Miss Manners Guide to a Surprisingly Dignified Wedding

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I was thrilled when I received the Miss Manners' Guide.

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Naively, I assumed that it would be an Emily Post-style book that would provide much needed clarification on things such as invitation wording and how to properly address my friends and family. If this is what you are looking for, please place this book back on the shelf. After reading through all pages, I have found only one piece of useful information, regarding how one wishes to be addressed after being wed. Traditionally, most women have opted to take their husband's last name.

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Today the options are endless. You can merge one another's names, hyphenate, keep your name, or opt for your husband to take your last name. Once you have made the personal decision on how you wish to be named, you need a way of informing your family and friends.

The Modern Family Wedding

Miss Manners suggests that your wedding invitation include a card that lists you and your future husband's name and your address. This should give others a proper time to take note of your preferred name and will hopefully decrease the amount of awkward conversations on why you have or have not taken the traditional approach. Although this was a good piece of advice, the rest of the book has minimal practical application.

Miss Manners Judith and Jacobina Martin uses most of the book to bemoan the wedding industry and curse brides for following common traditions.

They admonish brides for placing a personal touch on their wedding, the idea of destination weddings, and using response cards in the invitation mailing just to name a few. There were a few places where I acknowledged that Miss Manners was correct. For example, it is rude to send out registry cards or to demand that the wedding and celebration follow your vision with no room for compromise with your partner.

In an age where Bridezillas is starting its 6th season with no end in sight, someone should remind us what is proper.

Miss Manners' Guide To A Surprisingly Dignified Wedding

Unfortunately, no one who hears this message will take the time to buy this book and the offensive, consistent chidings of Miss Manners simply falls on deaf ears. Unless you want to hear someone whine about how weddings are not like they were generations ago, this book is definitely not for you. Read Sylvia's ethical bride profile. I felt some of her views were rather old fashioned. But now what? There are many expenses that come with planning a wedding.

The venue, the invitations, the flowers, the band — and those are just the obvious ones. And most importantly, stick to it.


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One of the biggest hurdles of modern wedding planning is the pressure. Who knew Miss Manners had such a sense of humor?

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Enough decision making, enough spending, enough stressing. On top of a wedding Bible that outlines your big-picture decisions, it can also be helpful, if you like using pen and paper rather than online tools, to have a smaller guide to use on the go.

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This one is the size of a planner and will help you organize your smaller, more day-to-day wedding planning tasks.