(Closed) Coming clean about all the wedding things I’m doing “wrong”!

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
7300 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

Do not apologize for anything! Many Americans NEED to understand that Emily Post or Miss Manners doesn’t apply to the world. Different cultures/countries/races have a lot of different customs and practices than the US. Do you think a bunch of American’s would tell a Polish or Hispanic bride that their cultures dollar dance is oh so tacky? No, they wouldn’t. So why do they think it’s okay to call it tacky to someone else?

Welcome to 2011! We are living in an internet world. Skype bridal showers are not unheard of. Emailed thank you notes are not unheard of. SOME people need to catch up with the times and stop taking it personal. i.e. the OMG I got a thank you note….IN AN EMAIL!!! threads.

Do what’s best for you and your guests. Not all guests are molded into Emily Post/Miss Manner examples. YOU know your guests. Not them, and not the internet full of brides/married women.

The people who love you will be there. The people who want to bitch and complain will not. And if they do come and complain about something later, they are going to look like the shitty ones.

Post # 5
5572 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

It sounds like all of these things are working out best for you and YOUR wedding so you shouldn’t be ashamed of them ๐Ÿ™‚ From what you said about all of the points you mentioned it seems like you made good decisions! I think that the world of “etiquette” is definitely changing and the new way seems a lot more user friendly.

Post # 6
5183 posts
Bee Keeper

@UK Bride: yea, I stopped caring about etiquette and started doing what is normal in my family/culture/group of friends. 

1.) I AM putting my registry info in the invite

2.) I am NOT sending grown cousins their own invites unless they are living in a different house.

3.) I am choosing NOT to invite someone because I just don’t like him. I don’t care if his feelings will be hurt and that everyone is now telling me I should. F him. ๐Ÿ™‚ lol

Post # 7
10851 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

@UK Bride: When you get to your new flat you should send photos of you enjoying the gift each person gave you to the gift giver! I would love that as a thank you if I had been at your internet shower!

Post # 8
916 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Fabulous!  It sounds to me like all these choices you made are very thought out and justified.  I found number 2 very interesting, but I’m not sure I follow.  So typically in the UK, close family goes to the ceremony and dinner, and then later all guests are invited to the evening reception?

Post # 9
698 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

WOO HOO! Break “the rules” girl! I hate all that etiquette crap.  We are have open bar for beer and wine only, so guests can pay for the liquor and mix drinks they want…saving us crazy money!  In my opinion, I’m paying for you to come an dcelebrate with us, not get wasted on my dime.

We’re doing a honeymoon registery, so I’m not having a shower…OH NO!  LOL!  Some people a upset by this, for some reason.  Instead of $50 gift card to some store I don’t want, $50 goes towards our travel expenses and excursios…no brainer.

And, I’m putting my registery info in with my invites…HOLY S*#@!  How ekse are people to know this info? Call me? Um, no.  Word of mouth? Right.  Wedding website? Nope.  It’s really not that big of a deal, and in my area, that’s what people do. 

So cheers to breaking the rules!

Post # 12
715 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I am with PP, I am also not inviting some of my adult cousins because 1) I do not like them, 2) I wasn’t invited to theirs 3) I don’t like them, and 4) they won’t come because of alcohol anyway.

My registry will be on a little card inside my invitation envelope. I don’t have an inside envelope and outside envelope because they didn’t come with them. And guests are not getting a plus one because I cannot afford the money for food or space at our venue. Some people will have hurt feelings, and that’s just how it is.

Our rehersal dinner will be a lunch at our house made by me the night before and baked when people come over. Our families and some friends haven’t seen our house and I am not spending $1,000+ on a rehersal dinner, they can come see our new house and eat spaghetti pie and garlic bread and they can just deal with! ๐Ÿ™‚ AND I AM NOT ASHAMED!! lol

Post # 13
2247 posts
Buzzing bee

@Miss Tattoo:  You really said it perfectly!

OP, don’t let some of these crazy, prehistoric etiquette notions get you down.  Nothing you have written has struck me as being tacky or unacceptable.  I am having a cash bar here in the good ol’ U S of A and I don’t feel one bit ashamed of it.  If it were -THAT- bad, the venue wouldnt’ offer it.  Not everyone can afford to be a princess. 

