When I meet with couples at their design consult, one of the most common topics we discuss is the digital RSVP. Most couples are quick to think digital RSVPs are the best thing since avocado toast! And although there are some great benefits to online RSVPs there are also some major disadvantages to digital RSVPs. So, this week we are talking all about RSVPs: what are they, why we need them and some pros and cons of digital RSVPs.
Traditionally couples include a pre-addressed envelope and card in their stationery suite allowing guests to easily respond whether or not they would be attending the wedding, how many people are in the guests’ party, meal selections and any dietary restrictions.
Why are RSVP cards pre-addressed?!
I mean this in the nicest way possible, but…
People are lazy. Whew, there I said it. Glad to get that off my chest.
I mean how many of us have wanted to change the channel on the TV but the remote is on the other side of the room and that just ain’t happenin’.
Well, that is exactly how guests are with RSVPs, the more steps there are after reading the card, the more likely no response will be sent. Plus, not everyone sends snail mail anymore and having stamps around the house may not be likely. So sending the RSVP envelope already stamped with your address on it eliminates two whole steps. (If you want to eliminate another step, you can even go as far as to have the guests return address on the envelope too!)
But in recent years more and more couples are opting for a more modern approach aka digital RSVPs. When a couple registers for their wedding website, they can opt to have their guests RSVP online directly on their wedding website.
Which sounds all fine and dandy, until it isn’t…
If you are on a tight budget or just want to save a buck you can always send response postcards. Postcard stamps are less expensive than standard first class stamps and can be purchased at your local post office. Just be sure to pick up pretty ones that match your suite!
Now, as a technologically savvy person, digital RSVPs seem like the solution to the lazy people situation, but it’s a bit more complicated than that.
Believe it or not, unless you are only inviting close friends to your wedding, a good portion of your family (aunts, uncles, grandparents) aren’t tech savvy. So having only online RSVPs may mean a lot of people won’t RSVP. Not to mention older generations may not trust the online system and feel like they didn’t RSVP. (This is a real-life example!)
Back to Laziness
Again, we are adding steps to the RSVP process. For online responses, we are expecting them to go online, type the address and complete the process.
It’s kind of like you got a bill and you can do online bill pay on your phone, but you set it aside for later because it’s “too much effort” and that would take you away from binge-watching Star Trek TNG (which is amazing by the way!).
The solution to the RSVP debate
I always encourage my clients to provide both traditional and digital RSVP options for their guests. This allows the tech-savvy guests to RSVP online and the more traditional guests to mail in their response. In some cases, you may have people do both, but let’s be honest that’s better than no response.
TRUTH BOMB 💣:
Be ready to chase down guests no matter what. Some people are just not gonna respond at all. I find text messages are a quick and easy way to check in on guests but don’t pester them for an answer until after the RSVP by date.