In the early days of budgeting for our wedding, we wrote out a list in order of importance of the things that we really cared about and were worth spending money on, down to the things that we honestly didn’t care about at all and wanted to spend little to no money on.
Right at the bottom of that list (after wedding cake), were paper wedding invitations. I knew it would be easy to get excited about crafting a beautiful invite for our guests to open – but for me, the cost of producing those beautiful paper invites, plus the postage cost to send them, just didn’t seem worth it. Instead, we decided to send our guests their wedding invitations via email. Not only would it help with our wedding budgeting costs, we figured more of our guests were likely to RSVP faster to an email.
To make it more fun than a simple text email, there are services such as paperless post, where you can create really smart looking paperless invitation designs.
We got all of our RSVPs back really quickly and only needed to chase one or two people (out of 120 guests!). I truly think this is because people found it much easier to send a quick online reply than have to fill out a physical RSVP and remember to post it! So, choosing email wedding invites really worked in our favour.
Using a wedding RSVP service
We used RSVPify, an online service, to keep track of our wedding guestlist. Our guests could confirm their attendance via a link that we sent out in the wedding invitation email. This saved me a fair bit of admin because RSVPify automatically logged all the numbers and dietary requirements. I could easily see who had yet to RSVP and there were options to send reminder emails to just that group of people.
RSVPify was also useful because you can have multiple ‘events’, which meant we could have separate lists for our weekend guests and our wedding day only guests, and message those groups separately. RSVPify also has a seating chart feature, where you can drag and drop guests onto tables – this really helped give us a base for when it came time to create the master table plan. I did pay $39 to upgrade to have the table plan feature, but all other features I’ve mentioned are available under the free plan.
This is not an ad – RSVPify is just a service we used that made the admin side of things a lot smoother for us. There are quite a few services out there that offer similar, but I haven’t explored those because in the midst of wedding planning who has time to do that?!
Creating our wedding website with Withjoy.com
As the wedding date grew closer and our wedding plans were fully underway, I created a wedding website. We used Withjoy.com – a free wedding website service – because I liked their minimalist, photography-focused template designs. With Joy are focused towards an American wedding audience, but with a bit of tweaking, I found I could make the website and wording translate well for our UK guestlist.
We didn’t do an official engagement shoot, but we also found that we didn’t have many suitable or recent photos of Sam and I to use for the website, so we got our eldest son to take a few whilst on a family walk – it was all very lighthearted and fun (which actually ended up perfectly reflected the ‘vibe’ we wanted guests to feel for our wedding), and as you can see, our middle son wanted to be in the photos too! : )
I’ve included a few screenshots of our website. Withjoy.com has some fun sections you can add, I really liked the ‘wedding party’ photos you could add so that everyone could get a good idea of who was who and what role they were playing in the wedding. We decided to use old school photos of Sam and I with our bridesmaids / groomsmen because it didn’t feel fair to embarrass them without also embarrassing ourselves in the process.
The Q&A section was really useful to list all those smaller organisational details and bits of info that guests would need to know. From our own wedding-attending experience, we know that a lot of the time no one really reads through the website, and definitely not until the very last minute before the wedding date. So we made sure to repeat all the important info from the website into our email communication with guests, too.
The one take home I learned from this part of our wedding planning process, was that email really is king. It’s fun to get creative making websites and invites, but if you want swift responses, email and paperless wedding invitations are the way forward.
Stay tuned for the next post in my wedding series – What we wore!
Have you read my previous wedding post? It’s all about how we chose our wedding venue.