In this week’s episode of Manners in the Digital Age, Farhad Manjoo and Emily Yoffe debate whether it's acceptable to scrap the paper wedding invitation and use digital invitations instead. Just for the record, I fully support the use of digital invitations for weddings and wish my wife and I had gone this route. Our invitations were lovely and incredibly expensive.
A few comments from this podcast that I thought were interesting.
First, in posing the question about the acceptability of an electronic invitation for their child’s wedding, a listener writes:
“I’m worried that guests receiving an evite will chuckle derisively…”
I’m always surprised to hear from adults who are still so concerned about the opinions of others when it comes to something so trivial, trite and ultimately forgettable as a wedding invitation.
I think Manjoo says it best in the podcast:
“For a guest to scoff or chuckle at the medium someone uses to invite you to a wedding is rude.”
As uncouth, improper, ill mannered or cheap as a person may seem, it is always more uncouth, ill mannered and improper to talk about these perceived flaws behind the person’s back.
I know many people who think quite highly of their manners and sense of decorum who could benefit from this lesson.
Not surprising, the very traditional Emily Yoffe does not support electronic invitations for weddings, but she says a couple very important things during the podcast that I admire:
1. She acknowledges that her opinion will probably change in 5-10 years.
2. She tells the concerned parents who have posed this question that once they have stated their opinion regarding the invitations, they need to step back and allow the adults who are getting married to make the final decision without any protest or pleas for reconsideration.
I cannot tell you how often the parents of brides and grooms place their own concerns for image, appearance and taste over their child’s desires for their wedding day. Some parents are downright rotten when it comes to their child’s wedding, and I will never understand it.
When and if Clara gets married someday, the last thing I will be worried about is what my friends think about my daughter’s wedding. Clara can do as she pleases, as long as she is happy.
3. When asked what she would think if she received an evite to a wedding, Yoffe answered, “I’d think I’m really old.”
She wouldn’t think that the senders were cheap or stupid or ill mannered. As traditional as Yoffe tends to be, she is also flexible in her thinking, adaptive in her attitudes and relatively open minded.
She’d probably make a great mother-in-law.