More than 7,000 couples around the world have already used Wedivite, the first free socially integrated digital platform exclusively for weddings. Appropriately, its alpha launch happened in the traditional wedding month of June.
Conceived and built by Israeli groom-to-be Ben Novak, Wedivite enables sending invitations via email, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, SMS or Whatsapp, or adding a QR code to a printed invitation. There’s an option to create a custom page for a wedding registry, too.
Guests can click to RSVP, add the event to their Google calendar, get directions to the wedding, send greetings and gifts, recommend songs for the playlist and add photos to the online album and live wedding slideshow.
An update due out shortly will offer additional features such as a dedicated gift registry, integration with Google contacts and Dropbox (for photo storage and printing), text reminders for guests, and designer invitation templates.
“We’re connecting everything to make it more comfortable for couples to engage guests and to make it cheaper and fun,” says the 29-year-old founder, who is bootstrapping the venture by working as a digital marketing consultant.
From Israel with love
Wedivite’s website and mobile app were launched in beta last January and became an instant hit with couples in India, the United States, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Canada.
A Spanish-language version was added before the alpha launch, due to demand from users in Spain, Latin America and the United States.
Novak has recently introduced a Korean beta version of Wedivite, he tells ISRAEL21c.
“Three months ago, a wedding organizer from South Korea emailed me and said online mobile invitations are big in Korea but they don’t have everything I am offering, and she wanted to translate all the material for me [in return for putting] her link on my website in Korea,” he explains.
While his fiancé is scouting out a gown and a hall for the couple’s May 2015 nuptials, Novak is knee-deep in the technical side of pending matrimony, and is learning that vast cultural differences require him to tweak Wedivite for specific audiences.
In South Korea, for instance, nobody uses PayPal or Google Maps, which are integral to Wedivite. And because Koreans don’t dance at weddings, there’s no need for a song-suggestion feature.
“One of my dreams is to create a big infographic or PDF with cultural differences between weddings that I have learned about,” says Novak, a Tel Aviv resident.
Digital engagement for the engaged
But some things are universal, such as the increasingly digital components surrounding the romance of engagements and weddings.
Mashable’s social and tech wedding survey in 2012 revealed that “relationship status” is the digital age’s version of flaunting a new diamond ring, as 31% of engaged women update their status within hours of accepting a marriage proposal.
Other trends show that couples are forgoing classic wedding formats in favor of ceremonies and receptions that reflect their personal tastes and create a positive experience for guests while keeping costs down.
“Wedivite is here to re-set the standard of wedding invitations from the traditional to the digital,” says Novak. “By putting social-media integration at the forefront of our platform, we recognize the influence that social media and digital presence has in the lives of today’s couples.”
Novak was inspired to start Wedivite by a conversation with a newly married friend whose wedding photographer had failed to take a picture of the groom’s mother. Though many guests take their own photos at weddings, these couldn’t easily be added to an official album.
“My idea was to make a shareable photo album for weddings, but I decided, why not make it a lot cooler?” Novak relates. “Eventually it became what it is today.”
Novak possessed the requisite skills to realize his idea, because he has been a graphic designer and web developer since age 14, and has experience working for an ad agency and as marketing director for New Media College in Tel Aviv.
“I always had my own businesses on the side, but now I am 100 percent working on Wedivite around the clock,” he says. That, and planning his own wedding.
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For the iOS app, click here.