Taking it Offline

In planning our wedding, Neil and I have had an ideal scenario in mind the entire time: personal and intimate.

We purposely picked a small, destination venue that could only accommodate our closest family and friends, and have established some personal criteria for how to deal with making the guest list work.

We also made another decision that seems to be exactly the opposite of what a lot of the rest of the world is doing right now: no wedding website. This entire thing will be conducted offline.

Not to say I won’t share details here about the clusterfuck that is planning a wedding these days (I really should have an “I Survived Wedding Fair” T-shirt) – but this is a personal blog, so I figure I’ll just keep my personal experiences archived in one place (a place which has been sorely lacking in content anyway) instead of starting up another site.

But the more I think about what’s involved in not dumping details online, the more I like the idea.

While I like to think I was raised to be polite, with good manners, and to conduct myself in a way that Miss Manners herself would approve of, I’ve really been getting off on all the pomp and circumstance and social mores that have evolved over the years when it comes to conducting a wedding.

Since it would be impossible to cram every single detail of the where, when and how into save-the-date and invitation mailings, I’m going to have to pick up the phone, or write some casual letters to friends and family clarifying the ins and outs of everything.

(It’s just occurred to me that this would be a LOVELY time to procure some engraved, monogrammed stationery, and I got some lovely new pens in my Christmas Stocking, and maybe I could get some personalized stamps, and who doesn’t love actual postal mail that isn’t bills?!… ok, I’ll admit it, I’m an office-supplies geek, though not as bad as my boss who just bought an Easy Button…)

I’m also hoping this will be a really special time in our lives to further solidify the relationships we have with our friends and family. If they need further information, they’ll need to actively contact us, instead of passively looking it up on a website. If we have something that needs sharing, we’ll have to make an effort to communicate with each guest personally.

Guests will have to make an effort to save and remember the wedding date, time and venue information they’re sent. No disregarding it and checking for details online later – the invitation is required reading. Anyone who loses theirs will be voted off the island will have to suck it up and either contact another guest, or someone in the wedding party to figure out the details. (Not that I would actually be completely offended if someone lost their invitation – it happens.)

Someone, at some point, will have to march their wee tush down to the mailbox and send back their response card. I know RSVPing online at 3:00am in one’s underwear is preferable to some people, but I’ll remind them that mailboxes don’t close for the night either. Though, depending on how dark it is, I’d recommend considering pants before going out.

For me it’s all a part of representing how seriously we’re taking our relationship (not that I’m implying that other people don’t take their relationships seriously, this is just what works for me, don’t hate.) and how engaged we want our guests to be with their participation in our wedding.

As fun as it would be, there isn’t going to be any sort of “skill-testing-question” for potential guests to garner an invitation or a scavenger hunt for a map to the venue.

But it does force Neil and I to ask ourselves some questions regarding anyone we’d consider inviting:
-> Do we have their postal address and/or the ability to get it easily?
-> Do we talk with them regularly, and feel comfortable calling them (requiring obviously, having their phone number) to chat? Would they call us for the same?
-> Do they know our families or attendants well enough to contact them to ask about things don’t belong in invitations like if and where we’ve registered, or exactly how formal a ceremony and reception we’re planning? (or things that were in the invitation they lost…)

If we don’t know people well enough to even answer those simple questions, then it begs the question, do we really have a strong enough relationship with that person to participate in the kind of wedding we want to have, and offer the support in our marriage that we’ll ask of them?

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14 thoughts on “Taking it Offline

  1. dearheart

    I totally hear (and agree with) you. The only reason we did a website was due to the Austria connection (although none of them, other than The Hubby’s parents, ended up coming anyways.)

    Besides…your wedding, your way. That’s best.

  2. Crissy

    I’m SO with you about the wedding websites! I guess I’m kind of biased … but I am all for the old-skool paper invitations. No wedding websites!! I too think that wedding things should be a bit more personal. So yep, I’m totally with you on this!

    (so funny, I know of another manager who also bought the Easy Button – ha ha!)

    Happy planning!

    (and if you don’t mind my asking, where will the grand event be taking place?!) πŸ˜€

    Cheers,
    Crissy

    http://www.paraviondesign.com

  3. Courtney

    Ever since the boy and I started casually chatting about a sometime-in-the-future wedding, I’ve been set on getting married in my mom’s backyard. This would require only having about 50 guests and would keep things small and (relatively) inexpensive. Mind sharing where yours will be?

  4. Chris

    Websites and paper aren’t mutually exclusive ;). We have a wedding website, but we’ve planned to do paper invitations the whole time, so we’re also off getting addresses, etc.

  5. peechie Post author

    Chris: I guess I failed a bit in making that differentiation – I was trying to say that most people do both, but I’m going for exclusively paper. In fact, I’m even going to try to avoid initiating details oriented conversations over email (though of course I’d answer it). I’m really diggin’ on the old-school communication thing.

    All: As soon as I’ve got the venue confirmed, I’ll share! Until then, I don’t want to jinx myself into not getting it.

  6. Dawn

    What do you consider small & intimate? I am in the beginning stage of planning myself (paper only) and trying to narrow the guest list so I can have samll & intimate without hurting peoples feeling. (I know I know my day, common senario)

  7. peechie Post author

    Dawn: It’s hard to quanitfy. Our magic number (set by the venue) is 48, including us.

    Our breakdown looks something like this:
    Immediate families – 9, plus a couple or three for dates; established, serious relationships only
    Extended Families – up in the air, could be up to 20.

    That leaves about 20 for friends (or 10 couples).

    Depending on how things go with the families, we could possibly invite more friends, but the overall limit of 46 is a number that we feel both forces us to keep the event “small and intimate” (and affordable!), and still allows us to invite the people who are really important to us.

  8. Diane

    It is important to have your wedding your way and invite who you wish. People shouldn’t get there nose out of joint if you can’t invite them understandably it is a small intimate wedding. It is such an exciting time planning a wedding. have fun and enjoy! let me know if I can help you out with anything I loved planning our wedding what a fun time… Cheers!

  9. Crissy

    Wow, I guess our wedding was really, really “intimate” then – it was only us and 11 guests! πŸ˜€

    But it was on the other side of the world – and part of our reason for getting married in Italy was so that we could keep it nice & small. We actually thought it would just be the two of us … but our closest friends just wouldn’t allow it. πŸ™‚

    Can’t wait to find out where you’re having yours!!

    Cheers,
    Crissy

    http://www.paraviondesign.com

  10. Derek K. Miller

    My wife and I saw our first-ever URL-on-a-billboard (with the quaint http://) during our honeymoon in August 1995, when we drove through San Francisco. So there was no concept of a wedding website. And email RSVPs? 80-90% of our guests would have said, “what’s email?”

    You crazy kids today and your online dating! Back in our day we had no CHOICE but to use the post office!

  11. bree

    I toyed with the idea of a wedding website, but in the end I decided against it, for pretty much the same reasons as you. I didn’t post much about the wedding plans etc. to the blog either.

    Congratulations, by the way! I missed the wedding announcement news (I’m behind on my local blogosphere feeds). Marriage rocks.

  12. joann

    wedding website? i guess i’m old fashoion….your wedding, your choice!

    all i ask is you post a wedding pic for those of us in the lower forty who enjoy your blog! πŸ™‚

    get lots of help so you can enjoy a stress free wedding!

  13. Hannah

    Well, I won’t be bringing a date, I’m sure, so you can go ahead and take the “and friend” off my invitation. I doubt very much my BF would spring for a ticket from Korea, even if he could get the time off.

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