Friday, April 17, 2009
I have to say this year thus far has been an exceptional one when it comes to wedding etiquette. The numerous emails and conversations I have had with brides/grooms and their families about the "proper" way to express our concerns and ideas. I'm going to be frank here! I feel like some of us have become a little "George Bushish" making up our own rules and words as time goes by. Things have definitely changed since the 50's and well it's not always "smelling like roses" if you know what I mean. I'm the first to say the wedding is all about the bride and groom. I know the families are involved, but it really is about the 2 of you right? Call it selfish? I don't think so. I have observed people that take the whole "us" thing to another level. OK. So let's get started shall we. I am going to cover the basics, but the REALLY important areas that will answer your questions and maybe set some thoughts or feelings at ease. I'm following the Post girls on this one. Did you know they have a school in FL for planners? The Post gals have courses annually. Interesting huh? I have not picked up an Emily Post book in years. I was recently given a copy of her 5th edition as a gift and maybe as a bit of a joke. We've really taken etiquette to another level ladies. It's as though we want to raise the bar higher every year. I'm taking notes on all of your posts and emails. You betcha this is going in my book! How far can we go??? ADULT RECEPTIONS I've covered this subject in numerous articles and conversations with clients. The question is how can we do this without hurting or angering someone? I'm going to be honest, once you delve into this area your going to piss someone off. It's just going to happen. You can't please everyone no matter what you do. I know you guys try so hard to keep everyone happy, but it's just not always that simple. You allow the ring bearer and the flower girl, your sisters newborn and your own children. But your other sister has 2 kids that are 12 and 13. Now why do they have to stay home, but your allowing your other sister who just had a baby to bring her newborn? Good question. You're not going to like my response, but if you say NO children, you have to stick with the rules or you will have some "side" effects. Decide if you want to go down this road. While some may be OK, you may start a ruffle. Can you deal with it? You're going to have to. It's a road most don't want to travel, but to get what you want, you have to go there. What to write on the invite? NEVER write adult reception on the invite itself. Not only does it look tacky, but it's not proper etiquette. If you want to "sassy" someone off, this could be a good way to do it. The RSVP card is the way to go. You can add to the top of the card "Adult" reception to follow at the "ABC Club". You may also want to spread the word under the table per say with letting your friends know, this is an adult only reception. Get it right! I always say talk about the things to others in confidence that you WANT everyone to know. Do you have any friends/family who have what we call "diarrhea" of the mouth? Tell them first, the message is sure to be on the front page of the Post by morning. FIRE AN ATTENDANT OK. This is a touchy subject, but if Peggy covers it, you got to know it's good. Peggy suggests a more politically correct way of saying it " Asking your attendant to back out"...Hmm...There is NO way that asking someone to step down is going to look pretty. I don't care how you do it. Not even a 4 carat Tiffany diamond is going to make it better. It may mask things, but come on, these are DANGEROUS waters. I want to tell you as a planner and as a bride, I had to do this. It was not with friends but with family. I can't think of anything worse than to ask someone to step down. This subject just sucks and well, what can I say? But here's the question you have to ask yourself. Do you want this person to be in every photo and a part of your important day? Can you work things out or are you willing to lose years of friendship and or family communication? That's the BIG question. Once you ask the question, you have to be willing to deal with the consequences. Many emotions fly high when you ask your nearest and dearest to stand up. Some may be friends while others might be family. How do you weigh it out? Some of these attendants may be that "type" that somehow becomes envious of your engagement and happiness and they may go ballistic. They may blow things off. They may be the only one who refuses to wear the same dress. YUCK. WE HAVE ALL BEEN THERE! Do you know what Peggy says? Attendants role at the wedding: Attends the rehearsal and dinner, bridesmaids luncheon if applicable Supervises the children in the bridal party if applicable Assists the bride at the reception as requested Participates in activities such as the line-up or bouquet toss Gives an individual gift to the couple or contributes to the couple with the rest of the bridal party. Did you READ that? I have to say, I've stood up in 13 weddings. I've never had this expectation. So remember what I said about etiquette? Gals we have not been living up to our part! I think the maid of honor has kind of taken over all of this... What is the maid of honor's responsibility you ask? Helps the bride select the BM's attire Helps address invites and place cards Organizes the bridesmaids gift to the bride and often organises the luncheon for the girls. Holds the grooms wedding ring and the brides bouquet during the ceremony. Witnesses the signing of the marriage certificate Helps the bride during the reception(gathering guests for the cake cutting, dancing and bouquet toss). Snap Snap on this one... Helps the bride get into her going-away clothes and takes care of the bride's wedding dress and accessories after the reception. Have you guys done this? I'm not trying to start trouble, but if Peggy says so... I'm not even getting into the role of the best man, you guys would laugh. The list is even longer than the maid of honor. I swear it! Do you have any good stories about asking someone to step out or possibly step in at the last minute??? The LAST ISSUE...ARE YOU READY! COMMITMENT CEREMONIES I know this is good right? I have picked some pretty good subjects this year! So, the times have changed and well, you can play old school, but if you do play it, play fair. You can't say NO to one subject and yes to another especially if you are talking about what's right (What society thinks)or what you think. Here's the deal, society places these thoughts of what is socially acceptable. Doesn't mean it's right. The truth is SAME SEX MARRIAGE is being approved monthly in different states. For those who don't agree, keep your thoughts to yourself. If you were made to make these decisions for all of us, heck we'd call you G-D. I'm not sharing my thoughts on this board, I don't agree or disagree. It's not my place. You can't help who you fall in love with and that's just the way it is. There are several NON GAY friendly places out there what can we do? I just received a call from a fan Saturday who mentioned she was having a great time planning her wedding, but her cousin who is gay was already being turned down by venues. They told her once she completed the paperwork that "they don't do that sort of thing". I asked her what sort of thing was she doing...She said nothing she wants to get married? Robin, forgive me for my anger during our call. I was completely taken off guard and completely appalled that some of the venues you mentioned were also venues that we recommend. I don't know what to say. I cannot imagine what it would be like to be judged for my preference on sex, color etc. The only piece of advice I have is tell your cousin there are several gay friendly locations and I will personally see to it that she finds them. Call me back! Peggy "posts" that this is the way to go. There is no law that states you have to announce your type of relationship with a venue or vendor. How extensively you go into it is your decision and not mandated by law. But sadly these venues can decide whether or not to partake in this type of ceremony. You can waste your time and make yourself unhappy just by fighting it. I know it's wrong, and I know these "folks" need to wake up cause it's the year 2009! That saying you cannot teach an old dog new tricks, may still stand with this one. In time, this is going to change. Hey look, we have our first African American President. I know several people who disagreed with this, but it happened and well, it's time to move on. What are your thoughts?
I devote my time to ensuring our clients recieve fab service. There's another "calling" for me. To give back to my peers that aspire to be the next "best" fancy pants somebody! Those who play it safe standing behind me, will fail. I do serve as a warning to others and yes, I'm nutty. It's who I am & it's not going to change, as it works. Feel free to comment & join me on what could be the best road trip EVER!
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