Replied to a tweet by Allie Nimmons (your friendly neighborhood pain in the ass)Allie Nimmons (your friendly neighborhood pain in the ass) (Twitter)
This was an inspiring question to me, so I thought I’d spitball a few ideas for doing this in an IndieWeb way. Personal events like this are an excellent use case with respect to personal websites!

I had thought of doing some of this ages ago to own this sort of great nostalgic data on my own website. Sadly I couldn’t get it up due to other work commitments. I now really wish I had.

At the moment, the only direct wedding-related page on the IndieWeb wiki is a snarky definition for engagement. When I’m done, I’ll create a stub for wedding with the following brainstorm.

Of course if you’re looking for general inspiration, the prior artwork of Pinterest, various registries, and other wedding sites will naturally be useful. But I think there are a number of IndieWeb building blocks that can be leveraged to accomplish a lot of what these sites do.

I think if I were doing it today, I’d meld some of the work from bookmarks and photos to create a Pinterest-esqe post type (probably by extending the Post Kinds Plugin, maybe with a custom wedding type with a custom display).

There is lots of prior art on the registries front on the wiki under wish or wish lists. To goose things a bit, I’d definitely add referral links from places like Amazon.com, etc. and use the money either to make a donation to a charity in honor of the event or to defray honeymoon costs. If you want to encourage direct donations or funding mechanisms, there’s also some interesting prior art at the payment wiki page.

Now that the IndieWeb has some very solid support for events and RSVPs, I might even try doing an online wedding invitation and collecting RSVPs. I’ve recently seen Jacky Alcine’s website leveraging CommentPara.de to connect to Quill for comments/replies, and it would be cool to get Quill to also add RSVP functionality to allow those without their own websites to RSVP using the non-anonymous functionality in CommentPara.de. I suspect that since many people have trouble getting RSVP functionality into their sites, that Aaron Parecki might be Tom Sawyered into providing that functionality as a quick and easy win for the broader community. (I’m not immediately aware of any other Micropub tools that do RSVPs though I may be wrong.) Of course potentially expanding it with meal options would be a lovely bonus so people can choose meat/vegetarian/other options. I’ll also mention that gRegor Morill has been tinkering with RSVPs using Webmention on Twitter. As a minimal fallback, you can also allow people to respond directly in the built-in commenting system in WordPress, but if you’re going to do it…)

The biggest piece that would be fun to figure out would be to see how to get things set up to receive social media related wedding photos of the pre-, during, and post-event stuff back to my website from friends and family. Using Brid.gy with Twitter to pull back photos that tag your twitter user name is fairly straightforward, but I’m not sure that services like Flickr or Instagram may work as easily. This may require some thought and programming, but being able to backfeed social photos to your site or even providing friends and family a serviceable photo upload functionality to your site so you can document and keep photos from the event in real-time would be a cool win and could likely be a great feature for any event-related website to have built in or widgetized. It’s usually weeks or months for paid wedding photos to show up and it’s generally a big hassle finding all the online social photos, much less keeping copies of them, so having this could be both fun and useful, particularly for looking back on the event years later. 

Naturally, being a WordPress person, I’m sure there may be some interesting prior art in the plugin repository, but I think it would be far cooler to IndieWebify this sort of data and functionality for the broader world.

Depending on the wedding date, this general topic (even for other non-wedding related events) would be an awesome one to look at and explore during an upcoming IndieWebCamp. Perhaps someone is up for it at San Francisco this weekend? (I suspect they’ll have some good live-streaming options for those who aren’t local.)

Given her weddings/events background and web-based work, perhaps Liz Coopersmith (t) might be someone interesting to collaborate with on something like this? 

Similarly, I recall a great presentation by Brianna Privett at WordCamp US 2017 called The Story of Your Life: Using WordPress as Your Memory Warehouse. She may have some useful tidbits and advice in there as well.

Featured photo: Wedding cake. flickr photo by THEMACGIRL* shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

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Chris Aldrich

I'm a biomedical and electrical engineer with interests in information theory, complexity, evolution, genetics, signal processing, theoretical mathematics, and big history. I'm also a talent manager-producer-publisher in the entertainment industry with expertise in representation, distribution, finance, production, content delivery, and new media.

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