I was recently married on Sunday, September 2, 2012 and am super pleased to tell you that we were able to stay within our budget! It didn’t always seem that we were going to make it but somehow we did!
Today, I wanted to share with you something that I learned along the way. When we started out, we decided to go the traditional route and send invitations via snail mail. We actually first sent save-the-dates and then sent out invitations to our guests later.
Image Courtesy of: 123rf.com
Because I had sent save-the-dates, I assumed that once we mailed the invitations out that we would get our responses back in a timely manner. Well, you know the old adage that when you assume, you make a…well, you get the point.
Boy, was I way off base. Not only did we not receive a response within a timely manner from our guests, we actually hardly received any responses at all. Out of the 170 guests that we invited to our nuptials, when it was past our RSVP date, we had not received cards back from over 90 of those guests! Now I call that a bad response rate!
It made me think how pointless paper invitations are these days. With technology always changing and people becoming more involved in their phones, tablets, laptops, etc. - wouldn’t it make sense if this generation of brides changes with the changing times?
Image Courtesy of: 123rf.com
I encourage you to make the decision to send out e-vites and e-save-the-dates to your guests. I guarantee that most guests are more likely to press a button on their phones to RSVP than finding where they would put an envelope to send back to you in the mail.
To give you a better idea of what potential savings this could be for you, I have broken down what I paid for each of the different components that go into sending out paper save-the-dates and invites (below is on an order of 100 invitations):
- Save-the-dates: $81.47
- Invitations (Including reception card, RSVP card, invite): $279.33
- Directional cards: $58.17
- Stamps (For all three mailings): 300 x $0.45= $135.00
- TOTAL COST: $553.97
That is how much I spent and I guarantee you that I cut corners. I chose a website that was inexpensive and came up with the wording myself. I enlisted help and ensured that each line was in alignment and looked the best it could possibly look. I also created a document and printed all of the mailing address labels so that I could affix each label to its own invitation envelope (I also had to buy the paper, ink, and labels for this).
I stuffed all of the invitations and put every stamp on both the return response card and the invitation. I made sure the direction card, invite, and RSVP envelope were perfectly in line before sealing up all of our 100 invites and dropping them off at the Postal Annex to be mailed (would arrive within 5-7 business days [normal mail-time]) to our guests.
To have such a low response rate, why was it not ok for me to send e-vites? The answer is that it is absolutely ok! You can go to some of the following sites to produce e-vites and once you choose your final design, you can send all of your guests a virtual invitation. Some that I came across in my research are:
After looking at all of the different options that these companies have to offer, I believe that e-vites are the way of the future. Why spend all of your time and money on something that people may or may not get around to sending back the RSVP card. Not only will you save money, you will also be contributing to the go green initiative and will be saving the planet too. It is a win/win situation for everyone!
If my wedding were to start a statistic, it would be that only 52% of guests will use the stamp you sent them. Ultimately, I had to reach out via text and Facebook messages, which seemed to me to be pretty tacky. I think had I opted for an e-vite originally, I would have saved that hassle and it would have looked much more beautiful in their email’s inbox!
Image Courtesy of: WeddingBug Photographers
If you are still on the fence, why not consider ordering one invitation that you can make a photo shoot out of? That way, you have a keepsake invite to take pictures with on your wedding day and then to display in a picture frame or shadow box. Be bold and creative… I am sure your invitation sent electronically will blow everyone’s minds! Until next time, Happy Planning!
Rayna is a founder of Wedding Crowd, a social wedding planning site that can help you bring your dream wedding to life. She also is a founder of WedWeekly that outlines the best of the best in weddings! Sign up now to be part of both sites. Also, check out her blog where she posts about weddings.