• Images
  • Text
  • Find a Couple + Registry
GO
Etiquette

Who makes the rules of "Etiquette"?

lynnz52lynnz52 member
Second Anniversary 10 Comments 5 Love Its
edited September 2013 in Etiquette
I have researched a lot about etiquette when planning my wedding. There are many different opinions, and some that believe their opinion is always right, and that etiquette should be followed without exception. Some people are even extremely rude to others about enforcing etiquette and rude when sharing their views of others who don't use etiquette. Doesn't that defeat the purpose?

What is the definition of etiquette? Is it cultural? According to wedding blogs? According to family tradition?

I hate the thought of someone thinking I'm rude, but I've had some personal experiences at weddings that break etiquette and I never thought it was rude. Is etiquette just making sure the guests are happy? Does it mean making sure no thinks you rude? Why do we follow etiquette if it will make your guests unhappy?

I have some specific examples:

You can't afford a cash bar.  -  Etiquette states you can have signature drinks or even a dry wedding. In my personal experience, I've been to dry weddings where no one danced and complained constantly about it being dry, and weddings with signature drinks that were not good. I would have paid anything to get a drink that I liked. I like to dance, and my family likes to dance, but only after they've had a couple. In my case, we made this a priority, but it was not cheap. What about those couples in my situation who cannot afford an open bar? Make your guests unhappy by going dry or having one type of drink? Or break etiquette?

Along the lines of not having guests pay for anything -  I imagine Dollar Dance is a no-no? My family loves that tradition. My Grandma loves to bring dollar bills to weddings and throw them in the air. Should I disappoint my Grandma?

Limiting Guest Lists - Adult only weddings, and not allowing certain guests to have plus ones is not completely against etiquette. However, my guests have been RSVPing with guests who were not on the guest list. I don't have the courage to tell them to tell their guest that they are not invited. I have been told by friends that they feel uncomfortable going to a wedding alone, and I totally understand, I wouldn't want to either. So I'm letting them come. They had said they would rather come to the dance only (after dinner) than come by themselves.

Also, we had to do Adults only because children would add like 100 to our guest list. Well the family is not happy (mostly my fiance's side), and they do not understand, and I feel horrible. Some of them aren't coming just because of it, which I did not expect.

Last item -  Formal Names.   Mr. Mrs. Dr. on placecards? I was reading somewhere that one of their "Dr" guests was offended that their title was not accurate on their place card. When asking my family what to use as the formal name, I had more than 10 instances where they said the guests would be offended if we used their formal first name. That they have never been called that, and they don't go by that name. What to do then?

I like to think that if you a genuinely good person, a cash bar would not be taken as rude. If you a giant ..  not nice person.. people will think you're rude if you invite them to their dance only...as so on.

My main questions are "What is the reason behind etiquette?" and "Who decides etiquette?" "What do you do when you know etiquette will make guests unhappy?"
AroundTheBlockCaliShoreGirl

Re: Who makes the rules of "Etiquette"?

  • yes ettiquette is cultural, but you should know your culture's ettiquette. ettiquette is just good conduct of socially acceptable behaviors. mostly important in party hosting and weddings,. this is where you are recieved by the community.

     

  • See formal meaning below. Personally if you have done what you need to do to make your guests comfortable then you've done your job. I honestly don't think there are 'etiquette police'.

    From the Mirriam-Webster Dictionary
     the rules indicating the proper and polite way to behave
     the conduct or procedure required by good breeding or prescribed by authority to be observed in social or official life
    and from
    Dictionary.com
    1.conventional requirements as to social behavior; proprieties of conduct as established in any class or community or for any occasion.

    doeydo
  • APDSS22APDSS22 O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A is OK member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Etiquette is a consensus by a culture or group of what is the right/proper way to act.  Here we usually use it to describe being a good host/hostess.  

    1. If you don't think it's rude, that doesn't necessarily mean that a large group of other people won't think it's rude.  It doesn't make it "ok" just because you aren't personally offended by it.  Etiquette usually follows the majority of guests' comforts, not each individual guest.

    2. The only options for alcohol are not dry and open bar.  You can have a limited open bar, with just beer and wine, you can have a limited bar with select spirits, beer, wine and maybe a signature drink.  There are lots of options, you just have to find a venue that fits your personalities as a couple, your guest list and what you can afford to properly host your guests in terms of food and alcohol.  A lot of brides say that people are unhappy with dry weddings so they had a cash bar to give their guests options!  Why not budget for what a bride can afford?  Why make the guests pay because the bride wanted lots of presents from lots of people and invited those people but didn't put aside enough money to pay for them to drink if it's important to the couple and their guests?  Or cut her budget elsewhere if she really did want those people there and wanted them to have alcohol? (For more info try this thread: http://forums.theknot.com/discussion/995381/cash-bars-everything-you-need-to-know-in-one-place#latest)

    3. Tradition=/= Etiquette if your ENTIRE family does the dollar dance then you get to decide whether or not to do it.  Personally, I think it's weird that people want to pay to dance with you and you expect people to all have cash ready to do so.  Why can't they just dance with you for free and leave the money in a gift envelope if they want to give you money? 

