All roads lead to marketing.

All roads lead to marketing in my world. I absolutely expected that some of my marketing-fu would help me in my wedding planning — I’ve worked with printers, so doing my own invitations and other stationery is fun and easy; creating a wedding website and app was pretty fun, too. I can maintain a mean Pinterest board that should be the envy of other brides! Fellow marketers, stick with me because you’ll share my pain.

I was perusing a wedding forum tonight, and I clicked on a thread that was supposedly about RSVP etiquette. The bride was worked up because five days before the requested RSVP deadline, only a third of her guests had responded. And she had even included a QR code on the invitation for their convenience!!!

The thread then took a turn for the worse: QR code enablement. As the self-congratulatory comments amongst those who did or will embrace the QR code on their wedding invitations continued — because it’s so easy and convenient for their guests! — I started laughing. I was staring at my iPhone and laughing. My first impulse was to email a former colleague who really fed my distaste for the QR code, but the email blossomed into this post. Some rants need to be saved for Future Ashley to re-read.

I used a QR code on my business card ... four years ago!

I used a QR code on my business card … four years ago!

My basic distrust of using a QR code for anything is that you have to rely on a random third party to ably deliver your message. You can generate your own QR code, and you can design and awesome mobile-friendly page, site, or microsite, but you are helpless when it comes to how your audience captures your code and renders your message!

My aforementioned colleague introduced me to the brilliance of Scott Stratten, who has some hilariously epic rants about QR codes, and I believe these apply to brides considering using QR codes on their wedding invitations.

“Think before we do!” says Stratten. Wedding planning, and a lot about life, is the same as marketing: Research and know your audience! Execute accordingly. Of every person on my wedding invitation list, I’m comfortable in assuming that I’m the only person who has ever used a QR code. But at least 90 percent of my invitation list have downloaded smart phone apps and all of them know how to visit a website. I’m skipping the QR code in favor of url and app download instructions.

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