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INTERACTIVE WEDDING INVITATIONS
wedding invitations, wedding invtation cd, luxury wedding invitations, expensive wedding invitations, interactive invitations

USA Today

From the May 9, 2005 print edition.

Net-matched couple creates wedding invitations on CD
By Ian Katz, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

BOCA RATON, Fla. — When Dane and Nancy Bryant were married two years ago, the guests gave them silverware, wine glasses, a picnic set and a business idea that dramatically changed their lives.


Courtesy www.elegantinvites.net

Dane, a Web site developer, had decided to make CD wedding invitations for the 115 guests. The discs featured a photo montage of the couple, a two-minute video of them asking the guests to attend, and directions to the ceremony and reception.

Along with the usual replies to the RSVPs, Bryant received three offers from invitees to sell the CDs for him if he went into business.

A couple of months later, Elegant Invites Inc. was born.

"Once I started getting feedback, the bells really went off," said Bryant, 40. "I thought we had to do something with it."

Since the Bryants met on the matchmaker site Match.com, they figured it was only natural for them to launch a business linking technology and matrimony.

The company remains a family venture, sharing space in a Boca Raton office with Approachnet Inc., Bryant's Web development company. Bryant handles the creative and technical sides. Nancy, 38, who has a sales background, works on marketing to the $70 billion bridal industry.

The Bryants expect revenues of $100,000 to $200,000 this year. They have 10 to 15 new clients each month paying $400 to $600 for the basic CD invitation — comparable to the price of printed invitations — or up to $3,000 for more elaborate packages.

The target audience is young, tech-savvy couples "who really want to do something different," Bryant said.

That was the objective of Craig and Nicole Sterler of Coral Springs, who were married in November 2003.

"We didn't want to do the, 'Here's the invitation, now send us a check,'" said Craig Sterler, a 29-year-old who produces corporate and social events.

So the Sterlers hired the Bryants to put together a disc including childhood photos of Craig and Nicole.

"It was real cool," Craig said. "We still get calls from people about it."

Like many small businesses, Elegant Invites has reached the point where it will have to hire outside the family if it wants to grow. Bryant plans to add a programmer in the next three to six months.

Eventually, the Bryants would like to turn the concept into a software package that can be sold in retail outlets. But they can expect challenges.

The so-called barrier to entry into the CD wedding invitation specialty market is very low. Though Elegant Invites advertises prominently with Yahoo's search engine, a couple searching on Google would be more likely to find competitors such as weddinginvitationcd.com.

Resistance to change is another obstacle. Some couples fear that the invitations could confuse tech-challenged older guests who don't know that the CD goes into a computer drive. At least one invitee told Sterler: "I put it in my CD (music) player and I can't get it to work."

In fact, most of the Bryants' customers buy the CD to supplement, rather than replace, printed invitations.

Their emphasis on personalizing each invitation might allow the Bryants to stand out from the pack. If so, they will have brokered a happy marriage between technology and tradition.




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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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