    4. If you're uncomfortable telling your rude guests that they can't just randomly add on people to their invites, that doesn't make them less rude for putting additional pressure on you as a hostess.  You need to grow a backbone and tell your guests that no, sorry, the invitation was only for Mr. Smith, not Mr. Smith and random entourage.  Or, you need to start budgeting for properly hosting ALL these extra people you didn't invite but have now said are "ok" to come.  For the ceremony and the WHOLE reception.  If your guests are uncomfortable alone (did you invite a lot of people that all don't know each other?) then they must choose to decline the solo invitation or make new friends.  Just because they say that they want to only come to the dance, doesn't mean they really want to.  They might just think this is the only way you'll let them bring a date and would actually be hurt not to see you get married and enjoy your whole reception to thank them for coming to see you get married.  (See this thread: http://forums.theknot.com/discussion/996436/what-your-actions-say-to-your-guests-everything-you-need-to-know-in-one-place#latest)

    5. For place cards, (which are optional unless you have assigned seating) you can choose how to address your guests.  What makes them comfortable might be best.  Just "Douglas Smith" or "Douglas Smith and Sally Buckman" works but if you want to do a super formal wedding, you should have forms of address (Mr./Mrs./Dr.).  If Douglas prefers to go by Doug, that may also be deemed appropriate as you are shortening his name for his own comfort.  One of my friends doesn't use her real first name.  I addressed everything to her with her preferred name on it.

    6.  I have been offended by many things otherwise very nice people have done to me.  Just because you are normally a nice person doesn't mean I'm not annoyed with you for making me stand for your ceremony/cocktail hour/ reception because you didn't provide enough chairs for all your guests.  I might still be your friend after, but I'm a bit judgey over that sort of thing and there are plenty of other people on this forum that are the same.  (An example would be this thread: http://forums.theknot.com/discussion/996525/worst-wedding-you-ve-ever-been-to#latest
    ).

    doeydoMGPcowgirl8238
  • MGPMGP member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    edited September 2013
    lynnz52 said:

    You can't afford a cash bar - I am sick and tired of people justifying a cash bar by thinking they are doing their guests a huge favor of the "option" to drink.  Properly hosting is not making your guests open their wallets for anything.  And it essentially treating your guests differently by not leveling the playing field.  Weddings bring many people from many walks of life together.  How is it fair or kind to put certain people in an awkward position to pay for something they want but can't afford, while others may be in a position to easily afford it?  That is a thousand times worse than hearing a handful of people complain about a dry wedding.

    Limiting guest lists - sorry but it really sounds like you need to grow a pair.  You seem to stay strong about the no kids rule you should also enforce the RSVP with extra guests rule too.  It's very rude for any of your guests to ask to bring extra people.  And what if them doing so puts your over capacity?  While I understand that going to a function like a wedding alone is not as fun (believe me I have done it more than enough times to care to remember) I am also sick and tired of people basing their RSVP around their social comfort level.  I have been to weddings where I have known no one and ones where I have known every person there, and not once did I ever expect the hosts to invite (or not invite) people to increase my comfort level, or much less ask to bring extra people.  If I felt close enough to the couple to want to come and celebrate their marriage with them, I accepted the invitation.  Weddings are kind of like plane flights to me - I will happily interact and chat but never expect to make any BFF's from it. 

    I like to think that if you a genuinely good person, a cash bar would not be taken as rude. If you a giant ..  not nice person.. people will think you're rude if you invite them to their dance only...as so on. - um, no.  There is no sliding scale.  I have been improperly hosted by great people and been properly hosted by A-holes.  It makes no difference.

    And a side note - NO ONE should be actively complaining about anything, especially if it is properly hosted.  You can't please everyone.  Being a good guest is just as important as being a good host, and graciously accepting what was offered comes with the territory.

  • In most circles today the primary purpose of etiquette is to avoid insulting your guests, making them feel imposed upon, or uncomfortable.  Honestly, the "Who decides these things?" question is weird to me.  It makes it sound like good manners are just a bunch of silly, arbitrary rules that make no sense.  For the most part, etiquette, as it is discussed here, concerns being a good host or hostess.  I don't think anyone here is going to side-eye you for holding your teacup improperly. ;)

    I can sympathize with the fact that the bar issue for couples on a very tight budget can be very difficult.  To be clear, I'm NOT saying a cash bar is okay.  It is rude, and there is no way around that.  I think there are circles though in which a dry evening reception would not go over well, and cause a lot of people to leave right after dinner.  This is still not an excuse for a cash bar.  Beer/wine/signature drink only, or dry afternoon receptions are great alternatives.  Being broke sucks sometimes, as I know from experience, and forces you to alter you expensive dreams and learn how to be happy with what you can afford.

