Archive for News

Gadgets :: October 19, 2016

by Gregg Ellman
(@greggellman)

minipro Ventev Mobile has launched three dashmounts for keeping your smartphone handsfree in vehicles.

The minipro window has a suction cup mount to attach to any car window (or even some dashboards) and gives you 360-degree rotation of your attached phone. A universal adjustable smartphone mount will hold most smartphones, even while they are in a case.

While your phone is in the mount, you’ll get full functionality to the touchscreen along with all the other controls, headphone and charging ports.

The mini pro vent has all the same features, but instead of the suction cup mount, it clips onto your vehicles air vent.

A ball mount bracket with an adhesive backing is included with both.

A third option is the magdock 360 dashmount, which magnetically attach your device mount and then attaches to the cars air vent.

A magnet about the size of a quarter is included to put on the back of your case or phone to make the magnetic connection to the mount.  You’ll also get 360-degree movement and full access to all the phones features with or without a case.

Any of the three setup in seconds.

https://mobileaccessories.ventev.com $24.99

unspecifiedX-Doria replacement mesh bands for the 42mm Apple Watch install in seconds to give your watch a new look.

The bands are light weight, comfortable and have an adjustable style, which secures the watch in place with a magnetic strap.

They fit 130-180 mm wrists and are available with dark charcoal or bright silver finishes.

https://xdorialife.com $49.99

logitech3Logitech’s newly announced K780 multi-device wireless keyboards is designed to be a standard full-sized keyboard, but if far from ends there.

While typing, if you want to switch from your computer to a smartphone, all you do is press the easy-switch button. If you want to switch to typing on a table, that is also down with the press of a button.

A pair of AA batteries power the wireless keyboard for up to 24 months. It works on a Mac or Windows computer along with Apple or Android smartphones and tablets. You have your choice of wireless connections with Bluetooth or the 2.4GHz Logitech Unifying USB receiver

Typing is smooth and comfortable and an integrated rubber slot along the top securely holds many mobile devices in a easy to see reading angle.

The full-sized keyboard includes 10 keys for numbers on the right side and a row of programable shortcuts along the top.

There’s also a battery indicator light and an on/off switch.

www.logitech.com $79.99

ollo1The olloclip mobile photography lens set will be available for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus in early November.

The interchangeable lens system attaches in seconds to give the smartphone camera fisheye, wide angle and macro lenses for improved photography.

Each lens fits flush with the phones lens and adds premium optics for crystal clear digital images. They are built with multi-element coated glass optics with edge-

to-edge clarity.

New for the iPhone 7 phones are the olloclip connect interchangeable lens system. The new system maintains all the features of previous versions and is now equipped to quickly configure with other individual iPhone 7 connect lenses so they can instantly adapted to your environment for any situation.

When not in use, the lenses can be tucked away in a pocket or backpack.

www.olloclip.com Core Lens Set: $99.99, Active Lens Set: $119.99, Macro Pro Lens Set:  $79.99, Combo (Core Lens Set and ollo Case):  $119.99

Gadgets :: October 12, 2016

by Gregg Ellman
(@greggellman)

If your gardening skills are anything like mine, you have gone through an endless number of electrical extension cords the got cut and destroyed by hedge trimmers.

The Dewalt 20V Max Hedge Trimmer eliminates the cord cutting problem (and associated costs) since it operates off of a 5.0Ah Lithium Ion battery, letting you work cord free.

Using the 7.5 pound tool is as easy as attaching the charged battery, removing the protective cover from the blades and turning it on.

It’s designed to trim branches up to 3/4-inches thick with the 22-inch laser cut, hooked-tooth steel blades. The long-reaching blades enable high-reaching trimming, otherwise not reachable for many.

The trimmer is designed with a comfortable wrap-around auxiliary handle with an easy to reach lock, on/off switch.

