In meandering the internet looking for items of interest to our fine readers here at Manolo for the Brides, I came across a rather wonderful site with all sorts of lovely books online. It just so happens that one of the books archived there is the 1922 edition of Emily Post, and the section on weddings contains a great many gems of wisdom, as well as proof of two widely diverging theories: there’s nothing new under the sun, and the past is a foreign country.
As illustration of the second of these fine theories, I offer up this passage on compiling a guest list for a wedding:
In the cities where a Social Register or other Visiting Book is published, people of social prominence find it easiest to read it through, marking “XX” in front of the names to be asked to the house, and another mark, such as a dash, in front of those to be asked to the church only, or to have announcements sent them. Other names which do not appear in the printed list may be written as “thought of” at the top or bottom of pages. In country places and smaller cities, or where a published list is not available, or of sufficient use, the best assistant is the telephone book.
Who can fail to be simultaneously amused, charmed, and deeply alarmed by the concept of starting with the city phone book when compiling a guest list for a wedding? Clearly this is a very different world from the one we live in today.