Bridal Guide (R) Magazine's New Etiquette For Today's Bride


- This is the third book in Bridal Guide's wedding series. How to Plan the Perfect Wedding...Without Going Broke! was published in 1/03 and has gone back to press three times. How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Gown was published in 2/04.
- There are over 2.5 million weddings per year in the US, and women everywhere need advice on wedding traditions. This guide answers all the customary etiquette questions and also tackles the thornier, more modern problems today's bride faces.

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Bridal Guide (R) Magazine's New Etiquette for Today's Bride

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- This is the third book in Bridal Guide's wedding series. How to Plan the Perfect Wedding...Without Going Broke! was published in 1/03 and has gone back to press three times. How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Gown was published in 2/04.
- There are over 2.5 million weddings per year in the US, and women everywhere need advice on wedding traditions. This guide answers all the customary etiquette questions and also tackles the thornier, more modern problems today's bride faces.
- Bridal Guide is the #1 bridal magazine for female readers 18-34. Editor in Chief Diane Forden is highly promotable, and has appeared on Good Morning America, the Today shows, and E! Style, among others. The magazine is committed to in-magazine advertising and bridal market promotions, including launch parties, tie-ins with advertisers, contests, and bridal fashion shows.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446678223
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 12/31/2000
  • Pages: 318
  • Sales rank: 1,366,429
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Bridal Guide Magazine's New Etiquette For Today's Bride

Warner Books

Copyright © 2004 LifeTime Media, Inc. and Bridal Guide
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-67822-8

Chapter One

Getting Engaged

It's official: You're getting married! And if you're like most women, once you were finally able to tear your eyes away from your fiancé and the newly placed ring on your left hand, your first thought was: "I can't wait to tell people!" Whether you immediately whipped out your cell phone to speed-dial your best friend or made a surprise visit to your parents' house to show off your rock, you probably realized that there are a lot of people who will want to hear about your engagement.

Start Spreading the News

If you haven't already, now's the time to start sharing your exciting news with the world-or at least your own special corner of the world. The first to hear the big announcement? That honor should go to your immediate families. Your parents and your fiancé's parents, as well as any children either of you have from previous relationships, should be told before anyone else. (If you have children, tell them alone-without your fiancé present- so they have time to digest the news and ask you questions.) Tradition calls for the bride's parents to learn of the engagement first, and then the groom's. But what if your parents or your fiancé's are divorced? You can inform one parent and then the otherright after. That way, one parent doesn't find out much later than the other.

Spreading the word of your upcoming "I do's" to those closest to you-parents, siblings, and grandparents -is best done face-to-face. If your families are close by, it's fun to put a bottle of bubbly on ice and invite them over for cake and champagne when you make your announcement, or you can arrange a time to stop by their homes. If your folks or your groom-to-be's don't live nearby, now would be the perfect time to schedule a weekend visit. If your fiancé went the ultra-traditional route and informed your father of his intention to propose, then your parents will have a heads-up on the announcement. Still, visiting them with your new fiancé is a nice gesture. No doubt they'll want to celebrate with the two of you in person.

Once both sets of parents know of your engagement, it's nice to get them together for introductions. Tradition suggests that the mother of the groom calls the mother of the bride to relay her congratulations and extend an invitation to meet (getting together for brunch, dinner, or drinks are all good options). But that rule has been relaxed in recent years, and now it's perfectly fine for your mom to make the first move if she doesn't hear from your groom's mother within a few weeks. If your parents live too far apart to get together-say your parents live in San Antonio and his reside in Seattle-then a note from one mother to the other saying how pleased she is about the upcoming marriage is a thoughtful gesture.

When it comes to informing other family members and friends, you can either do it in person or over the telephone. E-mail is also acceptable these days. With your boss or coworkers, sharing the news face-to-face makes the most sense since you presumably see one another on a daily basis. If you work closely with colleagues in another location, though, phone or e-mail are equally effective.

Stop the Presses! I'm Getting Married!

Many couples choose to announce their engagement publicly in their local newspaper. This is a smart way to spread the news to a large number of people, since sending printed announcement cards is inappropriate. (Printed announcements should only be used to announce a wedding, not an engagement. For information on sending wedding announcements, "Invitations and Wedding Announcements.") Newspaper announcements usually run two to three months prior to the wedding, but they can be published up to a year in advance. Consider placing your announcement in your and your fiancé's hometown papers, as well as the papers that serve the community in which you now live. Don't forget to include your engagement news in any alumni and professional publications that publish milestone announcements as well. Hold off on publishing your announcement, though, if either you or your fiancé is still legally married to another person (even if a divorce is pending), if either of you have had a very recent death in the family, or if an immediate family member is gravely ill.

