Ok, maybe the weekly basis thing was sort of a tricky goal for me to achieve, especially during wedding season.
But I am here now, and I would like to discuss etiquette.
In a deeply traditional country as Italy is, etiquette has been ruling the wedding industry for decades. I am not speaking of common sense good manners here, but full blown old fashioned rules. This fact might also account for the inexistence of letterpress here (yup, you cannot find any letterpress stationery supplier over here, weird uh?), the abundance of horrendous silver/crystal favors being handed to guests, not to mention the common belief that a wedding buffet is cheap both in style and price tag.
Luckily, some things are changing, and as a planner I get more and more couples asking for unique details, innovative ideas, not to mention personalised stationery in colours!
However, the credit crunch has also been bringing along other changes which are less desireable, as they indent etiquette at its most important chore, i.e. good manners.
Here is a list of the worst things I’ve seen and those I keep advocating against:
1. More and more couples try to smuggle registry info inside their invites. No matter how nicely phrased and deliciously designed, a direct request for presents is never nice, especially when the “registry info” consists of a bank account information for direct credit!
2. Some don’t realize that by addressing an invite to just one member of a family, they are basically forcing this person to leave his/her family home. My advice is to work closely on the invite list, bearing in mind that no member of a single family should be left uninvited.
3. Very few couples print ThankYou cards with their invite. Some don’t think about it at first, some deem it an unnecessary expense, most forget to thank formally their guests as a consequence. It is never nice to leave a guest or gift-bearer unthanked, and even if you find written card too formal you should always remember to convey your gratitude somehow.
4. The fast pace at which generations have drawn apart in the last decades, means that we sometimes think it impossible to celebrate properly with our elderly relatives and our friends together. As a consequence, many couples plan double events, with a proper sit-down reserved to strict family and more formal relations, and a wild booze-and-dance get-together for friends and colleagues. I strongly advocate against this habit, unless the first party is really restricted to a small number of guests (under 50) and the second is widely open to everybody else (accomodating even 200 guests). That is, if it is obvious that the two groups could never mingle and that there is no A-list party.
5. Similarly, I think it is tactless to have a cash bar at a wedding. People attending a wedding have already spent a fair amount of money on their attire, their wedding gift, not to mention travel and accomodation expenses in some cases. If you cannot afford to provide an open bar it is much better to arrange with your caterers for a limited amount of spirits to be served, than to force your guests to watch their expenses even at the party.
These are only the most serious (in my humble opinion, naturally) faux pas people make when planning a wedding. But they could very easily be avoided by sticking to the one important rule of etiquette: treat everyone with respect and love. If your guestsfeel loved and cared for, nobody will ever complain about paper napkins.
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