Saturday, September 10, 2005

How should divorced parents be seated at the wedding ceremony?

Question: My significant other was divorced 4 1/2 years ago after a 25 year marriage. His daughter will be married in November. (It was not a pleasant divorce and the mother of the bride is not very pleasant to me, excluding me from things such as showers and bachlorette parties, and not wanting me to be around the morning of the wedding.)

My question is, in what order or what pew does the mother of the bride, her guest, the father of the bride and I sit for the wedding ceremony?

Answer: In your situation, etiquette indicates that the mother of the bride and her significant other (if applicable) sit in the first row pew, and you and her father be seated in the second row. If hostility levels are quite high, you and her father should be seated in the third row, leaving a buffer row in the middle where siblings and grandparents can be seated.

"Can I wear white to my son's wedding?

Question: My son is getting married soon. I was wondering if it is improper for me to wear a white dress to the wedding and reception. The wedding colors are lavender, white, and black. Help.

Thank you,

Answer: It is almost never proper to for a guest to wear a white dress to a wedding. You could try to find out how the bride feels, but that could really put her on the spot, especially considering you're her future mother-in-law. That wouldn't be fair. My advice is to just wear any other color but white.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Wedding Etiquette - Groom's Mother Attire

Question: If this is the groom's second marrage, and the bride's first marrage, then does the mother of the groom have to wear as formal attire as the bride's mother? There is 19 years difference between bride and groom.

Answer: Both mothers should dress to the degree of formality dictated by the style, time and venue of the reception. This is more important that trying to "match" each other in mode of dress.

Send your etiquette questions for answers here or on Westchester-Weddings Etiquette pages.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Wedding Etiquette - Inviting "& Guest"

This is about a family wedding. My husband's nephew is getting married. They have invited all aunts and uncles. Then they invited all cousins. Some were with guest and some were not. Then they invited third cousins with guests included. My question is (between my husband and myself) we have five children ranging from 18-35. The 18 & 25 were excluded from having guests included. All others, including the third cousins were "__________ & guest."

Is this right?

-- Sandi

Dear Sandi,

It's wonderful when budget permits inviting everyone to bring a guest, but that's usually not the case. Typically, it is considered proper etiquette to invite guests to bring a spouse, fiance or significant other/life partner - excluding someone in such a relationship is usually bad manners.

Good etiquette would dictate that some rule of thumb be imposed, so that decisions on the guest list don't seem arbitrary. For example, if SOME children under a certain age are excluded, ALL children under that age should be. Or, only children who are first cousins may be invited, but no other children at all - no exceptions.

In your case, I wonder if age is the factor the couple used to determine who would be invited to bring a guest? Perhaps 25 was the cutoff age, in order to keep to their reception budget. Or, could it be that the couple knows who is in a serious relationship and invited only those people to bring guests? It may be that your younger children are not known to be seriously involved with anyone, while your older children are.

If no criteria whatsover were used to decide who would be allowed to bring a guest, and it was just an arbitrary decision, then less than good etiquette dictated the choices. Etiquette is not a set of rules written in concrete, but a set of guidelines intended to avoid hurt feelings, and arbitrary decisions are almost certain to cause some complaints.

I hope this helps!

Send your etiquette questions for answers here or on Westchester-Weddings Etiquette pages.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Deep Space Nine Wedding Vows

I'm clueless why, but maybe it's just because I don't watch the series - but some folks want to know what the Deep Space Nine wedding vows are.

This is what I came up with, from the wedding of Worf and Dax:

Worf, does your heart beat only for this woman?


And will you swear to join with her and stand with her against all who would oppose you?

Response--I swear.

Dax, does your heart beat only for this man?


And will you swear to join with him and stand with him against all who would oppose you?

Response--I swear.

I can't decide if this warrants going on the wedding site yet. If I have this wrong, please post a correction here or email me about it and I'll fix it.

[Addendum: okay, we broke down and put it on the web site: Deep Space Nice Wedding Vows]

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Wedding Gift Ideas

I'm working on an article on wedding gift ideas for westchester-weddings. Figure I can brainstorm here a bit.

We all want our wedding gifts to be original ideas, but it's getting harder to be unique all the time. I'm afraid that by the time I publish the new article, the stuff that was unique while I was writing it will be old hat.

