Wedding invitations, wedding invtation cd, luxury wedding invitations, expensive wedding invitations, interactive invitations
wedding invitations, wedding invtation cd, luxury wedding invitations, expensive wedding invitations, interactive invitations

From the June 4, 2004 print edition.

Wedding invitations go high-tech
by Ed Duggan

Dane and Nancy Bryant are among the first couples of the Internet generation. To them, it's always been here and been a part of their lives - they even met and fell in love on the internet.

In June 2003, they were married.

It seems only natural that, when they were looking for a business opportunity, the Internet would play a major part.

The young couple has a strategy to revolutionize the somewhat prosaic field of wedding invitations. They have taken the 19th century engraved card invitation and turned it into a multimedia, interactive CD. They call it an elegant invite - and it is resonating with their contemporaries.

"When we were designing our own wedding invitation we realized that there were other tech-savvy couples who would enjoy the experience of expressing themselves via multimedia," Nancy Bryant said.

After the honeymoon, the couple decided to start Elegant Invites, the next generation of wedding invitations in sophisticated, traditional, romantic or cutting-edge designs.

The corporation was formed in August and the Web site went live in March.

"We can combine a couple's audio, video and up to 30 personal photos onto a CD invitation, and include directions and other computer links that are relevant such as bridal registry and an Internet facility for R.S.V.P.s," said Dane Bryant, president of both Elegant Invites and Approachnet, a Web design and multimedia CD developer in Boca Raton.

The invitations can include up to a 90-second video of the couple inviting guests to join them, pictures of people in the wedding party, favorite links and contact information. Simple templates are available to guide couples through the basics.

The cost is less than traditional invitations and typically runs between $550 and $800, with a 14-day turnaround time.

The couple expects to hit $200,000 in Internet-generated revenue during 2004, with a 30 percent to 50 percent growth rate over the next five years. It could be higher as the idea catches on and each year brings new prospects.

According to a National Vital Statistics Report, there were 2.2 million marriages last year. Florida alone had 119,000 marriages in 2003.

"Our business comes from two primary sources - existing clients and a resellers program from wedding-related Web sites," Nancy Bryant said. "Our word-of-mouth is exceptional. When someone sees one of our invitations, either they or someone they know become potential clients."

The reseller program uses non-competitive wedding-related Web sites to drive traffic to Elegant Invites' site. The resulting sales generate a 10 percent referral commission to the resellers.

An Elegant Invite representative follows up Web inquiries within 24 hours.

Couples are encouraged to send in baby pictures, film, videos and still photos and can use a number of available themes.

"Not only is it a powerful invitation, but it becomes a treasured memento of the event," said Nancy Bryant. "Even wedding guests who don't have a computer or CD player rave about the invitation. It's not just an improvement or a fad; we're creating a whole new industry."

E-mail technology writer Ed Duggan at

© 2004 American City Business Journals Inc.

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Thanks so much for creating such a memorable invitation. All our friends enjoyed it and we'll be able to appreciate it for years to come.

Susan E. Thompson


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