A charger is included with the trimmer and battery; additional batteries can be purchased.

www.dewalt.com/ $199 for the trimmer/battery combo, $135.49 for just the trimmer and $99 for extra batteries

Think Tank Photo’s Shape Shifter backpack has been an industry leader for photographers lugging around big, bulky and expensive equipment in a low profile form.

Based on input from pro photographers, Think Tank upgraded the backpack with the recent release of the Shape Shifter version 2.0, which gives it a narrower profile when empty, allowing photographers to configure it and have it expanded only when filled.

Even when full, expensive camera gear is well hidden from the public eye until it’s removed and it’s really amazing how much you can store in the backpack.

Like all Think Tank Photo products, the backpack has a comfortable design, top notch hardware, and numerous pockets and compartments with smooth rolling zippers.

Pockets are inside of pockets to carry photo gear, laptops up to 17-inches, smartphones, tablets, chargers, cables and it also has detachable water bottle pouch.

If you want to carry a tripod, an attachment keeps it easily accessible and weight centered.

A padded shoulder hardness is adjustable to make it simple for carrying the backpack in comfort and a removable rain cover and waist belt.

www.thinktankphoto.com available in three sizes, for 15 and 17-inch laptops; the Naked Shape Shifter can be totally customized

The innovative Yantouch EyE Bluetooth speaker works great as a standalone speaker, but it has additional great features.

The colorful bass enhanced speaker has a 10 hour battery life inside a flat, rounded design, which features a top side app controlled smart light. With the app you get the choice of 16 million glowing, changing colors, according to a press release. I only tried a few due to time limits.

I really liked the Natural Sleep/Wake-up feature, which lets the light and music gradually dim during bedtime and then wake me up with the sound of canaries singing.

If you have more than one Yantouch, they can easily be paired to form a left/right stereo system while sharing the same Bluetooth connection. The linking was as simple as described, automatically linking together with a beep.

The speaker is 6-by-2.3-by-3.7-inches and is available with black or white bottoms.  A remote control is included along with a stand for use on a flat surface or wall hanging.

www.yantouch.com $99

Gadgets :: September 28, 2016

By Gregg Ellman
(@Greggellman)

What if, with the press of a button, you could turn off the TV, lock the front door and turn on the lights?

Logitech’s new Pop switches make controlling multiple smart home devices that easy.

The home switch starter pack gets you going with a single switch and a bridge that plugs into any standard AC outlet. The bridge must be placed where it can pick up your WiFi signal and within Bluetooth range of the Pop switch. 

Once you have everything setup, you won’t need your smartphone or tablet within reach; just press the button for the controls you programed.

If you already have compatible smart home devices setup, the Pop app will scan for those devices and run you through the setup assigning specific controls for the Pop.

Each Pop can be assigned up to three actions, choosing from a single, double or long press. An internal battery should last for about five years.

The Logitech Harmony Hub makes a great partner with the Pop switches since the Harmony can control TV, games, movie boxes and more.

Other compatible smart home devices include LIFX, Phillips Hue, Lutron, and Insteon products.

www.Logitech.com $99.99 for the starter pack, $39.99 for additional Pops

There’s nothing to not like about the iDevices thermostat, including how easy and fast it is to set up and get running.

Assuming you have wiring for a thermostat in place, just shut off the circuit breaker and follow the existing wire setup. If it sounds easy, that’s because it took me about 10 minutes from start to finish.

The setup includes connecting to your existing WiFi and using the thermostat with the iDevices connect app, Apple HomeKit or Amazon Alexa. I tried it out with all three and each worked flawlessly.

My preferred method is with the Apple HomeKit system and the new Apple Home app, which  also lets me use voice commands with Siri.

The quick-start guide gave an example of a customized scene mode, which I thought was such a good idea that I copied it for my nighttime mode.

I just tell Siri when it’s time for bed and the thermostat adjusts to my sleeping temperature and a light connected to an iDevices switch turns off. Eight hours later the thermostat adjusts automatically to my set temperature.

