Ina Fried

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Save The Date! Smart Wedding Invitations Use Smartphones

When Melody Chalaban and her fiancée went to notify friends and family of their upcoming wedding, they did more than just point guests to a Web site.

As part of the save-the-date cards they sent out earlier this month, the couple included specialized bar codes, known as QR codes. The two-dimensional bar codes, which can be scanned in with any smartphone, have become popular in advertisements, products and even as markers at points of interest.

But Chalaban, a PR consultant for tech companies, thought the codes might also serve a useful function in preparing for their special day. One code on the card takes guests to the wedding Web site, while a second QR code adds the ceremony to their guests’ calendar.

“We’re both kind of geeky, and, since we knew we couldn’t go as far as sending all communications digitally (for those guests who aren’t tech-savvy), the QR code printed onto the traditional save-the-date seemed like a good bridge,” Chalaban said. “We like the QR code because it gives you immediate information and/or something beyond what’s just on the save-the-date card.”

The couple isn’t stopping there, though. Chalaban said they are also thinking of including a code on the invitation itself, in an effort to automate the RSVP process.

The one downside, Chalaban said, is that the codes are, well, a bit ugly.

“We tried to make it more aesthetically appealing by changing the color to purple rather than the plain black,” she said. “This is why we put the QR code on the back of the save-the-date, rather than the front.”

Chalaban may be a bit dismayed to learn she isn’t the first to think of incorporating QR codes into wedding invitations. Los Angeles-based Paperspring, for example, incorporates the codes into everything from wedding invitations to baby announcements, while a number of wedding forums also buzz about the approach as the latest thing since replacing the DJ with an iPod.

Update: I even found someone who tried to integrate a QR code into the wedding cake. I think that might be taking things a bit too far.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik