Where to Find Etiquette Info

At the risk of being accused of beating a dead horse, I am going to drag the etiquette issue out one more time. One of my readers left me a comment asking where one might be able to find wedding etiquette. In this day and age when society seems to have forgotten most etiquette rules and regulations, I can understand why my reader might be at a loss as to where to look.

There are many resources when looking for wedding etiquette. Obviously one need only search the internet to find many different resources for the proper manners to use at your next wedding. One might even venture into a library, where I am sure there are many different very dusty books that will fill you in. Last but not least, try your Mom or your Grandmother. They might be your best resource of all. I know I got all my best advice from the generations before me. They are, after all, the ones that first taught us etiquette when we were little children and grabbing something across the table. Come on, you remember your Mom…”Don’t grab that, what do you say if you want something?” and your required answer to get the prize…”Please, Mom.”

Moms and Grandmas know all the rules…give it a try.

Best Wishes, Barbara

Manners by Emily Post

OK, now I’m getting depressed. If you remember, I wrote just a short time ago about whether or not it was allowable to congratulate the bride or whether you should say best wishes. Most of the younger people in my office had never heard of such a rule of etiquette. At the end of that column I queried “What would Emily Post say?”

Now I find that all of those that didn’t know about the best wishes rule have no IDEA who Emily Post was. I was frankly shocked. I had grown up reading about and being schooled by Emily Post’s advice. Emily Post was born in 1873 and became an author who published a few works of fiction before she published the book that would rocket her into etiquitte fame. The name of the book is “Etiquette: The Blue Book of Social Usage” . This book was intended to help the general population know how to properly conduct themselves in almost any social situation, including, of course, weddings.

Emily Post became so in demand for advice that she even hosted a popular radio show and wrote a newspaper column for those with social dilemmas that they could not solve alone. Her book remained wildly popular and in 1945 it was reported that USO clubs worldwide reported as many as 16,000 requests a week for “Etiquette”. Only the Rand McNally Atlas was more requested.

I’m not sure when I became aware of Emily Post’s etiquette, for she died the year I was born, 1960. I believe however that perhaps her etiquette was so timeless that even 40 years later her rules still made sense to people trying to do the right thing.

Emily Post was a powerful and humorous woman. Her history lives on at the Emily Post Institute, which specializes in, of course, etiquitte. Her grand daughter-in-law, Peggy Post, writes an etiquitte column for Good Housekeeping, among other magazines. Other family members also work at the institute writing about manners and giving lectures to businesses and organizations.

So, that’s who Emily Post was. From now on, before I mention anyone in this column I’m going to ask my 17 year old daughter if she has heard of them.

Best Wishes, Barbara

Picking the Date

Picking the date would seem like an easy chore, but often it is more difficult than you might think. First you have to consider what time of year you would like your wedding. While most people choose summer months, remember that a wedding dress can be quite warm on an unexpectedly hot summer day. If you have relatives coming from out of town that are important to your day, you might want to talk to them and make sure they are available on the day you have chosen.

Whatever you choose, try not to get too caught up on having your wedding on one particular date. Remember that you want to enjoy your wedding day and be surrounded by the people you love. In the years to come, the fact that you couldn’t have it on the anniversary of your first date will become unimportant. Besides, if you keep the dates that are special to you separate, it gives you more days to celebrate in the future.

Best Wishes, Barbara

Best Wishes Dilemma

I found myself discussing wedding etiquette with some much younger colleagues at work the other day. I thought I was oh so clever for signing out of my comments for the day with “best wishes” and asked my coworkers if they knew why I did. I got blank stares of total confusion from each of them.

When I was younger and started going to weddings, it was considered rude to “congratulate” the bride. You could congratulate the groom, but you always gave the bride “best wishes”. By doing this you avoided making the bride feel as though she finally snagged a husband. It was not, apparently, inappropriate to congratulate the groom on the theory that he had in fact snagged the prize of a beautiful and sweet woman.

I heard this rule from a variety of people, from my Mom to my friends to everyone in between. The young people I work with, however, seem to see nothing wrong with saying congratulations to both the bride and groom.

I wonder what Emily Post would say?

Best wishes, Barbara

Let’s Get Started!

Congratulations, you’re getting married. It’s best to start planning the wedding right away, particularly if you want to have the church or reception location of your choice. It takes about a year to plan a large wedding. Start simply. Your first two major decisions are where to have the ceremony and where to have the reception. Your wedding location can be at a variety of places. The most obvious of these is a church. However, there are many other options. Outside somewhere, at someone’s home, on site at the reception location, even at city hall. I myself have hosted two weddings at my home, right in my living room. Whip the couch around and set up a decorated arch and a few chairs, and bingo, a lovely place to get married.

The reception can also be in many locations. At a banquet house, at an outside location, in a hired hall such as a firehall, in a restaurant, in someone’s home, anywhere that you have the room you need and the atmosphere that you would like for your guests.

When making this list it is best to have an idea of your budget and perhaps a rough idea of the number of guests. This will help you eliminate locations that are not suited to what you have in mind.

In the following weeks, we’ll discuss what goes on once you make these two basic decisions and the decisions that you will be required to make in the future.

Best Wishes, Barbara


Welcome to my wedding planning help page. I became interested in writing this after spending 15 years in the restaurant/banquet industry. I have seen literally hundreds of weddings. Some have been great and enjoyed by all and some have been absolute disasters. My hope is that I can help you to have a wedding that you will enjoy and remember for the rest of your life.

Rule number one: Relax! It’s not brain surgery.