ARE PHYSICAL RSVP CARDS STILL RELEVANT?
Are physical RSVP cards still relevant? Do we really need one? Can’t our guests just text or email us? Surely no one actually sends them back? This topic is one that has come up quite a bit over the past couple of weeks whilst chatting to people at wedding fairs or during consultations, so I thought I would address it with a blog post as my response is not a short one.
There are a number of reasons digital RSVP’s are gaining popularity. Couples are either trying to save money, they have a large number of overseas guests, they want to create convenience and think that it might increase the odds that their guests are actually going to respond, or they are simply part of a generation where electronic communication is the norm.
Whilst personally and professionally, I will always advocate for tangible communication when it comes to a wedding, I have absolutely no problem with collecting RSVP’s digitally, if they are done well - i.e. through a wedding website or dedicated RSVP app (DO NOT create a Facebook event for your wedding). As with many of your wedding decisions, your choice will be an individual one based on what makes the most sense for you, but here are a few reasons why I will still recommend physical RSVP’s to my clients.
SETTING THE TONE: There are few events in your life as special as your wedding day, and since your wedding stationery is the first impression your guests will receive of your wedding it’s important that you set the right tone. Even if you’re having a casual wedding, a physical RSVP card has that little extra touch of thought and importance that makes your wedding feel elevated from everyday life.
PEOPLE ARE TERRIBLE AT RSVP-ING. No matter how you ask your guests to RSVP there will be a large number who won’t and chasing them up will be one of the most tedious parts of your wedding planning. Yes, it’s inconsiderate and annoying (and probably a whole other blog post topic) but unfortunately choosing a digital RSVP will not necessarily increase your response rate. The more casual, impersonal nature of an online reply, whilst more convenient is likely to give the perception that your event is not a priority and makes it easy for your guests to be non-committal. I would argue that your guests are more likely to respond if they are given a tangible reminder. A physical card is a foolproof way to denote the importance of your event to guests and suggest that a solid commitment, either way, is required.
MANAGING RESPONSES: Other than just letting you know if your invited guests will be attending or not, there is a lot of information you need to collect with an RSVP in order to accommodate guests properly on the day, i.e. how many of the invitees will be attending, their dietary requirements, if they require use of your provided transport, if they require accommodation, if they can join you for any other wedding events such as a day after breakfast, etc. If you decide to have your guests reply via email or via text, how do you guarantee they are going to include all the information you require to plan for their attendance or lack there of? You may end up spending hours of your time following up with your guests, collating details and organising their responses. An RSVP card can take all the guess work out of it by including these details laid out in a foolproof way. All your guests will need to do is check a few boxes or fill in the gaps.
NOT EVERYONE IS INTERNET-SAVVY: Elderly guests and parents are not always tech-savvy and replying online might prove difficult for this audience. It is always a good idea to keep these guests in mind as they are also the demographic that will appreciate the following of proper wedding etiquette rules.
SNAIL MAIL IS EXCITING: The thrill of receiving your RSVP cards back in the mail should not be underestimated. It will give you yet another thing to look forward to during the hustle and bustle of wedding planning and your stack of returned cards will also become a precious wedding keepsake.
Viva la RSVP cards!
If you have any questions regarding your wedding stationery wording or design, please get in touch, we are here to help!
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