Online Invitations Will Land You In EHell

by admin on July 11, 2012

I don’t know if I should be excited or appalled that I finally have a story to add to this fantastic website, but in any event, here it goes!

I have a friend who is getting married at the end of the summer. She is really great, and I’m very excited for her. But her MOH deserves to be tossed into E-Hell. She has always been pushy and borderline mean, but this is just plain rude.

A Wednesday night a few weeks ago I got a text message from the MOH, asking for my email address. I later saw her asking FriendofMine the same question on ‘VisageBook’. I replied with my email and twenty minutes later, around 10pm, I checked it. There was an e-vite for a surprise bridal shower three weeks away! I cringed inside immediately. The MOH has had an awful time at work lately, and her family gives her a lot of grief, but come on! I’m 24, and this is my second friend to get married, but even I know better than to send an e-vite! So that was strike 1.

I checked the date and location, and happily decided to go. I replied ‘yes’ to the e-vite (dying a little on the inside), and moved on. That is until around noon the next day. For those of you following, that’s a little over 12 hours since the e-vite was sent. I get a text from the MOH saying, and here I am directly quoting, “Please check your emails and reply to them please”, followed by, “Let me know if you can make the bridal shower”. I was shocked! Not only had the e-vite barely been sent but I had replied yes! I checked online that my response and gone through and sent a text back claiming confusion. I told her that I had said yes, wondering if it didn’t go through (even though I knew it had). She replied saying the system wasn’t confirming properly, so she texted to double-check. Still I was annoyed that she needed to know so immediately after the e-vite was sent! And of course, if she just wanted to confirm that I had RSVP’d, there are better ways to ask that! Maybe the reason the system ‘wasn’t confirming properly’ was that no one else had answered yet! That just shows how much better paper invites are. Strike 2

Strike 3 came about the following Saturday morning, a few days after the e-vite was sent. It was a call from FriendofMine, who also was asked for her email, and sent an e-vite. She wanted to go together on a shower gift, and offered to pick me up since I don’t have a car. But then she asked, “When did you get your e-vite?” To which I replied, “Wednesday night. Followed by a text from the MOH Thursday morning.” FriendofMine exclaimed, “I know! That was so rude!” Turns out, it was a mass text! So not only did MOH send out a rude text telling me to RSVP, she sent out the same message to numerous people at once! Might as well have just skipped the horrible e-vite and just texted the shower details! (I’m kidding, I swear!) For the record, FriendofMine hadn’t RSVP’d yet because she was going on vacation with her family and needed to confirm the dates before she could be sure she could attend. I can’t imagine MOH was too pleased about that, although FriendofMine never said (shes classy like that).

Hopefully, this shower will avoid any more strikes! The bride’s sisters are hosting along with the MOH (okay, that does count as strike 4) so I’m being cautiously optimistic that they will water her down. It’s taking place tomorrow afternoon, so if it doesn’t go so well, you’ll be hearing from me!   0706-12

Ugh!  I hate E-Vite and it’s many imitators.   If you read the privacy policy, you discover that they will share all that personal data they have harvested with as many as 64 “partners”, otherwise known as “companies”.   Hosts and hostesses who use these online invitation sites are unwitting accomplices in this invasion of personal privacy since it is internet marketing gold to have real names attached to working email addresses and real property addresses.   We block E-vite.com and its clones at the server level so none of us ever see an invitation issued using that URL.   Many business servers also block such sites because they are viewed as spam messages.

I told the story a while ago of a wedding of a friend who used E-vite.com to send her wedding invitations.  The many problems associated with this type of invitation delivery surfaced when much of the groom’s family never received the invitation email.   I never got it either.  Lots of confusion and chaos.    So, just because you use E-vite or Facebook to issue invitations, doesn’t mean people will actually receive it or see it.

And there is the major issue of violating your guests’ personal privacy by giving away their real names, valid email addresses and snail mail addresses that will be “shared” by dozens of “partners”.

