Does anyone here care about etiquette outside of weddings?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
5445 posts
Bee Keeper

No! I think a lot of etiquette rules are stupid. I just try to be a good/nice/considerate person and if I happen to offend or piss someone off, I apologize. Pretty simple eh?

Post # 4
Member
2546 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

it’s stupid to adjust your life to etiquette. etiquette should serve real life! it’s about being nice, not about listening to a 60’s book

Post # 5
Member
9092 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

I’m not sure what you mean… I bring a hostess gift to most events, write thank you notes for most gifts/gestures, use the correct fork in a restaurant and am generally considerate, and likely along the lines of somewhat traditional etiquette for most things just because I think acting in a way that conforms to social norms is “easiest” most of the time.  But would I apply the formal etiquette of a wedding to a backyard bbq… probably not.

Post # 6
Member
2878 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Haha, I don’t use it consciously, but I suppose there are certain things I incorporate into everyday life, but I just see them as basic good manners – sending thank you cards, etc.

But I do think there are a few bees to whom etiquette is very important on a daily basis.

Post # 7
Member
4698 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I do not keep track of fancy manners, as my family has never cared much about them. I rememer some of my grandmother’s etiquette lessons but in the moment they often slip my mind.

My policy is simly to abide by the golden rule as much as I can – treat others as you’d like them to treat you. And I really do *think* about it. That’s why I often give up my seat on the subway to someone who looks uncomfortable, hold open doors, never ever ever arrive late to things, etc. etc.

So I care about respect and thoughtfulness, but a lot of the high-society traditional debutante-school stuff just doesn’t get a high priority in my head.

Post # 8
Member
1649 posts
Bumble bee

Oh, Yes! In fact as I have frequently reiterated, there is no such thing as “wedding etiquette”, and “etiquette” is not a rule-book on its own with black-and-white out-of-touch rulings, but just another phrase for courtesy and good manners.

In fact, I stalk this board out of an interest in everyday etiquette: I am not planning a wedding and never did. That does not stop me from being a formal hostess or from practicing dozens of pleasant little formalities. But I find myself continuously bemused by brides who are planning ultra-formal weddings without any day-to-day experience with entertaining or with formality. One’s wedding should showcase the highest standards of behaviour that are practiced in your social circle — but to attempt practices that are completely foreign to you is at best a little silly and at worst overbearingly pretentious.

And my heart bleeds for brides who are biting off an attempted gala evening dinner-dance for three hundred as their very first foray into formal entertaining! I am a big believer in the “hard knocks” school of entertaining technique, where little girls apprentice at their mamas’ tea parties when they are ten or twelve by passing the scones, and then move on to serving at the dinner table for their parents’ five-course dinner parties and playing the piano afterward in the parlour while the guests enjoy coffee, and then moving on to having their own first dinner-parties when they move into their own homes, and then maturing to extended family holiday dinners as their family grows, and finally graduating to the three-hundred-guest gala wedding reception when their own daughter gets married. It makes so much more sense to develop expertise (and catering contacts) first, and then take on graduate-level hospitality challenges.

But alas, that is not how most modern weddings are done. So brides have to resort to black-and-white rules because they do not have broad experience on which to base the sort of well-informed compromises that are the underpinnings of true etiquette. Part of my goal on this wedding board is to relieve as much stress as possible of brides who have discovered they have violated some imagined rule, by attempting to explain what the real rules are and how they can be used to make everyone’s life easier, instead of arbitrarily harder.

Post # 9
Member
1817 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I’m pretty casual, but I of course always try to behave in a polite manner and appropriately in a given context.

I also like to send Thank You cards when necessary. I find it kind of off-putting if I send someone a gift (particularly for bridal or baby showers) and don’t receive a Thank You card. It’s not that difficult or expensive to do.

Post # 10
Member
2132 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I think common courtesy is 100 times more important than etiquette. Being considerate of others is extremely important to me, arbitrary rules made up by high-society types not so much. 

Post # 11
Member
7195 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@MabelleBliss:  “I think common courtesy is 100 times more important than etiquette.”

Exactly! I don’t care much about etiquette, whether it’s at a wedding or anywhere else. I do care about being polite, at a wedding or anywhere else.