    There is nothing wrong with an adults only wedding so long as you don't directly state "Adults Only" (in any wording) on your invitation.  You shouldn't state who is not invited, any more than you would send someone a note saying, "Ha ha, you can't come!"  Shame on anyone who puts you in the awkward position of having to call and explain that only the people named on the invitation are invited.  No one enjoys doing that, but it must be done.

    As for the place cards, I think you should do whatever makes each individual guest feel respected and comfortable, whether that means formal titles or familiar names.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    MGPAPDSS22
  • Etiquette is a consensus by a culture or group of what is the right/proper way to act.  Here we usually use it to describe being a good host/hostess.  

    1. If you don't think it's rude, that doesn't necessarily mean that a large group of other people won't think it's rude.  It doesn't make it "ok" just because you aren't personally offended by it.  Etiquette usually follows the majority of guests' comforts, not each individual guest.

    2. The only options for alcohol are not dry and open bar.  You can have a limited open bar, with just beer and wine, you can have a limited bar with select spirits, beer, wine and maybe a signature drink.  There are lots of options, you just have to find a venue that fits your personalities as a couple, your guest list and what you can afford to properly host your guests in terms of food and alcohol.  A lot of brides say that people are unhappy with dry weddings so they had a cash bar to give their guests options!  Why not budget for what a bride can afford?  Why make the guests pay because the bride wanted lots of presents from lots of people and invited those people but didn't put aside enough money to pay for them to drink if it's important to the couple and their guests?  Or cut her budget elsewhere if she really did want those people there and wanted them to have alcohol? (For more info try this thread: http://forums.theknot.com/discussion/995381/cash-bars-everything-you-need-to-know-in-one-place#latest)

    3. Tradition=/= Etiquette if your ENTIRE family does the dollar dance then you get to decide whether or not to do it.  Personally, I think it's weird that people want to pay to dance with you and you expect people to all have cash ready to do so.  Why can't they just dance with you for free and leave the money in a gift envelope if they want to give you money? 

    4. If you're uncomfortable telling your rude guests that they can't just randomly add on people to their invites, that doesn't make them less rude for putting additional pressure on you as a hostess.  You need to grow a backbone and tell your guests that no, sorry, the invitation was only for Mr. Smith, not Mr. Smith and random entourage.  Or, you need to start budgeting for properly hosting ALL these extra people you didn't invite but have now said are "ok" to come.  For the ceremony and the WHOLE reception.  If your guests are uncomfortable alone (did you invite a lot of people that all don't know each other?) then they must choose to decline the solo invitation or make new friends.  Just because they say that they want to only come to the dance, doesn't mean they really want to.  They might just think this is the only way you'll let them bring a date and would actually be hurt not to see you get married and enjoy your whole reception to thank them for coming to see you get married.  (See this thread: http://forums.theknot.com/discussion/996436/what-your-actions-say-to-your-guests-everything-you-need-to-know-in-one-place#latest)

    5. For place cards, (which are optional unless you have assigned seating) you can choose how to address your guests.  What makes them comfortable might be best.  Just "Douglas Smith" or "Douglas Smith and Sally Buckman" works but if you want to do a super formal wedding, you should have forms of address (Mr./Mrs./Dr.).  If Douglas prefers to go by Doug, that may also be deemed appropriate as you are shortening his name for his own comfort.  One of my friends doesn't use her real first name.  I addressed everything to her with her preferred name on it.

    6.  I have been offended by many things otherwise very nice people have done to me.  Just because you are normally a nice person doesn't mean I'm not annoyed with you for making me stand for your ceremony/cocktail hour/ reception because you didn't provide enough chairs for all your guests.  I might still be your friend after, but I'm a bit judgey over that sort of thing and there are plenty of other people on this forum that are the same.  (An example would be this thread: http://forums.theknot.com/discussion/996525/worst-wedding-you-ve-ever-been-to#latest
    ).
    I agree :)
    APDSS22
  • I am aware of the American "rules of etiquette" as explained by the Knot and many other wedding websites. I'm also aware that I'm a very easy going person, and not easily offended. I do not want to disrespect my guests, or make them uncomfortable. I'm trying to get clarification of meaning behind etiquette, that is all.

    My guests who have RSVPed with guests do know others at the wedding, but feel socially embarrassed not having a date. I'm getting to that age where most of my friends are married. There are not very many to add, and enough budget and room to add those few. Due the social environment, I've decided not to have bouquet toss either. I didn't think about it at first, so I'm faulting myself. I do really think I made a mistake, even though it is considered okay per etiquette.