{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

jena rogers July 11, 2012 at 10:58 am

I know of a couple people doing online wedding invites… and these are all adults who are, in many other ways, quite intelligent. But then they go and post on FB or send out these mass e-mails as their official invitations to their weddings…. It’s just awful.

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Just Laura July 11, 2012 at 11:04 am

I really don’t have a problem with an email invitation from any of my friends.

That said, a friend of mine recently married, and the formal invitation to the engagement party said that we could RSVP online through their wedding site. So my husband went online and RSVP’d “yes.” A week later the groom called and asked if we were attending. My husband said, “Of course. I even said that we were on the website.”

“Oh, nobody’s checking that.”

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Kimstu July 11, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Just Laura: “I really don’t have a problem with an email invitation from any of my friends.”

But there’s a difference between an invitation sent via a personal email message and one issued through a commercial website like Evite.com.

A personal email message is certainly not formal and not appropriate for formally worded invitations—in terms of informality, it seems to be about halfway between a casual note and a phone call—but there’s nothing tacky about using it for informal invitations. Using an online e-card service, on the other hand, is not only informal (no matter how fancy the artwork and wording on the e-card image) but an invasion of the guests’ privacy, as Admin points out.

Using Evite.com and similar online invitation services is in effect bartering your guests’ contact information to online marketers and spammers in exchange for distributing invitations and keeping track of the guest list. And as Admin notes, you don’t always even get the minimal service that you bartered for because some email servers block online invitation services, plus their response management software isn’t always accurate (they don’t record all the RSVPs properly and so on).

As Ashley commented, online invitation services may be fine for arranging casual events among groups of friends who are all willing to put up with the side effects. But it’s rude to inflict them on a larger social circle for things like wedding invitations, especially formal invitations. As the saying goes: “If you’re not paying for a service, then you’re not the consumer, you’re the product.” It’s just plain tacky for a host to turn their friends and families into a corporate product by flogging their personal contact information to commercial online invitation marketers in exchange for “free” invitations.

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Just Laura July 11, 2012 at 5:36 pm

But there’s a difference between an invitation sent via a personal email message and one issued through a commercial website like Evite.com.

I never said that there wasn’t a difference between the forms of electronic invitation. I simply said that I don’t mind this form of invitation (I don’t mind eVite, and I don’t mind eMail. Heck, I don’t even put a lot of effort into getting upset about Text-viting).
I don’t mean to force my apathy on others; I was simply voicing my opinion on the matter.

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Kimstu July 12, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Didn’t mean to imply otherwise, sorry; I was just using your comment as the springboard for my rant.

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Ashley July 11, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Online invitations are only good for things like grilling out with friends. Even then I can think of better ways to get a hold of people. I can’t understand why people would risk sending online invites for something like a wedding or a shower or anything that requires a firm head count. I realize that sometimes even paper invites get lost in the mail, but then it will only be a few of them at most, not half of them like happened in admin’s story, or there won’t be issues with the website not “confirming properly”

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Just Laura July 11, 2012 at 2:15 pm

My friends got married last August, and sent out formal paper invitations. Fully 2/3 of them (around 80) never reached the recipients, and the Post Office returned them to the couple 2 weeks prior to the wedding with the message “insufficient postage.” To this day, the couple can’t figure out why 1/3 of the invitations had sufficient postage, while the other identical ones did not (they were all in-country addresses). We also don’t know why it took so long for them to be returned.

I freely admit, though, that this is an anomaly.

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KiKi July 11, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Wow! That’s terrible. And they wonder why the Post Office is losing money. With service like this, they aren’t making many new fans.

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gourmetwowwies July 12, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Our business regularly sends out snail mail letters because so many of our customers give us emails that are not valid, they never check them, or give us those “fake” emails– whatever. So, because our letters contain policy information, cancellation information, etc., it is imperative they get them. This year, as many as 50 – 100 people called us to say they never received the letters. So we also send out emails anyway trying to cover our bases. I think the media route should never be used for the primary contact, but have no problem with it being used as “follow up” contact and to make sure the recipient did indeed get the paper invite.

