Thursday, May 24, 2012

Excuse me?

I was asked a great question a few weeks ago and am finally getting around to answering it.  I am grateful that people often ask me questions about what they would do in a particular situation and I love trying to figure out what should happen.

In this particular instance, a wedding invite had been received and at the bottom it said, "registered at XYZ bank (paraphrased)."  I don't think that was any better than saying "cash only" or "cash preferred," in fact, it might be even more tacky.

Now listen, I live in a state where a lot of people get married, and my culture as a Mormon promotes marriage heavily- so I know I'm going to be invited to many weddings, etc.  I also understand that there is an element of convenience that is associated with including where one is registered for ease of the guests and to maximize what the couple receives (things they need and want).  But....big But... I do not think that this information should be included in an invitation (lets remember what an invitation is...a welcoming note to ask someone to join you for a special occasion, not a place to ask for stuff).

My amazing sis in law included information for her wedding without divulging this information in the classiest way I can think of: she included an insert that had a web address with their wedding website.  The website (which was really a host website for weddings, and I'm sure it was free or next to nothing to set up) included information on where to stay, directions to different events that revolved around the festivities, and it also happened to have a tab that you could click on if you were interested in getting them something from a store where they were registered.  I happened to use that link and buy Alissa and Jeff something that I thought they would both use and want.

The main beef I have with this is that you are telling others what they should get, money, or otherwise.  The fact that your family or you are spending an obscene amount of money to celebrate your wedding has nothing to do with your guests and the only reason they are there is to share in your joy...not to give you stuff.

We live in a technological age where there is no justification in including where you are registered in print.  I, however, got married in 1996 and there were not websites available to set up.  I simply refrained from putting where I was registered on my invite.  I still got things from my registry when people would call my family or my husband's family if they wanted to know where we were registered...key word being IF.

I think what people don't understand in this "All about me" era is that it really isn't all about them.  Manners and making others feel comfortable is so important.  How comfortable would you feel having a birthday party for yourself (as an adult) and writing a list of what you would like for gifts and including it with your invite to minimize what is brought that you don't want/need.

Bottom line is that we need more gratitude and less attitude.  I Love my one-liners (toot my own horn).
Please, please, please brides and grooms to be (and parents of the bride/groom)- buy a wedding etiquette book- preferably one that's been around for more than 5 years (could be in it's 5th addition in that time) and read it!  Here is a small section about invite do's and don'ts.

I'm curious to know what you've observed on other's invites or perhaps what you either plan to do, or have prepared for your own invites-good, bad, and ugly.  I am always learning and don't profess to know it all- but on this point I am firm.  No store (or bank) names should be printed on any piece of paper you send out with your wedding invitation.  

The exception to my rule would be a shower.  I still think it's more tasteful to include an insert and possibly a website or blog with this information- but if this is impossible- than I say "okay if you have to," but I still think that providing a phone number or email where your guests can obtain this information would be more appropriate.

My Two Cents


Becky said...

Thanks for writing about this! I couldn't agree more! I also used an etiquette book that my aunt gave my mom
(Peggy Post, I believe). I wrote out my wedding invitation according to that book, and my dad learned something new (about not including the groom's parents). More importantly, in our situation the groom's parents were divorced, lived in another country than our wedding, and only his dad and sister attended, so my then fiance didn't want to include his parents' name anyway.

Janine said...

Becky- Thank you. I'm glad you can appreciate what I'm trying to say. Including the groom's parents (or acknowledging them) I don't feel is necessarily a matter of making others feel comfortable or not. I agree that in your situation, it sounds like it was a relief to find that suggestion in the Emily Post book. I do find that I receive so many invites where I don't recognize the names or the people in the picture, that both sets of parents' names are helpful in identifying who the bride and groom are. I do agree that it's not required and in fact in formal invitations where the tradition is followed that the bride's family pays for just about everything, it is suggested that the groom's family not be included. I think that's more a matter of personal circumstance than making other's feel comfortable- but of course in your situation, it sounds like it made your man feel I'm glad it was there for you!