Not So Formally Invited?

It appears that the polar opposite of the cameo-and-ribbon-wearing invitation is gaining ground with modern maids and men looking to save both trees and money spent on stamps. Don’t be surprised if sometime in the future you receive an invitation in the form of an e-mail, PDF, Facebook or Myspace message, URL, PowerPoint presentation, text message(!), or DVD.

Huh. Don’t get me wrong — online invites are great for barbecues and birthday parties, but as realistic as I am about where those paper wedding invitations will eventually end up, it’s still nice to ooh and ahh over them when they arrive via post in their thick ecru envelopes. After scouring the web to find out what the average Joe and Jane think about e-invites, this remains my favorite response:

If I received an e-mailed invitation, I’d reply with an e-mail attachment of a picture of a gift.

Text messages asking “wll u com 2 my wddng?” will likely always be tacky — we can hope — but I kind of like the DVD idea if it’s done right.

Reel Invitations creates a professionally edited DVD that is an accompaniment to (rather than a replacement for) your stationery. Recipients who either can’t or won’t watch the DVD will still get all of the information they need in a pretty paper invitation while recipients who can watch it can enjoy the story of your courtship, info about the wedding party, and lots of other extras.

Are e-invites greener than paper invites? Sure. Are they convenient? Definitely. Are they proper? I suppose I’d have to say that it really depends. If you’re having a very small, very casual wedding and you know that all of your guests are tech-savvy, online invitations from evite, pingg, or a homemade e-mail invite may be appropriate.

But if you’ve decided to go the traditionalesque route, with a big wedding with all the trimmings, I’d suggest that you don’t skimp on stationery. After all, it’s your stationery that gives your guests a sneak peek into the formality level of your nuptials, helping them know what to expect and what to wear…and while a handful of invitations may get lost in the mail, that’s a lot less traumatic than finding out that 50% of your invites ended up marked as spam.

12 Responses to “Not So Formally Invited?”

  1. blablover5 says:

    I was facebook evented to a wedding that I was helping in.

    It didn’t even say word one about the reception so we didn’t stick around. We barely thought about sticking around for the ceremony.

    I think it’s incredibly rude to do that as it’s just like a hey you’re not as important as those who got a real invitation but we want gifts from you still.

  2. You mean some people received real stationery, blablover5, while other people just got “facebooked?” That’s just nasty!

  3. Twistie says:

    Even if I were doing a really tiny wedding with only a handful of my nearest and dearest and organized at the last minute among my tech-savvy crowd, I would still at least pick up the phone. It just seems more personal and more fitting to either send a physical invitation or at minimum speak directly to the potential guest.

    Yes, evites are handy, but I think a wedding – no matter how informal a celebration it may be – deserves a touch more effort on the part of the happy couple.

  4. Twistie: I wouldn’t mind an evite that read like, “Hey, we’re getting hitched on January 20 at 2 p.m. at City Hall. Then we’re going to the Firehouse Bar for drinks and fries. Join us if you can!” I actually know one couple that sent out an e-mail just like that — they weren’t doing anything formal, so they didn’t want to gussy things up to the point where people started to feel obligated.

    I’d be weirded out, however, by an evite that was similar in every way to a paper invitation (no matter how small the wedding) because that just seems like having your cake and eating it, too.

  5. AmazonPrincess says:

    I would consider an evite okay for a casual reception, it is a greener option and for some people that is really important. It is also free, which in this economy is a wonderful thing. But in the end it is up to the couple, and if they don’t want to spend the money on fancy paper, it is their choice.

    I was considering for my own future hypothetical wedding having a really simple paper invite go out and instead of insert after insert direct people to a website in the bridal colors with all the wedding/reception pertinent information. Maybe some pretty pictures, also put links to local hotels and such for the out of town future hypothetical guests. 🙂 That saves both paper and tradition.

  6. srah says:

    I’m with AmazonPrincess – send invitations but put as much information online as possible and – when possible – save on postage and paper.

    Of course, my grandma would still need paper-everything so everything couldn’t go online.

  7. kelly says:

    Ugh. I was e-vited to a wedding a few years ago and it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth, which is weird because I’m an internet fiend and love emails and the like.

    Then, just this summer, the same couple was asked to deliver some invites to a wedding they were part of the wedding party of. I received my invite three weeks after the wedding, after begging for atleast registry information so I could send a gift for the wedding I was obviously not attending. I think it’s pretty clear where they stand on the etiquette issue. Oddly, they’re a pretty well organized and put together couple otherwise. Guess they just don’t care about stationery?

  8. kelly says:

    I guess I should state that atleast the couple sent out thank you cards. Another wedding I attended, I received a thank you card 13 months after the wedding, and it spelled my name wrong. 🙁

  9. Ugh, kelly, it seems you have a track record of bad wedding stationery experiences! That’s so bizarre and inexcusable. I have my own sorry tale of invites arriving late — one of the gals who planned my bridal shower got many of the addresses wrong, so a great many of my friends knew nothing about the party until just before or (worse) just after. Needless to say, there were a lot more family members and friends of family in attendance than actual friends. I felt terrible.

  10. We’re sending simple invitations with a link to our wedding website on them. I don’t see the point in wasting money and paper printing every detail when 99% of our guests use the internet every day. However, giving up ‘proper’ invitations altogether I think is just tacky.

  11. Becca says:

    We’ve recently received wedding invitations online, and haven’t been shocked or offended. Mostly they are smaller, more casual weddings – the more formal affairs are still sending invitations on paper.

    The best option so far has been online ‘save the date’ emails, then formal paper invites to follow. seem to have the best selection for save the date, engagement party etc. This modern combo seems to be a nice mix of both worlds.


  12. KTB says:

    That’s what we’re planning on doing–sending email save-the-dates and then sending proper invitations (which are letterpress, and I found online for wayyy cheaper than in the stores here. Thanks, NtB!)