DEAR MISS MANNERS: What is the proper way to “invite” people to a formal event that has been converted to a virtual one in light of the pandemic?
I find myself stuck with two simultaneous feelings: the first being that a digital invite is not appropriate for some events (such as a wedding), and the other being that sending a gilded cardstock invitation with RSVP instructions is ostentatious when one is only offering a livestream, not actual hospitality.
I would not be miffed by receiving such an invite, as I would never begrudge a couple wanting to stick to tradition despite unusual circumstances, but I find myself unsure of sending one. Should the cards themselves just be in a simpler style than one might have used otherwise?
Additionally, what does one put in a wedding invitation now? “This list of parents request the honor of your presence on the internet” does not feel quite right. Would it be acceptable to print invitations with viewing instructions and URLs? Should this be a separate card in the invitation, and if so, then what information goes on the main one?
Should these be followed later by wedding announcements, or is everyone invited to view online considered to have been invited to the event?
GENTLE READER: What you have done is to convert a formal wedding into an informal one, which also has its traditions, and the invitations should reflect that.
Miss Manners hopes you are not disappointed. To her mind, these altered weddings achieve what couples always claim they want: Couples say a great deal about wanting their wedding to be personalized and memorable, and then produce the same bloated routine as nearly every other wedding. These recent backyard ceremonies, attended by only the closest intimates, surely seem more personalized and memorable to those who are able to watch from afar -- even if they weren’t given party favors.