Nothing beats the convenience of e-mail. You can send messages with ease from your computer or even your mobile device in a matter of seconds. But is it tacky to send formal correspondence via the internet? Many younger couples use e-mail as their primary method of communication with friends and family members, so it seems only natural to send out their wedding invitations in the same manner. With the high price tag of weddings, many couples are left looking to save money wherever they can. Wedding invitations aren’t cheap, and they take a lot of work. Choosing a design, assembling the list of names and addresses, sorting through RSVP cards and keeping track of each guest’s menu choices can be time consuming and sometimes confusing. Is it worth all of the trouble when one could easily set up an e-vite page that would help with these tasks? Are e-mail wedding invitations tacky? Here are some things to consider when working on your wedding invitations.
Why should I bother with printed invitations?
Realistically, an E-vite is a bit informal for one of the most important milestones in one’s life. While it would be an easy way to manage your wedding invites, it would also send the message that your wedding is unimportant. In most cases, you will get a far better response rate by sending a formal invitation through U.S. mail. It’s just too easy to ignore an e-mail, or to read it and quickly forget about it. Getting a formal invitation in the mail is special, especially when so much of today’s communication is electronic. A formal invitation sets the tone for you wedding and lets guests know what to expect. Something else to consider is the fact that not everyone is online. Many of your older relatives may not have e-mail accounts that they check regularly.
Another benefit to having a printed wedding invitation is that it becomes a keepsake. Your wedding is most definitely a day to remember, and it is wonderful to save mementos from this special day. Many people frame their wedding invitations to display in their homes. Wedding invitations can also be kept in scrapbooks or included in your wedding photo album. Many of your relatives may also want to keep the invitation for their albums as well. Would an e-mail print-out make a great keepsake?
Isn’t email more sustainable?
A lot of eco-savvy couples consider e-mail invitations for the “green” aspect. While e-mail may seem to be a more eco-friendly option, keep in mind that most invitations include the address of the venue, directions, and other important information that your guests might want to bring with them to the event. The odds are that many guests would end up printing out a paper copy of your e-mail invitation anyway.
The truth is that printed wedding invitations can be just as eco-friendly as an electronic version. There are many recycled papers on the market that can be used for printed wedding invitations. Look for brands that say 100% PCW (Post Consumer Waste) or that are FSC certified. Most commercial printers now use soy-based inks which are non-toxic and safe for the environment.
If you’re insistant on minimizing the amount of paper used for your invitations, you can send a simple invitation that points guests to your wedding website. From the website your guests can find information about the event and accommodations, and could even RSVP online. This way your guests would still receive an invitation in the mail, but they could respond via the web without having to send a reply card in the mail. Again it’s important to remember that many of your older guests may not be as web savvy as you are. Take this into consideration when planning how you will send your wedding invitations. Unless you are sure that everyone invited would be comfortable receiving an invitation and replying online, you should mail your invitations. You definitely want to make it as easy as possible for friends and family to get the right information and respond promptly.
What about Cost? Wedding invitations are so expensive!
Paper invitations don’t have to be expensive. An invitation can be as simple as a 4×6 flat card with one-color printing. Free wedding invitation templates can be found online and downloaded for free. If you print and assemble your wedding invitations with these free templates, you’ll only pay for the cost of paper, envelopes and postage. More expensive options involve custom designs, high-end printing, and multiple pieces, but the bulk of the cost is design, printing and assembly. By using a free template and printing and assembling everything yourself, the savings could be significant.
The Bottom Line
E-mail is convenient and fast, but it’s usually not practical for formal invitations. Your younger guests may not think twice about receiving an e-mail invitation, but most of your older guests would likely think it’s tacky. An e-vite is perfect for a backyard barbecue, but your wedding deserves an invitation that speaks to the importance of the event.
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