Monday, August 2, 2010

RSVP by Phone/Web

Since we had decided to do a paperless RSVP, and we're expecting guests over the age of 50, we thought it would be best to provide our invitees with a phone number they could use to respond. It could be a little awkward, though, if one or both of us had to deal with fielding calls from friends and family while we were working or otherwise unavailable, and with our international relatives the timing could have been a problem. One option would have been a paid RSVP phone service like these guys, but why pay for something we could set up ourselves for free?

Instead I requested a Google Voice invite from a friend (of course, not long afterwards they opened up the service to everyone), and set up a new account using our shared email address. We chose a phone number (nothing good available with 10/10 in it, unfortunately), recorded a message in about half a dozen takes, and we were done. We used Ellie's phone number to link the account to, but turned off call forwarding in the settings, so all calls go directly to voicemail. We both get an email alerting us when a new message comes in (with an attempted transcription, but so far Google's servers have trouble with English accents), and one of us just pulls up our RSVP web page (detailed post on that coming soon!) and submits a response for the record. As a bonus, Google stores all the voicemails - no worries about running out of space - so we can always go back and check if we think we could have written one of them down wrong.

8 comments:

  1. We've only actually gotten one RSVP by phone, from Canada; the other responses we've gotten so far from overseas have all been "no"s in the form of cards or letters.

    Also, I don't mean to suggest that nobody over the age of 50 can operate a computer; Ellie's grandmother is 80something and uses email and Facebook. My point was simply that some members of our parents' generation are more comfortable picking up the phone.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I originally considered an 800 number for RSVP's and then opted against it. But we did have the ability to have people RSVP through our wedding web site. We got a good handful of responses through the site, but most came in the form of the reply cards being mailed back to us. I guess if you put a response card in an invite along with a web site, then most will feel obligated to mail back the card you paid for. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. This makes a lot of sense. My fiance has a google voice account that he uses for business and it's really convenient.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh yeah, and extra bonus - if someday when we buy a house we get a landline, we'll just switch this number to forward to there...

    ReplyDelete
  5. We did exactly this and it worked perfectly. Most people RSVPed by the website (even my husband's grandfather!!!) but we did get a few messages on Google Voice. And Google Voice doesn't do that well with a Southern accent either. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I wish I would have known about this a few weeks ago. We put our cell phones and website on the invites for people to RSVP (no RSVP cards). It's working pretty well so far.

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a clever idea. Since we will probably go paperless, this is a fabulous option for RSVPing by phone. Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Let me know how this works out for you guys. I've been contemplating paperless RSVPs.

    ReplyDelete