“Anti-Bride Etiquette Guide”

April 20, 2009 at 4:50 pm | Posted in Nonfiction | 9 Comments

Now that I’m planning a wedding, I find myself in a quandary.  I want it to go well and I want to avoid any embarrassing blunders, but I also want to avoid being Bridezilla and thinking everyone in the universe cares about my wedding.  So when I saw this Anti-Bride Etiquette Guide I picked it up.

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After reading through it, I have mixed feelings.  On the one hand, I agree that there are many hoary old traditions that need to be eliminated.  For instance, I have always loathed the garter toss, and Carolyn Gerin marks it for extinction.  On the other hand, there are things that I think are a tradition for a good reason, and I was a little chagrined to see that they might be considered expendable.

The first chapter of the book dealt with the engagement.  There was a section on etiquette issues such as telling the groom you didn’t like the ring he picked out, or wanted to help pay for a more expensive one than he could afford.  I think my head actually started spinning around when I read that.  How can two people hope to start off as a married couple with expectations like that?  “Oooh… sorry, I thought I said square cut, you oaf.”

There was another section on handling the errant bridesmaids who began expressing doubts about the amount they were expected to shell out for dresses and airfare.  It went along the lines of, “This is my special day and, after all, it’s only money.”  An air raid siren went off somewhere in my mind.  This attitude might explain why there was a section on trying to find a replacement for the maid of honor who bails at the last minute.

I was impressed with the layout of the book, and I found some sections very helpful, such as the proper wording for invitations for different situations and what levels of dress and decor went together for ceremonies at different times of day.  There were tactful discussions of topics such as returning the gifts if the wedding is canceled, and reminders not to include registry information in the invitation.  The book was well done.

That said, I think the book I was looking for might have been something like an Alternative Bride’s Guide.  Why not eliminate the engagement ring hoopla and spend that money on doing the wedding debt-free?  Goodbye to the engagement party, the rehearsal dinner, and the wedding party.  Just focus on enjoying the party and give your poor friends and family a break.

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