Since the majority of your wedding guests probably check their email inbox more frequently than they check their physical mailbox, does it make more sense to send electronic save-the-dates instead of a printed card? Or is that considered tacky? Our wedding etiquette experts are here to answer your wedding stationery questions in our daily post.
Electronic cards have come along way. These days, most of the e-save-the-dates we've seen are very stylish and "open" for the recipient in a sleek manner. They also come in an array of styles, colors, and themes, so you can certainly find a design that complements the look and feel of your wedding. The question is whether or not an electronic save-the-date is the right fit for your celebration.
One of the main reasons to email your save-the-date is convenience—traditional save-the-date cards require ordering, proofing, printing, waiting for delivery, addressing, applying postage, and mailing through the US Postal Service, all of which can take weeks, if not a month or more. Not to mention the fact that you'll need to work quickly to compile all of your guests' mailing addresses. With electronic save-the-dates, you probably have most, if not all, of your guests email addresses already handy.
And since most online stationery sites (like Paperless Post, Minted, and Wedding Paper Divas) are so easy to navigate, you can select and pay for your design within an hour, flat, all with a few clicks. Also, if many of your guests live overseas, it may make more sense to email them the announcement, rather than rely on other countries' mail delivery services. Or, perhaps you want to keep your wedding as eco-friendly as possible—you'd certainly save a significant amount of paper by going the electronic route.
But, of course, there may be a few bumps along the road: Your e-card may get filtered into guests' spam folder, or perhaps the email address you have is one they no longer check. So delivery is not always 100% guaranteed. Also, there's the tangibility factor: When you mail a paper save-the-date, guests will likely tack it up somewhere prominent—on their refrigerator or bulletin board—so it will serve as a reminder of the wedding to come. E-cards are ephemeral—they may easily get lost in guests' inboxes once the message has been read.
And, of course, some of your guests may not even have email (think: your grandparents), so you will need to spread the word some other way. Another thing to consider is the formality of your wedding. One function of the save-the-date is to give your guests a little glimpse of the wedding to come. So, the more formal the wedding, the more likely a printed card will set the tone you want your wedding to have.
Once you've considered these reasons, make the choice that makes the most sense for your wedding and guest list. If you do opt for electronic save-the-dates, be sure to get an updated list of email addresses, and be aware that a few e-cards may get lost in the shuffle, so you'll need to follow up. And don't forget to pick up the phone and call the handful of guests who may not have email or may not check it regularly.