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Accept or Decline? // Sending Digital Wedding Invites

We recently came across a question posed online as to whether sending digital wedding invites, also known as paperless or electronic invites, is acceptable.  Digital invites are invitations sent to guests by email, often using design templates found on websites that are made just for sending electronic invitations.  Well, here’s the long and short of it…

There was a time, really not that long ago, that digital invites were simply not considered proper etiquette when inviting guests to a wedding event.  Formal, printed invitations placed into envelopes, addressed by hand and mailed, was the only truly respectable method for relaying the invitation message to guests.  And there are several reasons why you still might want to travel down this traditional route:

Traditional Printed Invitations

  1. Tradition  There’s something to be said for maintaining some wedding traditions, and there’s nothing as wonderfully old-fashioned as mailing out formal wedding invitations.  Most guests still expect to receive a printed invite in the mail.  After all, it’s exciting!  And many guests still love to affix their invites to their refrigerators or cork boards to remind them of the upcoming celebration.

  2. Formality – Your wedding is not just another party.  It’s one of the most special days of your life.  Treat it that way with formal, printed invitations reminding everyone invited that this is indeed a very important, highly ceremonial event.

  3. A Keepsake – Your wedding invitation will remain a special memento of your wedding day that you’ll treasure forever.  Printing a copy of your digital invite template just isn’t the same.  You’ll want beautiful wedding stationery saved in your wedding keepsake trunk or box for reminiscing when you’re old and gray.  Use quality printed invitations that will last your lifetime.

  4. For Offline Guests – You should always keep your recipients in mind, especially your non-tech savvy friends and family members, when sending the message of an invitation to your wedding event.  Many older guests especially haven’t gone fully digital yet and you’ll want to be confident they’ve received your wedding invitation and event information.

The Current Situation

But the times, they are a changin’ and digital invites are getting more popular every year!  Currently, we’re experiencing a paper shortage in the US, causing huge delays in lead times for paper invitations.  With the immediate availability and instant delivery of e-invitations, they’re looking a lot more attractive to couples.

Although many argue that electronic invites are acceptable only for the most casual of weddings, many others believe they’re now fine for almost any wedding event.  And e-invitations are always perfectly acceptable for notifications regarding your wedding website and for your friend or family member sending out your shower invitations.  These are less formal announcements and requests than the actual wedding invitation.

So let’s look at some of the benefits of sending paperless invitations:

Digital Invites

  1. Save Money – You’ll save a ton of money if you forgo traditional paper invitations and stamps.  According to, the average cost of 100 printed wedding invitations is $5,000-8,000, or up to 6% of the overall wedding budget.  Stamps for a full invitation suite for 100 guests can easily cost $165 alone.  But the average cost for sending 100 digital invites is about $100.  If you want to save money to spend in other areas of your wedding (or to keep in your banking account), consider e-invitations.

  2. It’s Easy – Digital invitations will save you time and energy, reducing a ton of the stress that goes along with wedding planning.  Select your online invitation website, choose the design you love and follow the simple steps to begin emailing invitations to your friends and family, all from the comfort of your home.  And it’s quick and easy for your guests to RSVP with a simple click, too.

  3. Avoid USPS Problems – Send your wedding invites straight to your guests’ inboxes with a simple click of a button… no worrying about postal delays or lost mail.  Plus, you can track as guests receive and even open their invites, their online responses automatically logged and organized into easy-to-view tabs for you.

  4. An Eco-friendly Alternative – Sending paperless invites is certainly the environmentally friendliest option for getting your wedding invitations into the hands of your guests.  One digital invitation company, Greenvelope, reports that it’s saved 990,000 pounds of paper through its customers’ use of its service over mailing traditional invitations (and it also donates a percentage of every sale to a non-profit dedicated to maintaining forests).

Where to Shop

With the increase in acceptance and popularity of paperless delivery, the list of reputable digital invitation websites is expanding.  Visit Greenvelope’s website, or those of others like Evite or Blackbird RSVP, to browse wedding collection designs from some of today’s popular e-invitation providers.

If you’re considering digital invitations only because you want a green option, know that there are environmentally friendly printed alternatives out there as well.  You can easily find invitations printed on 100% recycled paper, on FSC-certified paper stock and several printed with natural vegetable dyes and soy ink.  Also, you can buy recycled or mostly tree-free, bio-degradable seeded paper, paper embedded with wildflower seeds that can later be planted, from companies such as Botanical Paperworks or Of The Earth (Flower Seed Paper on Etsy).


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