Etti-Qs: Can I do online replies?


In this increasingly modern age (lol could I sound any more like the 80-year-old woman I basically am?), online replies have become more and more prevalent. I’ll often get comments like: ‘I know you probably hate online replies, but I want to do them anyway’, or ‘Is it really that bad to do an online reply?’, and my not so secret answer is that I don’t hate online replies at all! I think they can be a really valuable tool, and if you’re short on time, or want to save a little money, they’re a great way to go.


Photo by Mikkel Paige, photo styling by Janet St. Clair

Generally speaking, my stance is that when it’s your wedding, you should do whatever feels right to you. I think it’s important for your guests to feel comfortable and welcomed, and that’s really the point of etiquette: to make sure everyone knows what to do in any given situation. I like to educate my clients on what the ‘proper’ thing to do is, but at the end of the day, it’s their wedding, they know what would work best for their guests, and I’m here to make it easier for them, not to judge them because they opted for an online reply.

That being said, I have three things to consider before you opt for the online reply:

Your older guests will be confused. 

If Grandma Nancy doesn’t own a computer, she’s probably not going to go down to the library and log on to rsvp to your wedding. If you’re just inviting a few older folks, that’s probably not a big deal to check in on them and get a personal reply, but if you know a significant portion of your guest list is older and not super computer literate, it might be worth it to just do a traditional reply card instead.

Sometimes people don’t take the online reply as seriously. 

It’s hard enough to get people to reply to your wedding anyway, but something about not having to send a card back means that people might try to wait until the last minute, and then even forget to respond. Something I always recommend is to include a separate card in your invitation suite, no matter if it’s an online reply or a physical reply. Having the separate card means that it will draw a little more attention to the fact that there is still something for your guests to do, and hopefully make it a little easier for them to respond.

It’s really fun to get replies back in the mail. 

It’s so exciting to check the mail every day and see who got back to you, and those little cards can become keepsakes when you’re also getting personal notes from loved ones. I ended up saving most of our reply cards because they were so sweet, and such a great snapshot of an exciting time in our lives. When so much of wedding planning can feel hectic, getting those reply cards back can feel like a really nice moment to pause and just enjoy the excitement.

So there you have it! Online replies: not a terrible faux pas, but also not quite as fun as a physical reply card!

What do you think? Would you still go for the online reply, or have I convinced you that a physical reply is the way to go?

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