real life

The new wedding cost-cutting measure that has guests boycotting the event.

Facebook invite, anyone?


Remember that time when sending your wedding invites was free? And easy? And everyone RSVP-ed instantaneously, so you could immediately resume Vera Wang gown-googling?

Yeah, not so much.

Because since the dawn of time, couples have been expected to spend the equivalent of a uni student’s first car on professionally-printed save-the-date magnets, followed by professionally-printed wedding invites, followed by- oh-joy!- professionally-printed ‘thank you’ cards. (I’m tired, you?)

But with the rise of online stationary businesses like Evite, My Invitation Link and Paperless Post, digital invitations are fast becoming a thing.

And with celebrities like Diane von Furstenberg and Condoleezza Rice now sending invitations via the interwebs, it looks like digital invites may even be the next big thing in wedding planning.

So if you’re constantly checking your mail box to see if the invite to your bestie’s wedding has arrived? Wake up and smell the 21st century electronic media my friend, because that request is coming via gmail instead.

However. The birth of these sleek online invitation services isn’t thrilling all wedding goers.

For a start, while many couples are merrily jumping aboard the online invite bandwagon, older guests are still hobbling along behind. According to the Daily Mail:

“Mariko Fritz-Krockow, who sent an event though Eventbrite for her September 2011 nuptials, told Today that her guests

We assume they just saved $1000 on save-the-date fridge magnets.

had a love/hate relationship with her digital invites.

‘There were a couple of people who were incredibly confused’, she admitted. ‘Even my mother, who is tech-savvy, didn’t know she had to RSVP electronically’…

Beverly Hills-based event planner Mindy Weiss [also] voiced concern for those not used to living life online. ‘A lot of older generations are not on email or not computer-savvy and a lot of the electronic invitations get stuck in spam,’ she says.”

Traditionalists are also writing off the trend as just another instance of too-hip-to-breathe digital wedding madness (much like live streaming of ceremonies or wedding hashtags). As the same Daily Mail article notes:

“New York-based wedding planner Tammy Golson told Today that a wedding is not the place for email. ‘A rehearsal or shower is OK, but paper is important for a wedding. It shows the seriousness you put into the wedding and that you’re treating the occasion with respect.'”

Some brides-to-be are similarly slamming the fad as ‘tacky, not techy’.

One too-good-to-e-vite bride even commented on an online forum, that she and her partner ‘actually didn’t go [to one wedding] because of this reason!”

That’s right. Shakespeare wouldn’t have gotten anywhere with the Dark Lady if he’d sent her an SMS to ask her out for dinner. Godammit. We require a sonnet, written ON PAPER.

Other couples take a more pragmatic view – having got the memo that new-age environmentalism, DIY weddings are all the rage. (And, presumably, having worked out that ‘friends’ likely to shun their nupitals out of disgust, are best left to nurse their injured sensibilities with the residents of Downton Abbey…)

Actress Julie Benz sums up the appeal of online invitations in her Huffington Post essay ‘Why I Chose Paperless Post’,  writing:

“[D]oes receiving a Paperless Post Evite make our wedding day any less important or any less formal? I don’t think so… In fact, I think it reveals a lot about who we are as a couple: modern, chic, green, no nonsense people who also like to save money.”

At least can all agree on one thing: digital wedding invites are preferable to some of these crazy ideas:

So, over to you: Does is it time to embrace the wedding e-vite? Your bank balance and/or Koh Samui honeymoon fund might think so.

Grace Jennings-Edquist is a Melbourne-based emerging journalist and former lawyer whose everyday interests range from women’s rights to viewing an unreasonable amount of sloth pictures. You can follow her on twitter @gracie_je and find some of her other work here.