Save the Date or Save Money? – The Pros and Cons of Wedding Invitations and Save-the-Date Cards

Dreading spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on wedding invitations and can’t seem to find the time to stuff the envelopes? Not sure if your elderly grandmother will be able to log into her email in order to view her electronic invite? Modern day brides often face the dilemma of not knowing whether to splurge on mailed wedding invitations and save-the-date cards, or to solely rely on technology to spread the love.

Sending physical wedding invitations or save-the-date cards makes inviting guests to your wedding a more personal experience, but it’s tough to say whether the benefits outweigh the costs. Think of the last wedding invitation you received – where is it now? Is it still hanging on your refrigerator by a Snoopy magnet, or did you accidentally toss it in the garbage while cleaning out your desk drawer?

Couples are increasingly turning to alternatives such as electronic invitations or creating wedding websites as a way to display photos, share their love story and keep track of their guest book. In today’s world, this electronic solution might be the most logical, as most adults keep track of their schedules on smartphones rather than carrying around an old-fashioned planner. Depending on the demographic of your wedding guests, consider what would be the most cost-effective option for you, in addition to a more convenient way for your guests to RSVP. If the majority of wedding attendees are older and less tech savvy, it might be worth the extra cost to mail an invitation. Younger adults, however, are less likely to even know where to buy refrigerator magnets in-store. While it’s hard to escape spending a pretty penny on a wedding, small steps like reconsidering save-the-date cards can reduce wedding planning stress, free up space in your budget, and can save your millennial wedding guests from heading to the post office on a Saturday morning just to buy stamps in order to properly RSVP.

Depending on how sentimental you are as a couple, the thought of sending an invitation via email might be repulsive. If your wedding is very formal and elegant, mailed invitations add to the overall experience and ambiance you are trying to create for your guests. While creating a wedding website is still somewhat time-consuming, brides-to-be who have been dreaming of their wedding day since they were young girls may relish in the experience of picking out photos and invitations to send. Additionally, addressing and stuffing envelopes can even be a bonding experience between a future Mr. and Mrs. If you’re into scrapbooking and have a tendency to hoard memorabilia, don’t skimp on the mailed invites. I will admit, although I couldn’t locate any wedding invitation or save-the-date card I have received in the past, opening an envelope and seeing the character and detail of a well-crafted wedding invitation is a very pleasant experience, no matter how fleeting.

Many wedding guests thoroughly appreciate receiving save-the-date cards months before receiving invitations. It allows out-of-town attendees to have ample time for scoping out flights and hotel rooms, and asking for time off from work if they happen to be traveling overnight. Family members of the bride and groom often find joy in displaying invitations or save-the-date cards in their offices for their co-workers to see. While it’s just as simple to share a link on Facebook as it is to pin an invitation to a bulletin board, allowing your loved ones to view a lovely photo of you and your fiancé on their desk at work during a stressful day is worth the extra cost and manual labor if it brings them a brief moment of peace.

Of course, there’s no right answer on how to plan a wedding. Grandma can be given a quick refresher course in logging into Gmail if need be, and you’re unlikely to become poisoned from licking too many envelopes like the lady on Seinfeld. Whether you choose to send invitations and save-the-date cards electronically or by mail, all that matters is that you feel content with your decisions and are excited about marrying the love of your life.