    The kids on the other hand, there are over a hundred, so we've had to have a "backbone" for those asking to bring their children.

    If the definition is "Etiquette is a consensus by a culture or group of what is the right/proper way to act." Isn't the "group" my friends and family?

    So etiquette has nothing to do with the way you should conduct yourself as a human being? You're saying an A-hole can throw and wonderful etiquette perfect wedding, and a nice person is an A-hole by not being a "proper" host. I would try to encourage people to not be so "annoyed" when someone doesn't follow etiquette. Especially when they are truly a good person. Maybe they were misinformed, or had some kind of extenuating circumstance were they were forced to do something improper. I'm sure it was to save the life of a puppy. Aren't we all just better off thinking that?

    Who decides whether it's properly hosted? It is it "the knot."? Is it someone easily offended, or some one that is not easily offended? Is there a school of wedding etiquette?  Well I guess if I'm asking "The Knot" I'm assuming it's "The Knot" huh..

    Okay, fair enough. It is why I asked the question. I just find it so odd that people get so rude to each other about how not to be rude to each other.

    And I'm just looking for information. I'm trying to be the best host I can, and to me that means being respectful to my guests. Technically my parents are the host, so I want the reception to be a reflection of the wonderful people they are. Thank you all for the information so I can make an informed decision! I respect the passion you have for this topic!

    I appreciate everyone taking the time to respond! I never imagined how much work it would be to plan a wedding, and I'm very grateful for the Knot!
    CaliShoreGirl

  • Etiquette is the language of social interaction: the "grammar", if you will, of how to interpret social nuance and subtleties of action, so that you avoid offending others or incurring their negative judgement. As with any language, etiquette has local variations -- dialects if you will -- that are particular to certain regions, ethnic backgrounds, and social circles. And just as with spoken language which you use every day regardless of whether you are giving a speech to the multitudes or not, etiquette is not something you use on one day of your life after neglecting to use it in all your previous daily interactions: it should inform one's behaviour in everything, even one's behaviour on internet message boards. Manners that run contrary to every social norm you have practiced all your life, even if those manners seem ultra-posh and are promoted with vigourous sarcasm by the publishing arm of The Wedding Industry, will be in bad taste (and offend your family, and incur your family's negative judgements of you) if they are out of touch with your families norms. And they are likely to come of wrong, anyway, if you lack day-to-day experience with the nuances of those posh manners.

    A standard set of etiquette practices do exist, however. They are generally established by the First Family of your country, whatever it is; and often the protocol officer in charge of the first family's social entertaining -- the White House protocol officer; the Lord Chamberlain; the Secretary of State for Canada; and so on -- makes available some sort of manual that forms the basis of "official" etiquette. Since manners tend to be something that conservative and traditional people uphold, these standards change very slowly. And since the first families generally need to socialize across different social classes and different ethnic groups, standard etiquette is fundamentally democratizing -- making the same rules for everyone and making those rules tolerable even by those who have limited income.

    That democratizing nature of standard etiquette can be more important at weddings than at other day-to-day events, because you inevitably have people present from at least two differennt family backgrounds -- quite likely nowadays radically different. So standard etiquette (assuming that a) you actually know it well enough to be able to follow it and that b) your guests know it well enough to interpret what you are doing!) can help avoid a culture-clash at your wedding. So everyone should try to become at least adequately familiar with standard etiquette and use it regularly for practice.

    But "should" is not the same as "does". Alas, nowadays many people have no clue about standard etiquette -- including, unfortunately, many "wedding-etiquette" writers. And as a result two things happen. You get bad advice from strangers who do not know your family or circumstances and who think of etiquette as a rigid set of black-and-white rules that they learned for their wedding -- without understanding the nuances; and you have to deal with all your family and possibly your fiance's family who do not in fact know either standard etiquette, nor the wedding-board memes that tend to get passed off as etiquette from bride to bride without any reference to actual standard etiquette. And in that situation, your best course of action is to listen to your mother (and grandmother), and to the similarly-placed women in your fiance's family. They know their family and friends and they can advise you as to how your various choices will be interpreted within that social context. And, presumably, you know your friends and social context and can go with your own good sense on how they will interpret your choices. The bottom line is, if you choose the things that will please your guests without giving offense or incurring their judgement, even if those things violate both standard etiquette and "knot etiquette", you still will have been the perfect hostess for your own circumstances.
    Wow, thank you! This was such an intelligent response. Very informative.
  • nebullamanebullama member
    100 Comments 100 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited September 2013
    lynnz52 said:
    So etiquette has nothing to do with the way you should conduct yourself as a human being?

