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Social media transforming wedding

gadgets Updated: Oct 09, 2011 01:34 IST

AP
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In the $78-billion-a-year business of getting married in the United States, social media, mobile tools and online vendors are abundant to offer the happy couple extra fun, savings and convenience.

Some send out video save-the-dates, include high-speed scannable “QR” barcodes on invitations, live-stream their ceremonies for far-flung loved ones to watch online, and open their party playlists to let friends and families help choose the tunes. They invite guests to live tweet the big day using special Twitter keywords, called hashtags, and create interactive seating charts so tablemates can chat online ahead of time.

One couple ordered up a cake with an iPad embedded at the base to stream photos at the reception. Another Skyped in a “virtual bridesmaid” who couldn't make it, so she was walked down the aisle by a groomsman via iPad.

According to surveys by the magazine sites Brides and The Knot, tech is on the rise in the world of weddings, with 65 percent of couples now setting up special sites to manage RSVPs, stream video of the ceremony and-or reception, and keep guests in the loop. One in five couples use mobile apps for planning. That includes chasing down

vendors, and virtually trying on and locating dresses. Seventeen percent of couples use social media to plan, shop or register for gifts, along with sharing every detail online. And about 14 percent to 18 percent of brides buy their dresses online.