Google your Wedding - Hints, Tips, and a bit of fun

by Jennifer Cram - Brisbane Marriage Celebrant © (06 April 2022)
Categories: |  Wedding Planning |
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Google Your Wedding with
                    a photo of a bride holding a bouquetWhat did we do without Google? When you are planning your wedding it can be a gift from heaven, and a trip through every kinds of hell. There is so darn much of it! And how you search affects what you are served up with when you do a Google Search. A huge part of that is the words you use when you search.

In addition for being a great tool that helps you find information, Google also has a whole suite of tools that can be very useful when planning your wedding. And they are free.

A bit of fun and a scary example

Say someone has told you that Queen Victoria started the tradition of brides wearing white, and you want to check whether that is true.*

So you type Queen Victoria into the Google search bar in seconds you have 776,000,000 (yep 776 million) results. Whoa.  So you refine it a bit. Queen Victoria White Wedding.  That cut it down to 70 million results. Still Whoa. So you refine it a bit more Queen Victoria White Wedding Dress. Now we are down to 42 million. So you decide to change Dress to Gown (more formal) Queen Victoria White Wedding Gown. 40 million. So you try asking Google a question instead: Did Queen Victoria Start the white wedding gown tradition?  And we are down to 22 million!

But it is not just about the numbers. It is also very much about what comes up on the top of the list. Now that can be influenced by whether the link is to a paid advertisement. They come up on top, so it always pays you to scroll past those. But it also depends on exact matches to what's on the webpage.

So, if you search Queen Victoria's Wedding Dress,  a webpage with the title 1840 - Queen Victoria's Wedding Dress and the third one on the list is RCIN 71975 Queen Victoria's Wedding Dress both from very authoritative sources. So the fact that there were 40 million hits is not going to matter that much.

Use narrow search terms

Remember when we were kids and used to write down addresses that were our house, our street, our suburb, our city, our region, our state, our country, The World. The Universe?

Getting a precise and manageable result from a Google Search is a bit like that, in reverse. If you start of with a broad term you will get a lot of results, and most of them won't be relevant. So go narrow.  And, here's a tip. While Google does use your location to try to serve you up with local content, for wedding planning there is so much that it is a good idea to include Australia in the search term. Tack it on to the end of what you are searching on.

But, a little bit of planning, and a few hints and tips, could see you navigate your way through like a boss.

Use Australian vocabulary if you want Australian hits

Different countries, different words for the same or similar things. And sometimes the same word means different things in different countries.  So while Aisle, Vows, and Wedding Shoes will give you the results you are looking for no matter, if you want to know about the legal stuff, Marriage Licence will give you very different (and misleading/incorrect for Australia) results from Notice of Intended Marriage. Wedding Breakfast will serve up UK websites. Use Wedding Reception instead.

Try different words with the same meaning

How Google is able to find stuff to serve up to you, is by indexing the words. So if the word you are using to search with doesn't appear in a webpage, that page won't appear in your results, and it might be the exact webpage you are looking for!

Pay attention to the source

When you are served up with lots of links, pay attention to who and where. Anyone can put anything on the internet. There is as much misinformation on it as there is truth. And that's because there is no-one doing pre-publication fact-checking. You have to be your own fact checker. But more than that, a perfectly well-researched, authoritative webpage can be really misleading if it is telling you that you should/must do something - and the something is what is common in another part of the world, but not in Australia. So check out not only who wrote it, but whether there is a geographical or cultural bias.

Use + and -

You can use a plus sign or a minus sign to narrow your results. If you put plus in front of a word - for example wedding traditions +shoes - you won't get results that don't include mention of shoes.

If you put a minus in front of a word - for example wedding traditions -shoes  you will get all sorts of wedding traditions, with the exception of any that mention shoes.

Another way to check whether a link is relevant is to look at the bottom of the listing. If you had searched on wedding traditions shoes you might notice that the last line of some entries reads Missing: shoes  An heads-up that that particular page doesn't mention shoes. So you can scroll past.

Create a wedding email address (with Gmail)

Create a gmail account that you and your best beloved share. So all wedding-related emails are in one spot that you both can access. Great for communicating with vendors, for your guests to RSVP to, and for registering or signing up for deals that might get lost in your normal in-box.

Use Google Calendar for Wedding Appointments

It syncs with your smart phone. And you can share it with the people you need to keep informed of wedding-related appointments and events.

Make a Wedding Website with Google Sites

If you are a bit tech savvy, you can make your own wedding website with Google Sites.  There are also a number of other free wedding site builders, some of which include a digital invitation feature. Google to find them!

Thanks for reading! You can find more of my posts on wedding planning here
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