Both the thermostat and the Everything can be adjusted manually or with set schedules based on your routine.

It’s really that simple and just a little bit of a stretch to say it’s a plug and play system.

The pass-through iDevices switch is also fully programable; since it works off WiFi, you can control it from anywhere and program it with specific time schedules.

https://idevicesinc.com $149.

Elgato’s Eve room wireless indoor sensor monitors air quality, temperature, and humidity with an internal sensor that analyzes volatile organic compounds.

The information is recorded to the Eve app via Bluetooth without needing a hub. You can view the recorded air quality by day, month or year.

Since the Eve system is Apple HomeKit enabled, you can use a Siri command for requesting humanity or temperature readings.

The sensor measures 3.1-by-3.1-by-1.3-inches and is powered by 3 AA batteries.

www.elgato.com $79.95

16 Month Shoot Capturing New Drama for Dallas’ Landmark Renovation

(Gregg Ellman is the “Photographer” mentioned in this article.)

By Miles Weston

Photographer Hangs Out Over the Edge 561 Feet above the Ground to
Give Visitors Panoramic View of Dallas

Accustomed to capturing the adrenalin rush of NASCAR and the IndyCar Series with his camera, Gregg Ellman thought shooting  the 16-month renovation of  Dallas’ 561-foot Reunion Tower would be a proverbial “walk in the park. ”

But the project owners wanted more than just documentation photos of the renovation of Reunion Tower, which had originally opened to visitors in 1978 and is known locally as “The Ball.”  They wanted to take advantage of Gregg’s unique blend of photojournalism and his ability to make even routine work in the race garages and crew pits feel exciting.
Because of his nearly 30 years of newspaper, sports and corporate photography experience, they also determined he was the best person to provide all of the imagery for the Tower’s interactive tourism system.
Well before taking his first shot, Gregg developed a long-term shoot schedule that meshed with the construction crew’s schedule.  He also bought a fresh 2TB OWC On-The-Go (OTG) drive and set up several project folders on his 20TB Elite Pro Qx2 RAID.
“For a long-term project like this, I wanted an external drive that had never been written to so after every shoot I could download the RAW photos to my MacBook Pro, back them up and have three copies  – computer and OTGs – before I left the site.  You can never be too paranoid.” he explained.
For added protection, he also moved the files to his workflow production storage and backed that up.
These days, he has 3 Canon 1DX Mark II’s in tow and lenses ranging from 14mm up to a 400 2.8. Gregg uses Hoodman CF and CFast memory cards to record his images on to before sending them to OWC hard drives.
In between his scheduled shoots of the Reunion renovation, Gregg juggled his photo contract activities for corporate photography, college sports and pro bowling as well as the NASCAR and the Indy circuit.


“Auto racing coverage may seem to be glamorous,” he commented, “but that sexy part wears off quickly when you focus on visually telling the story of the race. Working all aspects of the racetrack, gives you the challenge of telling the full story of racing … preparation, attention to detail, teamwork and testing the limits of the drivers/machines.”


By being an extension of the racing professional team rather than a wide-eyed spectator, he is able to gain access to the drivers, garages, pit row and almost all of the behind-the-scene activities.
His thoughtful approach has resulted in hundreds of memorable images over the years from around the racing circuit, all safely stored on his OWC storage devices.  It has also meant he has racked up millions of air miles to capture the action around the country.
When he was on the road; his wife, a wedding and events photographer, kept Gregg current on the renovation/shoot schedule.
As the project neared completion, the Reunion Tower’s management asked Gregg to deliver a panoramic photo view of Dallas from the roof of the 561-foot structure for placement in the interactive visitor system in time for the Ball’s 35th anniversary grand reopening.


Skyline Capture  Securely tethered to the Reunion Tower and under the watchful eyes of fireman/photo assistant Robert Burn, Gregg Ellman hangs out over the edge 561 feet above the ground to capture a 360 degree view of Dallas for visitors.  His brother Glen (who is also a photographer) helped to develop a special steel bracket for the shoot but kept his feet firmly on the ground while Gregg captured the Dallas panorama for Tower visitors.


