BYU students create wedding Web site

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    By JENI DEERY

    With weddings surrounding them, three BYU students created a business that offers a multimedia home page where couples can share their wedding online.

    The Web site, eWed.net, launched last week offering e-announcements, online photo albums, couple’s story and an RSVP service. Additionally, the site offers a gift registry.

    Chris Peterson, 26, a Newsnet Web producer, thought of the idea for the “eWed” business when he was at a wedding in Provo. His announcement had been lost in the mail, and he almost missed the wedding because he did not know where or when it was.

    While talking to a friend about wedding announcements, Peterson jokingly said by the time he is engaged he will be able to send out an e-mail telling people to visit him and his fiancee and at their home page.

    “By the end of the night, I had most of the components in my mind of what an online wedding site should be like. It couldn’t look like your typical Web site. It had to be like a wedding photo album — very soft, clean, elegant and no flashing banner ads,” said Peterson, who is a senior from La Canada, Calif., majoring in public relations.

    Peterson discussed his idea with his two roommates, Dan Hoopes, 22, and Rocky Garff, 21, and the three realized there were few sites that offered the service.

    “We all think it’s an idea that could spread much further than just Utah. That’s the amazing thing about e-mail, it breaks down all boundaries. We definitely have a vision of making it a premier site,” said Hoopes, a junior from Moraga, Calif., majoring in microbiology.

    Grant Beckwith, 24, who is from St. George and is a law student, used the eWed site for two reasons.

    “First of all, I thought it was a marvelous idea to send announcements by e-mail and second of all because it saves a lot of money,” Beckwith said.

    Beckwith and his fiancee, Candice Zirkle, did not want to send an announcement to their many BYU associations because of the cost, so the e-announcements were a perfect solution, Beckwith said.

    “I was amazed at what a professional job they did. I didn’t realize how good they would actually turn out,” he said.

    Beckwith and Zirkle decided to send traditional invitations in addition to the e-announcements to close friends and family members.

    “(The e-announcements) are a bit too nineties for our grandparents. But it is perfect for our friends who are just acquaintances,” Beckwith said.

    Prices for the wedding service depend on how many extra features couples want to include.

    A $50 basic package includes 50 e-announcements, a home page with an engagement photo and information about the reception and wedding, and information about what the couple will do after they are married.

    The $130 deluxe site includes 15 more announcements, maps to the reception, a photo gallery, a registry link and an online RSVP.

    Additionally, couples can purchase a $40 CD-ROM of their Web site as a digital keepsake.

    “We try to put ourselves in a position for the couples to make it a little more fun and a little easier,” said Garff, who is a sophomore from La Canada, Calif., majoring in economics.

    Peterson did all the design for the Web site.

    “It’s pretty ironic when you think about it — three guys who don’t even really date, and here we are building a wedding site,” Peterson said.

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