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Jay July 12, 2012 at 10:28 am

Did they have insufficient postage? That’s certainly a “thing” that all wedding-invite-senders need to be careful about.

We just had a Christmas card returned to us (was forwarded to a PO box that had been discontinued). It’s July.

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Just Laura July 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm

The only guess any of us have is that some of the scales in the post office are calibrated differently than each other, causing some invites to appear to weigh more than others.

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AS July 12, 2012 at 11:31 am

@Just Laura: We had gone to the post office to weigh our invitations, and the first invite that was weighed was below 1 pound. Just to be sure, we weighed a few more (we knew the postman well, and there wasn’t a big queue behind us!), and to our surprise most of then were about .01 to .05 pounds overweight! Though we have several hypotheses, we never figured out why it happened… and we put 65c stamps on all of them to be on the safer side.

So, maybe the 1/3rd that reached were below 1pounds, and hence reached.

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QuiltinNana July 12, 2012 at 12:42 pm

I don’t think it’s as much of an anomaly as you might think. My son has a friend who just got married a few weeks ago. They took an invitation complete with all inserts to the post office to check what the correct postage would be. After putting the correct postage on all 300 invitations, they received about 120 back with insufficient postage marked on them. How frustrating this is when you take the time to get the postage accurate and over 1/3 still came back wrong.

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gourmetwowwies July 12, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Try to complain too, and the postmaster just shrugs his/her shoulders and says “who knows”. Try to get the “actual” post office phone number listed on the usps.com website, and those customer service reps will all give you a different answer everytime.

Try to call the next person in line after your local postmaster and no one suddenly knows who that could be. Find out who your “account rep” is, and you may get in touch with that person but it’s a 50/50 chance.

We once had a postmaster tells us the wrong information that cost us a great deal of money. We complained all the way up to Washington DC, where we were informed that the post office has no control over what individual post masters say and have no obligation for any wrong information.

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Stacey Frith-Smith July 12, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Perhaps it has become necessary to have the invitations individually weighted and metered for postage? I cannot help wondering if differences of components in the manufacture of paper have contributed? In the event that the differences are small and the card stock for invitations and inserts thick, perhaps this accounts for some meeting the standard and others not? In any case, I sympathize with anyone who has gone to such trouble only to have their efforts thwarted! Being a bit compulsive, I usually stick extra stamps on a card or invitation. A waste, perhaps, but my contingency plan for just such a scenario as this!

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Megan Amy July 14, 2012 at 3:22 am

[i]“Being a bit compulsive, I usually stick extra stamps on a card or invitation. A waste, perhaps, but my contingency plan for just such a scenario as this!”[/i]

I do this too! I thought I was overly paranoid and Just Laura’s post has just reassured me that I have been right to do so.

At our last house, the postman hit several of our parked cars with the postal delivery Jeep and caused nearly $1000 damage to my car alone (my husband’s old car wasn’t damaged). A neighbor witnessed it. I called and complained and the postmasters came to look at my car. They basically shrugged and said “sue us.” For the next few years, I emailed most of our holiday wishes instead of sending cards.

Library Diva July 11, 2012 at 12:48 pm

I’m not wild about electronic invitations. Indeed, the necessity of the immediate text message reveals one of its major pitfalls: for all its advances, the internet still glitches, and people move on rapidly from email addresses, set up social media accounts they never use, etc. A decline in use of postal mail by everyone but bill collectors means that your printed invitation stands out, and will probably be opened immediately.

However, I find OP’s pearl-clutching at the horrors of all of this to be a bit over the top. Are e-vites ideal? Hardly, but it’s far from the worst thing the MOH could have done with the shower. OP clearly just doesn’t like this woman, and the last paragraph reveals how excited she is that the MOH isn’t executing her duties flawlessly. I think it’s human nature that one tends to come down hard on people one dislikes, and forgive much more from people one cares about a lot. But it’s a tendency people should try to curb in themselves (I know I have it, and I often don’t succeed at curbing it). OP, attend this affair hoping your friend has a lovely shower, not that your enemy has screwed it all up.

