Archive for the ‘Etiquette’ Category

The Name Game

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Back when this happy couple got married, there wasn’t a lot of question about how they would be addressed socially or professionally in the aftermath. The bride would take the groom’s name, period.

Sure a few famous women – mostly movie stars and novelists – might continue to use their birth names professionally, but for most women marriage spelled the end of any professional life that might require continuity of address. She might get a job, particularly once the children were in school, but she wouldn’t have a profession. And even if she did have a profession, her professional identity would change to suit her social one.

Today, though, there are a lot more options. You can follow the traditional form. You can hyphenate. You can simply go by the names you used before you got married. You can both change to something completely new. You can go socially by your husband’s name and professionally by your birth name. I even knew one woman who kept her own name socially but used her husband’s professionally. She was a kindergarten teacher and the kids found his last name easier to pronounce than hers.

The decision, as I have said many times before, is entirely up to the two people getting married. Whether you’re a traditionalist or a same-sex couple that can’t abide the idea of one of you being the ‘bride’ and one the ‘groom’ no matter your gender and feelings about your names, though, one thing is for sure: today you cannot assume that everyone will know what choice you have made.

So how do you get the information across to your entire social circle?

Wedding Dance Etiquette Tips

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

(Illustration via The World’s Best Ever)
In light of a recent incident at a wedding in Ohio, where one guest wound up in jail for assault and intoxicated disorderly conduct, it might be a good idea to discuss the etiquette of dancing at weddings.

Wedding Gift Myths to Shun

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

A lot of crazy talk happens around weddings. One of the places where the talk gets craziest is about gifts. I’ll be the first to admit that gifts are tricky, sometimes. We’ve all given gifts that bombed, received gifts that made us cringe inside, and watched people open gifts that made us hold our collective breaths while we wait to see how the insult inside that pretty box is handled. But all in all, gift giving and gift receiving oughtn’t to be such a mine field. After all, most people genuinely hope the gifts they give will be enjoyable and useful to the recipient, and most gift receivers honestly want to be able to enjoy what’s under the wrapping. When it comes right down to it, we remember the horrible gift mistakes so much precisely because they’re fairly rare.

But because we’re human, we seem to have an innate need to complicate simple things. So let’s take a look at a couple myths about gifts that tend to complicate our lives and see what baggage we can unload right here and now to reduce bridal (and guestal!) stress.

Invitation Wording For Smart Cookies Part 4

Friday, October 14th, 2011

So far this week, we’ve talked a lot about how to word wedding invitations. Not surprising, since this is a wedding blog and we talk a lot about weddings here.

But every once in a while, the actual wedding is held quietly and privately, or is held very far away from many friends and family members, or the happy couple wants to honor some form of milestone by reaffirming their commitment to one another publicly, or the relationship may not be recognized legally where the couple lives, but they wish to make a public commitment anyway. No matter which case is the one that fits your situation, you still need to understand how to word your invitation so that it is both polite and understandable.


Invitation Wording For Smart Cookies Part 3

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

For the last two days, I’ve been schooling you in how to properly word a wedding invitation. Well today we’re going to cover the burning question of how to work the wording when the couple in question is a same-sex one.

Traditionally, the form is ladies first. The bride’s parents were responsible for the entire celebration, and it was often the one day of her life that a woman got to be seriously celebrated. The world has changed, but ladies first is still the rule.

So how do we deal if there are two ladies getting married? What about when it’s two guys and there isn’t a lady to go first?

Invitation Wording For Smart Cookies Part 2

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Yesterday we talked briefly about the standard forms for wording wedding invitations… and now we start getting into the finer points. What do you do when your parents have divorced? What if they’ve remarried? Multiple times? What if one of your parents has, sadly, passed on?

Not to panic. There are forms that have developed over time, because no matter your situation, you are not the first one facing it.

Invitation Wording for Smart Cookies Pt. 1

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

If you’ve never had to decide on the wording of a wedding invitation before, it can be a confusing task. Pleasure of your company or honor of your presence? Whose parents’ names come first? How about divorce or dead parents? Two grooms or two brides? Who gets listed first then? Can’t I just send out a viral evite?

Don’t panic. It’s really not as complicated as all that. You just need to know what the rules are and how they affect your choices. Also? Nobody ever died of an ill-worded wedding invitation, so it’s okay to lighten up a bit.