Post # 1
I understand the need for etiquette. In any society you need some amount of rules to govern social behavior. If it was not part of proper etiquette to shake hands when meeting for the first time, it would be very confusing when somebody is holding out their hand – do you squeeze it? Kiss it? Lick it? Shake it? Fist pump it? We need general guidelines to understand behavior within our society.
However, I am so sick of hearing about proper etiquette, specifically for weddings. I cannot tell you how many times my mom has said “Emily Post says . . . ” That’s fine for Emily Post to have her rules, but why can’t we actually think about what we’re doing too? When Emily Post says the pastor should sit with my parents at dinner but neither the pastor nor my parents want to sit together (not that they dislike each other – there are just other people at the wedding they know better and would like to spend time with), why would we do that? JUST because Emily Post says so?! (This is just one of many examples!)
Etiquette is useful, but it is not fact. Etiquette exists because society creates it and that same society should also be able to think and evaluate if these “rules” make the most sense for a given situation.
(I’m not looking to start an argument – just vent a little! = ) )
Post # 3
I totally agree with you. Etiquette, IMO, is the presumptive best action. However, presumptions can always be rebbutted (I’m going all lawyer on this) when there is actually a better option for a specific situation.
So, if you don’t know where to seat the pastor, seat him or her with the bride’s parents. That is the way it should work. But when there is a better option, seat somewhere else.
Post # 4
I agree! Proper etiquette goes only so far in my book too…
I look at it this way…Proper etiquette changes gradually anyways…look at invitations. Many are now labeling them, but that’s always been considered a no-no (supposed to be hand written)…I say do what you want! I don’t know anything about this pastor sitting with your parents thing, but I’m with you. Why should they “have” to sit together? They don’t!
Post # 5
I completely agree Emily Post is a bit more proper than I am normally anyways, why should I change who I am!
However, I think its hard because so often I see here on the bee “Do what you want, Its your wedding” and then as soon as there is something against the norm or etiquette people lash out.
Post # 6
Someone said said something to be the other day when discussing the issue of labeling the invites instead of handrwriting them…”etiquette hasn’t caught up with today’s technology.” In this day and age with all the tools we have to make our lives easier, why not use them?
So I say choose the pieces of etiquette you like then do whatever you want to do if it makes your life easier and happier!
Post # 7
Here’s a link to Mrs Post’s actual book: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/14314/14314-8.txt
I defy anyone’s mother to find in there where it says that the pastor should sit with the bride’s parents. “Etiquette” is written on the assumption that the bride’s parents are hosting the wedding breakfast, that the wedding takes place before noon as was the inevitable custom at the dawn of the twentieth century, that the minister is a close and respected personal associate of the bride’s family, that the wedding breakfast is held at their home, and is served by their own family servants.
Now, if you read all 400-odd pages in detail, you can probably figure out the logic behind the various rules and how to adapt them to modern circumstances without violating the *values* that underpin all these old rules: values like unselfishness, hospitality, unpretentiousness, and thoughtfulness. Mrs Post herself says that true etiquette is
‘a system of rules of conduct based on respect of self coupled with respect of others.’
Too many of the rules that are floated about regarding “wedding etiquette” are made-up rules applied arbitrarily and inconsistently by people who don’t know what the real “rules” are, why they were established, or how to apply them.
Post # 8
The modern versions of Emily Post’s ettiquette books are terrible and the old versions are of course out of date (although the older version relied more on common sense than the rule structured books her distant relatives produce today). More people should recognize their values and try to align their actions with those values.