How to Decide Between Paper or Digital RSVPs

Decisions, decisions..

Updated 12/13/18
Product Disclosure

Courtesy of Zola

A few years back, my friend from college told me that she was was forgoing RSVP cards altogether and having her wedding guests do it all online. Suffice it to say, my mind was fully blown. How many trees was she saving? Was she worried about her grandma’s ability to navigate the online form? What if no one responded and she had to chase everyone down? Since her wedding, I’ve seen a surge in online RSVPs—and then, upon popular demand, Zola started offering FREE online RSVP (as well as traditional print RSVP cards) as part of our new Invites + Paper business. When it comes to digital versus print RSVPs, there’s honestly no right or wrong answer—just different things to consider. Here’s what I recommend keeping in mind when deciding between paper or digital RSVP cards.

Take note of ALL your wedding events

Remember that RSVPs aren’t limited to just your wedding day, but are crucial to showers, bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinners, even morning-after brunches. The faster you get head counts, the easier it is to share info with vendors. If you’re getting RSVPs for many events, digital tends to be the faster, easier way to get details you need.

And consider the formality of those events

While online RSVP is more common than ever, maybe consider going with print if your wedding reception is of the black tie ballroom variety. Until the royals go digital, I think I’d follow in their footsteps for any event that’s equally fancy.

Are your guests tech-savvy? And are you good on the phone?

While I usually deem online RSVP easier than snail mail, digital won’t mean easier if everyone is having IT drama. Take stock of how many guests are of a different generation, and mentally prepare to (a) get phone numbers of everyone who doesn’t respond, and (b) call them to get their official answers.

The environment. Period

The higher number of printed cards, the larger your carbon footprint (aka the amount of CO2 generated). Digital reduces that footprint by a whole lot. If you DO decide to go the printed route, you may find that cotton tree-free paper costs a lot more than your typical eggshell or satin-finish paper. To mitigate the amount of paper used for any wedding, I love the idea of sending video thank you notes, keepsake table numbers (ie: a fun keychain or flask), and a charity fund to the environmental org of choice. All for Mother Earth!

Related Stories