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ferretrick July 11, 2012 at 1:22 pm

I agree-I don’t love e-vite and I definitely wouldn’t love a rude text within 12 hours. I must drop everything and respond to your e-vite, but you are too busy to check what responses you have already received before sending out another demand?

But the level of horror expressed and the “strikes”- it definitely sounds to me like OP just doesn’t like the MOH and is keeping a scorecard looking for any small detail about MOH she can criticize.

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June July 11, 2012 at 1:28 pm

I second that!
Also, as a bride-to-be, I cringe more at the “surprise bridal shower” portion of the post.

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GroceryGirl July 11, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Love the use of the phrase “pearl-clutching”! I agree with you Library Diva. E-vites are a little tacky but there are far, far worse things that a MOH of honor can do than sending an e-vite and following it with a mass text message.

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b-rock July 11, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I agree with this. E-vites are not my favorite, but at least it was for the shower and not the actual wedding. Regardless, the tone of this post is far more off-putting than the original offense. I love the term “pearl-clutching,” that describes it perfectly! But really, sheesh, just note that the MOH is not the most etiquette-savvy person in the room and move on.

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chechina July 11, 2012 at 8:19 pm

I think the OP wanted a story for the website she really loves, which is totally understandable. You’re lucky, OP, that this is the worst story you have!

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Sarah Jane July 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm

This was the vibe I got, but I wasn’t quite sure how to word my thoughts. I think “pearl-clutching” says it all.

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Stacey Frith-Smith July 12, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Ms. Diva:
I like your turn of phrase! “Pearl clutching” perfectly captures the subtext of OP’s letter in terms of its attitude. It is indeed possible to be perfectly right and still be very, very wrong.

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clairedelune July 15, 2012 at 12:31 am

Very much agreed. There’s no reason that an evite should make her “die a little on the inside.”

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Jessyy July 11, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Maybe I just read it wrong, but why is it so bad that the MOH and bride’s sisters are hosting the bridal shower?

It is for the bride, not them…?

Also, why is it bad that the shower was in 3 weeks?

I do agree that e-vites and mass texting less that 12 hours later is bad though.

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Jen a. July 11, 2012 at 7:47 pm

There’s an etiquette rule that basically states that the family of the bride shouldn’t throw a shower for the bride. Something about it being tacky to try to get gifts for members of your own family.

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GroceryGirl July 12, 2012 at 12:37 am

I thought that rule only applied to baby showers? My sister was my only attendant and threw my shower…was that a faux pas?

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Elizabeth July 12, 2012 at 1:58 pm

It’s really common nowadays. I wouldn’t worry about it.

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Hemi July 11, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Another issue with e-vites is the occasional person who does not have/use email or computers or text messsaging. I know that is unthinkable for some people, but there still a few people who are not up-to-date with technology. I can think of a few people, in my own family, who do not text, have email/Facebook or even computers.
I know some people do not mind getting these types of invitations- I am not one of those. If you want me to attend a shower or wedding, bring a gift (not mandatory but usually expected) and possibly take time off work, I think the minimum you could do is buy a pack of invites from the dollar store and mail it to my home. Then give me time to check my schedule to make sure I do not have a previous obligation instead of harassing me 12 hours later to respond.

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June July 13, 2012 at 8:53 am

My sister just told me the invites to my shower were from the dollar store. Ha!
And, she sent them because my sisters are my bridesmaids.

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postalslave July 11, 2012 at 3:00 pm

So many people gasp at the horror of e-vites but like it or not, they will only get more popular.

E-vites are new etiquette, it really isn’t a big deal. For more formal weddings yes, a paper invite is a delight but as newer generations grow and get married the paper invite will die out. It doesn’t mean the end of the world, it just means that times are changing and people are going to have to adapt. Etiquette changes, even the mod who runs this site admits that.

There are pro’s to e-vites such as environmental and cost savings. There are cons to e-vites such as poorly coordinated events, mass texts etc.

And to be perfectly blunt- If someone sends me an e-vite I’m not going to clutch my chest and say “why I never!” I’ve got bigger problems to worry about.

