Monday, November 15, 2010

Navigating E-vites

Dear SG:
Would you please comment on e-invites? I just used paperless post for a party and it was a real joy. I love the written word, the look of an even stamp and a crisp invitation. But I am trying to be a greener Grace and I am dismayed at the lack of RSVPs while using snail mail. I found out that people do RSVP more with e-invites. When should I use paper and when should I go e-friendly?

Grace Says:

Pragmatic considerations must be weighed in all things, etiquette included. Green is definitely Gracious, so that's a big plus. Grace becomes a Grump PDQ when forced to roll the dice about counts for catering, and e-vites do generate prompt and reliable RSVP numbers. Another bonus. Finally, e-vites cut costs. (Maybe the money you save on invitations and stamps opens up space in your budget for a case of champagne?) So, in general, e-vites are A-OK in my book.....with a few caveats:

1. Elegant occasions call for elegant (paper) invitations. This includes most weddings, Christenings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, and any other ceremonial affairs that would be regarded as formal (black or white tie charity balls, silver anniversary parties). In general, parties in your home--even those involving dressy clothes (my favorite kind)--qualify for e-vites.

2. Be careful with your guest list when using e-vites. It's much easier to miscue on the email address with an erroneous click than when writing out the invitees on envelopes in pen and ink. Imagine your horror when a frenemy RSVPs with a yes and you didn't intend to invite her. Check and double check before you send.

3. Invitations are between the hosts and the guests regardless of their format, so there is no need to post RSVP comments for all to see. Somehow this always feels like people are sizing up the guest list to decide whether or not to come, or competing to prove who is the most enthusiastic, the most fun, the most helpful, the most thirsty, or the least interested. Not Gracious At All. (Would you call the hostess and ask who else is coming? Would you stand around a public square blathering on about attending someone else's party or how many cocktails you intend to consume while there? Not if you're a Grace you wouldn't, and the same rules apply in cyberspace.) Lots of Graces use Evite--we just choose the option that says "hide guest list when we draft the invitation so we're not subjected to the horrors described above.

Glad the e-vite worked out well for you. I have no doubt that your party will be equally fabulous.

Remember the episode in Seinfeld when George skimps on the envelopes for his wedding invitations and the cheap glue poisons his intended? Loved that show!


Aimdizzle said...

New follower. Found your blog just at the right time. I am doing a holiday christmas cookie exchange and was not sure what type invites and rsvp to do. Electronic vs. paper.

Social Grace said...

Aimdizzle--Welcome! Thanks for following. For an informal event like a cookie exchange, e-vites are fine--also easier, quicker, cheaper, and greener. (more $$ for Valhrona chocolate?) But if you love invitations and have in mind something thematic and cute then go for it. In other words, do what makes you happy. It's your party!