How to Get Your Announcement Published

If the last time your name was in the local paper was when your high school softball team won the championship or you made the honor roll, it's time to brush up on what it takes to get your name in print. Since the requirements for engagement announcements vary by publication, you'll need to check with your paper to find out exactly what you need to do. (At many papers, the lifestyle editor is the person to contact.) Some newspapers provide an announcement form that you simply fill in and submit. Other papers give you more leeway to create your own announcement (read on for hints on how to do that), and still others give you the option of using their form or writing it yourself.

Also, find out if an engagement photo can be printed along with your announcement. Traditionally, an engagement photo was a solo portrait of the bride, but these days a couple shot is common. Some wedding photographers include a sitting for an engagement photo in their wedding packages. If yours doesn't (or if you haven't yet booked a photographer), it's perfectly fine to submit another good-quality, close-up photograph. Whether you go the professional or do-it-yourself route, be sure to check with your newspaper about any photo requirements. For example, does the picture you submit have to be a certain size? Are black and white or color both acceptable? Do you need a print of the photo or can you send the image digitally? Don't forget to find out ahead of time whether or not you can expect to have your photo returned. (Some papers instruct you to send a selfaddressed stamped envelope if you want your photo back; others don't return photos at all.) Finally, inquire about any costs associated with your engagement announcement. Many newspapers run them gratis, but others charge a fee.

Writing Your Announcement

If your newspaper doesn't have a standard form, or if you choose not to use it, you'll have to craft your own prose. Not a writer?

Don't panic. Engagement announcements are pretty standard. Shorter ones contain just basic information such as where each of you went to school and where you work. More detailed versions can get into where your parents work and live, and so on. Ready to begin? Take a look at the samples below for an idea of how announcements are usually written. Then check out Appendix A in this book to see how to word your announcement to add any special information that you'd like to include (graduate degrees, for example).

One final tip: Don't forget to include your street address, phone number, and e-mail address with the text of your announcement in case the newspaper staff needs to contact you for more information. You can even copy or tear out one of the forms in the appendix and use it to submit your announcement information.

Who Should Announce Your Engagement?

Your official engagement announcement can be made by your parents or by you and your fiancé. Some couples choose to announce their own engagement if they are hosting their own wedding or if they are older (and perhaps have been married before) and have been independent of their parents for some time. If both of your parents are deceased, a close relative such as a sibling, grandparent, aunt, or uncle can fill in.

Here's an example of how the traditional wording works:

Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Johnson of Cambridge, Massachusetts, announce the engagement of their daughter, Suzanne Marie Johnson, to Scott Thompson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Thompson of Albuquerque, New Mexico. A May wedding has been planned.

Customizing Your Announcement for Special Situations

Depending on your individual circumstances, you may want to modify the wording above. To find out how to phrase your announcement to suit other situations, like divorced or deceased parents or a second marriage.

Engagement Party Etiquette

Once word of your newly betrothed status is out, friends and family may ask if you're planning an engagement party. Whether or not to have one is completely up to you and your families. While it's not required, it can be a fun way for members of the bridal party and both families to get to know each other before the wedding. When it comes to hosting the shindig, just about any friend or relative can step up, but traditionally it is the bride's parents who do the honors. If your families really love to party and more than one engagement bash is scheduled, the party thrown by your parents (if there is one) should take place before any others.

Engagement bashes can be as formal or casual as you choose. Some popular options: an evening cocktail party, a brunch or lunch buffet at a favorite restaurant, or a cookout at home. You can even throw a surprise engagement party, where you can tell non-immediate friends and family your news. How it works: The host (say, you or your parents) sends out the invitations without revealing the true reason for the celebration. Once all the guests have arrived, gather everyone for your big announcement: We're engaged! For a regular, non-surprise get-together, the invitations should specify that the event is an engagement party. At some point during the evening, the host- often the father of the bride-should propose a toast to the to-be-wed couple. One other thing to keep in mind: When reviewing the guest list, be sure that you are only inviting people you plan to invite to the wedding.

