Dear Smartphone: Online Invitations?

Dear Smartphone: I read your advice to Tracy about sending Christmas cards through the mail instead of online. But, curious, what’s your opinion about sending out a party invitation? Should the invite always be on paper, or is it OK to send out electronic cards for an upcoming party? RC, Cambridge

Dear RC: Thanks for reading along. It is a question that party planners have been thinking about for some time and here is a decent link with the pros and cons. I would only add that you consider the social context of the invite and the age group. For example, young kids generally don’t (or shouldn’t) have email, so I would rather send a birthday invite to their home so that they can have fun opening the mail, reading the card and anticipating the date! If you choose to send an email, then Mom or Dad become the initial point of contact and gatekeepers.

That brings up a related issue about sending electronic invitations for grown-up parties. An email is received by one person, but the invitation is often to a couple, and discussion of whether to RSVP may depend on joint calendars. Not all households keep a calendar online. So, a paper card attached to the fridge with a magnet still gets more attention. I suppose you could send both an electronic invite and a paper one to cover all bases. Should you choose online only, consider sending a reminder note a few days before the party. Cheers!