“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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  1. Man, it sounds like a great idea for a book that just missed the mark. The whole bridesmaid dress thing is outrageous. I purchased all of the dresses, mine, my mom’s, my grandmas, and all 3 of my wedding party. I felt like if I did it that way, I wouldn’t be tempted to overspend someone else’s money. And I didn’t! I totally agree with you about the garter too. It was awkward.

  2. I love my engagement/wedding rings (we picked them out together) but I would elope if I had to do it over again. The joke my husband has about the ring and the money he was SUPPOSED to spend per the twice a month’s salary or whatever hooey: the reason he proposed to me while he was in grad school was because he wasn’t MAKING any $!

  3. I used the Anti-Bride Wedding Planner before I gave in, realized planning a long-distance wedding was going to be crazy, and hired a coordinator to help out. I thought it was relatively helpful but not fantastic.

    Re: the garter toss: I’m all for skipping it. I mean, really, there’s no reason for your new hubby to crawl all up under your wedding dress as your friends and family (and, in my case, your hubby’s conservative and/or elderly relatives) look on.

    Ditto for the chicken dance. Has anyone ever left a wedding saying, “Gee, that was fun, but I sure wish they’d done the chicken dance.”? I think not.

  4. I’ve never actually seen the Chicken Dance! I’ve been to dozens of weddings, and I’ve heard about it, but I have no idea who actually does it. It sounds pretty funny to me.

  5. Honestly when I was young say 20-21 I wanted a big wedding with a big engagement ring and all that jazz. But now at 27 I want to invite only those people who I think will be genuinely happy with my wedding. It’s okay if there are only a 100 guests. I want a small neat wedding. I would rather spend the money on my honeymoon or investing in something else. Who needs all the headache?

  6. You and I had the same idea about what this book would be about.

  7. This would probably be helpful, although parts of it seem like the “Bridezilla Etiquette Guide”

  8. You might want to take a look at Bridal Bargains – its a skinny, tall wedding guide – I found it pretty helpful when I planned my wedding. Its not an etiquette books, of course, but it covers a lot of what’s expected and why that may not be worth spending much money on.

  9. Anti Bride Guide…

    […] deliberately leave out any kind of description of a book’s plot or characters – […]…

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