Document 187873

Tuesday, March 11,1997
Wedding etiquette: How to do the right thiii|j
The wedding date is fast approaching, and the
major planning — selecting the date, the site, the
dress — is completed. But suddenly, engaged couples find themselves awash in a last wave of details
and small (but often sticky) decisions . . . the kind
that cause confusion or, worse, angst about potentially awkward situations.
• Etiquette to the rescue! BRIDE'S Magazine features articles devoted to wedding basics, providing
prenuptial primers on logistics (timetables, who
pays for what), quick tips (invitation wording, order
of receiving line) and thornier issues (gracefully
incorporating divorced parents into the big day).
Emphasizing etiquette as guidelines, not
hard-and-fast rules, BRIDE'S tackles such questions as:
Should the person who pays for the wedding be listed at the top of the invitation?
Not necessarily. Your parents can be the hosts
even if you and your fiance are paying. BRIDE'S
also offers charts with breakdowns of wedding elements, with options to share.
Why is the receiving line important — and
what do I say to people?
At a large wedding, a receiving line may be your
only chance to speak to each guest! The wedding
host traditionally heads the line. Let guests know
how glad you are to see them and introduce them to
the groom with a few words of background.
How do I let guests know that I would like
cash for a wedding gift?
Never ask for cash as a gift. Your mother, your
fiance's mother and your wedding attendants can
pass the word.
Is it proper to list where I have registered
on the wedding invitation?
No — it implies that the gift is as important as
the guest. Let close relatives and friends tell guests
where you have registered. Registry information
may also be listed on shower invitations.
Where do my divorced parents sit during
the ceremony, and where are they positioned
o n the receiving line?
If divorced parents are on friendly terms and neither has remarried, both may sit in the first pew at
a Christian wedding (they stand under the huppah
at a Jewish ceremony). Or, the parent with whom
New Trends In Wedding Ceremonies
Engaged couples of the '90s are sophisticated and
savvy, practical, yet very romantic, The majority
take a traditional approach to wedding planning
and almost all will make every effort to add unique,
meaningful touches to their ceremonies. Here is a
look at the new directions in weddings from the editors of BRIDE'S Magazine:
Mid-week weddings Saturday evening
remains a favorite time to marry, but an increasing
number of couples are tying the knot at other times.
Friday evening dinners and Sunday ~afternoon
brunches are popular with cost conscious couples,
as are weddings during the middle of the week. In
the summer months, midweek weddings are also a
favorite of guests whose weekend plans limit their
• Dinner by the bite Multi-course dinners are
replaced by cocktail receptions, where guests enjoy
a mix of hot and cold passed hors d'oeuvres and visit carving stations, pasta bars and other buffet
tables filled with bite-sized foods. Appetizer-only
parties can be tailored to fit every couple's budget
and are also well-liked by guests, who enjoy the
opportunity to socialize.
• A menu of choices Beef is making a comeback as the meat of choice at wedding receptions,
surpassing the ubiquitous chicken. Veal and salmon
are also preferred entrees. Couples concerned with
animal rights are offering guests a vegetarian
• Throw-away bouquets Gone are the days
when brides threw the bouquets they carried down
the aisle* after the reception. Today, a smaller version of the bride's bouquet is tossed to the crowd
while the original is safely stored until it can be
professionally preserved as a keepsake.
• Bridal blossoms Brides look for personal floral touches to individualize their wedding.
Distinctive centerpieces at each table liven up a
room. Assorted vases or different types of containers (boxes, pitchers) maximize flower arrangements
and give the reception a special feeling. Wreaths
and garlands at the reception entrance welcome
guests to the festivities.
• Perfect pictures Today, couples meet with
their photographer several days before the wedding
to take in-studio portraits. The controlled setting
allows for memorable pictures in ideal lighting conditions. Free from wedding day jitters, couples relax
and appear natural. When the wedding day arrives,
the photographer is then able to concentrate on
capturing the ceremony, bridal party and candid
you lived sits in the first pew, the other in the third,
with spouses, if the parent has remarried.
Having divorced parents in the receiving line can
be confusing to guests. One option is to ask your
father to circulate instead. If you want both of your
parents in the line, have one stand next to you and
the other at the end of the line.
How d o I let guests know that children are
not invited to the wedding?
Children are only invited to the wedding if
their names are listed individually under their
parents' names on the inner envelope of the invitation. If a guest asks if they can bring their
child/children to the wedding, gracefully explain
that there will be no facilities for the children at
the event. You might offer to make arrangements
for a room at the reception site and recommend a
babysitter who can tend to them. You and your
groom can then visit the children during the
reception so they feel that they are a part ofe-the
What's the policy on inviting single frieftds
."with guest"?
You are not obligated to do so, but if you decide to,
find out whom they intend to bring, and gej;'t|^e
name of that person. Send a separate invitation
specifically addressed to him or her.
These guidelines can smooth the way during, an
often hectic time.
"Etiquette can head off problems, mend a'torn
friendship and build a bridge between your families," explains BRIDE'S editor-in-chief Millie
Bratten. "When emotions are running high, a&d
you're in familiar territory, you're able to taHeJ£
deep breath and react appropriately."
Don't bumble toasting the cou
One of the most daunting tasks
after the wedding ceremony is
the series of toasts to the new
couple. Parents and friends may
take the floor but the duty generally falls on the best man and
maid of honor. Relaxed and
enjoying the celebration, many
attendants begin to sweat as they
are caught unawares by the signal that it is time to stand and
A little preparation and forethought can make the difference
between an embarrassing, stumbling attempt and a memorable
moment for the happy couple of
which the orator can be proud.
