wedding invitations

Wedding Invitations in the Digital Age
Do a little research and planning to decide if digital wedding invitations are right for your wedding.

Do a little research and planning to decide if digital wedding invitations are right for your wedding.

The vast array of available digital technologies includes many useful tools for planning and executing a beautiful, well-organized wedding celebration. You’ve got loads of options for contacting vendors, mapping out your ceremony’s program, shopping for essentials and more. With all these handy conveniences, it’s easy to wonder if the paper wedding invite is going the way of the dinosaur. Surprisingly, the paper versus digital wedding invitations debate rages on, with fans on both sides of the aisle emphasizing the benefits of each method.

A Quick History of Written Wedding Invites

During the Middle Ages, only upper-class families issued paper wedding invitations. With a mostly illiterate population in Europe, these major social events would usually be heralded by a town crier. Another common method of notifying a community was the banns, or public announcements within individual churches about upcoming nuptials. Their original purpose was to ensure that canonically or legally invalid marriages did not take place. Remember the “speak now or forever hold your peace” part of the ceremony? According to The Spruce writer Nina Callaway, that phrase is derived from the Christian “Book of Common Prayer,” but this may have been intended as a last-minute catchall for anyone who wanted to raise serious objections to an impending marriage.

While the development of lithography techniques during the late 1700s laid the groundwork for our modern versions, announcements were still delivered by messengers on horseback. It wasn’t until the mid-20th century that printed invitations became standard practice, thanks partially to middle-class families borrowing traditions from the rich as well as the advent of etiquette mavens such as Emily Post. As these took root in American popular practices, they also quickly spread to Canada.

The Pros and Cons of E-Invitations

As engaged couples look for ways to streamline their wedding planning and cut back on their expenses, some eye traditional paper invitations as candidates for the chopping block. Huffington Post contributor Erica Laudon reviewed some of the typical benefits that digital versions offer:

  • Low-cost or no-cost invitations
  • Reduced paper usage for a “greener” wedding
  • Enhanced design options yield beautiful visual layouts

However, Laudon cautions that several factors may necessitate the use of printed stationery instead. Most etiquette experts strongly suggest utilizing paper invites, especially for more formal affairs. Additionally, digital invitations may not be accessible for elderly guests, and the traditional folks in your crowd could consider the practice offensive. Furthermore, you lose the capability to address your invite to specific individuals, which makes situations such as child-free weddings much harder to navigate. Finally, the news of your blessed event might get lost in the almighty spam filter.

The Best Option for Your Wedding 

Should you take the plunge and go paperless? That largely depends on the formality level of your event and the type of people on your guest list. If most of your crowd is computer-savvy, you have email addresses for the specific folks you want to invite, and you’re going for a semi-formal or casual feel, it can probably work well. Wedivite advises that you follow the same guidelines for paper invites, sending them at least six to eight weeks prior to your event. For destination nuptials, hit the “send” button at least three months in advance. If you don’t hear from your invitees after about two weeks, follow up with a phone call.

Modern technology has revolutionized many aspects of planning your nuptials. Wedding invitations are a trickier issue, with most etiquette experts promoting the use of traditional paper versions. Nevertheless, digital invites may still be an option if you’re trying to lower costs and make your wedding eco-friendly. For a straightforward, less formal event with a tech-friendly guest list, paperless invites might be a smart move.

 

Eight Money-Saving Tips for Your Wedding

money-saving ideas for your weddingGetting married is not cheap. According to Weddingbells.ca, a top Canadian wedding planning website, couples can expect to spend an average of $31,685 on their nuptials, including the engagement ring and honeymoon. Many people assume the cost will be less; two recent Canadian surveys concluded couples think they will spend approximately $15,000 to tie the knot. The huge discrepancy can lead to increased stress and large credit card bills after all is said and done.

Be Realistic

Setting a realistic budget before you begin the planning can help you keep better control of the costs and avoid impulse purchases. If you have your heart set on a certain wedding dress that is more than you planned to spend, recognize that you may have to eliminate something else to make up the difference in your budget.

Location Matters

The location of your wedding can have a big impact on the price tag. According to Toronto Life magazine, Ontario is the most expensive province in which to tie the knot. Here is a complete list from most to least expensive:

  1. Ontario
  2. Manitoba/Saskatchewan
  3. Quebec
  4. Alberta
  5. British Columbia
  6. Atlantic

Toronto is the priciest city for nuptials, followed by Vancouver and Quebec.

Keep It Casual

Having a wedding that is more informal can be key to keeping costs down. A few suggestions are a more causal menu instead of a sit-down dinner, and skipping tuxedos and formal dresses for the wedding party.

Try an Alternative Venue

There is no rule stating receptions need to be in a hotel ballroom. Other venues to consider that are frequently less money are the homes of friends, parks, beaches or church reception halls. The same applies for the ceremony. Often, there are fees that must be paid for the use of a church and clergy to perform a service. It is very easy these days to get ordained online; a friend could do it and perform your ceremony someplace other than a church.

Narrow Down the Guest List

Taking the time to really scrutinize your guest list and only inviting people who are an essential part of your life is another way to cut costs. A good way to approach the task is to ask yourself if you think you will be close to this individual five years after the wedding. Also, don’t hesitate to make it clear to your guests if you don’t want them to bring their children along. There are many gracious ways to communicate this message.

Do It Yourself

Many couples are getting creative and finding ways do certain elements of their wedding themselves or are enlisting the help of friends, rather than paying for these services. Some examples are taking your own pictures, baking the cake, and making your own flower arrangements and decorations.

Postpone the Honeymoon

Waiting to take your honeymoon may also save money. Delaying it can give you more time to pay off wedding bills and save for a trip, rather than having to put it on a credit card and pay interest charges.

Prioritize

Deciding the most important components of your wedding in advance can help you stick to your budget. If there is a band you must have, or a reception venue you can’t do without, make a note of it. Eliminating items like over-the-top invitations or expensive goody bags for guests to take home after the party may make it more feasible to have what is really important. Most guests will not miss little extras (or even the big ones), even though they may seem necessary to you at first.

A wedding is a joyous occasion and does not need to result in a mountain of bills. Following these eight tips can help you avoid spending more money than you planned.