When you want to send wedding invitations but prefer an alternative to paper, here’s another option: a virtual wedding invitation! While this is a new concept that may feel tacky or impersonal to some, digital wedding invitations are actually a popular, affordable alternative to paper wedding invitations.
A digital invitation is also the most eco-friendly way to invite guests to your wedding.
Since there is no physical invitation you can hold in your hands, you likely have some questions about how virtual invitations work. I’ll tell you exactly what it means, what is looks like, how to send a virtual wedding invite, and where to get them.
First, let’s tackle the most-asked question, submitted by bride-to-be Sara. She wants to know, are electronic wedding invites ok?
“Dear Emmaline, My fiance and I want to send a virtual wedding invitation instead of paper because of the cost. Most of our guests are pretty tech-savvy but I’m curious… are virtual invitations tacky? Is it OK to send electronic invitations for a wedding? Thank you!”
Great questions, Sara! Let’s unpack this one question at a time.
For starters, let’s tackle the major question: is a virtual wedding invitation tacky?
Are digital wedding invitations tacky?
As a whole, a digital invitation is not tacky for a wedding.
It may seem slightly impersonal to some, but some guests won’t mind the difference. The main goal is the same for both: you’re sharing the exciting news about your wedding and informing guests of its details. This really shouldn’t matter whether that is done on paper or digitally, as it is the personal preference of the couple getting married.
Some couples think it is too expensive to sink so much money into paper invitations, in which case, they choose to send virtual invites to keep costs down, to eliminate paper, and to keep guests in the loop in a modern way.
Others feel that virtual is best suited for other types of events such as birthdays or casual parties, but that paper invites should be the only type of wedding invitation.
To each their own, we say!
Now that you know what people think, let’s talk about what it really means to send a virtual invitation to wedding guests.
What does virtual invitation mean?
A virtual invitation is a digital way to invite guests to a wedding. Sometimes referred to as email invitations, a virtual wedding invitation features a pretty design suited for your celebration and can even “open” by guests tapping on it, with animation added for effect.
It is as close as you can get to opening a real piece of mail without a tangible item. With many people within an arm’s length of a Smartphone at any given moment, you probably aren’t surprised to hear that going virtual is increasingly popular as an alternative to traditional stationery.
Although you may think a virtual invitation means you’re having an online wedding, that’s not necessarily the case here. The term virtual refers to the delivery of the invitation rather than the event itself.
We’ll help you decide which one is best for you based on a few pros and cons.
What are pros and cons of digital invitations?
There are some pros and cons for choosing virtual vs. paper wedding invitations.
Pros of Virtual Invites
Cost: Simply put, digital wedding invitations cost less than paper. You won’t need to order printed cards, enclosures, rsvp cards, and rsvp envelopes. You’ll also avoid postage costs completely with no stamp needed on the invitation, along with no stamp needed on your rsvp envelopes.
For many couples, virtual can equate to one hundred dollars or more in savings.
It’s All Online: Couples love the opportunity to take their wedding to the next modern level, and technology is a big part of that! From QR code invites to virtual invitations to photo sharing, we’re seeing an uptick in using modern technology in weddings.
Many people are comfortable using their Smartphones for practically everything under the sun, so why not a virtual wedding invitation?
Dozens of Designs: Places like Greenvelope offer dozens of high-quality digital invitations that are easy to customize, edit, and send virtually. It’s easy to edit the colors and theme to suit your style in a click.
Cons of Virtual Invites
One of the biggest negatives of going virtual is the lack of formality.
Less Formal: A digital invite is not as formal as a printed invitation.
Some may see this as a negative, particularly if you’re more traditional when it comes to weddings. However, digital vs paper isn’t necessarily an invitation dealbreaker for couples. Some soon-to-be-weds are looking for a way to conserve paper while conveying the details of their wedding, and virtual is one way to do it.
Email Addresses: One major problem with virtual invitations is you need to locate everyone’s email address instead of a mailing address. This can be a difficult and time-consuming task, and many worry that evites will go to a spam bin or promotions folder in their email, which could cause some issues (guests may think they never got invited, guests may completely miss the invitation altogether, etc.)
No Physical Invitation Card: When you send a virtual invitation, there is no tangible card you can feel in your hands. For some couples, this is a major deal. For other couples, this isn’t a problem. Some couples like to have a physical card to send, to use for photos, and as a memento.
Difficult for Non-Tech Savvy Guests: An invitation is simpler, period. Guests of all ages and tech levels enjoy and can RSVP to a traditional printed invitation. Virtual invites require guests to receive the card to their email, open it, and respond to it without any issues.
