The eRSVP Debate

A couple of posts ago, I discussed my decision to give my graphically inclined maid of honor the added responsibility of designing my wedding invitations after realizing that it wouldn’t be that much more expensive than buying the print-your-own kind.

With about 100 invitations going out to an ever-increasing number of guests, I am bound to face the It’s-Past-The-RSVP-Date-And-I’m-Missing-Half-My-RSVP-Cards problem. I’m not really sure why this is a common problem for people. The most I’ve ever had to write on a card was my name and the name of my date. Then I stick it in that pre-addressed and pre-stamped envelope and there it goes. Why it can’t be done in a timely manner is beyond me.

I thought about going the eRSVP route for a number of reasons.

  1. It will save me 100 stamps thereby saving me $44.40
  2. It will saves me 100 envelopes thereby saving me about $10
  3. It will be earth friendly as that will be less paper wasted and less energy used to transport my invitations to and from my guests house.
  4. Everyone is already online anyway so it takes just as much effort to click a link, type a name and hit send.

The truth of the matter is that not everyone – like my Great-Uncle Dan or Chuck’s Grandparents – is online, so inevitably I’ll have to send out some paper RSVP cards. Then I have to decide who is technology-challenged and who isn’t. Many of my family members barely update their Facebook page, can I trust they’d go online to RSVP in lieu of sending out a card? Is there an app for that?

I did a little quick searching on the discussion boards on The Knot website and found that many brides who went the eRSVP route still ended up calling half their guest list to find out if they were coming or not.

Truth is, when you’re dealing with other people there are no real ways to guarantee you’ll get anything on time. You could be creative like my Twitter friend @rachanoel whose timely guests are being entered into a drawing for a prize. She gave her guests the option of RSVPing online or with the reply cards she sent with the invitations. Brilliant! I hope it works and she gets the bulk of her RSVPs in.

So now I teeter between trying to be budget and eco-friendly and wanting to minimize the amount of calls I’ll be making three weeks before my wedding.

Did your guests RSVP online? What were your experiences like? Share in the comments or email me at LIBudgetBride@gmail.com.
Correction: @rachanoel only suggested the idea and her fiance vetoed it. She’s holding onto the idea in case they need it in the coming weeks. I still think it’s brilliant.

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6 thoughts on “The eRSVP Debate

  1. I think there’s a bigger problem. A lot of people just flat out don’t RSVP for anything ever. Our last party, 10 people RSVP’d and 50 showed up! I like the raffle idea and personally, I think the pre-addressed/pre-stamped cards are easier than remembering to send an email.

    • I really have no idea why. It’s probably one of the most inconsiderate things to do. We’re doing a cocktail reception so an exact head count isn’t as important as a sit down dinner, but getting RSVP’s back in a timely manner would be swell.

      • I hate to tell you this but whatever decision you make, there will still be a good amount of people who hasn’t rsvp-ed. I don’t understand it either. I recently got a wedding invitation for a friends wedding and the day I got it i filled out the card and mailed it back. I can understand if maybe there is a work conflict so you can’t rsvp early…but that’s happened to me before. i used to work on weekends regularly, and when i would be invited to a wedding, i would at least contact the bride and groom and tell them the situation. honestly, you will be contacting people beforehand but i do like the raffle idea. Not sure of what kind of prize they can get, but it is a cool idea to really get people to send them in. i think going the traditional or e-rsvp route is fine either way. But people in our generation tend to be more easy going with e-vites. But older people, parents, grandparents, etc…migth get offended. i mean, when it comes to weddings, its such a ballet tiptoeing around all the BS. so just keep in mind some ppl might get upset, maybe send them the traditional rsvp?

      • Haha, thanks Jess. I appreciate the feedback. I would have sent paper RSVPs to the older folk, if nothing else just because I know they don’t own a computer.

  2. I just checked and we’ve received about 40 rsvps out of about 96 invites, totaling 66 people so far. Our deadline is Oct 13, wedding is Nov 13, and for catering purposes we need to get a minimum of 100 people.

    Our very 1st rsvp was online and since then it’s ALL been via snail mail.

    I have to say one of my bridesmaids got married in April and, not having thought about this stuff yet *at all* I wasn’t that quick. I work with her and had this idea in my head of “Oh, she knows I’m coming” and “Oh I can just bring it into work anytime.”

    So, yep. I probably deserve whatever I (do or don’t) get!

    • Not bad! That’s almost half with a couple of weeks to go. It looks like the world just isn’t ready for the digital RSVP. I guess there is still a certain formality lingering when it comes to wedding invitations. As far as I remember I was really cool with sending in my RSVPs on time, but my friends are welcome to call me out on that ; )

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