Miss Manners would slap your face with her full-length evening glove


December 30, 2008 by 8junebugs

Have you seen this? 88 Things You Need to Know Before Attending a Wedding
(via Stephanie over at URBZEN)

The author, a recent newlywed, is aware of the myriad guides that exist for brides, grooms, and the entourage involved in hosting the Big Day. She and her friends have graciously compiled a “Guest Guide” that, were I a guest at her wedding, would make me want to take back the toaster.

Which would be okay, because it wouldn’t have cost as much as my dinner and would therefore not have been on the list of acceptable gifts.

Had she read to the end of the existing guides, she might have absorbed the idea that a wedding is a larger version of a regular dinner party. The bride and groom, or their families, are “hosts” of the event, and good hosts take responsibility for the success of the celebration without expecting anything in return. They do not give their guests a list of dos and don’ts.

If you want to control everything that happens at your wedding, elope. Otherwise, invite people you (a) trust to behave in the manner you expect or (b) want to have there, even if they wear jeans and a leather cap. After all, what’s most important? The wedding photos or the celebration of your union to (one hopes) the love of your life?

I’ve broken a lot of the rules on this list, partly because I wasn’t raised by Miss Manners. I’ve gotten better at it and would gladly wear 50 pounds of pink tulle if a friend asked it of me. I also know what it meant for The Bride of 2008 to tell me, a month before her wedding, that I was welcome to bring a guest — it meant she was more concerned about my comfort and enjoyment than about her head count or what gift I selected.

(For the record, I selected something off the registry and added a small piece of art that I thought they might like.)

The only “rule” that I think matters is this: Support your friends and family in the way that best fits them when they decide to marry. Support them the way you would for any other life event — with kindness and care for the emotions and the grandness of the moment in their lives. If you can’t do that, for whatever reason…well, let’s hope they’re more gracious than the writer who inspired this post.

And if you think the reception would be a perfect venue to showcase your breakdancing skills, you might want to reconsider that seventh Captain and Coke. Just sayin’.


7 thoughts on “Miss Manners would slap your face with her full-length evening glove

  1. Tammy says:

    My God…those “rules” on the “gift” part of the list….is it me, and the fact that I’ve been divorced for a hundred years and the rules have changed and I THINK it sounds greedy…or IS it just simply greedy? I almost feel a little offended after reading that list. I do buy from the registry, but if my dinner costs $50.00 that doesn’t mean they get a gift worth $75.00! Not from single ‘ol me! I mean, how many spoons/forks/knives do I need to buy off that registry to equal my dinner??? *LOL*

    ps…not that I’ve been to a wedding reception lately where each persons dinner was running at $50 each….but just sayin’.

  2. Laura says:

    Hey, Jenny! Look, I’m reading your blog!

    I really enjoyed reading your memories of VT Christmasses…though that ghost of Christmas Past that’s hovering behind the sofa is making me a little nervous. Being one of the “middle” cousins, I don’t remember much about Christmas at the farm or even having Pepere there for any, so your entry was like one of the pictures your dad put on that DVD; familiar people and names, unfamiliar times and places. It was sweet to hear.

    As for Miss Manners, I’d say to ignore her, but she’s a fellow Wendy Wellesley so I’ve gotta stand by my girl…so maybe we’ll just smile and nod? Mum and Pop always told me just to elope, anyway. They say it’s “romantic,” by which they mean: “cheaper than a big white wedding.”

    I jest. It’s not that much cheaper, when you consider the cost of the plane tickets!

  3. 8junebugs says:

    (The nickname that, apparently, didn’t stick…)
    There is surely a romance to the Big White Wedding…or, there can be. I do wish there was less pressure around it, and more support for alternative versions of happiness.

    I have already heard some opinions about what my second wedding *should* be like (have I mentioned I’m only six weeks out from my final divorce decree?): a destination wedding to a Caribbean island, which would be just LOVELY for a family reunion. Considering the pressure behind wedding/marriage 1.0, I am less inclined to accommodate either tradition or sunny vacation plans.

    That said, your parents are excellent wedding guests and fabulous dancers. 😉

  4. Boo says:

    …is a nickname which will stick with me FOR LIFE. Mum still calls me that all the time.

    I fully support the idea of a destination wedding to the Caribbean. I say go ahead and plan it; that tradition where there needs to be a groom involved is SO old-fashioned. On the other hand, I have no idea why people might be telling you about your second wedding already. 6 weeks hardly seems like enough time. Actually, forget about the wedding part–let’s just go to the Caribbean.

    Weddings just seem to be romantic to me, no matter what–I figure, if it’s what the bride and groom want, then it’s romantic to them and who else matters? Which isn’t to say fairy tale weddings are not Dreamy. I am just not sure I would be able to handle all that tulle. Pressure, though; not very romantic at all. I would rather associate such a thing with finals.

    Probably shouldn’t joke about that stuff, huh? But you know, I agree with you. Love is love. Romance is romance, whether it’s in a big white dress with flowers that cost more than the Eiffel Tower or barefoot on the beach or backyard under a tarp.

    Mum and Pop love to dance. I love it when they cut loose and get down. That seems like real romance to me: not them doing the twist, but the fact that they still only want to dance with each other.

    Also that they do the twist.

  5. 8junebugs says:

    I’ve heard a lot of the rules before…I just think of them as guidelines. I like Stephanie’s take on it: Wedding guests aren’t Santa.

    Even if you do give them a list.

    I appreciate a registry because I don’t like to give people things they don’t want or need. But then, all I really wanted was a quilt from my memere, which you can’t get at Bed, Bath & Beyond. 😉

  6. 8junebugs says:

    As for joking about it, well…let’s just say it’s a family trait. I have struggled to not make people too uncomfortable with that. The truth is that I feel great, I’m sorry for the bad decisions and the time we spent beating our heads against the wrong wall, and I’m only 31. If this year has taught me nothing else, it has ingrained a perspective I intend to hold onto with both hands.

    As for romance and love, I have more faith in it than ever before. More on that later…but you’re right — only wanting to dance with each other sums it up nicely. I remember watching and thinking how cool it was that they were having so much fun together.

  7. Jess says:

    Wow. That is the tackiest thing I think I have ever read … the article (obviously) not your blog. A wedding should be a joy for hosts and attendees. Yuck.

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