Mass text – rude
Personal E-vite – not a big deal people, its just a surprise shower…

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GroceryGirl July 12, 2012 at 12:39 am

I agree. Especially in the US where the Postal Service has been threatening to discontinue weekend delivery and cut more letter-carriers. Evites are free and fast and you can have an instant response…not that I’m necessarily advocating them. But for small, less formal things they are perfectly fine IMHO

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Angela July 12, 2012 at 9:41 am

I’ve used email invitations to an adoption shower for additional reason: you can link the address to Google Maps or whatever so that the person can easily find directions from any starting point.

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Morticia July 11, 2012 at 3:15 pm

My service provider offers temporary email addresses you can use if you think the site you are offering your address to is a spam-monger. Once you have finished your business, you can get rid of the address and never receive the spam. In some ways they are very good. For convenience, I normally just use one highly filtered address which I consider my “business” address.

I don’t particularly think there’s that much wrong with electronic invites, though, if the service has a good privacy policy, and yes, the onus is on the inviter to confirm this, but harrassing people for RSVPs 12 hours later is a bit over the top. But I don’t think you have to sacrifice a tree to make an acceptable invitation. Sorry if I seem a bit rambly: sick day.

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Jen a. July 11, 2012 at 3:34 pm

E-vites are becoming more and more popular. Honestly, we’ll probably just have to get used to them. I prefer paper invites, but I’ve gotten invited to events via facebook many times, and it’s never really offended me. No, it’s not the best way, but it’s probably not the end of the world. Don’t keep a tally of all the offences this woman is committing OP – it’s really not worth your time. Like Library Diva said – just go and enjoy the shower.

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Shoegal July 11, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Some etiquette must die out because it is no longer relevant. Perhaps the post office will become a thing of the past and along with it paper invitations.

Evites for something like weddings – right now I consider it supremely tacky. Mass texts for a wedding invitation – nothing could be worse!!! Think of the beauty & aristry of a lovely wedding invitation. It is almost like a tradition – it will be a sad day for me when they become a thing of the past.

A bridal shower Evite – well, I personally wouldn’t do it and I might make a couple comments about it’s tackiness but I wouldn’t lose sleep over it. Mass texting everyone to make sure they look at the tacky evite – well, I call that a strike. Something must be wrong here if she needs to use 2 different technologies just to make sure the invitation was seen.

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Lilac July 11, 2012 at 11:33 pm

Paper invites are definitely more appropriate for a wedding than an e-vite but more and more I like it when I am sent information in a text or e-mail–especially information that includes dates, times, addresses, or directions. It is really so much handier to have that info right on my phone, which I always have with me, instead of in a pile of mail on my dining room table. Personally, I wouldn’t mind an e-mail invitation for certain events including a shower because for me, e-mail and text make my life easier and more organized. That’s just me though and I can see why many frown on this method. E-mail is so casual that many (myself included) may dismiss the invite or forget about it. I think e-vites look a little more official than a regular e-mail but they have the disadvantage of being a personal info miner for businesses. It would be nice if there was something in between–maybe just using e-mail “stationary” that makes the e-mail more special? This transition to electronics over paper is happening and it would be nice to reach a cultural consensus on the way to make it appropriate etiquette-wise. I absolutely believe in hanging on to etiquette rules. They just need to make sense to how people are living their lives right now. This might be one of those things that is just going to change and hopefully new “rules” that will help make everyone feel respected and welcome will naturally fall into place.

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Alice July 12, 2012 at 12:33 am

Maybe I’m just young or haven’t been to many weddings, but I don’t see the horror of an e-mail invite. I can understand why it might be innapropriate to some people and for some events, but I think it can have it’s benefits.

The last wedding I attended (which I admit was quite a few years ago) my family and I recieved an e-mail invite while the rest of the family got paper invitations. How tacky right? Except that we lived very far away from the bride and her family and the postal service at the time was less than ideal, a paper invitation would most likely have arrived late, if not lost for weeks.

