Moms and Maids

Technology for Long-Distance Collaboration?

I'm newly engaged, and while FI and I are taking a little time to relax and enjoy ourselves before we start in on planning, I'm thinking ahead a little bit so that I'll be prepared to jump into wedding planning when the time comes.

My mom, my MOH, and I live in three different states.  I know both of them would like to be as involved as possible in the wedding planning process, and it's something I'd really like to share with both of them.  I was thinking it would be nice to keep track of the wedding plans online, so that they can both be in the loop and offer feedback as we go, without having to set aside time for long phonecalls to two separate people for each major point of wedding planning (I'm afraid that in such a circumstance, I would end up consulting them less than I'd like to, simply because it would become too inconvenient or time-consuming).

I'm wondering if any of you have any ideas to share on ways to do this kind of online collaboration.  There's also the matter of my mother not being very tech-savvy, so the more simple and intuitive the system, the better.


Re: Technology for Long-Distance Collaboration?

  • G-Chat.
    You all will need a gmail account to use it, possibly google plus (It's been a while since I started using it, so I don't remember the beginning of the process well, but it was really easy).  But you can share documents, spreadsheets, and calendars on gmail, and chat on gchat.

    Some friends and I have an online bookclub, and we use gchat to discuss the books, and share a calendar to keep track of our meeting times, new book releases, dates when we'll be in the same cities, all that type of stuff.

    Also, depending on how technology oriented everyone can be, sharing pinterest boards (so you, your mom, and your MOH can all post on there) is a very chill, easy way to see visuals of everybody's ideas.
  • first - before you smother them in wedding details let them come to you expressing their interest in helping.  Some people could really care less about the details and have their own things going on.  Even if they do express an interest, if they're not very responsive to your first few attempts ease up.

    My mom was a huge help in planning our wedding, and she's also in another state.  I was planning pre-pinterest so we didn't do that, but I'm sure that could be a good avenue for general ideas.  For the most part I emailed her when I found things I liked or to ask her opinion between two or three options and I talked to her almost daily (which I do anyway).  She jokes that she's my "filler" b/c I usually call her on my way home from work and we chat for the 15-20 minutes it takes me to get home.  it wasn't all wedding talk, but we definitely did talk wedding during that time, and since there was a defined end ("okay I'm home now mom, gotta get started on dinner!") we didn't end up spending too long on the phone.

    Google docs was helpful for the guest list b/c mom could add addresses and things, and I suppose  you could keep a budget doc on there if she's contributing financially, but I don't know what other "documents" you'd have to share.  I certainly didn't keep a word file detailing my wedding plans (but maybe that's just me).  We did invitation design/wording reviews via email (since that's how I got them from the printer and I also included dad and MIL on those emails). Likewise on the program wording - I wanted sign-off from all the parents, and they weren't necessarily involved in the rest of planning.  Other ideas like centerpieces and things are more visual so pinterest would cover those bases.
  • Google Hangout. You can video chat with several people at once.
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