    I think it has everything to do with how you should conduct yourself as a human being!  Most of the things that are talked about here center around taking your guests feelings and comfort into consideration at all times.  To me that's one of the most important elements of good human conduct.

    While I suppose it is possible for an a-hole to demonstrate proper etiquette, one would think that their a-hole-ishness, by its very nature, would make that very difficult, and they would inevitably slip up somewhere.

    I agree with you though that responding to rudeness with more rudeness is hypocritical. 

    Honestly, it sounds like you have the right idea.  Your own statement about not wanting to disrespect anyone or make them uncomfortable, answers your question about the meaning behind etiquette.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    lynnz52KeptInStitches
  • APDSS22APDSS22 O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A is OK member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    lynnz52 said:
    I am aware of the American "rules of etiquette" as explained by the Knot and many other wedding websites. I'm also aware that I'm a very easy going person, and not easily offended. I do not want to disrespect my guests, or make them uncomfortable. I'm trying to get clarification of meaning behind etiquette, that is all.

    My guests who have RSVPed with guests do know others at the wedding, but feel socially embarrassed not having a date. I'm getting to that age where most of my friends are married. There are not very many to add, and enough budget and room to add those few. Due the social environment, I've decided not to have bouquet toss either. I didn't think about it at first, so I'm faulting myself. I do really think I made a mistake, even though it is considered okay per etiquette.

    The kids on the other hand, there are over a hundred, so we've had to have a "backbone" for those asking to bring their children.

    If the definition is "Etiquette is a consensus by a culture or group of what is the right/proper way to act." Isn't the "group" my friends and family?

    So etiquette has nothing to do with the way you should conduct yourself as a human being? You're saying an A-hole can throw and wonderful etiquette perfect wedding, and a nice person is an A-hole by not being a "proper" host. I would try to encourage people to not be so "annoyed" when someone doesn't follow etiquette. Especially when they are truly a good person. Maybe they were misinformed, or had some kind of extenuating circumstance were they were forced to do something improper. I'm sure it was to save the life of a puppy. Aren't we all just better off thinking that?

    Who decides whether it's properly hosted? It is it "the knot."? Is it someone easily offended, or some one that is not easily offended? Is there a school of wedding etiquette?  Well I guess if I'm asking "The Knot" I'm assuming it's "The Knot" huh..

    Okay, fair enough. It is why I asked the question. I just find it so odd that people get so rude to each other about how not to be rude to each other.

    And I'm just looking for information. I'm trying to be the best host I can, and to me that means being respectful to my guests. Technically my parents are the host, so I want the reception to be a reflection of the wonderful people they are. Thank you all for the information so I can make an informed decision! I respect the passion you have for this topic!

    I appreciate everyone taking the time to respond! I never imagined how much work it would be to plan a wedding, and I'm very grateful for the Knot!
    If you don't want to disrespect your guests or making them uncomfortable, you will most likely have a very etiquette friendly wedding.  A total jerkface could indeed throw a perfectly etiquette-acceptable event whilst a person who is usually very nice could be very rude to all their guests and then wonder why they have no friends after the wedding.  I'd rather think the best of people but if 80 year old women have to stand because the bride wants a garden wedding but doesn't want to ruin her scenery by having chairs for her several hour long ceremony because she wants it to be super special...yeah I think most people would judge that.  I would be more than a little annoyed, and I'm not even an 80 year old woman who would have physical trouble standing.

    We are very representative of America on this forum, but that's something we can't help.  We can only speak to our own etiquette experience.  Of course, a lot of brides cry that we don't understand their culture then someone else from their country says that no, that's just what entitled brats who listen to the wedding industry do, it's still considered rude to have a tiered reception/B list/cash bar/whatever.  I believe that we all just try to come to a consensus about what would make a poster's guests the most comfortable.  More people would be likely to be offended by a cash bar than a limited open bar for instance.

    Etiquette should be a way to comport yourself in society as a whole.  This forum is just, understandably, focused on weddings and event planning specifically.  I, personally, do try to be more informative rather than rude when giving etiquette advice.  The rudeness usually comes after someone starts throwing a temper tantrum.  If you try to help someone over and over and they just call you names, you probably would get a little testy too.  Thank you for having a discussion rather than just calling us all meaniefaces btw.  That's a rare thing here.

    RebeccaB88
  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    lynnz52 said:
    I have researched a lot about etiquette when planning my wedding. There are many different opinions, and some that believe their opinion is always right, and that etiquette should be followed without exception. Some people are even extremely rude to others about enforcing etiquette and rude when sharing their views of others who don't use etiquette. Doesn't that defeat the purpose?

    What is the definition of etiquette? Is it cultural? According to wedding blogs? According to family tradition?

