You’re invited into a quiet, intimate conversation in your favorite comfy place. It’s just you and me in the pause you create in your day. Are we meeting in the morning at the kitchen table with a hot cuppa? Or is it the comfy, oversized chair near the window on a chilly, rainy day? This post is an invitation, and you picked it up. You are here for a purpose. We both are.
An invitation is special. Imagine a beautiful, ivory, embossed envelope on top of the stack of mail as you retrieve it from the box. Because you have received similar envelopes over the years, you immediately form an idea of the secret contents inside—a beautiful, matching card decorated with frilly calligraphy, a smaller envelope, and a response card you’ll fill out. A finger gently slides under the edge of the flap and removes the beautiful card. Wait. What? The ornate card is—blank?
Not a single detail is included. You have no idea who the guests of honor might be. You assumed the event was a wedding, but you can’t be sure; it doesn’t say. It’s impossible to know where you are going or when to arrive. At this point, there’s no reason to believe you’ve actually been invited, except that the invitation was delivered. Why would you attend the event? How could you? What kind of invitation was extended?
This scenario reminds me of my own wedding invitations sent more than two decades ago. We sent beautiful, white and purple invitations to friends and family. Invitations and response cards were tucked in crisp envelopes.
We forgot one detail: maps. Our wedding took place before everyone carried little computers in their pockets with GPS apps. To make things more complicated, the church asked that we change the location of our reception at the last minute, and we settled on the brand-new park district building in the next town. We provided maps in the church lobby for our friends and family, but that made one assumption: all our friends and family made it to the church.
What happened there? We put time and effort into creating a beautiful invitation and reservation card; each invitation was carefully and neatly addressed; and we hoped everyone would come. Local friends had no problem, but forgetting to include a map made it difficult for our distant friends to find the event.
What makes a good invitation? What do you really need in order to say yes to the invitation that appears in your box? I’m curious what you think.