Editor’s note: Michael Russo is a celebrity event and wedding planner. He is the owner of Michael Russo Events and has planned the weddings of Sherri Shepherd, Kevin Jonas and Joey Fatone, among others. He is on Twitter.
In this digital day and age, many things that were once done by hand can now be done electronically. As a whole, this transition has made life much easier, reducing even the most time-consuming tasks to a simple point, type and click.
While the simplicity of electronic alternatives can sometimes have a dangerous effect -- hello, online shopping! -- most would agree that the benefits outweigh the detriments. There is, however, one case in which I personally feel that the use of digital avenues is simply unacceptable: Wedding invitations.
Don’t get me wrong, the World Wide Web can most certainly be a useful tool in planning a wedding. Whether you’re creating an online bridal registry or merely browsing Pinterest for décor, dress and floral inspiration, the Internet can help brides-to-be keep organized, focused and a little less stressed.
Sending a digital invitation to guests, on the other hand, is informal at best and in poor taste at worst. And yet, according to a recent survey conducted by Wedding Paper Divas, more than half of wedding guests have received exclusively digital invitations to wedding related events -- including save the dates, showers, bachelor/bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinners and weddings -- with 65% reporting that they have received a written invitation supplemented with a digital option.
An e-vite is acceptable for a casual get-together amongst friends, a class reunion, or a Fantasy Football league… but for your wedding, a momentous day that you will remember for the rest of your life, a written invitation is the way to go. Sending a digital invitation can change the entire feel of the event, no matter how formal you intend your big day to be. Even if you are planning an informal wedding, an electronic invite is inelegant.
I’m hardly a traditionalist; I encourage my own clients to defy traditional conventions and relish the opportunity to do so, if that’s what they desire, but sending an electronic invitation is where I draw the line. Even if you don’t have a generous budget, stores such as Michael’s Arts & Crafts and Target offer beautiful and affordable invitation sets that can be customized to your liking.
Another emerging trend in the world of wedding planning is the creation of “wedding websites,” which are often included on the invitation, where guests can keep updated on any news related to the nuptials. This can sometimes be helpful, but it’s not guaranteed that everyone will visit the website as frequently as you would like. If you absolutely must send anything digital to guests, it should only be if something pertaining to the event changes at the 11th hour. For instance, a last-minute change in the time or venue for the ceremony or reception, information about the rehearsal, or transportation information for out-of-town guests.
Although e-vites are undeniably easy to create and send with a few clicks of a mouse, ultimately it comes across as lazy to send a digital invite to your wedding. While your computer-savvy guests may prefer to receive their invitations straight to their electronic inboxes, you run the risk of other, less technologically inclined guests accidentally deleting their invites or not receiving them at all due to strict spam filters or lackadaisical e-mail checking habits.
There’s just something to be said about receiving a handwritten letter in the mail, and the same goes for a beautifully crafted invitation. Not only does a physical invitation honor the importance and the sanctity of the event, it also holds sentimental value and can serve as a keepsake that can be preserved forever, to have and to hold, and not automatically archived in an Internet database.