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Monday, August 02, 2010

The Wedding Invitation

Word on the street is that sending wedding invitations by email is Just Not Done. In fact, many sites argue rabidly that it would be an unforgivable offense. Piffle says I.

When I think about it from an environmental perspective, I can't begin to justify getting a ton of stuff individually printed and shipped to me, then putting stamp to envelope and getting each of those shipped all over the country just so that folks can mail me the same paper back again.

Another argument is that folks abandon email addresses over time. Lord knows, I've had my GMail address since the first day GMail existed back in 2004, and the address affiliated with this blog for over 10 years, which is to say through at least five changes of physical address. And even my grandmother in her eighties has an email account she checks pretty regularly. (I'll grant, my grandma is way cooler than average, but seriously, who doesn't have an email address these days? Well, besides the kids just showing up at Stanford who just use Facebook messages and Twitter and think that email is just so passe.) Also, I had email addresses (thanks to GMail!) for all but four people we needed to invite. If I had to scrounge up physical addresses, I think I currently know maybe 10-15%, so that would be arduous at best.

And then there's the convenience. Some sites argue that email is "just too unreliable," but I have to wonder what post office they use because mine loses mail all the time. Sure, maybe only 1% of my mail gets lost, but it's enough to be vexing when things are delayed for weeks or just plain never arrive. Or there's the problem I had with the careless postman who managed to turn my California teaching credential labeled, "Do not fold or spindle" into a crushed ball in the bottom of my mailbox. Meanwhile, with an electronic invitation, I know exactly who has viewed the invitation, and who I should make a follow-up call to to make sure they take a look. Also, I now know that less than a week later because 90% have checked their email. Were these paper invitations, I wouldn't even expect them to have all arrived yet, let alone have a single response. Instead, I sent invitations, and within 15 minutes had 7 responses. Also, it's automatically counting all of the Yes and No responses to give me a final headcount, and notifying me of any bounced addresses so that I can fix and resend instantly.

Then there's the etiquette angle. Apparently, it's offensive to some to receive an electronic invitation. For those folks, if you're mortally offended by my electronic invitation, I apologize, but you really must not know me very well. My entire job is focused on introducing new tools and technology and helping others get comfortable with change. My invitation seamlessly links to my wedding web site which links to all sorts of information for guests traveling from out of town and links to several registries for us. It's accessible from anywhere you've got a net connection, whether that's at home, at work, or on your phone. I'll even be able to manage questions from guests when I'm sitting at a cafe in Italy. Ciao indeed!


  • And don't forget that paper invitations can be dangerous. Remember what happened to George Costanza's fiance.

    By Blogger Andrew, at 2:57 AM  

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