Friday, January 21, 2011

You are Invited

Yesterday, when a doctor I met casually in a nursing home heard me through the usual rigmarole of how I was going to come home one day soon to invite him and said casually ‘no formalities, just hand it over”, I could have hugged him. I did. Hand the card over.

Im beginning to realize (a little late) that the wedding invite is the most crucial part of the wedding, next to the food, maybe.

Its not the card – which no one really cares about except oneself in the light of the many hours put in, designing it .One in a 1000 people will tell you it looks good.

It’s the way you invite people that matters. And the biggest mistake is to take people close to you for granted. Of course Im so so guilty of this and that’s why I am impelled to write this to help other less prepared mortals in what lies ahead.

I used to think, rather mistakenly, that the connection with people is already there so you send across a card and they come or don’t come depending on how strong your bond is and the convenience of travel. But that is not how it works. What matters is how you relate to them right now when you present the card.

Top of the list is actually turning up in person with the card at their home, not office. Then everyone feels good about themselves and you and feels obliged to come. On this occasion, you have to mention all dates and times and functions and feasts, cutting across stories of their children and activities.
A new addition to be mentioned is accommodation. Traditionally people just landed up in the wedding house and made themselves comfortable in whatever way they could. Now rooms and hotels have to be mentioned and booked and since many people only make up their minds at the last minute to come; it becomes a little tough because Indian style, everyone expects to be feted anyway for having traveled this long way

If you live far away and can use that as an excuse, then you can send the cards by post. And follow it up with a phone call. Right now, I am the black sheep of the family for having broken ground by inviting people by this method. But I’m sure, people in the family hosting the next weddings are going to be glad.

It’s gladdening when someone says, do send me an invite I’d so like to be there.
But when people say, send one to my brother in law, father in law, sister or other people who are important to them but you’ve barely met ,because that person would love the attention, then it feels a little crazy. In some cases, people come along to enjoy the place or as an interesting experience.

Be sure that young married couples and even little twirps living away in college are invited separately. This can lead to much friction, I assure you.

Next is email to all those who live overseas. It is hard to write an email inviting people insincerely to a wedding you are sure they are not going to attend. Some may be cousins you hear from once in 5 years. Yet you do.

When one of them calls and says, ‘thank you for thinking of me’; then it really is worth it. Because each invite does carry a piece of you. Each person is on one of your lists and you do make an effort to discover addresses and phone numbers, email ids. If some one gives you a feedback, it does feel good.

Im as guilty as anyone else of ignoring the majority of wedding invitations. But now I do realize, somewhere someone is thinking of me/us and it is good to respond in whatever way I can.

In an ideal world, you wouldn’t hand out invites at all. Those who feel connected will turn up. But till then invitations reign supreme. And you ‘d better make them sound sincere.


Pradeep said...

O sure, Kalyani, these invites can be tricky!... I like them simple; because spending a lot on it, looks a waste. Also a lot of people just throw it away after the event, is it not?

radha said...

Glad to see you back! And yes, inviting people can be tricky. With the bad traffic these days you have to keep aside at least an hour for each visit. When my daughter got married, we personally invited only the elders in town. All the rest were sent a card followed by a phone call. Only one friend ( actually more of an acquaintance) complained and didn't turn up for the wedding! Fortunately the family was accommodating. It is time we set a trend. The amount of effort and money that goes into conducting a wedding even if the marriage itself was not 'arranged' is appalling.

kallu said...

Not quite back as in back home at Ooty , Radha but getting close. Its nice to be missed :-))
Sounds like your family is accommodating and more understanding of what all this running around entails.