I know I’m going to ruffle a few feathers today, but I think this topic is worth the discussion. Can you email your wedding invitations? I was on the expert panel at A Chic Affair this weekend and a question about email wedding invitation etiquette was asked by an audience member. The panel was firmly divided in their response. I was in the, “you can absolutely email your wedding invitations” camp, while other experts most certainly were not at all. I’ve been thinking about it for the past few days, so I wanted to take to the blog and get your opinion.

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 Photo Credit:  Michelle Lindsay Photography

My feeling is this: As a wedding community, we have been telling couples for many years now that there are no rules when it comes to wedding planning. Go ahead, wear that short dress with red shoes! Mixed-gender wedding parties, bring it on! DIY everything! Food trucks, yes please! Pies in a jar! The more personal the better! In fact, I just read that 80% of couples who were married last year lived together before getting married. (Source: Splendid Insights 2012 wedding statistics and market research) How is that for not traditional?! In short, you can do whatever you want for your wedding celebration, as long as it suits your personality and your budget.

So, why should your wedding invitations be any different?

I agree with many who say that that your wedding invitations set the tone of your wedding. It gives your guests a taste of what is to come and it gets them excited about celebrating your marriage. I do think that you can set tone and generate excitement electronically. Emailed invitations work really well for couples who don’t prioritize printed wedding paper goods or couples who are planning a wedding in a short time-frame. It is great for wedding guests who live overseas when postage can be pricey, long and unreliable. Emailed invitations are also good for couples who are on a strict budget, because remember, you are not only paying for the paper invitations, but also two sets of stamps. I also think electronic invitations work well for informal or untraditional weddings, like casual BBQs and happily ever after parties, as in you eloped and now you are having a party with all of your friends. In addition, digital invitations are a nice option for bridal showers and rehearsal dinners.

If you are going to go digital with your wedding invitations, here are a few ideas for you:

  • Custom Digital Invitation: Have a graphic designer or wedding invitation designer make you a digital image of a wedding invitation to email out to your guests. This way it is something custom made just for you, but with the ease email distribution. You could even print out one or two onto nice paper to save in a scrap book or frame! You can then work with the designer to use your graphic or the design in other parts of your wedding like a program, escort cards or thank you notes.
  • Online Invitation + RSVPs: This is definitely the most eco-friendly option! You could sign up for Greenvelop to create online wedding invitations and RSVP collection.
  • Wedding Website: Since most couples create a wedding website, you can let your website do double duty! Design a (free) wedding website with a company like Wedding Paper Divas. On the website, you can have all of your wedding information for your guests and collect RSVPs through your website.

Here are a few other things to think about if you are going to email your wedding invitations:  Email can be considered informal, so some guests will think they don’t need to respond right away or that a formal invitation will follow in the mail. So, do make it clear that this email is the invitation with a clear RSVP-by date so that guests know to respond. In the same manor, if you don’t hear back from guests, your email might have gone to their SPAM folder. This sometimes happens when you send an email to a large number of email addresses. If you are not sending individual emails to each guest, be sure to BCC all of your email addresses, as you don’t want everyone replying to all and cluttering your guest’s Inboxes. The last – and very important – piece of advice is that some wedding guests, like grandparents, might not have email or are not comfortable with it, so have a plan for inviting the email-adverse to your wedding.

Like I said at the beginning, I know that not everyone will agree with me on this front. I’m not advocating one way or the other for print vs. digital wedding invitations. I’m simply saying that if you are thinking about going digital for your wedding invitations, you certainly can do it and you shouldn’t feel bad about it.

If email isn’t for you, and you would like to print and mail your wedding invitations, you can always check out our comprehensive list of the best wedding invitation designers in the Washington DC area. There are some really talented folks on that list! And, as much as I think you most certainly can email your wedding invitations, I do love to get things in the mail. I am, in fact, one of those dorks that saves wedding invitations. I mean, look at what my friend did with my own wedding invitations!

So, how about you? What do you think about emailed wedding invitations? Leave a comment below and let me know where you stand on the subject. Would you be appalled if you got an email wedding invitation from a friend or would you find it easier and more eco-friendly? Will you email your wedding invitations or would your grandparents give you too much of a hard time about it? Let’s have a discussion!

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