What I Learned from Emily Post

I have always been one interested in history, traditions, etiquette, rules, and ceremony.  That doesn’t necessarily mean I follow suit, but I like to know.  That pretty much translates into most of my interests – for instance, I usually read classic books versus new literature simply out of sheer will to know, to know what all literature today was built on, to know what came before, to know what was.

In high school, I bought Emily Post’s Etiquette, a guidebook, updated by Emily Post’s granddaughter, for today’s ceremonies and traditions.  Emily Post has always been the end-all-be-all of what’s proper.  A few weeks ago, I realized this may be my only opportunity to read and apply the wedding section, so I hopped to it.

A lot of the etiquette I already knew.  Everyone should know that weddings aren’t a place for family drama and that you need to send thank you notes for gifts received.  But some of it was new and really got me back into envisioning my wedding and how to execute it correctly.




As a new bride and someone with little wedding experience (besides attending a few), I will make great use of the timing guidelines in this book.  For example, when it is important to send save-the-dates or invitations.  Even better, the logistics of a wedding are broken down in almost overly-incessant detail.

At dinner, the bride sits to the groom’s right.  I intend to find out why this rule exists.  The interesting part is that the maid of honor sits next to the groom at dinner, and the best man sits next to the bride.  And after the first dance, I dance with my dad and Bryan dances with his mom.  The best man is in charge of organizing transportation after the wedding.  These are the most random details I would have never addressed.

Emily Post also offers great advice.  The comment is made that this is usually the first major event planned from start to finish by the bride.  Luckily, my profession has been built around large events I’ve coordinated successfully, so that buoyed my spirit.  Consideration, compromise, and communication are the three C’s of wedding etiquette and planning.

Our wedding will be a semi-formal evening wedding, which I learned after reading about the various details which contribute to the kind of wedding you will have.

I may plan an ongoing Emily Post feature where I continue to read relevant sections of etiquette (such as the next chapter, “You and Your Job”).  But I will leave my readers with a palette of colors that I am planning my wedding around.  Time is counting down until the wedding and I know from firsthand experience how quickly a Moscow summer can fly by, so I plan to make the most of every minute!



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