Recently I was helping a friend put together her first evite (aka electronic event invitation). While setting everything up I couldn’t help but remark on the awesome things evites offer that can’t be replicated with their physical counterparts. Here are some of the many things I love about evites:
- No stamps necessary
- Takes minutes to create and send an evite
- Received instantly, no worrying about invitations getting lost in the mail
- Although sometimes it might go directly to somebody’s spam folder
- Easy to send reminders/messages to invitees or attendees (e.g. if you still need responses)
- With some evite apps reminders can be scheduled in advance to be sent at certain times (e.g. 1 week before the event)
- Easy to add people and resend after the invitation was sent
- Tracks attendees, no need to manage piles of RSVPs and create lists
- Provides a map hyperlink to the event location
- Easy to edit or correct mistakes in the evite
- Easy to access the information when you’re out and about
- Eliminates paper waste
On the flip side, there’s something nice about receiving a paper invitation in the mail. Maybe it’s because we get so few pleasurable things via snail mail these days. I have two friends getting married this spring. Even though I knew about both events, it was still nice when to receive the formal invite in the mail. Physical invitations include a lot of detail and tactile information that is missed in the evite. For example the weight of the paper selected, whether or not the ink is raised, handwritten touches, or embellishments adhered to the paper.
One set of friends hosted a small party for the bridal party and gave us all hand-crafted invitations, even though we’d all been asked verbally. It felt special to be asked formally with a paper invitation, including a nice handwritten note, some homemade decorations, and a cool ribbon to tie everything closed. These elements are largely absent with the evites.
Similar to ebooks, I prefer the evite over its physical counterpart because they’re fast, easy, and practical. However, I do feel like we miss out sometimes. When I’m going to an event I definitely want to have all the information available electronically rather than carrying around the paper. On the other hand I also like the experience and anticipation of receiving a physical invitation. These days it feels like a real novelty.