Today Google Weddings launched, promising that the company which is gradually taking over every aspect of our lives can now "simplify wedding planning." Basically, the site just highlights existing tools like Google Sites, Picnik, Google Docs, and Picasa and shows how you can use them to set up your wedding website, share pictures with guests, and organize your guest list. The only new features are a dozen website designs by wedding planner Michelle Rago, and Google Docs templates for soliciting addresses from your guests, coordinating vendors, and keeping track of gifts.
Though it's probably easier to use Google's pre-made seating chart spreadsheet than to spend hours trying to make one yourself in Excel, that's not the site's key advantage. There are hundreds of sites that already offer wedding planning tools, but Google Weddings is probably the only one you and your fiance are already signed up for. Brides.com and TheKnot.com offer similar features and more attractive templates, but in order to use them with your future spouse, you'll have to get him logged onto the site.
Not to mention that you may not want to do your wedding planning while clicking past ads for individualized Hershey kisses and cakes designed to match your invitations. The Google Weddings site features a small photo of a bride and groom kissing at the top of the page, but it sticks with the rest of the company's clean design. For the most part, the language on the site is devoid of any "you have to pick the perfect gown or your marriage is doomed" hysteria. The announcement on Google's Official Blog notes that someone reading the post may be looking for the perfect tux, and there's some acknowledgment that you may not be in the market for a "three-tier cake with chocolate fondant":
For many, your wedding day is one of the biggest, most momentous days of your life. The perfect dress, the right tuxedo, the proper shade of blue, the three-tier cake with chocolate fondant, and all of your closest family and friends-these are just a few of the many things you might think about for your special day. Although there's much to consider and a lot of work to do, the payoff is great: it's one of the happiest days of your life.
The site isn't perfect; The wedding designs are pretty bland and all the templates feature the same cookie-cutter heterosexual couple (you can change the text in documents to feature two brides or two grooms). However, if you're looking for a way to organize your wedding without being assaulted by images of diamonds and dresses, using Google tools you're already familiar with may be a good alternative. That is, as long as your don't mind the company having access to your bridal registry along with copies of all your emails and satellite pictures of your front porch.
More "I Do"s, Less "To-Do"s: Wedding Planning Simplified [Official Google Blog]