It is hard to imagine that we were once limited to communicating via only postal mail. And with Facebook, Meetup and of course traditional email it would seem that sending physical wedding invitations is as antiquated as traveling by horse and buggy. But there are important reasons why you still need to send physical wedding invitations. We will talk about those reasons in this article.
WHAT IS THE CORRECT CONTACT INFORMATION
It is tempting to want to send only electronic invitations. After all, it would seem to be more economical. And on first blush, more environmentally friendly. Personally, I don’t think wedding e-invitations are as eco-friendly as you think. Not when considering all of the impacts we need to run the Internet. But more importantly, you are only getting (hopefully) married once. The planet isn’t going to be destroyed by your physical wedding invitations. But there’s a more important reason why to send physical invitations – maximizing the chances someone is going to see your invite.
For example, do you have the correct email address for everyone you want to invite? Even if it’s valid – is it an email address they check frequently? Or if it’s a business address – will they be allowed to read it? Most businesses I believe would be ok with you getting a wedding invitation in general. But there are certain businesses (such as financial services) where any type of non-business email is verboten. To the point, it could even get you fired.
So sending a physical invitation to their home address is much more likely to be seen. In particular since most of us don’t get much physical mail anymore.
AVOIDING INBOX OVERLOAD
One of the biggest debates in marketing is how frequently you should email your prospects. Some people think you should only send an email monthly. Others, weekly. The most aggressive (and often most successful) email the prospects daily. The reason why we have this debate in marketing is there’s a balance between inbox overload and not being read at all. The irony of this debate is that our Facebook and Instagram feeds are full all of the time of our friends posting multiple times a day. What this has to do with your wedding invitations is that if you are only going to send them electronically, make sure to plan to send them multiple times. That way if people only check their email periodically or are on vacation when you send the invite, if you send it again, then they will have a chance to see it again. There are even email programs such as Milkshake and FollowupCC that typically are used in business but could be used here to only send follow-up emails to people who don’t reply to your invite.
INVITATIONS ARE SOUVENIRS
There’s another reason to send physical invitations, and that is because wedding invitations are souvenirs. This isn’t something people think of when they are first sending out their invitations. They are more likely focusing on making sure the right people are getting invites. And that they want to know accurate RSVP count. And of course, they want the gifts (money) from those family members your parents said won’t come but will send you gifts. But will come as a surprise is that many people will want to collect your invitations as a souvenir. You will want to have one for your wedding scrapbook. While it’s tempted to keep the wedding memories in something digital, it’s still nice to have physical memory book.
INVITATIONS SHOULD MATCH YOUR STYLE
One of my favorite songs is Garth Brooks “Friends In Low Places”. It starts off with the lyric “Blame it on my roots that I showed up in boots and ruined your black tie affair.” And the same thing can happen with your wedding invitations. You need to make sure that your style of invitation matches to your theme. For example, if you are going to have a black tie formal wedding then you don’t want to send an invitation wrapped in burlap with hand strung twine. Or if you are having a backyard BBQ with home-brewed whiskey (moonshine – I’m not even sure if this legal. So check it out with your local laws.) then don’t dress up your e-vite with formal wording and fancy type. And if you are sending out email invitations – note that most people can now read fancy HTML formatted email. As a graybeard on the Internet, this is something that still surprises me. But it’s true, so you might as well take advantage of it. Just make sure whether you are sending a physical or a digital invite that your tone of your invitation matches the type of wedding that you will be having.
LET YOUR CREATIVE FLAG FLY
One of our favorite TV shows to watch at home is Vanderpump Rules. It’s a reality show about the bartenders and server and owners of a Beverly Hills restaurant. In one of the recent seasons, two of the cast members got married. After several seasons of wondering if it would happen because of the groom, Tom had cold feet. Anyway, he finally popped the question. And when it came time to send the wedding invitations, they sent physical invitations. But they didn’t send anything simple. This is, after all, a show about excess. So they sent their wedding invitations on tea towels. Which, I thought was creative. It was also super expensive. But if you wanted to have memorable invitations sending them on tea towels would be a winner in my book. And they would be a souvenir. But if you are on a tight budget, then you might want to save these for those closest to you. And then send out more traditional (or e-vites) to the rest of your guest list.
Wedding invitations are an important part of your wedding planning. Even if you are going to have a small wedding with few (or even no) guests, you will want to send out announcements. Because your friends and family will want a chance to send you their congratulations and gifts. And if you are having a wedding reception then you must send out invitations so that people know to show up. As well as needing to collect the RSVP so that you can accurately plan your reception. But while it’s tempting to just send digital invitations there are good reasons to send out physical invitations including increasing the odds they will be seen as well allowing your guests to have their souvenirs of your wedding.
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