it’s easy to find what they want and check out reviews to back up their choice before putting down a deposit.

Dress Shopping Doesn’t Have to Be a Full-Day Event

Although it can be a lot of fun to gather up the girls and spend a day dress shopping, if brides-to-be don’t find the dress right away, it can be exhausting to have to make two, three, or even five days of it until they’re finally able to find the right one. Azazie not only provides real-wedding inspiration to shoppers but also makes it easy for brides to find a dress they love online and try it at home before making the final decision. Instead of spending the day getting in and out of dresses, brides-to-be can gather the girls for a day inside, browsing online and enjoying some wine.

Photography Is All Digital and Instant

Instead of waiting for film to develop and having disposable cameras available for guests to take photos of who-knows-what, photography these days is digital and instant. Couples can hire a photographer for the big day, have photos of the wedding taken during the ceremony, and have large, beautiful prints ready to display at the reception. They can also create their own hashtag and have guests post photos online so that they can instantly see what fun everyone had as the night starts to wind down.

Guests No Longer Have to Be Present to Participate

Sometimes, it’s not possible to have a loved one there because of the cost of travel, illness, or an unforeseen event. Instead of having to leave them out, couples can live-stream their wedding or include missing guests in a private feed so they can be there for the event without being physically present.

Expectations Are Much Higher

Not all changes have been completely positive. Because of all the inspiration being constantly available, and because of all of the photos that get shared on social media, couples have high expectations for their wedding and may sometimes even feel peer pressure or the need to “keep up with the Joneses” thanks to digital media. While it’s not a bad thing for couples to want their wedding to meet their expectations, putting expectations too high can result in disappointment and be quite costly in the end.

How has digital media affected your expectations of the wedding industry? Share your thoughts in the comments.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

David is a professionally accredited leadership and marketing coach who works with young founders and early stage teams to help them navigate through emerging marketing opportunities with a current focus on artificial intelligence and virtual reality. Using the identification of new technological innovations that give way to different paths that can effectively reach customers, David is able to make marketing departments more effective, adaptable, and progressive.