Wedding Etiquette Forum
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wedding etiquette in other countries...

While we all know and agree that there are proper etiquette choices for wedding and showers etc. I was wondering how you ladies would handle etiquette if you were getting married in a location where 'poor' etiquette was the norm...ie cash bar, tiered reception...

Would you follow local custom/etiquette or ensure proper etiquette is followed even if others try to tell you not to...

More of a general question since I've made damned sure proper etiquette is followed, much to FI huffiness sometimes....


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Re: wedding etiquette in other countries...

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    In my mind, there are polite things and rude things. Asking guests to fork over money for your event is pretty much a rude thing. I well understand how some traditions are the norm in other countries, but traditions shouldn't override common curtesy.

    I frequently travel to India where no one thinks twice about littering. No one would think anything of me dropping my food wrapper randomly on the sidewalk. I don't do it when I'm there though, because I believe littering is still not the polite/appropriate thing to do.

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    I would do whatever you feel comfortable doing.

    Though it's not necessarily 'poor' etiquette as you describe it. I wouldn't dream of expecting my bridesmaid to pay for her dress for example but I don't consider the fact that people in other countries do as being bad etiquette. I would feel rude and stingy doing so but that doesn't mean it's considered rude everywhere.
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    While we all know and agree that there are proper etiquette choices for wedding and showers etc. I was wondering how you ladies would handle etiquette if you were getting married in a location where 'poor' etiquette was the norm...ie cash bar, tiered reception... Would you follow local custom/etiquette or ensure proper etiquette is followed even if others try to tell you not to... More of a general question since I've made damned sure proper etiquette is followed, much to FI huffiness sometimes....

    I would choose the best of both cultures.
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    Tradition and etiquette are just not the same things.

    Tradition, to me, is changable. While etiquette is just treated your guests properly.

    FWIW, etiquette does evolve, though, but I'm fairly conservative on that.

    There are some cultural norms I would follow, but I feel like that is slways up to the host's discretion.
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    While we all know and agree that there are proper etiquette choices for wedding and showers etc. I was wondering how you ladies would handle etiquette if you were getting married in a location where 'poor' etiquette was the norm...ie cash bar, tiered reception... Would you follow local custom/etiquette or ensure proper etiquette is followed even if others try to tell you not to... More of a general question since I've made damned sure proper etiquette is followed, much to FI huffiness sometimes....

    I would choose the best of both cultures.
    Same. I think that etiquette can actually vary culture to culture. I don't believe that the etiquette that is followed in the US, for example, is the same as what is considered proper etiquette in (as an example) a rural region of South America where most of the population is indigenous.

    That being said, I would do my best to make sure that I hosted all my guests as graciously as possible. That would include my being sensitive to what is considered acceptable in the foreign culture as well as what is considered acceptable in my own (since I would assume some of my guests would also be from my culture).
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    allispain said:
    While we all know and agree that there are proper etiquette choices for wedding and showers etc. I was wondering how you ladies would handle etiquette if you were getting married in a location where 'poor' etiquette was the norm...ie cash bar, tiered reception... Would you follow local custom/etiquette or ensure proper etiquette is followed even if others try to tell you not to... More of a general question since I've made damned sure proper etiquette is followed, much to FI huffiness sometimes....

    I would choose the best of both cultures.
    Same. I think that etiquette can actually vary culture to culture. I don't believe that the etiquette that is followed in the US, for example, is the same as what is considered proper etiquette in (as an example) a rural region of South America where most of the population is indigenous.

    That being said, I would do my best to make sure that I hosted all my guests as graciously as possible. That would include my being sensitive to what is considered acceptable in the foreign culture as well as what is considered acceptable in my own (since I would assume some of my guests would also be from my culture).
    This I agree with. 

    Live fast, die young. Bad Girls do it well. Suki Zuki.