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Kimstu July 12, 2012 at 1:55 pm

As I noted in replying above to Just Laura, there’s nothing wrong with an invitation sent by personal email message. It’s still not considered appropriate for formal invitations, but I bet that will change as graphic designers offer digital design services for invitations, announcements, etc. I agree that there’s no intrinsic reason that a digital version of an invitation sent electronically should be forever considered second-best to a paper version sent by post.

However, there’s a difference between sending digital versions of invitations by personal email and using a commercial “free” online invitation service like Evite.com, which makes its profits by sharing its users’ guest lists with online marketers.

No matter what technological changes take place now or in the future, it will NEVER be anything but tacky to barter your guests’ personal contact information to a commercial service in exchange for handling your invitations. Just because many people don’t happen to mind it (or don’t even realize that that’s how Evite works) doesn’t mean it isn’t intrinsically rude.

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Cherry July 12, 2012 at 6:57 am

To play the devil’s advocate, I attended a Hen Do (UK equivalent of a Bachelorette Party) last year where many of the invited travelled a lot with work, or, like me, split their time between two addresses.

Sending all the details of the event online meant that everyone would be able to receive and access the information at all times and in all places, instead of having to wait until you’re able to hold the inviation in your hands a week later and have held everyone up.

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secretrebel July 12, 2012 at 8:03 am

Subscribing someone else to a mailing list without their permission is bad form and impacts data privacy issues.

But on facebook, you’re not giving out other people’s emails. You’re using the invitation facility built into a service you both use.

Maybe it’s that I’m young(ish), but for large events I see a real benefit to collating responses electronically. The 18-30 demographic is used to this kind of invite and many actively prefer it. In my work we use electronic responses to organise large events.

I know that many people prize pen and paper invites but I’m cautious of the declaration that eVites are the “first strike” in rudeness.

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Coralreef July 12, 2012 at 11:59 am

I’m not fond of E-vites, except what I call the “FaceBook Cattle Call” of “I’m going to XYZ movie at that time, that day, anyone want to join?”

However, the most grevious strike, IMHO, was not leaving time for people to actually read the E-vite. If it was sent late in the evening, following-up at noon the next day is a bit (a lot) obsessive and controlling. Even if the invitee checks their email several times a day, it may take a few days to see if the timing of the invitation is good, because family, spouses, kids, work, money and distance have to be factored in.

So, the MOH failed and kept failing with this invite.

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Not Thumper July 12, 2012 at 12:32 pm

“That just shows how much better paper invites are. Strike 2″

Riiiight, because nothing ever gets lost in the mail.
Just seems a bit snotty to me.

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Voice of Reason July 12, 2012 at 1:58 pm

We used email invites for our wedding. We had a site specially made for it, where guests could click on the RSVP and it asked their dietary preferences and that kind of stuff, (we allowed more than 12 hours for a reply and no email addresses were shared). It had a custom drawn graphic. We printed 6 paper invitations to send to our relatives who don’t really use technology.

Yes, out of 160 people invited, one couple had an issue with that, we discovered when we sent them a land mail thank you card for their gift and they commented on how much nicer that was, but the vast majority of our friends and family are very eco-conscious, and appreciated that we didn’t use paper, ink, or fuel to get the invitation to them.

Times are changing. It used to be some people would consider it a faux pas to have a birth announced over the phone instead of via telegraph. I check my email several times a day and my mailbox twice a week. With the environment the way it is, and people’s changing communication habits, there’s more than just Aunt Fannie’s old fashioned sense of propriety to consider when deciding how to send out invitations these days.

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gourmetwowwies July 12, 2012 at 3:03 pm

I get the “green” concept of this and probably agree with it.

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secretrebel July 16, 2012 at 9:31 am

Great point about the environmental aspect of eVites!

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RP July 12, 2012 at 2:30 pm

If you read the privacy policy, you discover that they will share all that personal data they have harvested with as many as 64 “partners”, otherwise known as “companies”.

