Thursday, November 18, 2010

e-mail for invitations?

Q: It is bad etiquette to e-mail my guests asking if they think they might attend my wedding? 
A: Yes and No. It's complicated. Let's explain. 

Part 1 of 2: 
It's not polite to send e-mails (including facebook messages or event notifications) as: 

- Wedding Invitations: 
You're wedding is special right? It's an important celebration that you want to share with those you love? If you consider it so, those you wish to celebrate with you are worth the few dollars (for invitation and postage) it costs to send a paper invite. Asking them if they think they might attend is just asking for hurt feelings. Don't do it. 

Instead, make lists (several) and filter out anyone you haven't spoken to in the last year, whose last name you can't remember, or are only aware of by association (your mom's 3rd cousin who lives in Mexico). 

- For Thank-You Notes: 
Someone was nice enough to attend (or not) your wedding and get you a gift. While they might have just gone to the bridal kiosk, printed out the list of items you registered for, find a particular item on that list and pay the cashier for it... they still got you a gift. 

Plain and simple. Send them a formal thank you. 

- When addressing touchy issues
For one, it's on the Internet. It's not private. And two, it's extremely hard to communicate emotions. You can't pick up on bodily language. And no, just because you put a smiley face or an "lol" at the end of the sentence doesn't make it OK. 

- When plans aren't set: 
If your maid-of-honor is throwing you a bridal shower and you haven't confirmed dates or times. Don't send out a mass e-mail to everyone you're inviting if you don't know the details. Get with the key people before doing so. 

So when is it OK to use e-mail? Tune in next week for our list.  

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