    I hate the thought of someone thinking I'm rude, but I've had some personal experiences at weddings that break etiquette and I never thought it was rude. Is etiquette just making sure the guests are happy? Does it mean making sure no thinks you rude? Why do we follow etiquette if it will make your guests unhappy?

    I have some specific examples:

    You can't afford a cash bar.  -  Etiquette states you can have signature drinks or even a dry wedding. In my personal experience, I've been to dry weddings where no one danced and complained constantly about it being dry, and weddings with signature drinks that were not good. I would have paid anything to get a drink that I liked. I like to dance, and my family likes to dance, but only after they've had a couple. In my case, we made this a priority, but it was not cheap. What about those couples in my situation who cannot afford an open bar? Make your guests unhappy by going dry or having one type of drink? Or break etiquette?

    Along the lines of not having guests pay for anything -  I imagine Dollar Dance is a no-no? My family loves that tradition. My Grandma loves to bring dollar bills to weddings and throw them in the air. Should I disappoint my Grandma?

    Limiting Guest Lists - Adult only weddings, and not allowing certain guests to have plus ones is not completely against etiquette. However, my guests have been RSVPing with guests who were not on the guest list. I don't have the courage to tell them to tell their guest that they are not invited. I have been told by friends that they feel uncomfortable going to a wedding alone, and I totally understand, I wouldn't want to either. So I'm letting them come. They had said they would rather come to the dance only (after dinner) than come by themselves.

    Also, we had to do Adults only because children would add like 100 to our guest list. Well the family is not happy (mostly my fiance's side), and they do not understand, and I feel horrible. Some of them aren't coming just because of it, which I did not expect.

    Last item -  Formal Names.   Mr. Mrs. Dr. on placecards? I was reading somewhere that one of their "Dr" guests was offended that their title was not accurate on their place card. When asking my family what to use as the formal name, I had more than 10 instances where they said the guests would be offended if we used their formal first name. That they have never been called that, and they don't go by that name. What to do then?

    I like to think that if you a genuinely good person, a cash bar would not be taken as rude. If you a giant ..  not nice person.. people will think you're rude if you invite them to their dance only...as so on.

    My main questions are "What is the reason behind etiquette?" and "Who decides etiquette?" "What do you do when you know etiquette will make guests unhappy?"

    lynnz52 said:
    I am aware of the American "rules of etiquette" as explained by the Knot and many other wedding websites. I'm also aware that I'm a very easy going person, and not easily offended. I do not want to disrespect my guests, or make them uncomfortable. I'm trying to get clarification of meaning behind etiquette, that is all.

    My guests who have RSVPed with guests do know others at the wedding, but feel socially embarrassed not having a date. I'm getting to that age where most of my friends are married. There are not very many to add, and enough budget and room to add those few. Due the social environment, I've decided not to have bouquet toss either. I didn't think about it at first, so I'm faulting myself. I do really think I made a mistake, even though it is considered okay per etiquette.

    The kids on the other hand, there are over a hundred, so we've had to have a "backbone" for those asking to bring their children.

    If the definition is "Etiquette is a consensus by a culture or group of what is the right/proper way to act." Isn't the "group" my friends and family?

    So etiquette has nothing to do with the way you should conduct yourself as a human being? You're saying an A-hole can throw and wonderful etiquette perfect wedding, and a nice person is an A-hole by not being a "proper" host. I would try to encourage people to not be so "annoyed" when someone doesn't follow etiquette. Especially when they are truly a good person. Maybe they were misinformed, or had some kind of extenuating circumstance were they were forced to do something improper. I'm sure it was to save the life of a puppy. Aren't we all just better off thinking that?

    Who decides whether it's properly hosted? It is it "the knot."? Is it someone easily offended, or some one that is not easily offended? Is there a school of wedding etiquette?  Well I guess if I'm asking "The Knot" I'm assuming it's "The Knot" huh..

    Okay, fair enough. It is why I asked the question. I just find it so odd that people get so rude to each other about how not to be rude to each other.

    And I'm just looking for information. I'm trying to be the best host I can, and to me that means being respectful to my guests. Technically my parents are the host, so I want the reception to be a reflection of the wonderful people they are. Thank you all for the information so I can make an informed decision! I respect the passion you have for this topic!

    I appreciate everyone taking the time to respond! I never imagined how much work it would be to plan a wedding, and I'm very grateful for the Knot!

    Just realized while I was reading this that you hadn't been quoted. No comment yet.
  • chibiyuichibiyui The Boring Part of MD member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers

    "Along the lines of not having guests pay for anything -  I imagine Dollar Dance is a no-no? My family loves that tradition. My Grandma loves to bring dollar bills to weddings and throw them in the air. Should I disappoint my Grandma?"

