21st Century Wedding Contest

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Several leading online wedding resources (Blue Nile, MyEvent, TheBigDay, Starwood Hawaii, Destination Bride) have banded together to sponsor a wedding contest. A lucky Â?21st Century Couple,Â? will win a destination wedding at a beautiful Starwood Hotel in Hawaii. The contest begins June 27, 2005.

Today, more brides would choose the internet over their mothers to help plan their weddings.

In fact, given all of the resources available online, even some wedding planners may be in danger of being replaced by the all-knowing, all-providing internet. Couples no longer spend months before the wedding sending off for brochures of possible honeymoon destinations, or month afterwards returning six of the seven toasters they received as gifts. Technology is transforming every aspect of the wedding industry, in response to the needs of today's couples. And new rituals and traditions are being created.

Several leading online wedding resources (http://www.bluenile.com, http://www.myevent.com, http://www.starwoodhotelshawaii.com, http://www.thebigday.com , http://www.destinationbride.com) have banded together to sponsor a wedding contest. A lucky "21st Century Couple," will win a destination wedding at a beautiful Starwood Hotel in Hawaii. The contest begins June 27, 2005. Couples can apply online, at any of the sponsoring parties' websites, or at http://www.theweddingcontest.com. Also at http://www.theweddingcontest.com, anyone can browse the applications, and vote for their favorite "21st Century Couple." Judges will choose the winning couple in January, 2006, from the 20 couples who receive the highest number of online votes.

What is a 21st century couple?

Chances are they live far from their parents. Whether working or still in school, they spend considerable time, daily, on the internet. They may even have met online! Whether or not they already live together, chances are also good that there is at least one (if not more) good toaster between them. In addition to work (or school), and planning a wedding (and honeymoon), they may even be shopping for, or building, a house.

So, they have a lot to accomplish, and not a lot of free time.

From his/her computers, the 21st century couple can: research, design, and order engagement and wedding rings; purchase a wedding gown or rent tuxedos; build a custom wedding site to keep their families and guests informed of their plans; find the perfect ceremony and honeymoon locations; send out electronic invitations; have a "virtual" bridal shower (with web cam) including guests from around the world; research and hire all the wedding service providers; find budgeting tools; purchase wedding insurance; listen to music clips and see video demos; browse photographers' portfolios; register for wedding gifts; research and plan the perfect honeymoon; register for travel gifts; communicate with their wedding guests, and, after the wedding and honeymoon...post the photos for everyone to see.

Here's more information about the sponsoring partners:

As the largest online retailer of diamonds and fine jewelry, http://www.bluenile.com lets couples research and choose, or design their own wedding and engagement rings. Chosen by Forbes Magazine as one of the "Best of the Web," bluenile.com allows couples to educate themselves about diamonds and take all the time they want to purchase rings without salesmen breathing down their necks, and pressuring them to "go bigger."

Once engaged, couples start searching for the perfect location. The internet has literally opened the doors to the world, and is the number one reason that 40% of weddings are now destination weddings. Lisa Light, international wedding planner, is the author of DESTINATION BRIDE: A Complete Guide to Planning Your Wedding Anywhere in the World, which will be released this November. Couples can learn more about destination weddings, and research destinations and other resources on http://www.destinationbride.com, the complimentary site to the book.

One of the world's largest hotel and leisure companies, Starwood Hotels & Resorts luxury hotels and intimate resorts worldwide include such popular wedding destinations as Hawaii, Mexico, New York, Las Vegas, French Polynesia, and the Bahamas. At http://www.starwoodhotelshawaii.com couples can browse accommodation options in any destination that interests them. There are 13 Starwood hotels and resorts in the Hawaiian islands alone, all with Starwood's uncompromising service, extraordinary ambiance, and excellent amenities.

At http://www.myevent.com, couples can create their own wedding website, to keep family and guests informed of their plans, making all of the particulars of the event available to everyone involved 24 hours a day. Couples can post gift registries, send invitations, and keep track of all event particulars with MyEvent.com’s planning resources. They can also share the story of their love, and communicate with guests for months before and after the wedding.

In the same way that couples can register for china or appliances, they can now register for the honeymoon of their dreams at http://www.thebigday.com. Couples create their own lists of the honeymoon gifts they would like to receive—everything from portions of their airfare to a romantic dinner to a gondola ride—from which wedding guests can select. TheBigDay is the #1 honeymoon registry service online with couples from over 80 countries. Couples plan their honeymoon with the help of TheBigDay's travel specialists. TheBigDay's registry helps them not only afford their dream honeymoon, but also helps the wedding guests give a gift that will be remembered in their photo album forever.

Live Internet Weddings (liveinternetweddings.com) offers a complete variety of wedding video productions to meet your needs for your Hawaii wedding. With professional cameras and videographers, they capture your dream wedding on a beautifully edited DVD so that your memories will last forever.

For further information on the wedding contest, or the contest’s sponsoring partners, please visit http://www.theweddingcontest.com or contact Jeff Beard at: (800) 304-1141.

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Michael Cottam
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