A wedding does have a few etiquette rules, but they’re not because it’s a wedding per se, and strictly speaking they’re matters of courtesy not etiquette. For instance, everyone should RSVP. That’s not because it’s a wedding, but because it’s a dinner at the expense of the hosts. At any other event where the hosts pay for dinner (e.g. some birthday parties) everyone should RSVP for the same reason: courtesy.

Post # 12
Member
5207 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

I think etiquette worries show up more in wedding planning because you’re trying to please a large group of people. In everyday life if one or two people think I’m being rude I don’t care. 

Post # 13
Member
514 posts
Busy bee

But I find myself continuously bemused by brides who are planning ultra-formal weddings without any day-to-day experience with entertaining or with formality. One’s wedding should showcase the highest standards of behaviour that are practiced in your social circle — but to attempt practices that are completely foreign to you is at best a little silly and at worst overbearingly pretentious.

Yeeeesssss!  It’s really almost sad to see couples and their bridal parties, all dressed up in formalwear and trying to be something they aren’t . . . Not to mention half of the guests are wearing khakis and polo shirts, because that’s the “fanciest” attire they own!
 
The ultimate goal of hosting an enjoyable wedding should be focused on the majority of your guests- what is going to make them feel comfortable and welcome?  Some circles are familiar with formal events and will have a lovely time in gowns and tuxes . . . Others are better suited for more casual settings.
 
Trying too hard to feign a formal event makes it look like the bridal party is the cast of a school play in costume.
 
But to address the OP, I’m not 100% formal in everything I do, but when someone goes out of their way to be kind to me (by inviting me to an event, giving a gift, etc), I always try to respond in kind.
 
I always send thank-you notes.
 
When eating in public, I observe general table etiquette.
 
I try never to go to someone’s home empty-handed.
 
When meeting someone for the first time, I tend to be more conservative with my language and conversation topics, at least until we reach a more comfortable level.
 
In a public setting, I scale back on profanity so as not to offend the people around me.
 
Just stuff like that.

Post # 14
Member
2826 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Actually, yes. But I don’t adhere to etiquette just for the sake of adhering to etiquette. I just behave in a certain way because that’s how I was raised. Also, I’m in a sorority and my work is full of protocol so at least once per day I find myself thinking about the “proper” way to say or do something.

Post # 15
Member
687 posts
Busy bee

I believe in acting with common courtesy and common sense in mind. A lot of these etiquette rules don’t make a whole lot of sense because they are based on totally outdated norms and values. 

A previous poster said that girls received training on this sort of thing from their mothers. 

Well, no one does that anymore. Women go to college, and they work. Most households have to rely on 2 incomes these days, so women continue to work after they get married. It is now socially acceptable (to most people) to date and cohabitate well into the 20s instead of living with your parents and marrying young. People are too busy trying to make a living to waste time on high teas nowadays. Even years ago when Emily Post was alive, most that “entertaining” stuff was for rich white people who didn’t have to work. So I don’t put much stock into a lot of those old rules, especially the ones that call for people to be coy and expect others to get the subtext of their actions just because that’s the proper and outdated way of communicating.

Post # 16
Member
128 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@aspasia475:  You wrote:

And my heart bleeds for brides who are biting off an attempted gala evening dinner-dance for three hundred as their very first foray into formal entertaining! I am a big believer in the “hard knocks” school of entertaining technique, where little girls apprentice at their mamas’ tea parties when they are ten or twelve by passing the scones, and then move on to serving at the dinner table for their parents’ five-course dinner parties and playing the piano afterward in the parlour while the guests enjoy coffee, and then moving on to having their own first dinner-parties when they move into their own homes, and then maturing to extended family holiday dinners as their family grows, and finally graduating to the three-hundred-guest gala wedding reception when their own daughter gets married. It makes so much more sense to develop expertise (and catering contacts) first, and then take on graduate-level hospitality challenges.

I’m sure this will come off as offensive, maybe it is…but my first thought was “ahhh etiquette is for rich folks???” (But maybe so because I got tons of degrees, very little money and can never remember how to spell the word…oh well.) I do hope your statement was in just because if not, that seems highly pretentious.

I’m not sure if treating others how I’d like to be treated on a day to day bases counts but that’s how I live my life…without the white gloves.

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