(Closed) Who made up all these “wedding rules”?? And why are we going along with them???

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
862 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

@Zaria: agreed – My Fiance reminds me the same thing every day

Post # 4
236 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I struggle with a lot of this too! Most of us have never thrown a large, formal party before, so we don’t really know all the “rules” for it. No one would expect me to know how to drive a train, fly a plane, or do surgery. Yet there is this expectations that I should automatically know about envelope liners…

Post # 5
4162 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@Zaria: ugh I totally agree.  It’s make me nauseous thinking of all these “rules” we are suppose to follow.  All I worry about is offending people, when I shouldn’t worry at all!!!

Post # 6
811 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

The whole wedding etiquette thing gets to me too. 1) because I hate etiquette in general -my motto is to generally be nice and think of others before myself shouldn’t that be enough? Doing something because its “right” or “polite” or “expected” does not really work for me.

I’ve decided that I am just going to do what we want (I always run things past FI) if its not good etiquette oh well. I doubt anyone will remember it in the long run.


Next battle…labeling invites. Do I really have to call his bitch ass sister Dr.? Gah.

Post # 7
1326 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Tre Bella, Mesa, AZ

Very good point. I’m sure each rule had a place or a reason (maybe historically) at some point in time. It’s funny how girls are so judgy about weddings (their own or others), but in the end most of the rules really have no meaning any more. 😛

Post # 8
1276 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I’m tempting to call my wedding a dinner party or something else. No other event has all the rules like a wedding and it’s driving me nuts. 

Post # 9
2907 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

We are trying to fit in with a society that has not really infiltrated out generation (or maybe just our income bracket).


These rules apply to throwing any party, not just a wedding. It’s just that a wedding is the only party worth throwing at that level of expense (at least for us).


The rules are at least a couple hundred years old.

Post # 10
966 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I know!  My Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses HAVE to match, it’ll RUIN my wedding if they don’t, or so my mom says (this one I’m ignoring, since my BMs put off buying their dresses and now it’s discontinued.  Sorry, Mom, I really can’t find them matching dresses available in two states and the appropriate colors that will all be ready in 9 weeks.)  I HAVE to have a guestbook, and a guestbook attendant.  I HAVE to find stuff for people to chuck at us and a way to prettily dole it out (birdseed.)  I HAVE to have a receiving line, HAVE to have an indoor reception, HAVE to invite relatives I loathe, HAVE to have tablecloths and table skirts, CAN’T have games on the tables…  I wanted to elope.  

Half the time when I think of all the CRAP I have to plan for this thing, I just want to cry.  My birthdays have only ever been as convoluted as cake, ice cream, my favorite meal, a “happy birthday” banner, and three balloons.  I basically wanted simple ceremony with one attendant, followed by an outdoor potluck with scavenger hunts for kids.  I have my simple ceremony, my dream dress/head piece, and a fun playlist, but otherwise, this isn’t my wedding.  Heck, my best friend can’t even come.

Post # 11
46606 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

If you read the posts here , it is clear that brides are NOT just following “the rules.” Many traditions are being abondoned over time as they don’t make sense in today’s world.

I also guarantee that our children and grandchildren will have entirely different weddings than we will.

Etiquette is really only being considerate of other people’s feelings and as kermie says, anyone who can “generally be nice and think of others before myself” won’t have any problems.

No one does expect us to know how to  “drive a train, fly a plane, or do surgery”, without a proper course of instruction.  Similarly, no one would be expected to know all the rules of etiquette surrounding weddings. There are many books and online resources for us all to use.

Because society has changed, many brides find themselves in the position where their wedding is the first”formal” social event they have planned or hosted. It’s only natural that there would be a learning curve.


Post # 12
811 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

Oh, I totally forgot about ONE BIG thing we’re doing that is TOTALLY NOT convention and i am sure breaks several rules.

…We’re using picnic tables. The venue came with them, so we’re using them. 🙂

*MIL passes out and falls to the floor*

I was considerate enough to rent a few chairs for people like my grandmother who probably shouldnt be climbing in and out of a picnic table.

Post # 13
1087 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

THANK YOU I say that at least once a day when reading WB

Post # 14
550 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

@kermie: I was considerate enough to rent a few chairs for people like my grandmother who probably shouldnt be climbing in and out of a picnic table.

Perfect etiquette imo 🙂

Post # 15
1696 posts
Bumble bee

Peggy Post made up some of them — like that offensive “rule” that every wedding invitation requires a gift in response even if you do not attend. Misinformed brides with internet access and too much time on their hands made up most of the rest by posting and then reposting erroneous simplifications. Few of these rules are as old as most brides presume they are; in fact your own grandmother probably never heard of many of them.

The real rules aren’t “wedding” rules, but the standards for any event, whether wedding or dinner-party or whatnot. They were invented because they actually HELP you know what behaviours will generally come across as nice and thoughtful of others. You wouldn’t need the rules if you had already thrown thirty or forty dinner parties, because you would have figured most of them out for yourself by then, in the process of learning from experience how to avoid fisticuffs over the plans and unpleasantness between courses.

Do you need envelope liners? Etiquette makes no ruling on that; that’s a matter of style, not manners. Use whatever paper and accessories express your style. Ditto bridesmaid dresses: Mom’s opinion, maybe, but not a matter of etiquette. Do all weddings need to be formal? Etiquette actually says you have a choice, even if other brides on the Internet try to tell you that you don’t have a choice — see Amy Vanderbilt’s Guide to Gracious Living if you want an example of informal invitations and entertaining advice. And if you do choose informality, etiquette will back you in those arguments that favour picnic tables and abhor tablecloths.

Do you have to call his sister “Dr”? What etiquette says is that you think of her preference and call her by that — probably because it’s generally nice to call people what they want to be called. Probably avoid “bitchass”, for example, unless that’s what she goes by (I personally joined the board when I was helping my grandnephew research some things for his wedding, which is living proof that relatives of the groom do sometimes peruse boards and find out the kinds of things that are being said about them.)

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