The Art of Letter Writing: A Wedding Invitation Faux Pas
I read this over at the Martha Stewart Wedding Blog, The Bride’s Guide, today, and I just had to share it with you all (especially as Emily Post makes no mention of how to deal with unwed couples, for obvious reason!):
“A friend of mine and her longtime live-in boyfriend told me this recent disaster story. A wedding invitation from a good, good friend of theirs had come in the mail, addressed to the boyfriend –”and Guest.”
She was pretty hurt (she was actually surprised how much). Her boyfriend was livid! And when he complained to his friend, this is what he found out:
The groom — poor guy! — had lost a long argument with their stationer / calligrapher. The woman insisted that unless a couple was married, etiquette required the “and Guest” format. (Which is not true, as we know.)
My friend’s not mad anymore, but that’s because her boyfriend was pushy enough to inquire, so they now know it wasn’t a deliberate snub. How many of those other couples on the guest list are going to be insulted — but quietly so?
That stationer really did him a dirty trick. She’s a pro; she should have more accurate research. And that’s why you need to do your own independent research first.”
I can easily see myself falling prey to such an easy error–I often find myself debating over similar problems in writing this column weekly. As letter writing etiquette, let alone letter writing at all, has seemed to fall to the wayside, it has yet to be definitively updated to contemporary situations. While Emily Post’s Etiquette is helpful more often than not, when do I begin to judge her rules as outdated, or even, as was the case above, offensive? Is Martha Stewart (and her very large corporation) a modern day Emily Post? And if they aren’t, who do I turn to for contemporary etiquette guidance?
On a semi-related note, here’s an excellent place to start in terms of Wedding Invitation FAQ–a resource from the amazing wedding website, The Knot.
Do you have any suggestions for modern day etiquette resources?