At the time, 360-degree cameras didn’t exist so he was armed with his favorite Canon cameras which he had come to rely on during his 30-year career.
The steel bracket for the shoot attached to the building’s window washing system.  After producing and testing more than a dozen units, with the help of a welder from the Fort Worth Fire Department, Gregg was able to deliver a solution that would protect the cameras, withstand the extremely windy conditions at the top of the open framed ball and guarantee nothing would fall to the ground.
Under the watchful eyes of Robert Burn, a Fort Worth firefighter who assisted in the shoots and used his experience to ensure Gregg was safe hanging out over the edge of the globe.  Both men wore harnesses while Gregg spent more than two hours shooting dozens of panoramic shots over the Dallas skyline on each shoot.


Dallas Skyline – Smoothly stitching the best of his top-of-the-tower shoot, Gregg produced a bird’s eye view of Dallas Reunion Tower that visitors can enjoy in the interactive system that is located in the visitor’s lounge.
With the photos stitched `into a smooth 360-degree view of Dallas, the photo is a favorite of Dallas Reunion Tower visitors and people from around the world.


Gregg continues to work on many projects including contracts for NCAA College sports contracts. This includes game coverage from tennis, basketball, baseball, softball and golf. Images are sent to the sports department for website slides shows, which have to be posted before the games end. After the games are over and the images are edited, they load everything to online galleries and then store the images on OWC Mercury Elite Pro Qx2 RAID systems.

“Without OWC’s products and service, I couldn’t even imagine how I could ensure my photos were safe in the field, archived in my office digital library and readily available when clients request them,” he concluded.  “Actually, I’m not certain how I could run my photographic business without fast, reliable storage.” 

Gadgets :: April 6, 2016

by Gregg Ellman
(@greggellman)

Portable GPS units such as the Garmin Drive 50 amaze me by how far the technology has come, how well they work and how good they look.

According to Garmin, the four new models of the Drive line are easy-to-use portable navigation devices specifically designed to help increase driver situational awareness.

I took a Garmin Drive 50 along for a ride where I knew there was one of the sharpest curves I’ve driven on along with speed zone changes, commonly know in my language as a speed trap.

Sure enough the warnings came up with banner alerts on the top of the 5-inch resistive touchscreen display and a warning for a red light camera.

The new alerts include warnings for one-way streets, railroad crossings, school zones, sharp curves, speed limit changes and animal crossings. A fatigue warning even comes up on longer trips.

All of this is on top of the features Garmin is known for to  easily get you to your location. These include maps, traffic and the Foursquare POI data base, which  includes millions of places to eat and shop.

Directions from Garmin Real Directions tell you about the streets and landmarks on the way.

Accessories including Garmin baby cam, dash cam and wireless backup camera can be purchased separately and paired with the Garmin Drive series.

www.Garmin.com prices from $129.99 to $349.99 depending on various map regions, navigation features, Bluetooth calling and display size and model, $129.99 for The Garmin Drive 50 as tested.

The Samson Go Mic Connect, a USB microphone, is incredible in many areas.

First and foremost is the recording quality; crystal clear is an understatement.

Once connected to your audio software, all you really do is select the Go Mic Connect as the audio input and aim it at the source of the recording.

It’s made with what Samson calls Focused Pattern Technology. According to the website, this aligns its dual microphone capsules to create a pickup beam that can zero-in on a designated vocal source. This lets you narrow its width for more defined results., which can be really helpful in loud environments.

Active noise cancellation also contributes to the high quality recordings.

Depending on your software, adjustments can be made for features such as  levels and the noise canceling.

I used it right out of the box for a FaceTime call, which I was told made me sound as clear as ever.

A built-in clip lets it easily fit on laptops and monitors or just use the included free-standing base. There’s a mute button on top and  headphone output port and a USB connection on the back for connecting to computers (Windows and Mac) and some tablets.