Old-Fashioned Guests May Not Like It Some guests may not like virtual invitations vs. paper invites.
If you know this ahead of time, you’ll simply need to make an effort to get in touch with those guests and ensure they received the invitation and know how to respond to it.
It’s one thing if they don’t like the style, but another if you do! It is your wedding, so if virtual is your thing, go for it! Plan the wedding YOU want. :)
The bottom line is there are several differences between a virtual wedding invitation and a paper one. But at the end of the day, both achieve the same goal of inviting guests to your wedding, so that’s all that matters.
Sending a virtual invite is not tacky; it is the preferred method for many couples worldwide. I think the biggest point here, though, is to know it is not tacky when you use an online digital invitation site. I would not recommend sending virtual invites through social media, creating a simple Word document and emailing it, or using a mass-emailing service riddled with ads.
Instead, go with a premium service like this that makes the experience of sending and receiving virtual invitations for weddings as close to the real thing as possible. In this way, you’ll still convey a sense of elegance and formality even if the invitations are sent via email.
On the other hand, many couples prefer a more straightforward and tangible paper invitation. Either way, you can’t go wrong!
If online is the right choice for you, read on for more details on how to send a virtual wedding invite, along with the best online invitation site.
Let’s get started!
What does a virtual invitation look like?
If you’re wondering how online wedding invitations work and how they’ll look, here are a few examples we spotted. Click on any design below to see an example of them “opening up” as an animation. Cool, huh?
These are just a few of the over 400+ designs you can customize and edit! Browse more virtual invitations for weddings, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and more here.
How do I send a virtual wedding invite?
If you decide to send online wedding invitations, the first thing you’ll want to do is compile your guests’ names and email addresses. The easiest way to do it is with Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel. Create a .xls sheet with each guets’s name, email address, and a column for RSVP (yes or no). This way, you’ll have a document to keep everything organized and update as the virtual wedding RSVPs begin coming in.
You’ll also have a headcount for the caterer as the wedding day approaches; you’ll also know who you need to reach out to if they have not responded, as you can troubleshoot if they did not receive the virtual invitation or simply did not respond to it yet.
What is the best online invitation site?
There are many places to buy virtual wedding invitations online but, if it were me, and I was planning to send digital wedding invitations, I would personally use Greenvelope. I think it is the best online invitation site available.
I find the website to be the most user-friendly, which is important to me as the standpoint of guests. If the site is tough to navigate, forget about it: you’ll never get those RSVPs!
The site is easy to use from a design standpoint, as well as user-friendly for guests. So, whether you’re going to make virtual invitations for your wedding or log on to respond to a couple’s invite, you’ll be happy about how comfortable and easy-to-use it really is.
The animation is a fun touch: when you open the card through your email, it animates! It’s practically like opening up the invitation yourself, which is great to get that feeling of snail mail — while going digital.
How do you make virtual invitations?
To make virtual invites, head to this link to pick out a design. Once you do, it will ask you to log in to save your design. Create a free account here, log in, and then you’ll begin editing the invitation card.
Once the template is exactly how you like it, be sure to proofread it again!
Then, order your invitation and you’ll be ready to send wedding invitations to guests digitally. Done!
Where to order virtual wedding invitations
You can order from Greenvelope here.
PRO TIP: If you’re on the fence about sending your invitations via email, wait! There’s another solution. You can send digital wedding invitations to a majority of guests and send real paper invites to some guests via snail mail. This is a great option that will still defray some costs, but allow you to send invitations virtually to some of your tech-savvy guests.
In addition, if you have parents or grandparents who prefer a mailed version, you can the formal invitations to them, along with a few of your guests who may prefer the traditional option. Just a thought!
You can browse beautiful paper invitations for weddings here.
How do guests RSVP to a virtual invitation?
Guests will respond to the invitation in the same manner in which it was received. For a digital invitation, guests can visit your wedding website link and submit a “yes” or “no” response. (Need a wedding website? You can get a wedding website with online rsvp for free.)
I hope this blog post helped you identify whether virtual invitations are right for your wedding.
I sought to cover the pros and cons of digital wedding invitations so you can make the decision that is right for you. Not every couple wants to send paper invitations; on the other hand, not every couple wants to send a virtual wedding invitation.
It is a good idea to get the full scope of either one BEFORE you decide to buy. And remember, it’s your day, so you should always do it your way. :)
Are virtual wedding invitations tacky? No! Online is wildly-accepted today as one method of sending wedding invitations.
However, it is important to note that digital invitations are not as formal as paper; just as with paper, virtual comes with a few pros and cons. Read the article above for a more in-depth comparison of virtual vs paper.