    I have nothing constructive to add. Only Gifs.
    image
    image



    Anniversary
    Blue_Birdlynnz52
  • edited September 2013

    Etiquette is doing everything in your power to make sure your guests are properly hosted and comfortable at your event. Even a nice as pie person can make etiquette slips (for example, an otherwise etiquette correct wedding but a honeymoon jar was placed at the wedding). Usually one or small slips like that can be forgiven if the host otherwise treated their guests kindly. It doesn't make it okay, but the wedding ninjas won't descend on them. (sorry, semi-joke)

    I really don't think etiquette is that cultural. I mean, treating people kindly is pretty universal. Something being normal in one group does not make it okay. You host what you can afford. If that means a dry wedding, then people need to deal. People can live without alcohol for one night- they're there to celebrate your marriage and have been given a meal and non alcoholic drinks as a thank you. If they complain then they're the ones in the wrong.

    You choose what will offend the least amount of people. Regardless of what people say to your face ("Oh, I'm fine with a cash bar!) more people are likely to be offended or irritated by a cash bar than if there were beer and wine only. And if you know your crowd would have a crappy time without alcohol, then budget accordingly. Don't have them pay for your wedding instead.

    When I came here I thought etiquette was going to be this big thing I'd have to research and learn. But after staying a bit (and posting about my own faux pas) I learned that etiquette is pretty simple. Treat your wedding guests as if you're honored that they came. Treat them like a guest. How would you treat a guest in your home?

    After 6 years and 2 boys, finally tying the knot on October 27th, 2013!

    RebeccaB88
  • Etiquette is another word for "manners".  That's all it is.  It's just being polite to people, to be gracious and welcoming. 

    Cash bars are rude because you're not giving the guests the reception - you're making them pay their own way.  That's just wrong.   If you throw the party, pay for it.   
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • That's a good question- who makes the "rules" of ettiquette? Why is having a gift registry acceptable (which implies that you expect gifts) but putting the information on the invitation unacceptable? Yet, putting it on the website is okay. Wedding websites are such a new phenomenon, so I wonder who decided that piece of ettiquette.

    As far as cash bars go, I tend to be fine with cash bars. I don't drink, and I don't think drinking is necessary to have a good time. I don't like people deciding to go to weddings because they get free booze. I will have a dry wedding, but I know that people will be upset that there isn't a cash bar. They would honestly rather have the option to pay for drinks than to not drink, and I will get razzed for "forcing my beliefs" about drinking onto everyone else.
    TerriHuggCaliShoreGirl
  • lynnz52 said:
    I am aware of the American "rules of etiquette" as explained by the Knot and many other wedding websites. I'm also aware that I'm a very easy going person, and not easily offended. I do not want to disrespect my guests, or make them uncomfortable. I'm trying to get clarification of meaning behind etiquette, that is all.

    My guests who have RSVPed with guests do know others at the wedding, but feel socially embarrassed not having a date. I'm getting to that age where most of my friends are married. There are not very many to add, and enough budget and room to add those few. Due the social environment, I've decided not to have bouquet toss either. I didn't think about it at first, so I'm faulting myself. I do really think I made a mistake, even though it is considered okay per etiquette. Don't feel bad, no one will think twice of it. (Those that do care are just hams and want all the attention on them for a few minutes lol) I know I wouldn't judge you.

    The kids on the other hand, there are over a hundred, so we've had to have a "backbone" for those asking to bring their children. As long as your invitations don't specify "no children" that's fine. If the people you are inviting are respectful, they should notice that the children are not included on the invitation.

    If the definition is "Etiquette is a consensus by a culture or group of what is the right/proper way to act." Isn't the "group" my friends and family? You should be treating guests like you would treat them if they came over to your house for a formal party like a graduation. You wouldn't make them pay for dinner or drinks, or expect them to. You are treating your guests to a celebration of you and your husband's future life together. 

    So etiquette has nothing to do with the way you should conduct yourself as a human being?
     You're saying an A-hole can throw and wonderful etiquette perfect wedding, and a nice person is an A-hole by not being a "proper" host. I would try to encourage people to not be so "annoyed" when someone doesn't follow etiquette. Especially when they are truly a good person. Maybe they were misinformed, or had some kind of extenuating circumstance were they were forced to do something improper. I'm sure it was to save the life of a puppy. Aren't we all just better off thinking that? Etiquette is the act of thinking of other people and their comfort. Intrinsically you can't be an A-hole and be good-mannered. In some way, shape or form, a rude individual will act rude, no matter if they have a full bar or if pay for their bridesmaids dress. Basically an A-hole acts like an A-hole and is so self-centered that they wouldn't understand what good etiquette is. The reason why theknot.com has an etiquette board is so that the people who want to be gracious hosts have a place where they can learn. No one is expected to know everything about etiquette once they get engaged, it does require a lot of thought (which by the way is another reason why an etiquette perfect wedding by an A-hole probably wouldn't happen)

    Who decides whether it's properly hosted? It is it "the knot."? Is it someone easily offended, or some one that is not easily offended? Is there a school of wedding etiquette?  Well I guess if I'm asking "The Knot" I'm assuming it's "The Knot" huh.. Etiquette has definitely evolved since the 1800s, BUT the essence of etiquette and being a proper host hasn't. Just keep asking, "is this convenient for my guests?"

