It’s that time of the year again. And a couple of wedding invitations are flowing in. As some of you know, I happen to love questioning stuff. I mean, part of my day job is simply scrutinizing the way we work in our organization and make recommendations to the management for change. I think I was hired because of my ability to go against the status quo, so it seems. My profile would read, “Warning. Here lies the rebel.”
Here I am questioning the need for wedding invitation cards. Yes, those physical pre-printed ones where all you do is fill up the name of the person you’re addressing to, enclosed in an envelope colour of your choice. Depending on how fancy you would like it to look like, you could do the simple “cina” written format or hire a graphic designer to conjure up a mind-blowing creation that could cost you a honeymoon trip right there.
Sometimes people do things because it is just what the rest of the world are doing even though it could mindless at times. It’s nobody’s fault. It’s easy to just do what seems required and pay good money for it.
Here is why I think physical wedding cards are a waste of time (and your hard-earned cash that could be best used elsewhere)
1. It doesn’t really hold any meaning to send it out to 500 people. If you’re telling that you’re actually gonna personalize each card and state the reason why you’re actually inviting the person, then that’s fine. But most of the time, like I mentioned, it comes pre-printed with a standard message to be filled laboriously with the names of the 500 people that you’ve considered worthy to attend the big event. You’re wasting ink as well.
2. Al-Gore will be pissed. Since we have gotten over the part where it’s not really meaningful to send it out one by one with the same message, why would you waste precious trees as a means to pass on information? Especially in our day and age of high speed wireless/wired connection?
3. Facebook is way neater and faster. I know this form of invitation has already being employed for weddings. Hey, it’s not that glamorous but it works like a charm. And it’s quick too. Usually I don’t even receive the wedding card until the week before and they expect me to come. Sometimes I only receive it on the day itself cos I’ve already been nortified by a phone conversation of the event. Even if you’re not on facebook, you should have an email. If you don’t even have email, you should be shot. If you think some VIP or dignitaries like the PM or some Datuk So-and-so deserve a glitter-filled invitation card, then by all means get the best Hallmark you can find and hand-deliver it to them. If they are really that important, you would want to make an impression by turning up in person, wouldn’t you?
4. It’s worth a honeymoon. Looking at our economic climate at the moment, we all need a bit of cost-cutting measures. I mean, if we’re talking about RM5 for a piece of cardboard and coloured ink, imagine how much will it be to be printing 500 of those? You do the math. You could be using the money to spend on making yourself look prettier or to get that tux that you always wanted. And get a really good photographer to take shots that will last forever?
5. Nobody reads or follows the last line. Normally it reads like this, “Please contact so-and-so and RSVP at this email or at this number.” WTF. If you send it through email, there is a higher chance of the person clicking “Reply” and notify of their decision. If you’re using facebook, for those that didn’t reply you could bug them again. And you have an easier time keeping track of those who haven’t responded. RSVP problem solved.
6. Redundancy. Most of the time, you will be calling half the people and frantically try to find out what their current addresses are. Wait, you’re calling or emailing the person to find out where they’re staying to send them some cardboard to ask for their presence in your wedding, when you can actually ask them about the same thing during that call or on that email? Can you now see how mindless this task is?
I know by encouraging this, I will be putting some people out of their jobs ie. post office stamp sellers, greeting card shops and some graphic designers. But it’s for a good reason as I don’t like to see people doing meaningless things. And it’s also because most of the time, I’m misplacing wedding cards that I’ve received and not being able to find out the actual details of it when the day arrives.
Speaking of meaningless, I also have much to say about those big 10-course Chinese wedding dinners that has been part of our so-called traditions. But that’s for another blog post.
So, don’t bother waiting for my wedding card. Not that I’m getting hitched anytime soon.
Note: The author’s view is entirely based on his own perspective and in no way, judgmental of anyone who finds pleasure and purpose in sending out invitations in proper forms. He still believes in the romance of writing letters to the people who matter.