The small size 4.3-by-0.6-by-3.2-inches, 0.3 lb. makes it portable friendly.

www.indiegogo.com $79 available later this month

The Griffin Survivor Tactical case puts a safe protection on your Apple Watch touchscreen and sides with a stylish covering.

The two-material (Co-molded TPE and polycarbonate) shell forms a covering to protect it from scratches and bumps, while keeping the watch fully functional.

It clips on in seconds, with or without a watchband on the watch. While it’s on, both the retina display and the force touch functions work just like they would if the case was not being used.

If you want to give your stylish smartwatch a change of appearance,  the Griffin ultra thin cases snap on in seconds.

They come in a three-pack (polished metallic, matte metallic and clear in my sample pack) and are swappable for a new look to match any appearance you want or just to change things up.

The poly carbonate cases measure just 0.5 mm thick so except for the shell covering the outside of the watch, you won’t even know it’s there.

https://griffintechnology.com The Survivor Tactical case ($29.99) and ultra thin case three-packs ($14.99) are made for the 38 mm and 42 mm Apple Watch

Gadgets :: February 15, 2016

By Gregg Ellman
(@Greggellman)

After getting a review unit of the PolarPro PowerGrip H20 GoPro accessory, my only challenge was getting it into the water this time of year. I enlisted my nephew in South Florida to take it for a test kayaking on an Everglades tour and snorkeling at Lauderdale by the Sea.

The PolarPro PowerGrip H20 is a selfie stick with a depth rating of 99 feet, with a pair of 11-inch extension arms and is compatible with the GoPro Hero3, Hero 3+ and Hero4 cameras.

A live-charge kit/LED light combo can be added to give you a 6700 mAh built-in-battery and 500 lumen LED light. This provides GoPro users with an incredible accessory to help capture images or video in dark areas and with an extended power boost.

The battery will give you use of your GoPro for up to 12 hours, charge your GoPro six times, or your iPhone 6 up to three times.

The PolarPro PowerGrip H20 comes with a pair of 11-inch extension arms and is compatible with the GoPro Hero3, Hero 3+ and Hero4 cameras.

There are dual USB charging ports as well as a 30-inch charging cable with a waterproof backdoor that connects the GoPro underwater housing.

The PowerGrip also comes with 5-inch and 28-inch miniUSB cables, a leash, phone mount, StrapMount adaptor and a PowerGrip skeleton door for live charging your GoPro above water.

The PolarPro PowerGrip H20 got its start with a $1 million investment on ABC’s popular Shark Tank program and then had a successful funding campaign on Kickstarter.

The PolarPro development team set out to create a single accessory to keep the GoPro camera powered all day, while capturing multiple perspectives of video on land and under water.

After putting it through these tests, it’s obvious it this is a must-have accessory for every GoPro user.

www.polarprofilters.com $99.99 for the base model, and $149.99 with the underwater live-charge kit/LED light combo

To the Dewalt 20 V MAX Brushless Blower: where have you been my whole life?

The handheld lawn and garden blower system is battery powered. Once you have a charged battery connected, a variable speed trigger turns it on and off instantly. There’s no need for gas, oil or killing your arm and shoulder with a starter pull cord.

It’s perfect for home use to clear sidewalks of grass cuttings, piles of leaves or whatever you see fit.

The 20V 5.0Ah Lithium Ion battery attaches or removes easily and produces an air speed of 90 mph. It weighs 7.1-pounds and has a 61 dBA noise rating,

I always recommend having an extra battery around, this way you always have one charged and ready to use.

www.Dewalt.com $199 for the blower, $109.99 for the extra battery.

If four USB charging ports are great, Ventev feels that six are even better and I have to agree.

With the new Ventev usbcharginghub rq600 up to six devices can be charged simultaneously. Five ports provide up to 2.4amps each with auto-detect technology. This allows the proper charging for each device.

