Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wedding Etiquette

Out of boredom today, I was reading several of Miss Manners' past columns. I'm particularly enjoying the wedding-related questions (for obvious reasons). Fortunately, Ed and I have, I think, managed to sidestep many blunders that other folks seem to make; at the very least, we've managed to avoid some of the more common pitfalls that others seem to encounter. For example, we're not having a destination wedding (yes, we're getting married in another location, but Pennsylvania isn't really all that exotic, and probably not what is meant by "destination wedding"), nor are we having a small wedding with just the immediate family and then having a large, secondary wedding down the line so we can get the "wedding of our dreams." And so on.

The sticky wicket is proving to be the guest list. We were hoping to invite a lot of people, but it turns out we don't know as many people we'd like to invite as we'd hoped. In other words, we wish we knew more people to invite. It would be easy to invite everyone we knew on FaceBook, or anyone with whom we were still marginally in touch from college, etc., but that's not realistic either. We want to invite people we're close to, who would be happy to celebrate with us, not everyone we've ever met. I'm inviting my contingent of Irish relatives, recognizing that many (indeed, none) are likely to attend, but this I understand. It's a long distance to come for a weekend; many will be working, several will have children in school. Of the approximately 115 people we're planning on inviting, exactly 10 of those people live in Pennsylvania. Everyone else will be traveling several hundred, or several thousand, miles. We're taking into consideration that many people will not be able to financially afford to fly, drive, or otherwise travel, or be able to take time off from work. (Our wedding is on a Saturday; if one is traveling a far enough distance, his or her attendance could require missing one or more days of work.)

There is a question regarding the permission of including "and guest" on the invitation. Many of the people we're inviting are married; several also have children, whom we're delighted to include. (We added a line on the invitation stating that children would be welcome to both ceremony and reception; a wedding without kids is just no good, although I draw the line at folks bringing their pets.) Many of our friends are single and not currently romantically involved. My maid of honor requested I invite her significant other, which I am delighted to do, but I cannot know the relationship status of our other single guests several months in the future; I would like to extend to them the option of bringing a friend or date if they are so inclined. Miss Manners opines that adding "and guest" on the invitation is not to be done, but I do not want to exclude anyone who might be significant to our guests. (Or they might wish to bring simply a friend, which would be fine.) What other viable options are there?

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