Choosing Your Bridal Party

Another important task during your engagement is selecting the members of your bridal party, the people most dear to you (think of them as the MVPs of your life) who will have an important role in your wedding. In your just-got-engaged excitement, it's tempting to rush out and start lining up a bunch of bridesmaids and groomsmen, but it's wise to take a few days or weeks (depending on how soon you plan to tie the knot) to carefully consider your choices. After all, if you run into a high school pal in the mall and blurt out an invitation to join your wedding party just because you're happy to see her, there's no socially correct way to "un-ask" her when you come to your senses later on! (Hey, it's happened!)

Things to Consider When Selecting Your Attendants

When choosing your bridal party, you and your groom should select the people with whom you are closest. Being a member of the party is an honor you extend to your best buds and favorite family members. That said, you might also consider including a future sister- or brother-in-law or stepchild as a nice gesture-even if you aren't yet that close to them.

The number of attendants you choose is entirely up to you. If you're having a small, informal affair you may only want one or two attendants. Formal weddings tend to have more attendants-anywhere from five or six to twelve or more. Just keep in mind that the more attendants you have, the bigger chunk of your budget you'll need to earmark for things like flowers and wedding party gifts.

If you have more special friends and family members than you can include in your bridal party, consider asking them to perform other tasks of honor. For example, they can do readings, sing (assuming, of course, that the person has a good voice), or distribute wedding programs before the ceremony.

Before you ask people to be part of your bridal party, brush up on what's required of each person. Not sure? "The Wedding Party" for details about who does what. That way, you'll be prepared in case your chosen pals have any questions about what's expected of them.

Ask your attendants-to-be well in advance of the wedding. When you ask, be sure to tell them the details you know, especially the wedding date and location (particularly important if you're having a destination wedding).

Those you ask needn't answer on the spot. Let them have a few days to decide.

If someone declines (often due to geography or their financial situation), be gracious. Being a bridesmaid or usher is a significant commitment of time and money so be understanding if someone is unable to take that on. It's not a slight against you, and on the plus side, they're saving you the difficulty of having an attendant who's not fully invested in the wedding.

Splitting the Wedding Bills

It used to be that the bride's family footed the bill for the majority of the wedding expenses-from the invitations to the reception to the bride's dress-and the groom's family paid for the rehearsal dinner and little else. See below for a traditional example of how costs are divided.

Traditional Wedding Expense Breakdown

Following are the traditional guidelines regarding who pays for what. You can use these lists as a reference when deciding what division of costs works best for you and your families.

Bride's Family

- Engagement party (optional)

- Wedding invitations and other stationery (announcements, thank-you notes, etc.)

- Services of bridal consultant

- Wedding gown and accessories

- Flowers for ceremony and reception sites

- Bouquets for bridesmaids

- Music

- Photography

- Videography

- Ceremony

- Reception

- Bridal party transportation to ceremony and reception

- Family's wedding attire

Groom's Family

- Engagement party (optional)

- Rehearsal dinner

- Their own wedding attire

The Bride

- The groom's ring

- The bridesmaids' luncheon

- Gifts for the bridesmaids

- Gifts for parents

- Wedding gift for the groom

The Groom

- The bride's rings

- The marriage license

- Officiant's fee

- His formalwear

- Personal flowers: the bride's bouquet, boutonnieres for wedding party, corsages for mothers and grandmothers

- Gifts for the groomsmen

- Wedding gift for the bride

- Gifts for parents

- Honeymoon

- Transportation to the honeymoon

The Wedding Party

- Bridal shower (bridesmaids only)

- Bachelor and bachelorette parties

- Gifts for the couple (can purchase individual gifts or chip in on a group gift)

- Wedding attire and accessories

- Transportation to and from wedding town or city

Today, however, it is less common for the parents of the bride to shoulder the bulk of the financial burden. Instead, many couples are paying for their own weddings or the expenses are being shared by the couple, the bride's parents, and the groom's parents. The parents may offer a set dollar amount for the bride and groom to use as they see fit, or they may each decide to pay for particular items. For example, the bride's family could pay for the ceremony and reception sites, the limousines and the reception food.


Excerpted from Bridal Guide Magazine's New Etiquette For Today's Bride Copyright © 2004 by LifeTime Media, Inc. and Bridal Guide. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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