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    While we all know and agree that there are proper etiquette choices for wedding and showers etc. I was wondering how you ladies would handle etiquette if you were getting married in a location where 'poor' etiquette was the norm...ie cash bar, tiered reception... Would you follow local custom/etiquette or ensure proper etiquette is followed even if others try to tell you not to... More of a general question since I've made damned sure proper etiquette is followed, much to FI huffiness sometimes....
    Regardless of regional norms, I would do whatever was polite and appropriate.  That's all you need to do to be a good host.

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    I think I'd lean more towards the regional culture than most of the PPs.  I'd want my guests to be comfortable and that may mean adopting some different standards than you'd normally follow.  

    Etiquette is a set of rules.  When a bride asks about a cash bar in the US, I believe that goes against the proper etiquette for the situation....she can decide she's going to have one and maybe her guests are fine with it, that's her choice.  It doesn't make it proper etiquette just b/c her crew approves.  

    That noted, I think that etiquette is situational (apparently not a word...) i.e. a cash bar may be fine at a fundraising auction and fit with the etiquette for such an event, even if it is poor etiquette for a wedding.  I think proper etiquette may be different in a different country and it is proper to consider that when planning your event . You may also consider your values and the etiquette US-based guests expect...it isn't easy, but i think it calls for a blending of the two sets of rules.

    P.S.  I can't cite any experts.  I may be in the wrong.  This is what I believe is right..and I know my believing it doesn't MAKE it right.  But I'd put it in my etiquette handbook :) 
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    See, I think culture and tradition are used as excuses for money-grubbing, money-saving or straight up inconsiderate/selfish practices. Think about it:

    - cash bar / drink tickets - money saving
    - honeymoon jar / honeymoon registry - money grubbing
    - tiered reception - money saving
    - B-listing - inconsiderate/selfish
    - "adults only" / unwilling to follow up with guests - inconsiderate/selfish (and lazy)
    - dollar dance - money grubbing
    - jack&jill / stag / fundraising pre-wedding parties - money grubbing
    - selling raffle tickets / centerpieces / other wedding items to guests - money grubbing
    - unhosted gap - money saving AND inconsiderate/selfish
    - PPD - inconsiderate/selfish
    - throwing your own shower - money/gift grubbing

    To me, all these "cultural" and "traditional" practices are excuses to profit and mistreat people. If people didn't stand to benefit in some way, they wouldn't do it! You don't see brides saying, "It's my CULTURE to give my guests $50/ea - and it's MY SPECIAL DAY so you guys are all assholes for telling me not to give my guests money. I'm outta here!!" No. We don't ever see that. We only see people dropping the "culture" or "tradition" bomb when they're personally benefiting. Just watch over the next few weeks..... it's pretty sad.
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    See, I think culture and tradition are used as excuses for money-grubbing, money-saving or straight up inconsiderate/selfish practices. Think about it:

    - cash bar / drink tickets - money saving
    - honeymoon jar / honeymoon registry - money grubbing
    - tiered reception - money saving
    - B-listing - inconsiderate/selfish
    - "adults only" / unwilling to follow up with guests - inconsiderate/selfish (and lazy)
    - dollar dance - money grubbing
    - jack&jill / stag / fundraising pre-wedding parties - money grubbing
    - selling raffle tickets / centerpieces / other wedding items to guests - money grubbing
    - unhosted gap - money saving AND inconsiderate/selfish
    - PPD - inconsiderate/selfish
    - throwing your own shower - money/gift grubbing

    To me, all these "cultural" and "traditional" practices are excuses to profit and mistreat people. If people didn't stand to benefit in some way, they wouldn't do it! You don't see brides saying, "It's my CULTURE to give my guests $50/ea - and it's MY SPECIAL DAY so you guys are all assholes for telling me not to give my guests money. I'm outta here!!" No. We don't ever see that. We only see people dropping the "culture" or "tradition" bomb when they're personally benefiting. Just watch over the next few weeks..... it's pretty sad.
    Oh, I agree that a lot of people use "culture" and "tradition" as mere excuses to get what they want (ie - to save money and put that burden on their guests). However, I think that when there is an actual cultural difference (the fact that red is the wedding color in some countries and white is actually very improper to wear to a wedding), that should be accepted and not treated as "but that's not how things are done" just because that's not considered proper in the U.S.
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    I don't think anyone on this board has a problem with the bride choosing to wear a color other than white or any other tradition that's actually culture based. Like PPs have said, etiquette is treating your guests like friends and family you cherish rather than piggy banks.

