Originally, we had planned to do evites but I got so much pushback from the “elders” about using that technology that I gave up the fight and went the traditional route of paper invitations. While they are gorgeous and I’m happy with how they turned out, the price tag didn’t bring me much happiness, nor did having to print out addresses (we had the option to pay to have them printed, but I’m wayyy too cheap for that route since I knew I could do it myself).
I did take a stand on the RSVP front though. After seeing the price of RSVP cards and hearing stories about all the confusion and suggestions to mark them with UV markers to know who is who when they come back with no name, I just wasn’t interested in the runaround. It sounded way too complicated when I knew there had to be a way to utilize technology to do all the work for me. One of the first things I did to start wedding planning was to download some wedding planning spreadsheets. These were Google spreadsheets which was convenient in many ways: 1) They are electronic soI’m not lugging around a huge binder (think Ted and Lily from How I Met Your Mother); 2) Multiple people could access the spreadsheets if I give them access and; 3) Google Forms integration.
Because I knew I wanted an online RSVP setup, I looked into Google Forms. I didn’t really know much about them other than the fact that they existed. What I didn’t realize is that some wedding websites actually offer RSVP services. Since I had already created our wedding website, I didn’t really want to go this route, so the Google Forms option looked better and better. When I discovered that you can link a Google Form to a Google Spreadsheet, I knew I had hit the jackpot.
I could create all my own questions and all the answers would automatically push to the spreadsheet.
I mainly did a trial-by-error method of learning how to use Google Forms. It’s pretty self-explanatory if you’re moderately tech-savvy. I also adjusted the settings a bit to better suit my needs. For the purposes of being a good blogger, I set up an example form in a few minutes.
It’s that easy, just a few minutes!
From a Google spreadsheet, click on Tools, then select Create a form.
You will be taken to this screen where you can fill in your information and create questions.
Google Forms is awesome because you can mark certain questions as required and you can have different types of questions (multiple choice, short answer, long answer, dropdown options, etc). My favorite thing about Forms is that you can create a “password.” This was a little tricky and I had to do some research but I really didn’t want our form to be open to just anyone.
To set a “password,” select Short answer as your question type, then click on the three dots icon at the bottom right, then select Data validation. This will generate a line that gives you the option to set an answer. You can select Text (seen in the example) or you can select Number. If you select Number, ensure that you change the second dropdown menu to “equal to.” I put this question in the first section (important) and marked it required so anyone that found the form had to put in the password before seeing any of the questions. I also changed some of the settings (the gear icon in the top right) to collect email addresses for people that RSVP, so if we had any information we needed to disseminate before the wedding, we had a contact option for each guest that was coming.
I started our questions in section 2. By creating sections, people using the form will only see one section at a time. To put a password on the first section means they are unable to see the rest of the form without answering the password question correctly. Rather than sending out an RSVP card, the first thing our guests will see when they flip over their invitation (please let these people flip the invitation over to see what all that text is!) is:
Please RSVP at our wedding website: www.address.com
(other wedding info)
(even more wedding info)
I made sure to put the website and password in larger font than the rest of the text. I tried to make it as obvious as possible.
Our questions are:
- Who are you?
- Are you coming?
- Great! Who is coming with you?
- Total number of people in your party (including yourself)?
- Will you be attending the Post-Wedding Brunch on November 2nd?
- Does anyone have any dietary concerns we should be aware of?
- Where will you be staying while you are in Charleston?
- What are the dates of your trip to Charleston?
- What is 1 song that will make your night if you hear it?
- Are you excited?
- What are you most excited for?
- Do you have anything else you’d like Megan and Timo to know about your visit, their wedding, or in general?
Now that we’ve sent out invites, some reflections on the online RSVP:
I think most people are afraid of the online RSVP. They think it will be difficult. I’ve had to encourage friends who “only use their phones” by explaining that the site is mobile friendly, (yes, I did that for you, friends). In fact, I had to bully my parents into RSVPing to their first child’s wedding. SERIOUSLY? I’ve found out through the grapevine/talking to invitees that they will be coming, but they haven’t RSVPed yet, even though they have purchased plane tickets! WHAT? (This also leads to a bit of self-reflection where I have to acknowledge that I’m not like most people and for me, I would have RSVPed yes, then bought my plane ticket.)
I was hoping we’d get a majority of RSVPs from the invites we sent out within the first month or so (haahahahahahahahahahahahah, our RSVP by date is Sept 15th) so I could send out round two, with a grasp on how many people I knew were coming, but it doesn’t seem like that is going to be the case. Oh well.
Did you do something unconventional in the planning process? How did it go?