Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Wedding etiquette tip #1

While I often act unladylike, I do usually know my etiquette. Which is why I was surprised to find out that if you know people can't come to a wedding, you should NOT send them an invitation. I had no clue this was the proper was to handle this situation - did you? Thanks to for this info.

Should I send a wedding invitation to people I know can't come?
Michael, NJ

Dear Michael:

We admit it -- we know zilch about etiquette. We can barely remember to keep our elbows off the table, let alone keep track of when it's acceptable to wear white shoes. At weddings, the stakes are even higher. Screw up the bride's big day and you might not live to regret it. Given our reputation for boorish behavior, we thought it best to look up an expert's opinion.

Peggy Post from addressed this tricky and somewhat subjective question in her Q&A column. She suggests that instead of sending invitations to people you know can't attend the service, you send them a "wedding announcement" (preferably the day after the ceremony). It lets them know you care enough to think of them, but doesn't put them under any obligation to buy you a gift. Everybody's happy.

Of course, whether you're in the ceremony or just a guest, there are a zillion ways to screw up a wedding. So remember -- turn off your cell phone, always compliment the bride, and never place bets on how long the couple will last. Stick with that and it won't matter where you stick your elbows.


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