Monday, January 12, 2009

Your Marriage Un-vites


I post this article with utmost sincerity and genuine concern for my friends. Many people of our generation are still unaware of rightful use of online communication. They spam everyone with "Hey dude Happy Budday" wishes and bulk mail New Year messages. There have already been quite a few weddings in my circle in the last few months. And even though this event holds tremendous importance compared to yearly holiday wishes, many have succumbed to the same mistakes.

I hope to pass on some ideas for future wedding invites. Even if you aren't busy with marriage preparations currently, you can enjoy this and probably pick up some lessons for other forms of communication.

Dear Prospective Bride/Groom,

Before you salivate at the easy prospect of thrusting your wedding invitation on your whole universe of friends, ask yourself the first major question:

Is your motive information / persuasion?

In case you just want to announce to all these 'friends' that you are getting married, social networks are the best place to post your wedding invite. You can possible accompany that with updated status messages. We all love to get surprise scrapped/walled for casual conversations. And obviously, a facebook update will lead to a lot more interaction than your bulk mail.

So spend some time to sort your friends into those that deserve an invite and those who don't. If you think your whole 600 bunch of facebook/mail contacts equally deserve your wedding invite, believe me you haven't put in enough thought into it.

If you have managed to split your world into these two groups, here is the first bitter truth - It is always better to personally inform these people than mail them as a bunch. That requires a lot more effort. If this list is large and you necessarily have to send out group email invites (called e-vites henceforth), consider these suggestions:

Break this friends list based on how close they are to you. It is obvious that they all would not be addressed in the same way. Nor will the e-vite content be the same for them. Do not mix friend circles. Your office colleagues do not want to be mentioned alongside your college friends.

Good Idea (from Surya's Mail): Mailing people who are important to you, but are also connected to each other

Dear Czars (and Czarinas),
I would like to invite you to my wedding which is scheduled for the 7th of December in Gwalior....
I request you to .....Please let me know in advance to make arrangements for your stay.

Bad Idea: Mailing people who are important to you, and probably unconnected to each other

Dear Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,
And many more.... bringing a smile to my face...
And here I am now, doing the same to you all beautiful people....

Some details which are generally ignored:

1. Timing
Do not bother to send the e-vite a week before the wedding. If you hadn't intended to call us till now, sending an e-vite doesn't mean squat. It's an afterthought. Just don't do it. I've seen a couple of wedding e-vites with an apologetic start "Sorry guyz, the wedding invites were just made and sent out. Hope u can mke it to da wedding. Find attached the invite."

The orange coloured Lord Ganesh blessed cards are meant to be snail-mailed. You are neither restrained by these nor required to wait for them to get scanned. Be timely and be authentic.

2. Content
Put some effort in wording your mail. Take care of your spellings! Don't use wrds like dis 2 convey information that is so important to you and relevant to us.

Some relations are made in heaven and unite on earth
even hundreds of miles apart !!!!

We invite you to
share the joy and wonder of
growing love as two souls becomes one.

Don't copy paste a corny English poem with a 'invitation attached' message. Or else your hasty bulk mail won't be any different from a 'personal' mail by Citibank which reads "Dear customer, you are really important to us"

3. Details
In case the wedding is not being held in a metropolitan, provide some details about connectivity to the town.

A good example (From Nilesh's mail)
How to reach:
(1) Traveling from Delhi
- Mewar express leaves Delhi at 7 pm and reaches Udaipur at 7 am next day. Very convenient.
- Or reach udaipur by flight.
- Salumbar is a 2-hour bus drive from Udaipur.

Bonus Ideas
These require a bit more of effort. But these will leave a great impression.

1. Apart from your wedding invitation, attach a fresh, natural picture of the two of you. It'll charm your recipient more than your fancy bordered and poorly-scanned wedding invitation.

1. Pick up your phone/digicam and shoot a one-minute video as an attachment. For the closest friends, you could even address them personally (as a group).

2. If you are familiar with blogs, then you could even consider starting a blog. There are a couple of websites which help in this regard.

"Anticipated, personal and relevant permission mail will always dramatically outperform greedy short-term spam." (Seth Godin)

So when your marriage is up ahead and you are keen to share this joyful event with your little world of friends, please don't send an un-vite - a hastily bulk-mailed, fat-attachment ridden, impersonal goof-up communication that nobody bothers to acknowledge or enjoy.

Capisce?

9 comments:

  1. Looks like you are all set to get married? At least this post points towards that, considering the amount of thought you have put into thinking about marriage invites :P

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  2. Haha...very nice...points totally worth keeping in mind :L-)

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  3. yo Iyer!
    I guess ur wedding invitation will be considered as a benchmark for all future invitees.

    So when is it coming?

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  4. Nice post. Had received an invite via email a couple of years back. It was send to all the groom's friends. And we were surprised to see a complete stranger reply to the mail, when we started to make plans to go together for the wedding. btw, recently I got couple of frnds attach a google map pic as well to the invite.

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  5. So true, do I have your permission to spam all my friends with this blogpost? :)

    I hate it when randomly people send wedding invites, happy new years and merry christmases en masse. I actually pity them, more than hate them because weddings are so special and they make a mockery out of it. I end up deleting all the 'spam' invites and the sentimentalist inside me wonders whether I would ever like if someone deleted my wedding invite!

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  6. That is a good post.
    Liked the Timing bit.Last minute e invites are a farce.Just like they striking from a To Do list.

    -Nikhil

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  7. "Hi All, Tks 4 da lvely comments..." :)

    @Fervid: Kuro, I am ready to design 'wedding marketing campaigns'. Though I don't think I am ready for marriage itself!

    @Pallavi: Thank you.

    @Siba: I hope so. Though there will be a dozen more options in a few years. Will keep you posted too!

    @Arby: I have possibly risked my friendship with a couple friends because of the excerpts pasted here which they will obviously recognize! But the truth must be told :)

    @Renu: Please do! Pass on the message.

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  8. Everytime I saw such an invite in my office mail, I was almost tempted to reply back saying....
    "Should I really come?".
    But then why embarrass him/her for something which is kind of a "parampara" that too when its his/her marriage.

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  9. it is time the preacher walked the talk. Show us the ideal invite, budd!

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