Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen more and more couples opt to incorporate an online RSVP option with their invitation suite. Personally, I love the concept and even used it for my own wedding almost three years ago. However, a lot of wedding pros and couples are still on the fence about the idea. There are certainly pros and cons to both online and traditional RSVP and, like with everything, you have to make the decision that’s right for you and your wedding.
Today we’re laying out the pros and cons for each so you can make the decision that’s right for you.
More and more wedding websites are starting to include an RSVP option. Some of them are not as sophisticated as others, but the option is pretty readily available these days. With an online RSVP, you would include a card in your invitation suite that gives the URL and instructions for guests to RSVP. There are some serious pros to using this option. First, because you’re putting the guest information into a database, including the number of people that are included on that invitation, guests don’t have the option to respond for anyone other than who was invited. This means no surprise RSVP cards with six additional names on them, a pretty big pro in my book. Additionally, when guests RSVP, they’ll have the option to also make their meal selection if you’re doing a plated dinner.
With an online RSVP, you don’t have to worry about cards getting lost in the mail or tracking the responses yourself. The most convenient aspect for you is that all you have to do is login and you can see exactly who’s responded, what their meal choice is and print it off in a spreadsheet to send to your caterer when the time comes. Your response rate from guests tends to be quicker as well with more guests actually responding, both of which are important. Lastly, it saves you money as well not having to pay for return envelopes and stamps.
Now for some cons… If you have older guests that aren’t so tech savvy, it can be a little difficult for them. I would suggest giving guests the option to call in their RSVP if digital isn’t their thing. The other con in my opinion, is you loose the nostalgia of actually sending and receiving snail mail, something that’s almost non-existent these days.
Should you choose to go with an online RSVP, I would opt for a website that specializes in matter like RSVPify. I also would not give the option to RSVP by mail if you’re doing online as well. That can be confusing for guests and harder for you to manage as you could be receiving two responses for the same guest.
Traditional RSVP cards are most certainly beautiful. The nostalgia of receiving something this pretty can’t be beat. Plus, who doesn’t like to check the mail and have something besides junk in there? I certainly do! The major pro to a traditional RSVP is that it’s familiar. When guests get their invitation in the mail, they know what to do. Fill out the RSVP card, place it in the pre addressed and stamped envelope and place it back in the mailbox. However, there are certainly some cons to this system.
As time has told us, guests are not always the best at remembering to send in their cards. Some don’t fill it out right away or know if they’re able to attend the day they receive their invitation. It sits in a pile with other mail until hopefully the guest remembers to fill it out and send it back. Your response rate tends to be lower and there’s greater lag time between when your invitations are received and when you start getting responses. Additionally, there’s always the really strong possibility that it will get lost in the mail. With traditional RSVPs, we find that most couples end up having to call about 25-30% of guests because they never received their RSVP back.
Paper RSVP cards just feel right, like the proper thing to do, when it comes to weddings. But, we’re all about what’s right for you here, not what’s supposed to be. In the etiquette book, I don’t see anything wrong with online RSVPs and actually encourage a good number of my clients to explore the option. From personal experience, it worked great for our wedding.
What do you think of online RSVPs? Do you love the idea or does the traditional card still call your name?