New Tech In The Wedding Industry – Interactive Invitations and How Augmented Reality Can Save Thousands of Dollars in Your Budget
In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, conversations often center around Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality (VR) so it’s easy to overlook the immense impact that other emerging technologies are having on various industries, including weddings. While AI and VR certainly command attention, another captivating medium has quietly revolutionized the wedding scene over the past several years—augmented reality (AR). The advantages of using AR to elevate your wedding are as limitless as the technology itself but the two main issues which this technology has solved are: how to save money in creative ways and how to impress guests who have seen it all and etch an unforgettable experience in their hearts.
Watch this video to get a glimpse:
Understanding Augmented Reality (AR)
In essence, AR is a technology that overlays computer-generated images onto a user’s real-world view. Imagine your phone or tablet becoming a window that enriches reality with virtual enhancements. Utilizing the smartphone’s accelerometer, AR objects seamlessly integrate into your surroundings, creating the illusion of coexisting in the physical world. For instance, by pointing your phone at an AR-enabled object like a desk, you can witness that desk as your normally would but now with an animated cartoon rabbit sitting on the desk.
As you move, the rabbit scales and interacts just like a real object would, offering astonishing effects, immersive experiences, and unparalleled levels of engagement and interactivity. Typically these effects are launched by a simple QR code that opens up the entire AR dimension in tandem with reality so it is seamless, natural, and easy to use. The key difference between AR and VR is that Virtual Reality requires a headset and 100% of what the user sees is computer generated while Augmented Reality maintains a view of the real world through the user’s phone so it is much more seamless and applicable. For more about AR – read this post.
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Real World Case Study – The Benefits of AR in Wedding Invitations
Consider how AR technology can be a game-changer in the wedding industry, particularly when it comes to invitations. With costs becoming so accessible and operation becoming so user-friendly, AR is now widely used in the mainstream. Picture this: your guests receive your beautiful paper invitation through the mail and then it comes to life as they point their phones at it… hummingbirds flutter, confetti rains down, flowers bloom, and butterflies dance around your paper invite, while your music plays in the background creating a captivating and immersive prelude to your big day.
Creating Interactive Wedding invitations with AR enhancements has become a remarkably simple yet stunning mechanism that weaves astonishing technology with traditional practices. There are many design and programming agencies who build these experiences for couples as well as corporate clients although it’s generally much easier to use a focused provider such as www.live-invites.com, for example, for ease and cost efficiency.
All AR designers should be able to offer interactive animations as well as customizable audio (viewer hears your music when looking at invite), 3D messaging, links to your wedding websites or to RSVP directly from their phones. Make sure that whichever AR design company you select can use your existing traditional invite and would be willing to send you a free demo to try beforehand. The use of AR enhanced interactive wedding invitations has grown exponentially in recent years as most all users agree this addition is the best thing to happen to the invitations market since colored ink!
Why Choose AR for Your Wedding?
The versatility of AR extends to various elements within your wedding. While interactive wedding invitations continue to be the most widely utilized medium, AR programming has brought awe-inspiring experiences to life through interactive visual activations on menus, drink coasters, seating charts, signage, dance floor decals, and even cake toppers!
As engaging, unique, and exciting as AR has proven to be, perhaps the greatest attribute contributing to its precipitous growth has been the cost saving opportunities which correlate positively with the number of applications at your wedding. For those who look beyond invitations and have utilized AR in their décor they have found THOUSANDS of dollars in savings while creating their own immersive fairy tale powered by AR.
For example, consider your average table setting which costs around $500 multiplied by 18 tables for a cost of $9,000. Comparatively, you can create an astounding AR enabled table settings for the same price of $500 however that single AR table setting can be used in an unlimited number of locations so your final price for 18 tables is still only $500, creating a whopping $8,500 savings for you or your clients while delivering a next-level experience! $9,000 for a standard setting or $500 for the same setting that includes interactive fireworks, shimmering stars, or virtually any other effect which your guests will see come to life above your table.
Most good design agencies will offer an option to work with you 1-on-1 for fully customized designs such as custom avatars of the bride and groom dancing through the air or anything else which may be individually desirable such as a pet, specific automobile, favorite clothing, etc. If you are a wedding or event planner, be sure to ask the selected AR design company for a referral rebate as most reputable agencies should be willing to create a professional relationship with you and give you a rebate each time your clients utilize their service for an event. They may even be willing to give you a special discount code which many planners say is very helpful in their recruitment of new business.
AR Applications to Elevate Experiences and Subtract Costs
Among the more creative use cases of AR in the wedding industry, many couples are now utilizing customized face filters and background effects for eye-popping selfies in lieu of a standard photo booth. Those who employ AR face filters and background effects (think Snapchat) personalized for their event are seeing much higher rates of engagement as guests are much more likely to utilize a customized selfie than they would be to visit a photobooth.
Furthermore, this option saves couples another $,7,000 (cost for the average photobooth) while elevating their experience. In response, many photobooth vendors are now working with these customized AR selfie shots by ditching their expensive cameras and utilizing tablet computers and monitors to deliver a fun, unique, and exciting experience at a much lower cost and with the additional capability to upload directly to social media or your photo bank.
Additionally, other creative programmers are selling pre-designed decals which customers apply to their dancefloors to display their favorite movie characters partying on their dancefloor for literally unbelievable pictures and elevated dancing experiences. Users of this method report guests “breaking the ice” on the dancefloor much earlier and higher rates of engagement meaning more people on the dancefloor.
Pair these face filter selfies or dance floor decals with your event hashtag for increased shares and utilization to document your unforgettable and unbelievable night, driving curiosity and engagement with more viewers in the online community.
Unveiling the Power of AR
Believe it or not, utilizing AR-enhanced invitations and décor is rather simple thanks to advancements in user-friendly websites and device computing power. Currently the only requirement is a smartphone and a tangible piece such an invite, sign, menu, floor decal, etc to launch the activation.
The tangible signage allows for a seamless and symbiotic relationship between traditional elements and the most cutting-edge interactive technologies while maintaining classic elegance. Ideally whichever AR options you select will lay over top of your traditional/tangible elements to visually supplement but not disrupt your event theme or environment when the technology is not in use so if someone misplaces their phone your wedding will still look perfect.
Measuring the Benefits of AR
A traditional paper invitation will be viewed for an average 38 seconds; that same paper invitation enhanced with interactive AR effects will be viewed for an average period over 190 seconds according to research done by Accenture analyzing 14 million use cases.
Viewers of AR activations also report a 78% increase in “emotional connection” while feelings of “uplifted and happy” increase by 55% according to research by META. All research certainly indicates that there is no other modification to your existing wedding plans that can even come close to the positive impacts of AR at your event.
Witness the Magic Yourself!
For a hands-on understanding of AR’s enchantment, try it out below. If you’re on your laptop, grab your phone, turn up the volume, scan the QR code, and point your phone at the sample invite below. If you’re reading this on your phone, borrow another device to scan the QR code, point the phone at the invite design and witness the AR transformation.
What’s on the Horizon? How Can You Dive Deeper?
In the future we can expect to see AR interwoven much more prominently into more events for many of the reasons above but also for education and general delivery of information. Couples looking for the highest level experience will likely begin having their own wedding app created so that the AR experience can launch without a QR code and remain open throughout the event and potentially eliminating the need for tangible items entirely. As you visit AR provider websites be sure to ask many questions and inquire about the newest options as with all technology the capabilities are evolving on a daily basis. Play around with various options and you will likely see that AR is a harmonious blend of the real and virtual worlds, delivering moments that will be etched in hearts forever.