We live in a digital age where practically everything can be done online, including inviting your wedding guests. And while it might have once been considered poor etiquette to send anything other than paper cards, today’s electronic invites can be just as elegant as any physical stationery.

“Digital wedding invitations are exactly like printed ones except they come through email, text, or a shareable link. They are modern, convenient and affordable options for inviting guests to your big day – and make it easy to manage the invitation anytime, anywhere and from any device,” explains Casey Martinez, a Celebration Expert at Evite, a digital invitation platform. 

While electronic invites have been steadily increasing in popularity for a while, the recent coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent rise of virtual weddings have accelerated the trend. In fact, according to a recent survey from Joy, another paperless invitation company, 56% of couples are now opting for digital “Change the Dates” and invitations, and 28% are using their wedding website to share updates with guests.

What are the advantages?

With how much goes into planning a wedding, the convenience of digital save the dates and invitations can’t be overstated. 

“The bride and groom-to-be have a lot of responsibilities leading up to their wedding day, where the magnitude of many of these tasks don’t set in until the couple is deep in the planning process. Invitations, however, don’t need to contribute to further stress!” says Martinez. “There is much less stress when it comes to managing the guest list and communicating with guests, before and after the wedding day,”

Plus, digital invitations are faster than waiting on the postal service so that you can receive responses from your guests sooner. 

“Rather than waiting for invitations to arrive to wedding guests in the mail, and inevitably, some invitations getting lost or returned to the sender, couples have peace of mind that their invites will arrive quickly in their guests’ inboxes,” says Vishal Joshi, co-founder, and CEO of Joy. “Digital invitations are accompanied by convenient digital RSVPs, allowing guests to easily click through to the couple’s wedding website to share their response.”

For eco-conscious couples, electronic invites and save-the-dates also have the added bonus of contributing significantly less to your event’s carbon footprint and waste than paper stationery. 

One of the biggest advantages, though, is the cost. According to WeddingWire’s latest Newlywed Report, couples spent an average of $560 on invitations and stationery in 2019. Digital invitations, on the other hand, can cost as little as $0. More premium or custom options do cost more but are still significantly less than printed invites. 

What are the drawbacks?

Of course, no solution is perfect, so there are some potential pitfalls of sending out digital invitations. For instance, some invitations may get caught up in spam filters, or less tech-savvy guests could have trouble navigating the non-traditional invitation format. 

“Keep in mind that some guests may not be as familiar with these types of virtual invitations and may need some digital guidance. You may want to consider calling grandparents or other guests to make sure they understand how to RSVP and answer any questions they may have,” advises Martinez.

What are the best practices for sending digital invites? 

Since electronic invitations are, at their core, still invitations, many of the same etiquette rules apply. When it comes to timings, Joshi recommends sending save-the-dates at least six months ahead of the wedding and invitations two to three months before. 

“Though, if you are planning in a hurry or your wedding plans are changing, you have the flexibility to send digital invitations much closer to your big day if needed, given they will arrive to guests instantly, and guests can RSVP quickly,” he adds. 

Similarly, much of the same information you would provide in a physical invite should be included in a digital invite – i.e., names of the couple, times and locations for the ceremony and reception, dress code and how to RSVP. 

“For guests joining from out of town, be sure to include things to do or places to eat in town, as well as accommodations options. You may also want to include any information regarding transportation to and from hotels to the wedding, or if you’re not providing that, be sure to give directions to the venue,” adds Martinez.

©CTW Features