Google has launched a new site, which we’ll dub Google Weddings (it appears not to have an official name), which helps the betrothed plan their big day. And though it’s making a small splash across the web, and might indeed help you plan your wedding, there’s little that’s new here. Google Weddings is mostly the latest effort of the search giant to leverage its powerful existing services in a new way.
There are four main features of the Google Weddings website, which is really just a cutesyfied portal to different Google services that can be used for wedding-related tasks. With Google Sites, you can create a website for the occasion, the latest sine qua non of weddings in a digital age. Picnik helps you edit photos and create cards, while Picasa helps you share those photos with friends. Docs helps with budgeting and tracking invites.
That’s all pretty familiar. The main heavy lifting Google has done in creating this portal is building a set of Google Docs tailor-made for wedding planning. Docs has put together more than 20 template documents that look as if they they might genuinely save you trial-and-error time. Take, for instance, this seating chart document, which comes preloaded with 12 tables, some dedicated to family, other to friends. There’s also a tip sheet from Michelle Rago, a big name in wedding planning who has partnered with Google for the site. The templates potentially become most useful where your budget is concerned. The “all-in-one wedding planner” explains how in some documents, orange-highlighted cells contain formulas and will auto-calculate. “Don’t edit these cells,” Google warns.
The Google Docs component of the site seems to be at least partly the brainchild of Product Marketing Manager Peter Harbison, who posted about Google Weddings on the Google Blog, explaining how he had used Docs to manage “every aspect” of his wedding after “proposing to the woman of my dreams with 100 red roses.” (Roses in any number do not appear to be bundled with the website.)
Though there’s not a lot that’s new here, there’s no reason why Google shouldn’t try to build off its existing platforms, engaging new and existing users with services that some might remain skittish about, like Docs and Picasa. Nor is it the first time that Google has cleverly bundled and repackaged existing services: It did the same when it combined AdWords and Google Translate into something it dubbed “Google Ads for Global Advertisers” back in December.