Online social networking shaping real-life social gatherings

Who is going to be tagged in your wedding album on Facebook? As Gen Y gets older, more real-life events are increasingly centered around the online product.

I recently went to the wedding of my boyfriend's high school friends and this was the case. Every table at the reception had a note encouraging guests to take pictures then upload them to SnapFish for the bride and groom to print.

This is quite the evolution from the days when the bride and groom would purchase disposable cameras to give out to guests for picture-taking. Not only is money wasted on the disposable camera, but also on getting the horrible pictures developed.

With this method, you can only print the photos you like and you don't have to pay for the camera.

Another money-saver: online invitations. The same wedding party sent out their invitations through Pingg.com, which allowed for quick RSVPing, provided instant directions, looked clean and best of all-- was free! Guests were allowed to comment on details of the reception of well, and other guests could see who was and was not coming.

Invitations can be printed, twittered, text messaged, e-mailed, and were even hosted as an "event profile" Web site.

Brilliant, easy, fast, free. The way event planning ought to be.