Screw you Emily Post

StearmanSo I’m designing wedding invitations this week. I’m actually have a blast tinkering with details and getting into this “wedding” business somewhat. But as always, I feel like the anti-bride. For example, the current iteration of the invitation has bold color, a screened-back Stearman photo (see above) and a somewhat avantgarde horizontal format (cheerfully stolen from the Spurgisons). What’s more, I’m foregoing enclosures, putting all the details on the back of the invite, and I’m asking for e-RSVPs. I feel Martha screaming and I know Emily Post is tsking from afar. But guess what? I don’t care!

If you read my manifesto, you know that one of my main priorities for this wedding is that it be quintessentially “us.” “Us” in my estimation does not include beautifully subdued stationery sets at $10 (or more) a pop. I want something funky, cool and cost-effective, even if that means pushing the boundaries of so-called established etiquette. Granted, I do understand that I may be annoying my elders, but really, what’s new?

And yet I wonder, how much can I push?

Before discussing RSVPs with Mr. T, I designed a dainty reply postcard. T stared in horror (okay, at least disdain) at the stamped area and asked me if I really intended to send self-addressed, stamped cards to everyone even when I expected to get most RSVPs online. “Umm, yeah…” I thought. Offended at the potential postage wasting, he suggested that we send the cards without stamps. That way, we could offer people the choice to mail in the card or go online, obviously hoping that the absence of stamp would direct traffic to the web site. Without thinking I said “Absolutely not! We CAN’T do that!!!” I went on about etiquette and said that it would be impolite, etc., etc. He then suggested that I put text in the stamped area: “Will reimburse you $.28 at the wedding if you mail this in.” After I laughed, I’m sure I swatted him.

So where is the line? Who precisely decides what “can’t” is in these situations? Where did my weird rules come from? What still small voice inside me decided that non-stamped RSVP cards were terrible, but that all-in-one invites without traditional trappings were terrific? (It’s probably the same chick who is hankering for BBQ and would forego all flowers if it wouldn’t make some of the moms so sad.)

While I don’t have any real answers (per usual), I will continue muddling along this path somewhere between Emily Post and the far ends of the earth. Somehow, I’m sure it’ll all turn out just fine.


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