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Weddings: Click Here If You're Attending

Business Week -- Home Page

Weddings: Click Here If You're Attending

Weddings are so much work. You gotta order a cake, get a band, and set up your Web-based guest-interaction program...well, in Silicon Valley, anyway. In June, friends of Chris Holten, 30, and Hugh Hempel, 41, sweethearts who met at Netscape Communications Corp., weren't quite so much invited to the couple's October wedding in Hawaii as alerted by E-mail. Holten now has her own PR firm, and a client,, makes software to help companies create online marketing campaigns. She offered to use her nuptials to test the technology. "We will send out `formal' invitations via `snail mail' in the coming weeks," her E-missive to friends warned, barely concealing her contempt.

Friends were directed to a Web site for the wedding schedule, activities, and soon, even a guest list. The system instantly sorts responses--so the yesses get added to the future bulletin list, and the noes get sorry-sounding "thanks-anyways." "It's very personal," Holten says. What most impressed the couple: Invitations went out at 11:30 p.m. on June 28. In five minutes, they had three replies.By Joan O'c. Hamilton

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