As I said before, I think it's absolutely fine for a couple to send invites over email. It's their wedding!
I think that with today's economic climate and state of the environment, "evites" as wedding invitations are understandable. And some of them can be quite elegant! There are several vendors out there that offer this type of service, and their creations are really quite lovely. Greenvelope is one of them. I did a post on them recently.
I think some people turn up their noses at this type of thing because they feel it's tacky, nontraditional, and impersonal, but what these people need to realize is no one is sending out evites because they're thoughtless, lazy, and disrespectful. They're just trying to save a little money, and save the environment at the same time. Nothing wrong with that!
I agree with Jaime too, however, that you can hit a sticky spot with Spam and some guests not having a computer. There's always the option of sending some invites the old-fashioned way and some via email. I'm sure there are some tricks to try and keep invites from the Spam box. Maybe there's a computer whiz out there who can help us with that one.
I agree that you can run into problems with the invitation ending up in the spam box if you send it via e-mail. I also think that if it is a formal wedding, a printed invitation via snail mail is probably more acceptable while a more casual wedding should be ok via e-mail.
If the bride and groom want to save money and be green, maybe they can send an invitation through the mail, but have the guests log in to a website to RSVP. That way you save the money for the return stamp and rsvp cards. For the less computer savvy guests, you can send them the stamped and addressed RSVP cards.
Emily Post's Etiquette book says"it is not appropriate, it's customary always to send each one of your guests a printed invitation mailed in an envelope. The only exception is in the case of of highly unusual or rushed circumstances"
After all the invitation sets the tone for the Wedding. One does not have to spend a lot of money to have a beautiful, classy and formal wedding invitation. Eveything else in the Wedding is so well planned out and thought about so don't put the invitation low on the list. It is a memory that can be put in your album and looked at in the fututre with fond memories.
I am a long time retailer(www.invitationimagination.com) who owns a stationery store,so it's probably a given that I am going to be on the side of an actual hold in your hand wedding invitation. I do primarily custom invitations on handmade or custom papers,with special silk ribbons or custom art,to my mind that is more exciting than opening an email.I believe the invitation opens the door to a special event and the email doesn't.It's like reading a book instead of using a kindle.
I've actually had a wedding Evite forwarded to me about two years ago.
Since I'm on the East Coast and my friend was on the West Coast it was nice to be able to "attend" via live video cam without leaving home or paying for a plane ticket. I didn't miss a thing! For some it's a money saver and for others it's just be rebellious!
Of course, I'm a traditionalist and Old Emily Post still rings true for me. I love paper and feel special when receiving a postal mailed wedding invite. I'd also like to mention... I hand draw pen and ink invites for unique brides. http://www.themerrybird.com/wedding.html
I can certainly understand wanting to save money, but I don't think an e-invitation is the best place to save money. I think it has been said on here that the invitation sets the tone for the wedding. You want to set a nice tone for your wedding. There are nice papers out there that you can make the invitations yourself with your computer if you really want to save in this area, but IMO an e - invitation is a bit too informal. There is just nothing more beautiful than opening up a gorgeous wedding invitation you received in your mailbox.
I'm WAY too much of a paper-lover to actually do it myself.
But, personally, I would be tickled to receive an invitation that way. That's if the sender could actually do it in a way that is creative, sets the tone of the wedding, and easily provides all the information found in a printed invitation. It would be genius if someone could make it work. I just haven't seen a way to do that yet.
I’m guilty of sending evite BUT for BBQ or a small gathering party because it’s fast and informal. But as for Wedding, Anniversary and Birthday my opinion an actual invitation is more appropriate and traditional. It’s always exciting to receive an invitation by mail than by email. Yes you don’t cut trees down but if you want to be green you can use recycle paper.