    I mean, it's not rude to NOT have a cash bar even if everyone else is. (Sorry about the double negative.) If you were used to them and had cash on you for a wedding, you wouldn't be upset that you couldn't spend that cash, right? Or you could use it for a cab after you get silly on free booze, whatever.
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    I hear you.  No asking for gifts.  No cash bar, no honey moon registry.  No "Adults only" posted anywhere.

    But since we're on wedding etiquette in other countries...I'm sharing my background/dilemmas.

    We are having a Cambodian/Indian wedding..mixed western style--which pretty much means everything is a battle.

    But to give you an idea of what's different.
    Asians guests generally give cash as wedding gifts.  The idea is that we all "belong" to our parents until we're married.  When we get married, we become adults (yes, I know that's really old school and outdated.)  So guests gives cash to help the "new adults", "new family" a start.  (You may say that sounds grubby.)

    In receptions, the bride and groom makes a round to every table and offer the guests (each couple) some cognac and a cigarette.(The Asian version of passing cigars around)  The guest will then provide them with an envelope.  You may say this is tradition and not etiquette, but those guests consider it etiquette that the B&G -followed by attendants--would go to each guest and make the offering.

    We have asked the parents to be excused of this tradition...they are inviting less people then they were going to because we're not doing the full customs.  But eh..

    But, my point is, there are other cultures that does certain things differently.


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    I hear you.  No asking for gifts.  No cash bar, no honey moon registry.  No "Adults only" posted anywhere.

    But since we're on wedding etiquette in other countries...I'm sharing my background/dilemmas.

    We are having a Cambodian/Indian wedding..mixed western style--which pretty much means everything is a battle.

    But to give you an idea of what's different.
    Asians guests generally give cash as wedding gifts.  The idea is that we all "belong" to our parents until we're married.  When we get married, we become adults (yes, I know that's really old school and outdated.)  So guests gives cash to help the "new adults", "new family" a start.  (You may say that sounds grubby.)

    In receptions, the bride and groom makes a round to every table and offer the guests (each couple) some cognac and a cigarette.(The Asian version of passing cigars around)  The guest will then provide them with an envelope.  You may say this is tradition and not etiquette, but those guests consider it etiquette that the B&G -followed by attendants--would go to each guest and make the offering.

    We have asked the parents to be excused of this tradition...they are inviting less people then they were going to because we're not doing the full customs.  But eh..

    But, my point is, there are other cultures that does certain things differently.


    My husbands culture also does this. If you don't give money its disrespectful and usually ends up with the guest getting kicked out and or beat up.
  • Options

    I hear you.  No asking for gifts.  No cash bar, no honey moon registry.  No "Adults only" posted anywhere.

    But since we're on wedding etiquette in other countries...I'm sharing my background/dilemmas.

    We are having a Cambodian/Indian wedding..mixed western style--which pretty much means everything is a battle.

    But to give you an idea of what's different.
    Asians guests generally give cash as wedding gifts.  The idea is that we all "belong" to our parents until we're married.  When we get married, we become adults (yes, I know that's really old school and outdated.)  So guests gives cash to help the "new adults", "new family" a start.  (You may say that sounds grubby.)

    In receptions, the bride and groom makes a round to every table and offer the guests (each couple) some cognac and a cigarette.(The Asian version of passing cigars around)  The guest will then provide them with an envelope.  You may say this is tradition and not etiquette, but those guests consider it etiquette that the B&G -followed by attendants--would go to each guest and make the offering.

