Charm School: Wedding Etiquette
I found the following tips in the June 1952 Better Living magazine. I thought they were interesting and I certainly learned a thing or two, so wanted to share them with any of you who might not know these particular etiquette rules related to weddings.
The groom is responsible for paying for: the bride's wedding ring (and engagement ring, too); corsages for the mother of the bride and his own mother; boutonnieres for the bride's father, his father and the best man and the ushers; a corsage for the bride to wear away on her honeymoon; and the clergyman's fee. It is also customary for the groom to give the best man and the ushers small gifts.
There is generally no set fee for the clergyman but it is customary for the money to be put in a small white envelope which the groom hands to the best man and asks him to pass to the clergyman. The most convenient time to give the clergyman his fee is before the ceremony when the men are waiting together.
The fee recommended in 1952 was between $10 and $30. I was curious so looked up guidelines for today's expected clergy fees. Depending upon whether or not you received pre-marital counseling, and how elaborate the wedding fees generally range from $100 to $400 for an informal wedding. A very elaborate wedding generally rates a fee of about $1,000-$1,500. It is noted that a good middle of the road sum for an average wedding is $600. If you are truly unsure of the fee, you may call the pastor or rabbi's secretary and ask if there is a set fee expected.
If a wedding is to be very informal it is entirely proper to telephone invitations or to send handwritten informal notes. It is customary for the mother of the bride to issue informal invitations.
It is perfectly acceptable to exchange a wedding gift, especially if multiples were received of any item. For this reason, I think you should be sure to tape the gift receipt to either the card or the box the gift was purchased in. Most stores with a registry do have print a gift receipt.
It is preferable to give wedding gifts prior to the wedding day either at a bridal shower or having a gift sent directly to the bride's home. However, if you must bring the gift with you on the day of the day of the wedding, do not hand it over as you enter the door. Instead take it upstairs or ask where you might leave it. Always be sure to include your personal card with the gift so the bride has an idea who to send thank you note to.
Cards should never be displayed with the gifts. It is best to keep an accurate record but it is considered poor taste to display to all and sundry who gave which gift. Gift checks should not be displayed at all. You may set up a card with a list of amounts of each individual check received but do not include the giver's name.
If a wedding should be canceled:
For a very informal wedding, the bride's mother may write notes stating that her daughter's wedding (include the date) is canceled. No explanation is necessary.
If the wedding was to be a very large one, then printed cards should be sent out as soon as the change in plans is definite. A formal cancelation would read as follows:
Mr. and Mrs. John Doe
announce that the wedding
of their daughter Josephine Elizabeth Doe
which was to have been
on Sunday the fifteenth of June
has been canceled.
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