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The New Wave: Electronic Invitations
Five years ago, the response to an electronic wedding invitation landing in your inbox, would have been a raised eyebrow, an intake of breath, and general shock and horror. Fast forward to today, where it’s considered modern, green and practical to send out digital invitations. Still on the fence? Here are some pros and cons to help you decide.
If your grandmother has a Facebook page, then you’ll personally understand just how much the world has changed in the past few years. People are constantly online and use this medium to run their entire lives, so it’s only natural that wedding communication follows suit. Save a forest while you save the date – electronically! These are some of the advantages of taking the modernist route:
- Economical. There are no costs for stationery, printing, return envelopes or stamps.
- Green. Most invitations ultimately end up in the bin, so eliminate paper waste by using this environmentally friendly option.
- Real time. Guests can instantly RSVP online and this gives you an immediate and accurate head count.
- Efficient. As all your interaction is on the internet, it makes it simple to track correspondence and manage your guest list.
- Easy. There’s no need to repeatedly answer the same questions as you can send out a group response.
- Tangible (well, almost!). Paperless Post has a virtual envelope which guests have to “open”.
- Informative. You can include maps, directions, transport options and accommodation. Have a link to your wedding website where all your extra information is shown, such as local attractions and restaurants, and you can upload pictures and videos to tell your wedding story.
- Creative. There are countless ways to customise your invitation to achieve something beautiful, personal and memorable. Have fun playing with fonts, colours, motifs and styles.
- Practical. It’s ideal for tech-savvy guests who are comfortable online.
- Casual. It’s the perfect informal wedding invitation for the modern couple.
- Who needs to follow etiquette anyway – it’s your wedding!
When was the last time you got an actual letter from a real person? Not a statement, not an invoice, not a catalogue. In an increasingly paperless world, there’s something quite romantic and old school about receiving a wedding invitation in the post, the excitement of opening it up, and then being constantly reminded of it because it’s stuck to your fridge. For traditionalists, the only option is the conventional paper one:
- There is recycled paper that makes invitations both green and affordable
- Older guests, and those who haven’t fully embraced the digital world, get confused about how to respond to an online invitation.
- The invitation can get lost or deleted before ever being read
- Spam filters can result in invites never making it to an inbox
- It can be challenging to get everyone’s current email addresses
- Without a handheld invitation there’s no memento for friends and family to keep, or stick in an album or scrapbook.
- You lose the personal touch
- It doesn’t convey the same sense of importance as an invitation written in fancy handwriting, on special paper.
- Email is considered informal, and to many people this sets the tone for your wedding
- Most etiquette professionals consider it tacky, bad manners and in poor taste, because they believe more effort should be made for such a significant event.
- It’s the first impression of you and your wedding, and not everyone is going to like your electronic invitation!
What's Considered 'Proper Etiquette'?
Digital wedding invitations are now regarded as fairly acceptable, but there are still rules that you should follow.
- A formal wedding should get a formal, paper invitation
- Don’t use digital for some guests and paper for others – all invitations must be the same
- Keep your wedding list private when you send out electronic invitations
- Include a phone number so that people who struggle to RSVP online, or those with queries, can simply phone you.
- No matter what invitations you use, it’s considered proper etiquette to send handwritten thank you notes.
We live in interesting times, where the paper and digital worlds are colliding. If you can’t settle on one particular option, then find a happy medium. Choose an electronic Save the Date and have a hard copy wedding invitation, or have a handheld invite with instructions to RSVP online.
You’ll find that opinions run the gamut of responses, but what’s important is to find out what works for you. If you think it’s tacky, don’t use it for your wedding, but it you’re excited about being able to Instagram your day, then it’s your kind of trend. Whether you do or don’t do digital, what matters more than anything, is what you write on the inside.