In an effort to encourage participation in our big day, I asked those invited to our wedding to decorate the outside of their RSVP before sending it back to us. The RSVP is due June 30, and so far, we've received 20 (out of about 132 invitations sent out).
Strangely, I think the creative challenge put the fear of Dog in people. Even though I encouraged people not to over think it, I think it has created a roadblock in the RSVP process, which is already fraught with the tendency to procrastinate.
I've spoken to brides who have tried to circumvent the procrastination problem by eliminating paper invitations and moving to a web-based process, and they have still had troubles getting timely responses. I notice the same phenomenon with friends who use Facebook as a way to set up events like BBQs. It seems like a slick process, but it's still not a fail-proof means of figuring out how many warm bodies to expect or how much food to make.
Our process has been filled with highs and lows. On one hand, Tobe and I look forward to mail time more than we ever have before. We feel elated that our mentors--my division chair, Okey Goode, and Tobe's art mentor, Marc Boone--are attending.
It's also sweet to see how our parents responded. My mom went the nostalgic route, including a baby and toddler photo of me. Tobe's parents went the humor route. They addressed the first trip Tobe and I made to Billings, in which we painted their house.
A tiny envelope in our mailbox is somehow monumental. It's there among the daily monotony--the bills and glossy mass marketing--and it says, "Yes, this very important day is ACTUALLY happening."
We're bummed out when people can't, for whatever reason, attend. However, even the "no" RSVPs usually come with lovely thoughts and images, as evidenced by the McCullough's sunset image, complete with a tire swing and "congrats" roots.
And then there's the confusion of the blank RSVP. It's strange. It perplexes us. Truth be told, it hurts our feelings. Is the task simply too scary? Or is it passive-aggressive, as in the case of one of Tobe's friends, who not only did not decorate the inside but who didn't even place a check mark in the yes or no boxes? Is it just absent-minded? Too busy? Surely, given a 24-hour day, that individual could take a fraction of one minute to check a box.
Those "no" and blank RSVPs temporarily take the wind out of our sails, but then the wind brings us these treasures:
* sweet Salome's watercolor
*my friend, Kathy, offered a colored pencil dove
*Sean and Jonquil's abundance of hearts
*Jack and Michelle's dolphins
*Denise's walk down memory lane
I look forward what the next 19 days will bring.