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Etiquette

Honor vs. task vs. job

So these recent discussions have really got me thinking about the serious disconnect between what people consider an honor, a task, and a job.  Brides seem to think EVERYTHING is an honor, people like me and you think there are some significant differences.

So what do you consider an honor, a task, or a job in a wedding?  And at what point would you decline?  Here's mine:

honor - anything involved with the ceremony including MOH, bridesmaid, BM, groomsmen, flower girl, ring bearer.  I would even include officiant, musician, reader, and usher into this as well.

task - programs, guest book, gift table, gift loader into car, DIY projects, and hosting pre wedding events.  This seems to be the biggest gray area.  None of this seems like an honor to me, but not necessarily an insult either.

job - set up, serving food, break down, and clean up.  Things that you would pay a vendor to do.  This is the lowest of the low to me.

Personally I would decline anything that's a task or a job.
PrettyGirlLostJen4948lizandmark2014

Re: Honor vs. task vs. job

  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    I definitely think you nailed what a job is: anything you'd pay a vendor to do. I do know that a lot of guests will offer to perform a service that a vendor would normally do (e.g. bake the wedding cake, act as a videographer, etc). But it's still a job, even if they're offering. If brides or grooms want to ask a guest to perform a job, they need to 1) be willing to pay their guest the full amount and behave like regular clients, and 2) consider whether or not the job will prevent their guest from being hosted properly. I'd actually consider officiating and playing music during the ceremony to be jobs, but since they're ceremony jobs only, it's easier to make sure that these people are properly hosted during the reception.

    An honor is basically something that elevates a guest, and that indicates that they are special to the bride and groom. I consider the following things to be honors: wearing a corsage (provided by the couple), sitting in the front rows, walking down the aisle, escorting someone down the aisle, standing up with the couple, doing a reading, carrying the rings, performing a blessing, holding the chuppah, signing the ketubah, being held up on a chair, making a toast, sitting at a head table.*

    Anything else is a task. With tasks, you can ask people to help, but you need to make it clear that they are doing you a HUGE favor. Holding up the chairs during the hora? Task. Bringing the gifts and cards to a safe place? Task. Alerting security if Uncle Henry gets drunk and starts shouting about The Gays? Task.
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  • MGPMGP member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    edited January 2014
    phira said:
    I definitely think you nailed what a job is: anything you'd pay a vendor to do. I do know that a lot of guests will offer to perform a service that a vendor would normally do (e.g. bake the wedding cake, act as a videographer, etc). But it's still a job, even if they're offering. If brides or grooms want to ask a guest to perform a job, they need to 1) be willing to pay their guest the full amount and behave like regular clients, and 2) consider whether or not the job will prevent their guest from being hosted properly. I'd actually consider officiating and playing music during the ceremony to be jobs, but since they're ceremony jobs only, it's easier to make sure that these people are properly hosted during the reception.

    An honor is basically something that elevates a guest, and that indicates that they are special to the bride and groom. I consider the following things to be honors: wearing a corsage (provided by the couple), sitting in the front rows, walking down the aisle, escorting someone down the aisle, standing up with the couple, doing a reading, carrying the rings, performing a blessing, holding the chuppah, signing the ketubah, being held up on a chair, making a toast, sitting at a head table.*

    Anything else is a task. With tasks, you can ask people to help, but you need to make it clear that they are doing you a HUGE favor. Holding up the chairs during the hora? Task. Bringing the gifts and cards to a safe place? Task. Alerting security if Uncle Henry gets drunk and starts shouting about The Gays? Task.
    100% all of this!  And yes there are some SKILLED jobs that some people offer to do for someone they know like you said cake baking and photography.  And if that's offered and all parties are on board with it I see no problem in it.

    Again tasks are OK if everyone is on the same terms.  My brother was a HUGE help to me a couple days before the wedding and did stuff like bring the welcome guest bags to the hotel and the candle centerpieces to the venue.  He said "just seat me at the table closest to the bar and I will do whatever you want".  He's awesome like that.

