An observation of the modern wedding where wedding etiquette is not heeded: “everyone is costumed, but none of it matches. groom is in white tie, best man and groomsmen are in black tie, guests are dressed at an even less formal level, from business suits to jeans.” – adapted from Miss Manners Wedding Etiquette.
“attendants chosen for the right look and number, rather than solely being close friends.”
presents are regarded as admission tickets, there is a lot of anger at those who try to get in without them.
Finally, capturing the event on film for another audience is treated as superseding any need to accommodate those actually present.
wedding should be a joyous but serious occasion, rather than lighthearted entertainment. Its the marriage itself, not the ceremony that is supposed to be a scream.
The book also waved away at the idea of having a program and a list of vendors is absurd. It does sound commercial doesn’t it? Especially when it goes, “Sponsored by…”.
Many celebrities do this, thinking they can get away with getting the best and not paying anything at all but the truth is, they can look cheap and inelegant. It is all too mercenary.
Miss Manners Wedding Etiquette
From a Bride’s Perspective
So to be fair, we have horror guests as well.
For instance, do not bring children or babies to a wedding dinner if not specified!
If it is your wedding and you do not wish to risk having the added soundtrack of a crying baby when you are saying your vows, say something like, “Oh I’m so sorry, but we’re not having any children there. I know yours would behave perfectly but others might find it tedious.”
A Fair Minded Bride Writes:
Adapted from Miss Manners Wedding Etiquette on Pg 30 Abridged Version. I’ve made several inclusions as well.
I wish I could hand this out to everyone before we’ve announced our engagement. I can totally relate.
No I didn’t not schedule my wedding on the day of your overseas trip, your birthday, your anniversary to annoy you. That was the only day available in my church If you can’t come, I’m sorry. Please don’t complain to me about the accommodation, food, how much all this nonsense is costing you. I already know how much it costs, I’m helping pay for it.
I am also not interested to know “that you are not sure where you’ll be flying back from whatever country” or “you don’t know whether you’ll be in the country because you might be on holiday”. If you can’t come, I’m sorry. Please rsvp when the official invitation is sent out. We obviously aren’t that close, but you don’t have to make it official by making these throwaway statements. It is not the time to make yourself feel important when I’m trying to plan a party with you in mind.
Close friends, please do not ask why wasn’t I ask to be a bridesmaid?
Why wasn’t I invited to the wedding?
I have limited resources and unless you are in my life every other week, you do not have a right to demand this. It makes me feel uncomfortable, makes you look bad, just spare ourselves the discomfort.
Groomsmen and best man: I spent months planning for this day. I would appreciate if you can deliver the groom on time and not noticeably suffering the effects of alcohol.
Everyone: Please answer my invitation promptly. And don’t do it with a phone call. If you don’t want to get me a present or throw me a party, fine. There’s no obligation. Don’t try to explain it to me,
Please don’t criticize my choice of china, crystal, silver or husband. Don’t ask me how much anything or all of it costs. Make an effort to socialize with anyone who looks lonely at the reception. Don’t ask if you can bring a friend!
If you could make an attempt to do above, I’d appreciate it more than all the presents or parties in the world. And please, no more spoiled-bride anecdotes. I may snap and run after you, waving my bridal organizer.
Miss Manners Wedding Etiquette Book Review
From the book’s dust cover:
“(The wedding etiquette book)…sets out the real responsibilities and obligations of the friends and family of the bride, from the mother of the bride to the maid of honor to the ushers, even the stepfather.
Subjects range from the engagement, the shower, and the invitation to the wedding party, the gifts, the reception, and the aftermath, advice that will make the run-up to the big day more pleasant for one and all, including the bride herself. “
As a rather voracious reader myself, I found reading Miss Manners Wedding Etiquette a little hard to digest.
No doubt what Judith wrote was very good, making much sense and giving good advice, but because she writes in third person and in a rather formal way (like all great etiquette writers – kudos to them).
I am no etiquette writer and I merely want to come from a point of elegance. We use etiquette because it is a fruit of consideration for others and so more importantly, I hope readers here will get the foundation of etiquette and elegance.
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