I am also not sending grown cousins their own invites, unless they’re married.  I was considering doing a small ceremony (about 20 guests), then having a huge reception (100 people).  I would still do it if my wedding weren’t a destination wedding (I’d hate to ask people to travel and not come to the actual wedding).

I will be involved, loosely, in the planning of my shower.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to demand one.  But, if someone offers to throw me one, I want to suggest a few elements to the host (I want to make sure everyone isn’t bored or hungry at my shower, and I don’t really know anyone I can trust besides Future Mother-In-Law that would make that happen).

I like your ideas.  At least you’re not like my step-cousin who repeatedly (daily) posts this message on FB: “You have until July 29th to get the RSVPs out for the wedding.  If you don’t send one, I assume you’re not coming.  Do not expect food or a seat if you don’t RSVP!”  Another one of her favorites: “It isn’t that hard to RSVP!”.  Another one she’s posted multiple times: “_____ and I are registered at Wal-Mart and Target, monetary gifts are also accepted!”

Post # 14
1684 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

How dare you be so RUDE??!

Really! Can’t believe it! Emily Post is rolling in her grave! SNIFF!


(PS: I’m kidding)

Post # 16
1696 posts
Bumble bee

There are indeed cultural differences in etiquette, and they are not only different between different countries and different ethnic groups, but also between different social classes. I know, it is not politically correct in America to acknowledge that there ARE different social classes — we delude ourselves that we live in a “classless” society. It is indeed a delusion: we can see that there are people who routinely show up in the newspaper social pages and attend gala dinners and host full-formal affairs; and we are painfully aware that most of us do not, in fact, get invited to meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in person or attend the debutante balls and Governor’s Receptions that those other folk do attend.

I get around this painful truth by using the phrase “social circle” instead of class, but what it means is this: none of us can really compare what is “normal in the UK” and “normal in the US”. We only know what is normal in our own social circle. If you check Debrett’s — the penultimate arbiter of correct form for the British upper classes — you will see that they, too, forbid cash bars. And if you hang around American wedding sites long enough you will see that plenty of American and Canadian brides move in circles where the no-host bar (or in Canada the “twoonie bar”) is expected and normal. Gracious, I move in those circles, even if I don’t make my home in them — we may not be a classless society, but we are one where the class barriers are nicely permeable.

The great debate over the “tiered reception” has been annoying me for years. Unlike many brides, I have actually read Emily Post (not the Post Institute website, not Peggy Post writing under her great-grandma-in-law’s trademark, but the original inestimable Mrs Post herself). And several other historical etiquette and manners treatises, and a few thesis on the social anthropology of manners. The quick sound-byte etiquette rulings that are quoted so glibly are often just wrong — they are NOT what the etiquette authorities actually said, and they often serve to offend against the very values that etiquette exists to support: form without function.

It is wrong to invite people to part of a social event. That is because true hospitality requires the hostess to honour her guests generously. Generosity in giving honour means you cannot have a group of second-class guests. BUT — there is nothing, nothing at all, wrong with having different guest lists for different events. You don’t feel obliged to invite the same people to Thanksgiving dinner that you invited to your first grade birthday party, do you? The mistake is in thinking that a wedding is some monolithic multi-month (or multi-year) event. It isn’t. And there is absolutely NO reason not to have dinner with your friends and family on the same day that you invite the broader community to celebrate your wedding. As long as they are clearly separate events, you are not violating any etiquette rules except “internet etiquette”.

Which is not to knock the internet. I may have been born before the ball-point pen, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate different ways of writing. It is WHAT you write, the personal attention and elegance of expression of your writing that matter. A lovely personal email with individual detail ought to be more appreciated than a vulgar and messy impersonal paper note. A virtual shower by skype or chatroom that is truly arranged by your friends because they want to hold it for you is more gracious than an in-person non-virual shower orchestrated by the bride herself for the purpose of getting gifts.

And, believe it or not, dear Miss Manners doesn’t actually rule against any of these things. She — or Judith Martin, the genius behind the personification — is actually very well informed about the variety of different cultural norms, and of the principles underpinning standard etiquette. She reserves her most cutting sarcasm for greed, pretension, materialism, unkindness and vulgarity; not for violations of arbitrary details.

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