    Any unskilled labor needs to be done by someone not associated with the wedding.  Period.  If you can't afford that then elope, that's how strongly I feel about that.  The worst wedding threads has horror stories of people "of honor" ironing tablecloths, setting up chairs, and clearing tables.  I will just never understand why some people think that serving food or sweeping the floor is an honor.  Ever.
    PrettyGirlLosthuskypuppy14
  • I agree and had a question about this exact thing so I guess I'll ask here... my mom offered to throw us a shower, and invited both families and two of my girl friends.  I found out that she asked the two girl friends and asked them to come early and serve wine to the rest of the guests at the party.  My gut feeling is that this is really rude, and it's bothering me, so I'd like to talk to her about it.  

    Reading responses above, I'm guessing others also think it is rude and would be as upset as I am... would you make a point to talk to her if you were in my shoes?
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I think you nailed it pretty well.


    When DH's best friend got married he ask DH to help with the task of finding the cooking staff, creating the menu and buying (not paying) the food - DH is a chef so he gets discounts from vendors. The job of cooking and serving the food fell to someone else.   J had no intentions of DH cooking the meal. He just needed help with the planning.  DH being a chef and his best friend it totally made sense he helped him out.   I did see DH in the kitchen at one point during the wedding, but seems to be normal with him.  Even in at the  Austrian wedding he got invited into kitchen.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • InkdancerInkdancer The Shire member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    I think the difference between task and job can also be partially defined by how much it takes them away from the celebrations.

    5 minutes to run cards or gifts out to your car where they can be safe? Probably not anybody's favorite task, but important and short.

    Carrying chairs in the hora? Not easy, but definitely part of the celebration!

    Manning the guestbook? YAWN. Boring. This actually keeps people out of the thick of the party. Same with serving cake or punch. It's not hard but it does keep people from being able to dance and have a good time.
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    PrettyGirlLost
  • MGPMGP member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper

    lyndausvi said:
    I think you nailed it pretty well.


    When DH's best friend got married he ask DH to help with the task of finding the cooking staff, creating the menu and buying (not paying) the food - DH is a chef so he gets discounts from vendors. The job of cooking and serving the food fell to someone else.   J had no intentions of DH cooking the meal. He just needed help with the planning.  DH being a chef and his best friend it totally made sense he helped him out.   I did see DH in the kitchen at one point during the wedding, but seems to be normal with him.  Even in at the  Austrian wedding he got invited into kitchen.
    I am a chef too and people are always asking me to help with stuff like that.  I gladly do it, and fortunately I have never been put in an uncomfortable position.  It's logical to use the expertise of people around you.  Like @phira said it becomes inappropriate when it hinders their ability to be a guest and for you to properly host them.  That's the dividing line right there.
    lyndausvi
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Inkdancer said:
    I think the difference between task and job can also be partially defined by how much it takes them away from the celebrations.

    5 minutes to run cards or gifts out to your car where they can be safe? Probably not anybody's favorite task, but important and short.

    Carrying chairs in the hora? Not easy, but definitely part of the celebration!

    Manning the guestbook? YAWN. Boring. This actually keeps people out of the thick of the party. Same with serving cake or punch. It's not hard but it does keep people from being able to dance and have a good time.
    exactly.

     We showed up at my brother's reception to find out we were to setup the damn thing up.  F'n still pisses me off some 17 years later.   Now taking gifts to a car I always volunteer to do because I help little old ladies at the store with bags, why would I not help my friends?

    Delivery/intent is important to me also.   At my wedding I needed to put stickers on the candy buffet boxes.   Some of my mom's friends and all my nieces were there at the time.  Next thing I know we are all slapping on stickers and was done in no time.  That was not a big deal.  Now had I sent out invites to a craft night those same people would be like "WTF?"






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    InkdancerMGPPrettyGirlLost
  • Inkdancer said:
    I think the difference between task and job can also be partially defined by how much it takes them away from the celebrations.

    5 minutes to run cards or gifts out to your car where they can be safe? Probably not anybody's favorite task, but important and short.

    Carrying chairs in the hora? Not easy, but definitely part of the celebration!

    Manning the guestbook? YAWN. Boring. This actually keeps people out of the thick of the party. Same with serving cake or punch. It's not hard but it does keep people from being able to dance and have a good time.

    I agree with the above.

    Not exactly what OP was asking but I also think it should be an honor to be an invited guest meaning B&G considered their guest list carefully and included you as their nearest and dearest.  It is not an honor to be on a b-list or someone that is invited because more guests = more gifts.


