Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mawedge is what brings us togetha today.

Alright. I am not going to keep quiet about it anymore. I know I am not the only one, so I am going to suck it up and take one for the team. Wedding etiquette is totally confusing. Nobody knows what they are supposed to be doing. I am playing it by ear 100%, which works, but it would be so much better if I knew what was expected. For example: It is completely taboo to ask what you are responsible for paying for when you are in the wedding party. It shouldn't be, I don't think, because this varies for every single wedding and everyone thinks something different. I am willing to pay for whatever I am asked to/expected to/should/need to pay for. I'm excited to be in one of my best friend's wedding next weekend, but the details surrounding it are confusing.

It isn't odd that I don't know what is going on. Disclosing the kind of information that I am missing isn't polite, or normal, or probably even expected. I don't know. I have been in three other weddings, but they were all for family members, and I was probably 16 when I was in the latest one. My parents paid for everything, a gift wasn't expected, I didn't attend showers, I just showed up and did what I was told to do, basically. So this is basically a whole new ball of wax.

I would ask you, my readers, what your opinion is on bridal party etiquette, but probably 75% of you are in the same wedding I am in, so it doesn't make sense. If there's anyone out there with more experience, let me know!

Specific questions:
  • Do the people in the wedding party give gifts to the couple individually or together?
    • Some respondents to this question have said that the party doesn't give gifts because of the expense incurred involving the ceremony, i.e. travel, dress/rental, shoes, time loss at work, etc.
    • The party that I am a part of decided that we WANT to give gifts, and because we are all over the country, that we will give them individually.
  • When there is a bridal shower, do you buy two gifts? One for the shower and one for the wedding?
    • Even if the custom calls for two gifts, it isn't possible for me to adhere to that, so I purchased one gift, but I don't know when to give it!
  • If you are not told how much something will cost, but it is something absolutely required, does that mean that you are still paying for it?
    • The most major cost is in the bridesmaid dress, so usually it is pretty obvious who will be responsible for paying for it (only the rarest and richest of couples are able to provide dresses). There are many other costs that come up, though. I am 99% sure that the rehearsal dinner is paid for, but what about housing accommodations or hair styling (for the ladies)?
  • What is the maid of honor's role?
    • One thing I know from this experience is that the m.o.h is the one who plans the bachelorette party. I am thinking that if it is a self contained, more formal event, with guests, invitations, a rented venue, etc, the m.o.h. probably pays for some of it herself.
    • I am guessing that the Best Man's role is pretty much the same as the M.O.H. But I am not a guy, and I have never stood behind the groom, so I can't be so sure.

I know this is all very tacky and taboo for me to be writing about. But I know that I can't be the only one with these questions, cause nobody I have asked has been able to give me a straight answer. Also, I am a poor, post-college single woman. This is my excuse for why many of my concerns center around money. I also understand that many of the answers to these questions change with the conditions surrounding each specific wedding. The age, social situation, cultural background, stage in life and possible previous weddings all effect those answers.

Beyond all of my questions and confusions, I am totally pumped to stand up and say that, 'Yes, I approve of this relationship, and I am proud to witness this beautiful ceremony of love commitment between two people whom I care about.' I am also pretty freaking excited to attend the associated parties with my BEST friends and celebrate like I've never done before. That's all, ya'll


hautepocket said...

I agree that I've had a lot of questions regarding the wedding. I think though, that it's important to remember that is a new thing for ALL of us. I hope it doesn't sound rude to say, because I don't mean it in any negative fashion, but I'm SO glad that I was not the first of my friends to get married if just simply for the fact that I've learned a lot about the wedding planning process that I didn't know before.

With that said, I'm super duper psyched to celebrate with my best friends, and I am so so happy for Bride Friend that she has found someone she loves (and that clearly loves her in return.) I know the big day will be fabulous, and I hope it's exactly what she's always dreamed of. :)

staticmonkey said...

I wish the whole wedding process would be a little easier for everyone involved. Believe me, if I had any ideas on how to get thru this, I would be dishing it out like free water at Wall Drug, SD. We'll just have to learn from experience for the next weddings. What I CAN tell you all is that I do not require gifts from you all. You are my friends and it just means the world to me that you are all on your way out here just for little ol' me. :)
You will be required to pay for the condos, which will be about $45/night/person, also meals. Rehearsal dinner and reception dinners are on us. As far as I know, Lia has covered the bachelorette party. I'm not expecting gifts for the Bridal Shower because it was very impromptu, and will be very casual as far as I am concerned.
I have all of this week off, so if anyone has any questions, please call. I'm never too busy to talk to my besties!

Jen said...

So...question: Do you have an estimate on how much the hair do's will cost? Everybody much $ are you bringing up there for meals and things? Can I bring a case of ramen and a pot? lol.

artichokeshavehearts said...

I know I'm on the fringe of all of this, but I'd just like to say how much I appreciate and admire your usage of bullet points. Very professional.

staticmonkey said...

the hair do price is listed as $20, but that is without tip. otherwise, you know the price of meals in Madison? Bring that much, or a little less, because I can't imagine Rapids would be more expensive than Madison.

Urn said...

Okay, so since Kat and I have gone through the getting married part ourselves, and also participated in weddings of friends over the years, I feel I can speak with some form of authority on the subject.

It totally doesn't matter. :)

With all the weddings we've been in, it's always the same thing: Everyone just assumes that everyone else knows what's going on. No one agrees. What's important to one person doesn't matter to another. It's madness. Total chaos. The best you can hope for is to survive. :)

That being said, it's all so much fun, you won't remember the stress of it later. You'll remember the fun bits, and the stuff you take pictures of. It'll all turn out okay.

Oh, and the ramen is a great idea. :)

SinlessTouch said...

I do agree that its kind of hard to plan a bachelorette party. Anyway, great post! It was a cool and interesting read for me.