The rules have been thrown out. You want what you want, and why not? But don’t forget everyone else. Herein, the new etiquette.
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Then there’s the minutia of the invitation format. Traditionalists advise using genteel phrasings, spelling the word honor as “honour” and spelling out numerals in the time and date. Here brides can relax a little: Most invitation vendors and wedding coordinators can rattle off the rules in their sleep.
Wedding planners cringe when asked about the appropriateness of emailed invitations. Some say it’s never going to be acceptable. Others believe in never saying never, pointing to a desire to be environmentally conscious as well as the undeniable popularity of social media.
Proud recently coordinated a paper-free wedding: no paper invitations, place cards, menus or programs. “I’m probably the only person who noticed anything was missing,” she says. But brides can also take green baby steps by scrapping the use of both an inner and outer envelope to save paper, Proud says.
Brides may want to know the proper way of doing things, but they also want to be creative and economical by doing things themselves, their way. For wedding coordinators and vendors, it can be hard to know where to start with clients.
Clayton starts by telling brides the traditional ways. Those traditions can be tweaked to make the event less formal and more intimate or to avoid hurt feelings. “You should never sacrifice anyone’s feelings for the sake of etiquette,” she says.
Can’t We All Just Get Along?
Beth Richards, owner of Fantasy Creations Event Planning in Claymont, agrees. “Try to get along and make everyone happy,” she says. Involving family and friends without stepping on toes or hurting feelings is the best way to ensure a happy day. Making everyone happy without jettisoning too much of the bride’s vision can be a challenge, Richards says, but, “If nobody gets along, that will be tough.”
Richards sees the most etiquette issues in interdenominational weddings because conflict can erupt over who sits where, who does what, and what religious or family traditions should be incorporated into the day.
Tension usually comes from misunderstanding, says Marie Cui, owner of J&M Wedding Creations in Newark. “People disagree for many reasons, but from my experience, disagreements come from [differing] perceptions,” she says.
For example, a mother-in-law may believe that the bride should carry a white or ivory bouquet because in her day, that was the tradition.
Page 3: Tweaking Tradition, continues...