     

    MGPPrettyGirlLost
  • I have no problems doing tasks or jobs for my close friends and family as long as they:

    1. Don't pretend it's an honor
    2. Ask politely without assuming I'll do it
    3. Say thank you

    I'll do whatever you need me to do because weddings are about community, and I show my love by helping people. But not if you act like you deserve it.
    MGPphiraPrettyGirlLostashleyep
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers

    MGP said:
    So these recent discussions have really got me thinking about the serious disconnect between what people consider an honor, a task, and a job.  Brides seem to think EVERYTHING is an honor, people like me and you think there are some significant differences.

    So what do you consider an honor, a task, or a job in a wedding?  And at what point would you decline?  Here's mine:

    honor - anything involved with the ceremony including MOH, bridesmaid, BM, groomsmen, flower girl, ring bearer.  I would even include officiant, musician, reader, and usher into this as well.

    task - programs, guest book, gift table, gift loader into car, DIY projects, and hosting pre wedding events.  This seems to be the biggest gray area.  None of this seems like an honor to me, but not necessarily an insult either.

    job - set up, serving food, break down, and clean up.  Things that you would pay a vendor to do.  This is the lowest of the low to me.

    Personally I would decline anything that's a task or a job.
    I think you more or less nailed it.  But such jobs also would include photography, florist, music, MC, DOC, none of which seem to me like "the lowest of the low" although they're not "honors" either.  I do agree that they are, however, things that are not to be asked of or assigned to guests.
  • MGPMGP member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    Jen4948 said:
    I think you more or less nailed it.  But such jobs also would include photography, florist, music, MC, DOC, none of which seem to me like "the lowest of the low" although they're not "honors" either.  I do agree that they are, however, things that are not to be asked of or assigned to guests.
    Exactly.  I clarified that it could actually be a good idea to use people you know for vendor paid jobs, as long as there is agreement on pretty much everything.  The "lowest of the low" jobs I was referring to were ones that require less skill and professionalism that could (and should) be handled by waitstaff or janitorial services.

    *** disclaimer I am NOT degrading waitstaff or janitorial people, I have swept floors for minimum wage.  I am just saying that these are not honored guest positions.
  • I'm with @phira and @photokitty. If I'm your BM, I am a Type-A, super-organised, on-top-of-everything BM. I will do anything and everything in my power to make your day go smoothly.

    But I'm doing that because I love you, which is why I agreed to be a BM in the first place.

    I have had friends ask me to do things that clearly they consider and honour and I think are a job or task. Sometimes I will do it, but sometimes I won't. It depends on the bride and my friendship with her.
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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
  • MGPMGP member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    emmyg65 said:
    I have no problems doing tasks or jobs for my close friends and family as long as they:

    1. Don't pretend it's an honor
    2. Ask politely without assuming I'll do it
    3. Say thank you

    I'll do whatever you need me to do because weddings are about community, and I show my love by helping people. But not if you act like you deserve it.
    And when 1, 2, and 3 DIDN'T happen to me this week - I lost it.  Seriously those simple things would have made all the difference in the world.
  • wrigleyvillewrigleyville Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited January 2014
    Manning the guestbook and passing out programs are completely unnecessary tasks, but people get thrown into them because the B&G want to "honor" them, but there aren't enough TRUE honorary positions left.

    People can figure out how to sign their name. They can also figure out how to pick a program up off a table or from a basket (or, you can leave them on the ceremony chairs).

    I was asked to be in charge of the guestbook at my brother's wedding, and I was ticked. Of COURSE I accepted graciously, but after five minutes, I wandered off to mingle since standing there making sure people could figure out a pen was downright stupid. My mother chastised me later because my aunt ended up standing there instead. God forbid someone not stand by a book of names. :-P It's so ridiculous.

  • On the morning of a DW I attended, I was told that "we" needed to go set up the church and decorate... meaning, all of the women who were attending. I felt a little bit honored, in a "the bride trusts me to help decorate the church for her wedding day" kinda way.... but I also remember thinking "Uhh, I'm just a guest here... do I really have to go help decorate?"

