This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

September 29, 2004

Weddings Going Electronic

The growing acceptance of electronic communication and the opportunity to control the huge costs of weddings are motivating shifts in ceremonial etiquette. While the movement has just begun, and traditionalists will resist the changes, a new age is dawning in this important rite of passage.

Some wedding invitations are now sent by e-mail. (www.e-vite.com) Creative capabilities enable couples to transmit invitational messages and announcements from the simple to the elaborate. Current versions emphasize that the e-invite is the only one being sent: this communication is the real official invitation. RSVP will be done electronically, as well, either by return e-mail or by completing a form on a special website. Watch for wedding planners to provide these services, much more web-savvy.

The photographers at the ceremony will digitally record, the activities, using both still pictures and video images. While a physical book of pictures will probably still be prepared as a keepsake for the happy couple, the images will be posted on a wedding album website to be seen by family and friends. The experience will be recorded for the enjoyment of those who were present as well as those who were unable to attend.

Thank you notes will be sent electronically. Some couples will send simple e-mails. More sophisticated couples will use services similar to the electronic cards currently available from Hallmark (www.hallmark.com) and other vendors. The most digitally conscious will send their appreciation through video e-mail, conveying verbal and audio messages to friends---perhaps even showing the gift in use.

Baby announcements are already being sent electronically with photos of the newborn and the proud parents. Anticipate that some couples will include audio portions so recipients can hear the newborns cry.

Family websites will proliferate, perhaps run by associates of the wedding planners, to regularly post still and video pictures of the children as they grow. These websites will include recorded memories of first steps, early words, birthday parties, school events, and family activities. Relatives and friends from far and near will be able to watch children grow. Yes, we will see some school report cards posted, too.


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