Post # 1
Ok, so I have to be blatantly honest about etiquette. I didn’t know that there were so many "rules" on what I can or can’t do when it comes to weddings. Call it my upbringing, my parents are immigrants (not mongols though) It was always about the community in my family.
I’ve come across some threads where people seem agitated about those who do not know about these rules. I’ve learned quiet a lot from visiting these boards. (thankfully) But I can’t say the same for some of my family or maybe even friends. I think before we become upset or even angry at these people, we should think if they know the "rules".
With that being said, my question to you is: how are you handling people who don’t know the rules of wedding etiquette for example bringing a date when it isn’t stated on the envelope, gasping when one sees mention of a registry on wedding invitations (this one makes me laugh), etc.
Post # 3
So, some things I don’t think are necessarily specific to a wedding. If I was going to a dinner party at a friend’s house, I wouldn’t bring an uninvited guest. Some things are not really "etiquette rules" that only apply to weddings, or that only stiff, rigid people abide by. Some things are just general conventions of polite behavior.
That being said, we’ve had some guests RSVP for uninvited dates, and we are calling them and explaining that there are space constraints and unfortunately we cannot accommodate uninvited guests, but if space becomes available, we’ll of course let them know.
Post # 4
There are differences in every culture though so you will have to adapt the rules as best you can to suit what’s best for you. Basically, etiquette is a set of guidelines meant to make things move along smoothly and, if everyone knows the rules, nobody is uncomfortable. For example, you never include registry info because then you’re blatantly asking for a gift – and a gift is considered optional and its up to your guests to decide if they want to give you a gift…which is also why you don’t throw yourself a bridal shower. Just do what you feel would be most comfortable for yourself, your family and your guests. Good luck!
Post # 5
If you are interested in learning about etiquette, books by Miss Manners are EXCELLENT. "Miss Manners on Painfully Proper Weddings" is a really good read- it’s funny and it really helps you understand why etiquette rules exist.
Post # 6
I am a big fan of Emily Post and Amy Vanderbilt and their respective etiquette guides.
I completely agree with amandopolis in that social etiquette rules do not just apply to weddings. Because it is one of the more formel events that happen in peoples lives it is important to more closely adhere to etiquette rules.
You can always do whatever you want to do for your wedding. But having been many times a bridesmaid (7!) and having attended countless weddings and now engaged, it truly is easier on everyone if the basic etiquette rules are followed.
I would probably be classified in the category of those that get irritated when people blatantly commit etiquette faux pas.
I am living abroad and I know that I have unknowingly committed etiquette crimes because the culture I am in is vastly different than the one I was raised in. But I always try to take cues from my surroundings and peers to prevent my own embarrassment. And that is what social etiquette is truly about – making your guests feel at ease and being a gracious hostess.
Post # 7
Thank you for your comments. As well as the suggestiones on the books, I wish I had time for them but btwn a full time job, full time master’s student and planning a wedding. I learn about these things on a whim thru weddingbee…lol. Don’t get me wrong I think without etiquette rules, social gatherings would be crazy. I guess I’ve has some bad blood with it when an aquaintance informed me it was etiquette that I throw a baby shower (isn’t there etiquette on telling someone about what i NEED to do). But think about this for a second: Don’t you think though that some people just don’t know these rules.
@Sparkles – I thank you the comfort comment. I think you are right.
Post # 8
Before I got engaged, I had no idea that it was bad etiquette to put registry inserts into invitations or add a +1 to an RSVP because these were things I saw all the time in the weddings I attended back then. Now that I know better, I avoid those things but I also cut some slack for people that break the rules. I don’t assume they read wbee and know all about what is or is not proper wedding ettiquette! I also understand that some things are cultural, regional, personal preferences, etc…not all money dances are tacky and wearing white to a wedding doesn’t necessarily mean you’re an evil, thunder-stealing witch. So when in doubt, try to do what you’ve seen is common in your own social circle…if everyone made the same mistake then surely they can’t blame you when you make it too. 🙂
Post # 9
Wedding planning definitely opened my eyes! Between my sisters and I, we’re all getting married within 11 months. So we’re each teaching the others quite a bit. =)
It’s been interesting and eye opening. In retrospect, I may not have always been the "perfect" wedding guest in the past…
But I will be in the future!
Post # 10
I think some rules are essential and others outdated. What is interesting to me is Thank you’s. I have never (as an adult) recieved a gift and not sent a thank you or at least an email in cases where it was appropriate. So I CAN"T BELIEVE when brides don’t send thank you’s to guests for the gifts. I know she got it because I brought it to the wedding! And the card was IN the box. I plan to pre address the thank yous so i only have to write the inside of the card. that way i will make sure to thank everyone, even if they just showed up!
Post # 11
@Vistagirl – as silly as this may sound, I wasn’t aware of how rude it was to NOT send thank you cards after receiving ANY type of gift. It wasn’t until I started working at the school I teach at. I remember overhearing conversations about "can you believe she didn’t send thank you cards?" or even receiving thank you cards for the littlest things. I learned very quickly to send out thank you cards, plus I know that it makes the other person (sending the gift) feel acknowledged. I like your idea of pre-addressing those cards. Great idea!
Post # 12
I learned alot and HIGHLY recommend a book that I was given. Its called "Something New: Eittique for Rule Breakers, Traditionalists, and Everyone in Between". When I was given it I thought – youve got to be kidding me, like I care what Emily Post thinks!! But I read it and its actually really helpful, especially since I am a rule breaker with a traditional family. VERY HELPFUL and I think every bride should have a copy.