    I wasn't really that torn up about it because this was a DW that also became a week-long all-inclusive vacation that I paid nothing for, so I felt indebted to the family to help out. But it still felt weird that I was a perfect stranger to the bride and I was setting up flower arrangements.
  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    @wrigleyville I can't staaaand the whole guestbook position. Your wedding won't be ruined/your marriage deemed invalid if not every guest signs your guestbook.
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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I often wonder how the guest book attendant position even evolve.    I imagine back in the day some family member wanted some crazy 3rd cousin in the wedding, but the bride didn't so they "comprised" and created the position so said cousin felt "included".






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • MGPMGP member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    lyndausvi said:
    I often wonder how the guest book attendant position even evolve.    I imagine back in the day some family member wanted some crazy 3rd cousin in the wedding, but the bride didn't so they "comprised" and created the position so said cousin felt "included".
    Exactly!  And if you send invites don't you know who is going to be there?  

    Maybe it came from those "open invitation" weddings you see in small towns or churches.  Because the B&G really may not know who actually shows up.
  • I've heard people consider being an usher an "honor". Maybe it's just me but it seems like the guest book thing to me: people can figure out where to sit on their own. It reminds me of an episode on Full House, when Jesse is trying to decide who to have as his BM. And Danny's offended at the suggestion of head usher.
    ashleyep
  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    @Teddy917 "Usher" also means the people who escort other people down the aisle. So if the bride is being walked down the aisle by her father, an usher will escort her mother. We're going to ask my future sister-in-law to escort my partner's grandfather down the aisle, and we'll ask my brother to escort my grandmother down the aisle. So they'll just walk down the aisle, and then they'll be able to sit (in the front rows).

    On the other hand, this same future sister-in-law was asked to be the other kind of usher (who helps people find a place at the ceremony) by my other future sister-in-law at her wedding last year. And then wasn't even invited to the ceremony. So that was fun.
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  • I went to a wedding recently where the ushers were standing near the music stand holding the programs. My friend and I each grabbed a program and before an usher escorted us to our he went to hand us a program. He saw we already had them and said, "Oh, you've got programs already." Yup, we didn't even need anyone to point them out to us! Imagine that.
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Most of the weddings I've been to have the ushers or groomsman pass out the programs to people, because they have nothing else to do, and are just hanging out waiting for the ceremony to start. I don't think it's that big a deal, it's definitely better than the guest book attendant!
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  • My brother was an usher (as well as playing music) so he could (a) seat members of my immediate family in the 'family-reserved' pews and (b) seat my mother. 

    He volunteered/asked to do the music, and I was thrilled that he did -- he played 'Canon in D' as I walked down the aisle with my dad. 

    DH's brother was a GM/usher whose job was to seat HIS immediate family in the family-only pews.

    Since we had a Catholic Mass, we needed our readers and cantor to be seated in specific pews so they could get up and out to read and sing. DH's grandmother informed us REPEATEDLY she wanted to 'sit right up front in the very first pew.' Uhm...no. Those are reserved for BP and B&G.

    Ushers are very useful if you need certain pews/areas to be left open and vacant until the very last minute.
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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
  • Cookie PusherCookie Pusher Looking over your shoulder member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    At a wedding we went to, the MOH's son (I think he was about 8 or so at the time and VERY adorable) handed out flowers to each of the ladies as walked in for the ceremony. It was really sweet, and he had asked for something to do at the wedding.

    We have an elderly great-aunt coming to our wedding. FI or his brother were always asked to just make sure there was a seat up front for her at family weddings and to escort her to her seat. As they are both going to be a bit busy before our ceremony, the next oldest male cousin (he's 13 and the older brother of our ring bearer) will be doing this. It's just one of those things that's expected to be done at family events. Other than that, though, we couldn't imagine asking anyone to DO anything at our wedding other than eat our food and drink our booze. We're paying good money for our venue staff, why would we expect others to do their jobs for them?
    ~*~*~*~*~

    csuave
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    Jamone99 said:
    I agree and had a question about this exact thing so I guess I'll ask here... my mom offered to throw us a shower, and invited both families and two of my girl friends.  I found out that she asked the two girl friends and asked them to come early and serve wine to the rest of the guests at the party.  My gut feeling is that this is really rude, and it's bothering me, so I'd like to talk to her about it.  

    Reading responses above, I'm guessing others also think it is rude and would be as upset as I am... would you make a point to talk to her if you were in my shoes?

    If they offered to help, cool, but they should not be asked.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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