Digital wedding invitations are becoming increasingly commonplace for engaged couples. There are more services than ever before which offer digital design and distribution services. Some of these incorporate reminders to guests and all of which allow you to send your invitations to multiple people at a lower cost than printing and posting physical invitations.
In this guide we look at the pros, cons and secrets of digital-only invitations.
What is a digital wedding invitation?
Ultimately, this is pretty straightforward, but it's an invitation (and/or save the date) to your wedding which is sent digitally. This is, more often than not, sent over email as it's easier to store and find when it's needed, unlike other methods, such as social media messaging.
What are the key advantages of digital wedding invitations?
- Cost saving
- They are easy to mass send and track
- You can include direct links to phone numbers, addresses and navigation apps which can help avoid long descriptions of how to find venues
- Animation can be included more easily
- You can include video elements
- There are an increasing range of designs and capabilities
What are the key disadvantages of digital wedding invitations?
- They are likely to feel less personal
- Compatibility might be an issue across email providers
- Your guests don't get the excitement of receiving your invitation through the post, opening it and displaying it in their homes. This may mean they don't get so much excitement in the build-up to your big day
- You don't get the beauty or specialness of printed finishes and details
- Due to high email volumes, the invite could be missed (or even fall into junk)
- They can be easily deleted
- If your wedding is in a low signal area, advantageous elements like clickable navigation links become redundant
- Compatibility across devices can mean that animations on opening don't work as successfully as hoped
- Less 'stick on fridge moments' so you may find some guests 'misplace' the invite and may even forget about your big day
Will printed wedding invitations become obsolete?
We certainly hope not! Even though digital-only invitations are becoming increasingly popular, we don't think this will mean the end of printed wedding invitations altogether. For many, the advantages of going digital-only will be a big driver in following this route, but for others, the personal feel will be too important and as such, will still want to send printed versions to their guests.
How do digital invitations arrive?
It's normally over email, and in lots of cases, when the email is opened up, there is a simple animation of an envelope opening and the invite sliding out and displaying. This can feel REALLY old school, which is mainly down to email servers and often compatibility issues with mobile phone users too; whereby compatibility reduces the flexibility and quality of what can be achieved, as most providers adhere to the lowest common denominator. However, it does allow the invitee to RSVP directly via the email or a link within the email pretty quickly. But there is, of course, the risk that it's opened and then forgotten about soon after, unlike a printed invitation which is likely to be seen again and again around the invitee's house.
Is there a sweet spot?
Yes! Digital invitations which can also be printed, are ideal for those guests who you think might miss the invitation or the older generation who might not be on email or regular users of it. If you're looking to keep costs down then avoiding gold foil finishes, embossing or other special production techniques on the printed versions will help to keep the printing costs down, but it does give you the flexibility to invite people to your wedding in the way you think its most appropriate for them. It's worth noting though that if you want both your print and digital invitations to look the same, this will limit the number of the designs available.
So what's right for me?
For many, a mixture of digital and print will be best. There is a big cost saving advantage with digital invitations, and these can be especially useful when inviting people who are abroad, who may travel regularly without a permanent address or if you're currently living abroad and returning to a home nation where most of your guests still reside. If you can find a design which has both a digital option you can send over email and a printed option too, you're in luck!
How do I know if something I've seen is printed or digital, or both?
Most good designers of invitations will be explicit in their description that the design is intended for printing or digital output. However, in the case of many, it will be possible to do both. So whilst some designers might not give an option for both, it's always worth asking if they would be able to make a digital version too.
All good stationery companies will be open and friendly when it comes to enquiries about their designs, and we always welcome anyone who'd like to take our printed invitations and have a digital version, and vice versa.
We hope this guide helps you understand some of the pros and cons of digital invitations, but if you've got any questions, let us know by sending us an email or leaving a comment below!
Chloe & Tom