    Okay, fair enough. It is why I asked the question. I just find it so odd that people get so rude to each other about how not to be rude to each other. I think part of that is the normal posters get very frustrated with the same question over and over and over. Kinda of like your post funny enough.... There are tons of other posts where people ask the same question. Although if you didn't ask then we wouldn't be having this awesome conversation to begin with. 

    And I'm just looking for information. I'm trying to be the best host I can, and to me that means being respectful to my guests. Technically my parents are the host, so I want the reception to be a reflection of the wonderful people they are. Thank you all for the information so I can make an informed decision! I respect the passion you have for this topic!

    I appreciate everyone taking the time to respond! I never imagined how much work it would be to plan a wedding, and I'm very grateful for the Knot!
    Thanks for having a good attitude about this! :)

    image
    Daisypath Wedding tickers
  • APDSS22APDSS22 O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A is OK member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer

    That's a good question- who makes the "rules" of ettiquette? Why is having a gift registry acceptable (which implies that you expect gifts) but putting the information on the invitation unacceptable? Yet, putting it on the website is okay. Wedding websites are such a new phenomenon, so I wonder who decided that piece of ettiquette.



    As far as cash bars go, I tend to be fine with cash bars. I don't drink, and I don't think drinking is necessary to have a good time. I don't like people deciding to go to weddings because they get free booze. I will have a dry wedding, but I know that people will be upset that there isn't a cash bar. They would honestly rather have the option to pay for drinks than to not drink, and I will get razzed for "forcing my beliefs" about drinking onto everyone else.

    The whole wedding website deal is basically a catch-all for extra information about the wedding. If a guest is on your website, chances are they are looking for a piece of information. Maybe even your registry details. Guests can then look up what they need comfortably and can ignore extraneous info.

    If they want to buy you towels, your registry has what towels match your decor. You don't expect gifts, but if guests would like to buy you something, you have a list of things you need so you don't end up with 5 blenders to return or a 6' tall metal chicken. Putting that information on the invite is basically telling your guests that they need to buy you a gift and oh yeah, they can witness you getting married and stuff.

  • lynnz52 said:

    Limiting Guest Lists - Adult only weddings, and not allowing certain guests to have plus ones is not completely against etiquette. However, my guests have been RSVPing with guests who were not on the guest list. I don't have the courage to tell them to tell their guest that they are not invited. I have been told by friends that they feel uncomfortable going to a wedding alone, and I totally understand, I wouldn't want to either. So I'm letting them come. They had said they would rather come to the dance only (after dinner) than come by themselves.
    Can you clarify this?

  • lynnz52 said:

    Along the lines of not having guests pay for anything -  I imagine Dollar Dance is a no-no? My family loves that tradition. My Grandma loves to bring dollar bills to weddings and throw them in the air. Should I disappoint my Grandma?


    I'm one of the few people here on the Knot who doesn't get her panties in a wad over a dollar dace if it's a family/cultural or regional tradition (I come from a big Polish population). My issue with it is it's highly disruptive to the flow of the evening, especially if you have a large guest list. But you'll hear a lot of Knotties say "Oh, well I suppose if it's common in your family or your area or in your culture, then it's okay to do it, but it's not common in my family or my area or my culture, so you shouldn't do it."

  • lynnz52lynnz52 member
    Second Anniversary 10 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited September 2013
    I did look for a previous discussion about how these wedding websites decide what should and shouldn't be a rule of etiquette. I found lots of rules, but no information about how they were decided. I probably missed something. I just want to make sure I'm making my decisions for the right reasons, my guests. I do not want to listen to people who follow etiquette only so they can tell others how much better they are or how much better their wedding was (no one would admit that, but you know it happens). And I don't want to follow rules because some vendor was trying to talk me into spending more money.

    The plus ones are for single friends who are dating anyone, and I likely am not close with anyone that they would bring (otherwise they would have been on the guest list). I expanded in another post:  "My [single] guests who have RSVPed with guests do know others at the wedding, but feel socially embarrassed not having a date."

    I don't like the dollar dance personally, but my fiance wants it, my mom wants it, my Grandma wants it, and it is tradition in my family. So I said 2-3 songs max.

    Anyway, that was the reason behind the question.
    CaliShoreGirl
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards