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?"