The sixth port is a Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 port, which will charge compatible devices up to 75-percent faster.

The hub is powered by plugging in the detachable 5-foot power cord and you can position the hub in vertical or horizontal positions.

https://mobileaccessories.ventev.com $49.99

Thumbtack Study Predicts 2016’s Biggest Wedding Trends

The largest survey of U.S. couples to be married in 2016 finds that couples will spend 20% more on wedding services this year, or $12,189 on average nationwide. Weddings will feature formal and intimate dinners, subtler personalizations, and interactive mementos like social-media friendly cinematic highlight videos.   

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — February 3, 2016 —Thumbtack, an online service that connects consumers with skilled professionals, today released the results of its first annual Thumbtack 2016 Wedding Trends Report. Thumbtack reviewed data from hundreds of thousands of wedding requests to uncover the trends and spending habits of real couples in America.

The study includes statistics on upcoming wedding trends and unveils average pricing for wedding services both nationally and regionally. Full results are available at https://www.thumbtack.com/weddings/#weddingsreport.

“This year we’re seeing couples investing up to 20% more to create a memorable, classic affair,” said Ashley Brasier, Wedding Director for Thumbtack. “The reception is the focus of this extra spending, with couples turning away from themed weddings and instead focusing on finer touches like formal plated dinners, lasercut place settings, and bold floral choices.”

Every year, hundreds of thousands of couples come to Thumbtack looking for wedding professionals across nearly 50 categories of service— from wedding planners and photographers to catererslive bandsfloristshairstylists, and makeup artists. Couples submit requests sharing details like the size of their guest list, their style preferences, and their geographic location, so Thumbtack can match them with the best service providers for their needs.

As a result, Thumbtack’s study reveals a unique look ahead on what will trend at weddings to come this year — not just what happened at weddings last year.

2016’s Top Wedding Trends

The new theme is no theme: Couples are increasingly focusing on small details — not big themes — to set their weddings apart.

  • Highlight videos are hot — Videographers are seeing an 8% uptick in requests for highlight videos, which incorporate personalized messages from guests and are created for social sharing.
  • Laser-cut details are everywhere — Featured on invitations, place-cards, and even place mats, laser-cutting will be especially popular.
  • Cupcakes aren’t going anywhere — 10% more couples will feature cupcakes for dessert in 2016, compared to 2015, showing that this personalized touch has staying power.

2016 couples are upping the ante: This year’s couples are spending noticeably more on wedding essentials compared to 2015.

  • 20% increase in spending — The average couple will spend about $2,000 more on average, with much of that going to a more upscale dinner experience.
  • Formal receptions on the rise — For 2016 weddings, there’s been a 26% increase in couples requesting servers for formal dinner receptions, and a 32% increase in couples requesting plated meals.
  • Traditional tiers — Cakes are also getting taller than ever, with a 55% increase in couples requesting a 3-layer cake this year compared to last year.

Big, bold visuals have arrived: From wedding theme colors to bridal beauty looks, expect 2016 weddings to feature big visuals.

  • Glam beauty — More and more brides are eschewing the “safe” natural and romantic beauty look: there’s been a 75% increase in brides requesting glam hair and makeup, with touches like highlights and contouring and bold lip colors.
  • Beyond natural — Brides plan to go beyond “born with it” in 2016. The data shows a 70% increase in requests for false eyelashes and airbrushing. There’s been a 15% increase in brides planning to wear a classic veil.
  • Bright palettes — Popular colors this year include bursts of reds and bright blues, along with pops of yellow as an accent, and gray neutrals to hold it all together. Metallic accents stay popular this year, emphasizing the glam factor.