Lifting poignant lines (with
proper attribution, of course)
from the famdus, brilliant and/or
"just happens to be appropriate
for this couple" creates a nice
platform or wrap up for the
speech. A quick trip to the library
and a short conversation with the
librarian will point you in the
right direction. For those that are
library impaired the short list
that follows can give a little
unusual guidance.
Be careful if using humor!
For anyone attempting to
speak at the reception, often the
most difficult part is how to begin
the toast. Humor is always enjoyable, but difficult to execute,
sweet sentimentality always
draws tbje appreciative murmurs
and dewy thanks but can sound
phony. The KISS (Keep It Short
& Simple) approach is a "reliable
method, always leave them wanting more, rather than responding
with a snore!
"Apparently I am going to mar^
ry Charles Lindbergh . . . Don't
wish me happiness-it's gotten
beyond that, somehow. Wish me
courage and strength and a sense
of humor. I will need them all-..."
Anne Morrow Lindbergh, from
Bring Me a Unicorn -
"My most brilliant achievement
was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me."
Winston Churchill
"This we know, all things are
connected, like the blood which
unites one family. All things are
connected. Whatever befalls the
earth, befalls the sons of the
earth. Man did not weave the
web of life; he is merely a strand
in it. Whatever he does to the
web, he does to himself
Chief Seattle of the Dwamish
"as wing to bird,
water to fish,
life to the living
so you to me."
from Vidyapati, Hindu love
poem translation by Edward C.
Dimock, Jr., and Denise Levertov
Traditional tidbits, the evolution of wedding accessories!
The Bridal Gown — A sym- "wed the French leader, rather
bol of the bride's purity the wed- than the customary wedding finding gown was regarded as the ery.
outward sign of a worthy maiden. Since marriage was considThe Tuxedo — Fashioned
ered a union between two fami- after a coat worn by the Prince of
lies, it was essential that the Wales, Griswold Lorillard, a
bride be an "honor" to both her tobacco heir, in 1886, wore a
family and her future husband's tail-less black dinner jacket to an
family. As purity was valued autumn ball in Tuxedo Park,
above all else, great care was New York and sent his contempotaken to present t h e bride as a raries into a spin.
protected and unspoiled, valuable treasure. The white dress
The Bridal Veil — Traced
became her symbol of innocence. back to superstitious Roman cerThe styling of the "modern" emonies, the veil was originally
bridal gown can be attributed to used to confuse evil spirits that
Empress Eugenie, the bride of might be jealous of the new couNapoleon III. As a leader of fash- ple's happiness. By covering her
ion, she wore what was to face they averted recognition of
become a world-wide style as she the new bride and although the
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fear no longer exists, beautiful
veils are used by many happy
The Garter — In the days of
silk stockings this accessory was
a necessity. Considered fair sport
and good luck m old England to
steal the garter and stockings
before the ceremony, young
unmarried gentlemen took the
challenge seriously. The throwing
of the garter evolved to prevent
the embarrassment of the overturned young lady.
bridal gown, this useful accessory
was also a part of the traditional
"dollar dance." "Buying" a new
dance from the new bride by
"secretly" slipping cash into her
purse helped the young woman
acquire "pin money" to start her
new household.
Groomsmen — Ancient times
found young women kidnapped
and held as a prisoner until she
accepted her new life. This
evolved to the groom being
expected to capture his intended.
The young woman would surround herself with friends for
protection and he would gather
up his friends to help in the
abduction. Soon stealing the
bride became a fun ritual, the
bride's "maids" dressing identi-.
cally like the bride to confuse the
The Ring — The symbols of
unending love and fidelity, the
origin of the ring can be traced
back to the Egyptians who presented their brides circlets of
hemp or rush every year.
The R i n g P i l l o w — All
through history ornate pillows
have been used to present
crowns to royalty. Placing the
rings prominently on >a pillow is
the most honored way to present the most cherished of all
• If a container isn't immediately available, keep cut flowers
in a cool place.
• Shortly after delivery, loose,
bunched flowers should be recut
under water, so the stems will
draw in water, not air.
• Place flowers in a very clean
vase or container full of warm
water immediately after cutting.
• Strip off leaves below the
water line.
If water becomes cloudy,
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The Guest Book — Originally
al guests were considered witnesses to the wedding and would
sign the marriage document.
Today only two witnesses art
required and the guest book has
become a way of remembering, all
those guest that joined the couple
as they exchanger they vows.
Tips on how to
keep flowering
decor looking g
Flowers are an essential element to any wedding. Here are a
few tips to keep your flowers
looking wonderful at your wedding:
Flowergirl's basket — To
insure the bride a happy and
bright life in old England^ 'the
entire bridal party would walk
behind a small girl tossing flow.ers all the way to the church. •<
replace it entirely.
•.. ..
• For flowers arranged in,ft
spongelike floral foam, add
enough warm water so the foam
sits in a pool of water.
• Keep flowers in a cool place,
away from appliances, direct sunlight or heating and cooling
If roses wilt, recut stems
under water and submerge .AQJKers in a sink of warm water ijer
about 45 minutes.
• Use floral preservative .(five
grams to every pint of watej*). A
sample packet is usually included
Preservative can also be obtained
from your
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