Paper Or Email: Should Wedding Invitations Be Digital At This Point?

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Should Wedding Invitations Be Digital At This Point?

How many trees had to die so you could send out formal invitations?

The always on-point Andrea, a young woman in the process of planning her wedding, asked on Facebook, "Should wedding invitations be digital at this point?" The response was all over the board with some people vehemently wanting paper wedding invitations, to going the way of dressing up for a flight and having pubic hair, to those who thought the old tradition should be upheld. Although, it did seem to be skewered to going digital.

So many things are done digitally now, and most couples meet and date with the help of all things digital, so why shouldn't an email be enough of an invitation? "I'd also like to state that people literally SHOP for their husbands and wives on their iPhones at this point (and sometimes marry them), but digital invites are 'informal,'" says Andrea.

We're already wasting too much paper and killing too many trees. Many wedding invitations aren't just one piece of nice paper — they usually are made up of a number of response cards, making them not just outdated but irresponsible.

And for what? One fast moment of admiring the beauty of the paper stock?

One commenter, Aela, said, "I received my last two wedding invitations via email and I loved it! Paper invites sure are pretty but I only keep them for the three minutes it takes me to complete the RSVP and snap a pic with my phone so I have the info digitally. That's practical, and keeping this thick paper product for the next six months somewhere safe in my house is a pain in the ass. So within five minutes of receiving this expensive invitation, which I'm sure much care went into picking out, it's tossed in the trash."

But does an email invite take away from the momentousness of the event? Does it cheapen it slightly?

Regarding a paper invitation, Sara said, "It's just tradition. Personally, I think it's an event that deserves a chance to be regarded with thought." And Marty agreed, "Just as an email and text are too impersonal for certain communications (like death notifications), it turns out there's something to be said for the time, thought and effort put into a well-done, snail mail invitation."

Email invites can get lost in overcrowded inboxes or mistakenly marked as spam, but the postal services isn't as dependable as it once was.

Generally, we keep and receive most of our important information on our phones, and we rarely don't have them right by our sides.

Sasha wrote, "Also, SO much more convenient for people to have the wedding details (i.e., location, time, dress, code) saved in their email, as opposed to relying on a fridge magnet to save the date (which many, including myself, frequently lose the invitation and end up texting a friend the day of: "What time is the wedding again? Where is it? I lost the invitation. Also, is it black tie or can I wear my Wisconsin Badgers jersey?"

Personally, the kind of invitation you send out depends on the type of wedding you have. If it's on the beach, send your invitation digitally; if it's extremely formal, a nice (one-piece) invitation is in order.

Heather S. had a similar opinion with the addition of some digital aspects. She said, "I like a hybrid — a formal invitation for a formal event, with a website that includes all the details and a place to RSVP digitally. Because that invitation sure was pretty and nice to receive in the mail amongst the bills, but I lost it about 2.3 seconds later."

Most people like Heather, at least judging from the Facebook responses, either want just digital or to have both.

Megan said, "My friends went mostly digital. We got an email saying save the date then just a simple flat card invite with minimal details. RSVP and details on the web."

Another Megan chimed in, "I used to manage an upscale stationary store and we recommended paper invites (amen) as well as emailed info (newsletter style). It's not uncommon to complement one with the other to balance convenience and style. Point is, printed invitations don't preclude email correspondence. Why would they? As with any more formal event. 'Formal' meaning important, not attire."

In the end, it's up to the bride how she wants to invite people to her wedding and in Andrea's case, digital invites for the win.

"I just think we're evolving and 'just because something's always been done' isn't good enough reason for me — or my wallet," she concluded.

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Do what makes you happy and seems to fit with your sense of the wedding. And if that's a digital invite, who cares if, as Elizabeth said, "Grandma's bridge group will talk sh*t about you behind your back until they are all dead."