The Real Cost of Getting Married

Based on average price quoted for wedding essentials for Thumbtack weddings in 2016

National Averages – Costs and Customer Profile

  • $12,189: The amount the average American couple will spend on essential wedding services in 2016, excluding the venue, dress, and rings, for a wedding with 98 guests on average.
  • 33: Average marrying age of Thumbtack couple
  • 75%: Thumbtack couples who are employed full-time
  • 5%: Thumbtack couples who are students
  • 45%: Thumbtack couples who are homeowners

Top 5 Most and Least Expensive States to Get Married

Most and least states to get married
Top 5 Most Expensive States to Get Married

  1. Connecticut – $17,211
  2. New York – $16,305
  3. District of Columbia – $15,835
  4. Rhode Island – $15,233
  5. Pennsylvania – $14,722

Top 5 Least Expensive States to Get Married

  1. Missouri – $9,031
  2. Nevada – $9,095
  3. Arizona – $9,593
  4. Kentucky – $9,712
  5. Utah – $9,804

Top 25 Most Expensive Metro Areas to Get Married (Wedding Essentials) 

  1. New York, NY — $16,077
  2. Philadelphia, PA — $15,434
  3. Pittsburgh, PA — $14,287
  4. Baltimore, MD — $14,261
  5. Providence, RI — $13,990
  6. San Francisco, CA — $13,734
  7. San Jose, CA — $13,418
  8. Cleveland, OH — $13,416
  9. Washington, D.C.-Northern VA — $13,303
  10. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN — $13,173
  11. New Orleans, LA — $13,089
  12. Boston, MA — $13,028
  13. Miami, FL — $12,923
  14. Los Angeles, CA — $12,709
  15. Chicago, IL — $12,449
  16. Milwaukee, WI — $12,197
  17. Seattle, WA — $12,149
  18. Detroit, MI — $11,819
  19. Memphis, TN — $11,805
  20. Portland, OR — $11,714
  21. Columbus, OH — $11,692
  22. Austin, TX — $11,519
  23. Rochester, NY — $11,472
  24. Charleston, SC — $11,448
  25. Sacramento, CA — $11,349

Regional Differences

  • Northeast and Mid-Atlantic affairs tend to be more expensive: This higher cost is most often driven by formal dinners and a large number of guests. In New York, 33% of couples request plated dinners. In Washington, D.C., 48% of couples request hors d’oeuvres.
  • Midwestern states throw the biggest weddings: Weddings are the biggest in Midwestern states like Minnesota and Wisconsin, where over 60% of couples welcome 100+ guests. The smallest weddings are in destination wedding locations like Hawaii, where 43% of couples welcome fewer than 20 guests.
  • BBQ and Mexican catering vs. Italian and American cuisine: Italian and American food are crowd pleasers at weddings across the country. In fact, there are only two states that would prefer another type of cuisine at weddings – both Kentucky and South Carolina prefer BBQ. Unsurprisingly, Mexican is popular throughout the Southwest, with 43% of couples in New Mexico requesting Mexican food.
  • Pop music reigns at the reception, but country’s close behind: Wedding guests across the majority of the United States (46 states) prefer pop music, but country is a close second choice in several states, including Texas.
  • Vermont braids and Southern locks: Brides across the country love a timeless romantic look. Brides in Vermont prefer to accent their look with braids, while brides in most other locales prefer a half-up / half-down look. Long curly hair is especially popular in Southern states like Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

Methodology

The Thumbtack 2016 Wedding Trends report captures data gathered from hundreds of thousands of requests for wedding services placed on Thumbtack. Quantitative trends were gathered from answers to questions Thumbtack asks couples to match them with the best service provider. Qualitative trends were gathered from customer and vendor interviews. Pricing data is based on thousands of price quotes provided by vendors to our customers.

About Thumbtack

Thumbtack is the destination for getting things done — from house remodeling to event planning and more. Each year, more than 200,000 skilled professionals across the country service a growing 5 million Thumbtack projects in almost 1,100 unique categories. Thumbtack wedding professionals offer services in 47 categories. Visit Thumbtack to find wedding photographerswedding plannerswedding officiantswedding DJs and more.

Follow Thumbtack on Twitter and Instagram @thumbtack.