How do you include the non-tech-savvy into your tech-y wedding?

January 14 2014 | offbeatbride
272314_10150726333080578_623300577_19830243_4269185_o
This robot card box might even be too much for the grandparents. (Photo by Moxie Studios)
How are you dealing with the fact that, technology-wise, you are living in the 21st century, but your parents and their friends are not?

I'm finding I'm having a LOT of wedding planning complications with things like our evites, the online-only registries, and the entire concept of photo sharing.

What are some ways to help your less-than-technologically savvy friends and family members with your tech-y wedding? -Kim

Ah, the question for the modern couple. How do you bridge the gap between your technological needs, and the fact that your grandma still uses AOL? Or the friend of yours who refuses to RSVP to evites? Or your mom's friend who doesn't understand the concept of online-only gift registries?

First, here are some previous posts of ours that might help you on your wedding tech quest:

Now, how are YOU catering to the not-so-tech-savvy guests?

  1. We desperately wanted to do evites and keep everything electronic. I had google spreadsheets for RSVP information, guest lists, everything. All of which came to a screeching halt when my mother put her foot down and insisted on mailed invites. Ultimately, we decided it wasn't worth the fight, as my parents graciously footed most of the bills and if she wanted to pay for the invites, then fine.

    We did a wedding site (using one of the OBB templates, holla) and thought people would know to go there for more info. I'd say 70% did! but we definitely fielded many phone calls from the more tech-averse guests. As long as you include some way for them to get in touch with questions, beside email, you should be fine.

    We did mostly online registries, but included some brick & mortar stores in order to (again) please the mostly older guests that wanted to go ahead and physically pick things up. We also suggested gift cards to a number of stores we were registered for, if people asked.

  2. We're both pretty tech savvy, and I have this weird belief that an invitation should be an envelope with a single card in it (or, if you really want to do RSVPs by mail, a postcard for that purpose). We're 100% sure that we'll be doing our whole registry online, and we're 95% sure we'll be doing RSVPs through our wedding website.

    The latter idea is the one we're getting the most pushback on. The website we're using has some weird limitations with the RSVP system, and we do have some relatives who REALLY will not want to RSVP online. However, since we'll be having entree choices and the RSVP system allows for people to give us info about dietary restrictions, it's not sufficient for people to just call us and say they're coming.

    We've got plenty of time to decide what to do, but I think what we're going to do is the following:
    – Register at a few different places, including brick and mortar stores
    – Put registry information online and let word of mouth take that info to the people who won't visit the website
    – Ask guests to RSVP online OR to call us ("To RSVP, please visit [website] or call [phone].")

    We're going to avoid RSVP by email because 1) technophobes would still need a way to RSVP, and 2) if they call, we can ask them for their meal choice while we're on the phone with them.

  3. My family was tech savvy enough to have digital cameras- but not saavy enough to upload those photos to websites etc. We had a brunch the day after our wedding and I set up an "Upload Your Photos Here" laptop and HUGE sign. A couple of our kindest tech savvy friends helped the uncles and aunts upload and it saved us a lot of time trying to track down photos later.

  4. I'm trying to split the difference. Invitations will be sent out, on paper, with stamps, but they'll include very specific instructions about how to RSVP on our wedding website. Our registry will allow people to purchase gifts either online or in the shop. I know that there will be a couple of older relatives who might be uncomfortable with the online RSVP, but my family is large and I'll enlist some of my more tech-savvy relatives to ensure that people like my grandparents can get things sorted. Getting someone to be in charge of helping people out who need it can be a big stress relief.

  5. I'm sending out evites to my friends, and paper invitations with paper RSVPs to family and older people that aren't comfortable with evites (basically, if they care for tradition or if they've ever asked me a basic computer question, they're getting paper). Our registries are listed on the website we have which is super basic and listed on both invites, and Amazon is the only online retailer there so if anyone really has a problem and lets us know, we can direct them to the brick and mortar store registries like Pottery Barn and Bloomingdale's instead.

    In terms of photo sharing, I'm hoping between the photographer and all my photographer/hobbyist friends and the gazillion iPhones that will be there, that I'll be able to pull a bunch of good photos together into a page on flickr or facebook for everyone interested. No hashtags, I'll just be requesting people email/text me photos they think are good. Our parents and ourselves will be getting photo albums or prints, probably, too. The brunch photo uploading idea is good – I may want to try that out at our day-after brunch 🙂 Otherwise the father and brother in law and the groom, as well as me on my family's side, are all programmers so people can come to one of us at any time if they have anything to share that they're having trouble with.

    And even though we are as appropriately technical as you can possibly be (we even thought about writing iOS/Android apps for RSVPing), we really don't care to reinvent the wheel. I'm using paperless post for the evites and our homebaked website is super super basic. Most wedding website generators/hosts really suck so I'm avoiding those like the plague, and I just have better things to spend my time on than bake my own solution. If whatever I sent someone doesn't work for them, they can email/call me or the parents or anyone in the wedding party.

    Heeeeey an iOS app for taking photos at our wedding and automatically sharing them with me sounds amazing. Oh snap.

  6. My fiance is a web developer and I'm a digital project manager, so there is no way we are going to use a postcard to gather RSVPS! 🙂

    Our current plan is to send an invitation by mail with instructions on how to RSVP through the website. The platform we're using has a lot of nice custom form options so I can ask about dietary restrictions and whether or not they want to reserve seats on the shuttle. Once they RSVP, they'll go onto an email list with info about hotels, etc., since I don't really expect them to continually check our site for updates.

    I'm *hoping* that the majority of our guest list is tech savvy enough to RSVP online, but I recognize that I'll probably need to call a few people to get their RSVP over the phone.

    For registries, we're doing one online and one offline, so hopefully that will accommodate both crowds. Fingers crossed!

  7. I have been to 2 weddings now that had only a phone number to RSVP. The catch was that it is a Google Voice number. All of the received calls are recorded and a transcript is sent to the Google Voice number that is linked to an email. Once word got out that it was a recording on Google Voice, some friends even left songs or poems as RSVPs. You can even text to a Google Voice number!

  8. Glosite.com is actually pretty awesome for this scenario. We were able to get away with using Glosite for our own wedding site, invites, and RSVPS all online. However, the site does give the opportunity to get printed invites for part of your guest list, so Grandma can get a paper invite and cousin can get the invite through email. Also, we did have some family on the spouse's side who didn't get they needed to respond to our emails at all (different cultural norms and all). So we were able to manually enter their information by getting his mom to figure it all out. Genius.

    Speaking of wedding invite emails, it is most helpful to use a site that actually lets you know if the recipient has opened the invite should you be sending via the Internet. There were a lot of invites that originally went unopened because people gave us addresses that they don't regularly check, or emails got stopped in spam, or who knows what. But, because we could track that all, we at least knew who to follow up with instead of thinking they had blown us off all together.

  9. We're basically replicating everything we've put online into hardcopy. The website has a bucket load of info, so the invitations were a booklet. And any other info they'll get on the day. The photo retrieval issue is one I'm not convinced we'll overcome. We've got an account on WedPics but whether anyone will actually use it is another thing… Might have to steal that photo dump laptop idea… 😛 Thanks! Aside from that, we've got a pretty nerdy guest list who'll love the chance to shine, hehe

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.

Biz owners & wedding bloggers

Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.