Also, it can be tough to be sure what a couple already has without giving away your idea. If you're best friends with the bride, you probably know what SHE has, but maybe you don't have an inventory list on the groom and tossing his apartment while he's out is usually a bad idea.

You can always rely on the registry to be sure you don't duplicate something, but that's not very original. If you want to be original - stay away from the registry! They'll be expecting everything on it already and the surprise will be minimal.

Warning - although erotic gifts might be unusual, I'd recommend giving them at the bachelor/ette parties or showers. Not really appropriate next to the toaster oven from Aunt Mable at the wedding.

I like the idea of video cameras, those tiny ones that take stills and movies and record sound and are small enough to pass as a cell phone if you're into covert ops - if, of course, they don't already have one. One reason I like this idea is because it can record their new life together from the very beginning, and make it really easy to share their adventures with friends and family via email. And who knows, depending on how they use it it could turn out to be one of those unusual erotic gifts. Okay, that'll be one idea.

How about something totally unique to them, like getting pictures of them growing up from their families and matching them in a collage by age, as if they knew each other back then? This could be odd if there's a big age discrepency between the bride and groom though. Be weird if all his pictures were in black in white from back in the day while hers are in full color and include TeleTubbies. Ditto for matching them by year of photo taken - one of them in a crib and the other behind the wheel of a car could cause snickering.

You know what? Kites are fun. What about getting them a power kite, or a pair of them? This may not be a great idea for a city-dwelling couple (unless they weekend out of town), but there are tons of parks all over the place where they could have a blast re-learning how to fly a kite. There are also stunt kites available for the more coordinated, and just plain single string kites like from when we were kids. I like this, I think I'll use it in the article. Kite site to look at: Fun With Wind. This looks like so much fun, I might get MYSELF a kite for my birthday!

Okay, I better go pick out a kite, more wedding gift ideas can wait....

New Articles - Wedding Vows

From looking at what site viewers at westchester-weddings search for in our Atomz onsite search, I can get ideas about what brides would like to read more about on our site.

There have been a lot of recent searches around wedding vows, and this week we published a few new articles in response to these searches - here's a bit about them:

Native American Wedding Vows

This was a tough one to research, there isn't a lot of information out there on this. Luckily, the Manataka American Indian Council has a great section on American Indian wedding customs. With their permission, we posted the Rite of Seven Steps, a beautiful ceremony that includes Native American wedding vows. Thanks again to Standing Bear for letting us use his site as a resource!

Traditional Wedding Vows

I had to make some assumptions about this article, because what's "traditional" to you might be different from what it is to me - pretty obvious when you take a look at the Native American vows in the article I just mentioned and see how they vary from what's traditional in Judeo-Christian weddings.

The basic assumption I made was that people were looking for the famous "Dearly Beloved" wedding vows. These vows come from the Form of Solemnization of Matrimony from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, and really hasn't changed a whit since it originated in 1662.

These days, some of the orginal parts are not used as much and I omitted those from the article on the website. But here they are complete in case you're interested:

DEARLY beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation, to join together this Man and this Woman in holy Matrimony; which is an honourable estate, instituted of God in the time of man's innocency, signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his Church; which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence, and first miracle that he wrought, in Cana of Galilee; and is commended of Saint Paul to be honourable among all men: and therefore is not by any to be enterprised, nor taken in hand, unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly, to satisfy men's carnal lusts and appetites, like brute beasts that have no understanding; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God; duly considering the causes for which Matrimony was ordained.

First, It was ordained for the procreation of children, to be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord, and to the praise of his holy Name.

Secondly, It was ordained for a remedy against sin, and to avoid fornication; that such persons as have not the gift of continency might marry, and keep themselves undefiled members of Christ's body.

Thirdly, It was ordained for the mutual society, help, and comfort, that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity. Into which holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined. Therefore if any man can shew any just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter for ever hold his peace.

Funny Wedding Vows

Okay, this was REALLY tough. There's a cute article on that features a Dr. Suess version of wedding vows - apparently they were never used, since the author's fiance balked, too bad!

If you have some funny wedding vows you've written or heard, please post them here or email me, I'd love to add them!