Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Elizabeth Post’s Wedding Etiquette

Wedding etiquette... one of society's most perennial problems

By Elizabeth Post


Dear Mrs. Post: Who has the right to plan the wedding reception details, such as number of guests’ to invite, planning for decorations and food, etc.? It has been a question between mother and daughter. —Laura

Dear Laura: Although I don’t like putting it on that basis, it is the bride’s right to make the decisions. It’s her day, not her mother’s, and while they should consult with each other, of course, the final decisions should be the bride’s

Wedding Cake

Dear Mrs. Post: Is there a rule that says the wedding cake should be a fruit cake for a formal wedding, and a white cake for an informal wedding? —Linda 

Dear Linda: No, there’s no such rule. Years ago the wedding cake was traditionally dark fruit cake. Nowadays, even at the most formal wedding, it is a white or yellow cake with white icing. There may be, in addition, a “groom’s cake” which is dark fruit cake. This is generally cut into small portions in advance and packaged in small white boxes to be given to the guests “for good luck.”

Turtleneck? No!

Dear Mrs. Post: What do you think of a prospective bridegroom who plans to wear a turtleneck shirt with a tuxedo at his wedding? —Ellen 

Dear Ellen: I don’t like it. A wedding is one place where tradition is most important. I imagine that a wedding picture of a groom in a turtleneck will come back to haunt him years from now, just as we laugh at pictures of brides in flapper outfits of the twenties. The traditional bridal gown and the tuxedo with shirt and tie will never look out of style. 

Wedding Presents 

Dear Mrs. Post:Yesterday, I received from a bride of three weeks my wedding gift to her, with a note reading, “Since our marriage was only temporary, I feel obliged to return your lovely wedding present.” I know she was right. I know that all wedding gifts are given for the couple’s married life, and should this state not be realized, the present must be returned. But, on the other hand, wasn’t I on the receiving end at the wedding reception? Couldn’t the bride keep my gift? —Marion 

Dear Marion: The girl was right in her thoughtfulness, but wrong in her action. Wedding gifts need not be returned, no matter how brief the marriage. The exceptions are presents to her from the groom himself, or presents of particular sentimental value given to them both from his family. These should be returned. – Highland Park News, June 1968

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipediag tiquette Encyclopedia

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