    We have asked the parents to be excused of this tradition...they are inviting less people then they were going to because we're not doing the full customs.  But eh..

    But, my point is, there are other cultures that does certain things differently.


    My husbands culture also does this. If you don't give money its disrespectful and usually ends up with the guest getting kicked out and or beat up.
    How does that work if they just start calling you his wife without any kind of ceremony? That's what happens in his culture, right? Do people get beat up if they don't drop by the house with money within a certain amount of time that they started calling you his wife?
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    AbbyjensenAbbyjensen member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Comment
    edited September 2013
    I think ettiquette definitely can vary based on culture. My friend Is getting married in a different country. She said that the idea of a wedding registry is very rude- guests shouldn't be told what to get you for a gift.

    On the other hand, she said guests expect to be told a dress code. This is for their comfort- they will be uncomfortable if they are over/under dressed. We would see this as controlling, yet they see it as courtesy.
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    There's ceremonies, 3 days to a week of it in the old days. Here, it's been shortened to two days or one morning.
    And you feed the guests each day. Though the big meal is the reception after the last ceremony.

    I have never heard of anyone getting beat up for not giving a gift though. Gift giving is supposed to be a way to send off the new couple, who is leaving their parents home for the first time. (Not so much anymore).

    I would imagine the guests would be friends and families, why would you hurt them.
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    Oh... I think my wedding gown will be a bright red with gold. I'm still shopping, but from what I can tell, guests can wear the bride's color. I'm not sure if people just aren't aware they shouldn't wear the bride's color or if it's a cultural thing and anyone can wear any color.
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    I hear you.  No asking for gifts.  No cash bar, no honey moon registry.  No "Adults only" posted anywhere.

    But since we're on wedding etiquette in other countries...I'm sharing my background/dilemmas.

    We are having a Cambodian/Indian wedding..mixed western style--which pretty much means everything is a battle.

    But to give you an idea of what's different.
    Asians guests generally give cash as wedding gifts.  The idea is that we all "belong" to our parents until we're married.  When we get married, we become adults (yes, I know that's really old school and outdated.)  So guests gives cash to help the "new adults", "new family" a start.  (You may say that sounds grubby.)

    In receptions, the bride and groom makes a round to every table and offer the guests (each couple) some cognac and a cigarette.(The Asian version of passing cigars around)  The guest will then provide them with an envelope.  You may say this is tradition and not etiquette, but those guests consider it etiquette that the B&G -followed by attendants--would go to each guest and make the offering.

    We have asked the parents to be excused of this tradition...they are inviting less people then they were going to because we're not doing the full customs.  But eh..

    But, my point is, there are other cultures that does certain things differently.


    My husbands culture also does this. If you don't give money its disrespectful and usually ends up with the guest getting kicked out and or beat up.
    How does that work if they just start calling you his wife without any kind of ceremony? That's what happens in his culture, right? Do people get beat up if they don't drop by the house with money within a certain amount of time that they started calling you his wife?
    The money giving called a daho is part of the wedding ceremony. It works like this. If the ceremony is takeing place and its your turn to give money you have to. If you walk outside during this time of the ceremony usually the young men in the family related to the bride and groom will meet you outside to argue and/or fight.

    I didn't have a wedding so this never took place.
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    There's ceremonies, 3 days to a week of it in the old days. Here, it's bee. shortened to two days or one morning.
    And you feed the guests each day. Though the big meal is the reception after the last ceremony.

    I have never heard of anyone getting beat up for not giving a gift though. Gift giving is supposed to be a way to send off the new couple, who is leaving their parents home for the first time. (Not so much anymore).

    I would imagine the guests would be friends and families, why would you hurt them.

    The guest who don't give money are looking for trouble. Usually young men there for free drinks , looking for a wife, and want to fight. Gypsies don't invite people formally its all word of mouth so anyone can show up.
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