The MoBster Diaries

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Rules of Engagement

Well, I'm still trying to figure out what they are. I'm slowly getting into the swing of reading wedding stuff online and looking for guide books that might be helpful. Weddings are a lot more complicated today.

There was some comfort to be found in rigid rules of wedding etiquette. The old tried-and-true didn't give many options, from invitations to reception. You did things 1, 2, 3 - no variation. The rules were in black and white, and you followed them to the letter.

But now, well, seems everything's up for grabs. Engagement party. Engagement party? We didn't have engagement parties, so what's supposed to happen at one? Here in New York, you're expected to bring a present to an engagement party. Surely not. That just seems graspy and greedy to me. I picture a small, intimate gathering - food, wine, toast the impending marriage - badda-bing. Am I missing the point?

Favors. Favors? For whom? I get the idea of gifts for the bridesmaids and groomsmen, but I've seen suggestions for MoB, MoG, FoB, FoG - please! Why would you need to give gifts and presents to the parents? And favors for the wedding attendees? Lord, aren't we feedin' and waterin' 'em? Here, take a napkin with the couple's name on it. There's your favor!

I don't know. I guess I need to do more reading about what's au courant before getting settled on anything. I think I'll head for Miss Manners (Judith Martin), since she usually tells it like it is.

Any wedding books I shouldn't miss? (And, no, I haven't a clue as to who the couple is in the old-timey photo.)

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posted by MaryB at


  • Engagement parties aren't common around here. I'd think they're a casual-type thing for the purpose of having families and friends meet before the big day. Maybe I'm wrong and they're formal. I have no idea whether or not to bring a gift. If someone's planning a shower, I'd think probably not. Truthfully, I'd bring one just in case. MoBsters, however, don't need to bring anything.

    Favors. I agree with you wholeheartedly. They're unnecessary, and most of those I've received have usually ended up in the trash (I did once get a trivet that was attractive and useful -- still have that one).

    I have an outdated etiquette book (published all the way back in 1994). Things sure have changed since then. Miss Manners is always there when you need her.

    By Blogger Elsie, At September 1, 2007 at 6:29 AM  

  • I guess it depends where one lives, re: engagement parties. The NYC gals tell me that engagement parties are big here and that you have to bring a present. Different strokes . . .

    I'm in the process of tracking down Miss Manners' latest.

    By Blogger MaryB, At September 3, 2007 at 11:17 PM  

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