Jun 22

The Wedding “E” word

So I  am on my way to check my messages and I found this interesting article on Yahoo Shine.

Wedding Gift Sparks Epic Text Battle: Is Marriage Etiquette Dead?

Reading this article, many questions immediately come to mind. However I think you will find most of them addressed in the article ↑  and the accompanying comments ↓.

The Comments

[This battle started by text, wound up on Facebook and then a web news site: Is social media helping or hindering our most basic human interactions? this whole incident would have at one time been held over the phone and maybe at most twenty people would have had access to the details. Now thousands get to weigh in on the legitimacy of marshmallow fluff and sour patch kids DIY basket being an acceptable wedding gift.]

It seems that the wedding “E” word comes down to a person’s perception.  While the bridal shows and magazines tell us what they define as appropriate and trending, the thing is, where weddings are concerned the reality can sometimes be quite different. As an officiant I have seen couples invite guests to their wedding and not one brings a gift, an envelope or even bothers to dress in anything other than their everyday clothes. Then I have seen the extreme where the gifts are so plentiful, they have to start piling them up on the floor and assigning someone to the area to make sure nothing disappears.

As with anything regarding your wedding day, the decisions you make and the beliefs behind them are deeply personal choices. However it may be necessary to impart your expectations or surround yourself with truly close family and friends that know and understand you and possibly share your same value system.

Just because you share an office space with an individual doesn’t make them necessarily your close friend nor automatically understand your personal expectations. You will most likely get a gift they feel is representative of the worth of what your friendship means to them. Unfortunately, you may find that value quite different from your own. They could simply use the opportunity to be “crafty” with DIY trends all the rage. It could also come down simply to budget. Or equally their perception. There are plenty of people that think a monetary gift is thoughtless. While others expect nothing more than cash as opposed to gifts.

With family being redefined and more and more people getting married later in life or having more than one marriage, it can be a heavy burden on the attendees to muddle through the do’s and don’ts of wedding etiquette. Expect some will get it wrong. Not every one of the guests will know you well enough to get the right gift, eat the right amount of shrimp cocktail or that you are lactose intolerant.

Wedding Etiquette is constantly being redefined by people who are trying to inject fun and creativity into a sometimes very rigid and stoic affair. 25 years ago I remember an older cousin of mine stated, that he believed one day that people would be dancing down the aisles. It was pretty much a blasphemy to even think such a thing back in the late 70’s but it is almost the norm now. I think the biggest rule to remember when it comes to the Wedding “E” word is that under all circumstances, be respectful, kind and appreciative and remember the real reason for the day; To get married and celebrate your unity with close family and friends!