Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It's a Nice Day for A...Green Wedding!

No, our wedding colors aren't actually green. But we are working on a more environmentally sound option for our wedding: evites. Yes, the mythical evites, while typically acceptable for parties, barbecues, and offbeat events are being more highly debated as wedding invite options. All over wedding forums, the question that tiptoes, creeps and thunders around is whether this is a truly legitimate option, and people are not shy about their opinions. So here's our story on the matter.
My fiance and I are still in college. We're tying the knot before crossing the stage. To put it bluntly, quaint hemming and hawing aside- we're dirt broke. We're planning our wedding on limited means, but we've found that if one is willing to compromise, to relax, and to really pitch in, there's no reason why it's not a manageable target. This idea contributed to deciding to do evites for both our save the dates and our invitations. But we had a couple other ideas that motivated us in this direction.
One, is that we are actually environmentally conscientious. Brenden more so than myself, but we both do a good amount of recycling, we pick cleaning products that are natural, gush about biodegradable packaging, and so forth. And as sweet a memorabilia as invitations can be, we cringed at the idea of the waste of paper. When people check their mail once a day, but check their e-mail like it's a compulsive tick, it seemed like the best option to reach everyone was the great ether of the Internet. Not to mention that it saves us the trouble of having to mail a ton of things out, which is really useful. No postage, no licking dozens of nasty-tasting envelopes (I mean seriously? We can launch ourselves into space, but we can't make envelopes and tongue depressors taste better?!), no worry about people losing their invite. None of it. Especially since we're having a fairly open, adaptable menu, choosing food isn't really a hassle. And most of our info is/will be on our wedding site that we're referring people to anyway, so it really seemed like a good idea from every angle to go the electronic route.
Not knowing much about it, I immediately went to work researching invitation options, and singing out a siren song calling for peoples' e-mail addresses. I've only been at this for a few days, but I came into it not knowing anything, and I'm obliged to share what I've learned! :)
First off, there are plenty of sites that let you design and sent out invites for free. Just googling "free wedding evites" will usually get you a lot of hits, but the one that I found that I liked a lot (and seemed fairly open to customizing) was punchbowl.com (Link to that here :]). From what I've gleaned messing around on it, it seems that their invites have a fair amount of openness to customizing, but you have to do most of the work yourself, so if you're super frugal and into DIY, this is for you! :) Similarly, but not completely the same is of course evite (Link to that is here :]). Theirs has more options for adding pictures and there's less work as far as phrasing, etc... They also have kind of a hybrid site idea, where some evites are free and you have to pay for some, so it really is whatever you want it to be.
The upsides of these two are that you have a decent amount of say in your invites/save the dates, and of course- they're free! :) The downside is that you'll have to keep track of all responses pretty closely, but if you're a planner anyway, then it's not too much extra work!
Similarly, but following a slightly different path are sites where you can pay for a specific package, but they cover a lot of things ranging from (electronic) envelopes, to contacts lists, to invites, save the dates, and RSVP lists; which saves you a lot of work.
Two sites that I found for this that I liked were ourwedvite.com (Link found here :] ) and greenvelope.com (Link found here :]). For varying fees, these provide a number of services for different packages, the most basic of which usually covers save the dates and invitations, the more extensive also including RSVP lists and thank you notes. Both are perfectly good sites, all though greenvelope.com is especially cool because a portion of the costs goes to Mountains to Sound, a nonprofit organization working on the West Coast to help protect more public areas of nature. You can read more about that here :].
Long story short (too late...) is that it really is how everyone says. It's your day. It's a day for you and your partner to share and celebrate the gift that is loving one another. Whether your guests keep a paper copy of your invite on their fridge in frantic fear of losing it, or if they save it in their favorites in their e-mail, it won't diminish the love that grows between you. So if traditional invites feel right, then go for it. But don't be afraid to do what you feel is right. It can be easy being green ;)

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