Bridal Issues, Vol. 6, Issue 9

Dear Etiquetteer:

We would like to avoid sending reception cards as they would be redundant. Our reception and ceremony will be at the same place. The reception will follow the ceremony. Can I just indicate on the invitation that the reception will follow the ceremony? Do I need to indicate the reception site? Do I need to state the ending time of the reception? We have the place until 8:00 PM, but want to wrap things up at 7:00 PM.

Dear Conserving:

The reception card was originally created when more people were invited to the wedding than the reception. Indeed, people preferred to be invited to the wedding. Nowadays the preference is for the reception. People would rather, to use a vulgar expression, "get their money’s worth" for their wedding gift by strapping on the feed bag.

If everyone invited to the wedding is also invited to the reception, the Perfectly Proper form to use is to add "And following in the Reimenschneider Room." If the reception were in a different place you could add the address on the line below:

And following at the Hotel California

45678 Lakeshore Drive

Etiquetteer knows from bitter experience that if you want everyone out by 8:00 PM, then an end time of 7:00 PM should definitely be indicated. A lady always knows when to leave a party, but alas, ladies aren’t what they used to be. Add the times like this: "And following until seven o’clock in the Reimenschneider Room."

Dear Etiquetteer:

I’ve been asked to play guitar and sing at a friend’s wedding. Do you have any recommendations?

Dear Stringing:

Obviously "Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring" is nice for Christian weddings – the guitar is in some ways the perfect instrument for this piece – but Etiquetteer is not aware of any vocals for it. Talk to the Happy Couple and see what they like and dislike in music. Etiquetteer attended a wedding last year at which the groom’s sister played a song by The Platters. Just please avoid "Because," "Oh Promise Me," "Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life," "Evergreen," and of course "My Heart Will Go On." Not only are they less than great for a guitar, they’ve become cliché.

Dear Etiquetteer:

I like my last name and would rather keep it after I get married. My family name is really well known, I’m extended special privileges because of it, and I’m really afraid people won’t recognize me as much with my husband’s name. Is this sufficient to keep my maiden name?

Dear Bride to Be:

Once assumed that a bride would take her husband’s name, now it’s entirely up to you what you would like to do, for whatever reasons you choose. You could, like one of Etiquetteer’s successful cousins, use both names in your married life, e.g. "Ms. Cousin Maiden Married." Observe that no hyphen is used.

But take heed from the experience of two of Etiquetteer’s lady friends. When they married each kept her maiden name, but ended up adopting her husband’s name after the birth of her second child. Each wanted to have the same last name as her children. So if you’re planning to have children, you might as well take your husband’s name when you marry and forget the bother later.

And Etiquetteer has one more thing to say to you, though you didn’t ask: if Etiquetteer ever hears you saying "Don’t you know who I am?" to get some of those "special privileges" you covet so much, Etiquetteer is going to Wag an Admonitory Digit at you.

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