Can we use an electronic RSVP for our wedding?
So here’s the deal. Traditional wedding etiquette stipulates the only way for guests to RSVP to your wedding is through a paper response card. This will always be a very beautiful way to collect your guest responses and is the right choice for many people. However, electronic response collection is gaining popularity for ease of use and is no longer considered tacky when done well. As with many of your wedding decisions, the best choice will be based on individual factors and what’s most important to you. Here are some reasons paper vs. electronic may be YOUR best option:
Reasons To Choose Paper RSVP Cards:
You are planning a more formal or traditional wedding. This will always be the gold standard for a reason. It’s beautifully traditional, makes guest feel special and has that touch of formality that makes your wedding feel elevated from everyday life.
You LOVE paper goods. If paper goods are one of your top priorities, then a traditional invitation suite is likely the best fit for you.
Receiving rsvp cards in your mailbox is thrilling. No one can deny this. Tiny cards of happiness in your mailbox leading up to your wedding day is so much fun!
You have very reliable mail service. If you don't understand why this is on the list, then you have very reliable mail service.
You intend to save them as a keepsake. My mom saved hers and I still remember pulling the little white envelopes out of the box as a kid with wonder and amazement.
You have a large amount of elderly or non tech-savvy guests. This is becoming much less of a concern as even our grandparents have email and Facebook, but you don’t want to inconvenience your guests to RSVP for your wedding. You will know your list best.
Reasons To Choose Electronic RSVP collection:
Your response timeline is tight. Electronic collection is much faster because you don’t have to wait for the return mailing time, and for some of your guests to find a postal box. (Who else thinks mailing things is SO hard!).
You have unreliable mail service. I love the postal service, but anyone who lives in a large city or apartment building knows this is fact of life.
You need a little more time to finalize your catering. You can order your invites with directions to your electronic rsvp form and finalize your entree selections during the shipping and assembly timeframe.
You have multiple weekend events that you would like a headcount for. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask for an RSVP for any wedding event that is being hosted (i.e. - you are paying for the food and drinks) during the weekend. If your weekend includes a welcome party, morning after brunch, trolley tour of the city, wine tasting or other such event, an electronic format gives you the freedom to easily list all of these events and for guests to clearly reply with who will come to each.
If you decide that electronic response collection is the right choice for you, here are my recommendations on how to make the process smooth and graceful for your guests.
How to do Electronic RSVP's well:
Always mail a paper invitation. Period. End of story.
Include a separate card (for more formality) or a line at the bottom of your invite with directions to your RSVP site. "Please visit xxx.com to RSVP."
Don’t make the link obnoxiously long. This should be as easy and convenient as possible. If you don't have a personalized wedding website, then I recommend making a shortened link with your names or something else that is easy to type (not: ig7H99L)
Test your response collection site first!
My favorite response collection tools:
Google forms - free, easy to customize and puts all of your data into a spreadsheet.
Squarespace forms- also my favorite wedding website tool; sends you an email with each response collection (mini-thrill!); can be set up to funnel data into a google sheet.
Electronic works best for me, but I really want to get mail!
If you’re leaning towards electronic RSVP's, but you’re sad to give up that thrill of receiving mail from you guests, consider including a small card (and pre-stamped envelope) with your invitation suite and asking guests to send you a note of encouragement or marital wisdom during your first year of marriage. It will be much more of a keepsake than their names and entree selection and will be such a nice surprise when you receive them in the months after all the wedding events have ended.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic! Would you consider electronic or are you a tried and true paper for lifer?
Do you have a planning or etiquette questions you’d like to see answered here?
Email me here: firstname.lastname@example.org