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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pictures: Getting Everybody to Come Together and Upload Them at the Same Place

Ohhh boy, so many things! First: we went to visit Cody and Jess last night (to give them their belated wedding gift, and otherwise chit chat), Jess and I got on the subject of wedding stuff, which isn't a surprise since she just got done planning hers, and I've been planning ours. I finally have somebody who is not only completely supportive of making all our flowers out of paper, but who actually wanted to do it for her own wedding. So, at the very least I can call her for support if some Debbie Downers try to change my mind.

We also went and picked up the mirrors and the flower hair clip yesterday. Not much to say about that really, except the mirrors are very nicely packaged (in tissue paper), and the clip is very pretty.

So, on to the stuff I've found. Do you remember when I said I wanted to have a photo-sharing website for all of our guests to upload their pictures to? Well, I've been researching some different websites, and it seems I can't find one that I like (that I also think my family will be able to navigate) this is also free. However, I did find one that costs about $24 for a whole year; so I think that's pretty reasonable. It's worth it, in my opinion, to just pony up the money as long as it's easy to use. A free service won't do us any good if our friends and family members can't navigate their way around the website.

Some criteria I looked for during my search:

  • Ease of use.
    • This included navigating the website, uploading photos, getting to the website itself, being able to upload without signing up for the website, etc
  • Price.
    • Obviously, it isn't worth it if I'm not going to be saving money, so it was important to find something cost effective. The website I chose charges considerably less; I saw a few websites (that I really liked) that charged $100. It also has to be completely free for the guests to use. 
  • Ability for multiple people to upload their own photos into one album.
    • Some places limited the number of people who could upload photos. This is a no-no for me. Even if it's likely that we wouldn't get close to being over the number of people; I don't even want to chance it. 
  • Ability for users to download or print other people's photos. 
    • This is important because I want this to be a true file sharing place. I want everybody to have access to everybody else's photos. (I'm toying around with the idea of making everybody CD's with the wedding pictures, or a collection of the really great pictures, but I'm not sure how that will work)
  • Unlimited amount of photos
    • Duh. I mean, this seems like given, but you'd be surprised to find out that a lot of websites have a limit (usually based on MB uploaded). One website actually limited how many times a picture could be viewed; it's highly unlikely that our wedding would ever reach those numbers, but I'm definitely not chancing it. 
  • Unlimited number of guests allowed to upload photos
    • Some websites only allow a certain number of people to upload. Like I said before; I doubt we'd reach those numbers, but it's better to be safe than sorry. 
So, after all of the researching, I think I found a simple website that does want I want, and includes most of the features I listed above. Including price! Which clocks in at $24 for a year. This works because I want to have guests started on this as soon as we start having events (like an engagement party, shower, get together with my BM's to craft, etc), and I also want it to carry over for a month or two after the wedding itself. So, I can easily start the subscription in December or January, and it will carry on until next January; plenty of time to encompass all our events. One website that I really really liked (but charged over $100) allowed you to set up photo albums for different events, like shower and the wedding itself. However, with the one I (think) I decided on, you can create different events; so I think it's similar. Thankfully they give you a 14 day trial, so I'll probably utilize that sometime in December or January (and likely upload engagement pictures, or something), just to get a better feel for it. 

So! What website did I decide to use? Pictoma! Check it out here. I also think instead of spending money on individual business style cards, like these: 

(SO ADORABLE!), I might add the information directly to the program/menu/etc, and announce it at the events. However, I know that there are plenty of places online (like VistaPrint) where you can design and print things like this at a pretty reasonable cost. So, we'll see. 

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