Three cheers for the Admin! I am forever telling people that they need to read Privacy Policies, Terms and Conditions, and End User License Agreements. I don’t care if we’re slowly moving towards electronic invitations as a society, handing over the contact information of family and friends to a company that’s going to share it with others (i.e. spammers) is ALWAYS going to be tacky.

If you’re tech savvy enough to send electronic invitations you need to be savvy enough to realize you need to do it through a service that will respect the privacy of your guest list.

Briefly playing Devil’s Advocate here: Perhaps the MOH got confirmation emails from the entire guest list or multiple confirms for the same people. That may be why she asked everyone to re-confirm by text; she honestly didn’t know which confirmations were legit. Just because things looked OK from the OP’s side doesn’t mean there wasn’t a problem on the MOH’s side.

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Megan Amy July 14, 2012 at 3:28 am

Yes! I did not know this as I don’t tend to send e-vites (mainly because of spam filters and people not hearing about the event at all). Yikes!

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Mia July 14, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Here’s my issue with e-vites: the RSVP number dilemma. I have two stories that show both sides of the issue.

Years ago, my friend was having a birthday party. She made a big deal about wanting both my boyfriend and I to come. I received an e-vite for her party and at the RSVP section it actually had a little drop down menu that allowed me to pick how many guests I would be bringing with me. A little clueless, I went ahead and RSVP’ed that I would be attending +1 guest (my boyfriend). My friend facebook messaged me the same day, basically saying she was so sorry but there wasn’t enough space on the party bus she was renting for my boyfriend to attend. I took this totally in stride, no problem, I apologized and explained my confusion that I thought she had verbally invited my boyfriend. It was no big deal, we moved on, but I had to wonder how much control over the e-vite format she had if she couldn’t stop it from adding that +guest feature (I think you could have added up to 4 additional guests with your RSVP!).

Ok, now a few years have passed and my other friend is getting married. I receive an electronic “save the date” (same kind of thing as an e-vite, but it distinctly said save the date on it). But there’s an RSVP! Confused, I thought a save the date was different from an invite, so I decided to wait a day before I replied so I could figure out what to do. Within hours, I get a panicked text from my friend asking if I could make it to her wedding (I was a bridesmaid). I apologized for scaring her and said yes I would be coming, and I would RSVP right away, even though it was a save the date… So I RSVP and again it gives me the option of adding on additional guests! Thinking I had learned my lesson, I didn’t want to assume my boyfriend was invited (though we had been living together for 4 years), I just RSVPed for one. Then I get a freaking email from my friend saying that Thomas is invited as well! Well how the heck could I know that if I’m the only one who gets the “e-vite” and it isn’t even addressed to anyone in particular since it’s a mass communication!

The format of these invitations are atrocious. There’s so much room to mess things up in terms of head-counts, embarrassment, hurt feelings, total lack of information in general. If this is the way of the future, and it probably is, then at least make an effort to get the invitation right.

p.s. I never received an official “invite” for that wedding, just the save the date and that was all that was ever sent out. So confusing.

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Vicki July 15, 2012 at 6:08 pm

I worked for a while at a company that used eVite for invitations/attendance list for a company holiday party. I don’t think this was a privacy violation because the invites went to our work email addresses.

*Someone* at the company had an idea of computer security, at least–which I know because Outlook displayed a warning that loading the included images or going to that website might not be safe. I decided that I would take that risk, since they were providing no other way for me to send in a yes or no (or any convenient way to find out about the location and such).

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justin March 13, 2014 at 3:01 pm

I think that there is definitely a generational divide when choosing between paper and electronic invitations. Although this Greenvelope.com company does a really good job by keeping the price point reasonable and I think that their designs and service make it easy to convert. As far as convenience, you cannot beat it, they have a step by step card creator system that walks you through the setup process and then you can track all of the open rates and RSVP statuses of your guests. Most people that have gotten our invites think its a great idea, especially cause we are trying to save trees and paper invites just get thrown away anyways.
Greenvelope has created a great product and I am a huge supporter, I tell all of my friends and family about it. We even use it for birthdays and all sorts of parties now because of how cheap and easy it is!

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