Birthday and Errant Ushers, Vol. 5, Issue 20

At last Etiquetteer is returning to the the results of Etiquetteer’s Wedding Survey! The results are from the section of "Atttitudes about Wedding Customs and Behaviors." Answers in bold are Perfectly Proper.

Question: Do you agree with the American concept of the "princess bride" who gets to wear the largest dress in the world, boss her friends and family around, and generally get anything she wants because she’s the BRIDE?!

0.7% . . . . .Yes

12.7 % . . . Yes, if she remembers to write her thank-you notes

86.6% . . . .No

Etiquetteer finds it very ironic that the overwhelming majority of respondents don’t like the idea of a princess bride, and yet respond "anything she/they want" to other questions in this survey.

Question: Should a bride and groom get to do anything they want for their wedding if they are paying for it themselves?

54.2% . . . Yes, you bet they do!

45.8% . . . No, they should be considerate of their family and friends, for whom the wedding is also important.

Etiquetteer invites you to notice that respondents were fairly evenly divided on this question. This leads Etiquetteer to opine that the 54.2% may have had to fend off some parents with undesirable ideas about how the wedding should be conducted, and the 45.8% felt slighted, overlooked, or inconvenienced by some arrangements.

American mothers of brides and grooms, with their overbearing bossiness and dirty tricks, have become an American institution, unfortunately. Etiquetteer has been told at different times of mothers who secretly changed all the music for the wedding ceremony or wore "champagne-colored" gowns which were really white. Etiquetteer does not blame any bride or groom who’d want to get away from all that!

But Etiquetteer has also seen hearts bruised by engaged couples who plan destination weddings their parents or closest friends can’t afford to attend, beachside ceremonies that Feeble Old Granny can’t get to because it’s too taxing to walk over sand, weddings held deep in the country without adequate restrooms and only the lightest possible refreshments. Deity of Your Choice Above, people, don’t sacrifice convenience and comfort for picturesqueness! And if you want people to do you the honor of attending your wedding, be sure you make them feel honored!

Question: If a bride discovers that she is pregnant before marriage, what is the most correct type of wedding?

15.5% . . . Any kind of wedding she wants

50% . . . Any kind of wedding she and her groom want

8.5% . . . Any kind of wedding she, her groom, and her parents want

0.7% . . . A large, full-blown wedding with everyone there

2.8% . . . A mid-sized wedding with about half of who they might ordinarily invite

11.3% . . . A very small wedding with only parents and the most intimate family and friends present

2.8% . . . Just the two of them at City Hall

Even Etiquetteer is not so heartless as to condemn a couple to wed on their own at City Hall! Some respondents offered their own suggestions and comments:

  • [The pregnancy has] No bearing on the wedding
  • Whatever - I'm just glad they are marrying - hopefully for each other and their child.Etiquetteer responds: Slacker!
  • Let's assume love between the bride and groom, in which case a tasteful wedding that makes the immediate wedding parties' families reasonably happy should be appropriate. Etiquetteer responds: And a "tasteful wedding" under these circumstances is a very small one.
  • If still desired, the type of wedding they would have had prior to the discovery.
  • Any kind of wedding the bride, groom, and both sets of parents want as long as the guests are treated with consideration. Etiquetteer responds: One would hope that the guests would be treated with consideration at any wedding, whether the bride was pregnant or not.
  • How pregnant? One month - it's their business... eight or nine months, it looks tacky to have a giant wedding, and they're going to have to make their peace with stares and whispers.Etiquetteer responds: Etiquetteer couldn’t agree more!
  • Depends on how far along she is and her current living situation.
  • Shotgun!!! Etiquetteer responds: Don’t be so barbaric! Besides, you couldn’t get a shotgun through the metal detector at City Hall . . .
  • Any kind of Perfectly Proper wedding she, her groom, and her parents want They who pay have input so any kind if she and her groom are paying for it. Etiquetteer responds: Those with the gold may make the rules, but that doesn’t endow them with Perfect Propriety. Money rarely does, in fact.

Speaking of weddings, Etiquetteer would like to congratulate Mark Schueppert and Jim Hood, who were legally joined in matrimony on Saturday, May 20 in a Perfectly Proper ceremony at the Old State House in Boston. May you enjoy a long and happy life together in a state of Perfect Propriety!

Etiquetteer cordially invites you to join the notify list if you would like to know as soon as new columns are posted. Join by sending e-mail to