I thought I’d get a bit of debate going today – although how much of a debate I’m going to get on this issue from Ethical Weddings readers I’m not sure!
An ethical bride-to-be on a budget and in a hurry emailed us to ask for our thoughts on the etiquette of sending email wedding invites. Here’s the original question followed by Ethical Weddings’ reply and some suggestions from our blogger brides.
We’d love to find out what you think. Does etiquette rule in this scenario or is email the obvious way forward? Maybe you’ve created your own gorgeous wedding e-vites – if you have, we’d love to see them. Send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can create a little gallery of them to inspire other online brides!
The question – to email or not to email?
We have decided to get married in 2 months. We are only asking our closest family members and friends to attend. Would it be acceptable to email their invitations to our little celebration? We thought we would send a formal invitation and RSVP through an attachment.
Ethical Weddings’ response
As far as we are concerned, there is absolutely nothing wrong with sending email invites – providing of course that you can be sure your guests will receive them. You could always follow up with a phone call to make sure.
If you’re looking at websites that give instructions about wedding etiquette, they’ll probably tell you it’s not the proper way to do things, that it isn’t formal enough… but this is your wedding and if you’re helping to save a few trees (and be more efficient at the same time), we think that can only be applauded.
Are you confident in creating a beautiful e-invite? If not, you might like to look into getting a designer to create one for you. Ethical Weddings website designers, Make Hay had some lovely designs for their wedding, for example, which would work on paper or by email.
Alternatively, you could go to a do-it-yourself site such as evite.com – see their wedding invites
We have a couple of posts on our blog about email invites that it might be useful for you to look through first:
We also asked our blogger brides for their thoughts and here’s what they had to say:
Jenny’s response – email invites no problem!
We invited all our guests by email and many people commented that they liked our invitations! I think it’s perfectly acceptable, especially now that people understand the ‘green’ reasons for using email a bit more.
In fact we put the actual invitations on a website, and simply sent people a link by email. Each person’s link was individual, so that when they clicked on it they were sent to an invite with their own name on, where they could click to RSVP and access info about the venue.
The advantage of doing this is that the website statistics can tell you which guests have seen their invitation. If you simply email an invitation out, you don’t know whether people received it. Some people don’t check their email. And not all faulty email addresses will send you back a warning that the email ‘bounced’.
We found it took a few attempts, with some people, to find an email address where they could receive their invite. But it saved us lots of money and time – we had 200 invitations and only three, in the end, had to be sent in paper copy!
Em’s response – hand made invites
“Ours is a fairly small affair at just 40 invitations going out, so I did still want to send some ‘hard copy’ invitations. Many of those we have invited are elderly and even some of the younger ones aren’t all that internet-savvy, so I tried to compromise.
I put out the equivalent of ‘save the date’ by making a group on Facebook, and inviting everyone who we would reasonably like to have at the wedding. We created a wedding event, and ‘invited’ all our guests along. Several people quickly responded with ‘wish we could but..’ messages, so that enabled us to cut down the guest list to those who thought they might be able to make it.
Next, we hand made our invitations.. and it’s got to be said, it wasn’t HALF as much fun as it looks on Etsy! We enjoyed planning our design, and I enjoyed cutting the first few.. but 20 invites in, and I had lost all will to make invitations myself! I think I finally understood why the much-coveted letterpress-on-Lettra designs I had seen were super expensive.
Admittedly, we did opt for the super-economy version for our invites. I’d researched lots of eco-friendly paper, but ultimately I realised that it wasnt worth ordering fresh paper and card in when I could probably source some locally and make the most of a small amount.
I eventually bought one A3 piece of textured card, used some old note cards that I had in my correspondence set, printed with our home printer, encased it in some folded brown card (I think I bought 15 sheets of A4 from a local shop where they had been gathering dust) and packaged it up with some handmade paper from a local shop.
It didn’t fit my ideal of the super eco-friendly, ethical invite, but I know that it used minimal resources and we were vaguely happy with the results!
I still have a couple of friends overseas who I haven’t offically invited yet, and I’ve come to the realisation there is a much better way around it. Using Adobe’s In-Design program (which I am very much a beginner at!), we can create a PDF invitation with clickable links and all the inserts we wanted to include.
I’m going to put our original invite design in there, and add on some local accommodation info and maps… and probably wind up emailing it to many of the people we sent the original one to anyway!
If I was to do it again (oh hang on, I will, back in Australia!), I’d create a PDF invite using In-Design, and only print it for the few people who aren’t online.”
Kate’s response – postcard invites
“We sent postcard invitations – I ordered them from a photo website, with a photo I’d chosen on one side and the invitation wording on the other. All I had to do then was address and stick a stamp on each one.
The postcards had a link to a website we’d designed and created, which had all the details on it, plus a form to RSVP.
The only reason I didn’t send an email instead was that there were quite a few guests who don’t really use email.
We’ve had lots of positive comments about the website – including a few from friends who said they wish they’d done something similar for their wedding.
For those who had no internet access at all, we printed the web pages out and sent them with their invite so that they had all the info.”
Why not carry on the debate about email and paper invites in the Ethical Weddings Forum?