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Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette

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The classic indispensable, comprehensive guide to creating the wedding of your dreams.

Today's weddings are more complicated than ever, with new traditions replacing old, and new relationships to consider as family life grows more complex. In this new edition, Peggy provides sensible solutions to wedding questions old and new, showing how to manage the big decisions and the little details with tact, consideration and confidence–– leaving you ...

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Overview

The classic indispensable, comprehensive guide to creating the wedding of your dreams.

Today's weddings are more complicated than ever, with new traditions replacing old, and new relationships to consider as family life grows more complex. In this new edition, Peggy provides sensible solutions to wedding questions old and new, showing how to manage the big decisions and the little details with tact, consideration and confidence–– leaving you free to enjoy all of the happy times along the way!

With new chapters on the groom's involvement and incorporating today's technology into your wedding plans, plus updates and expansions on destination weddings, same–sex unions, wedding expenses, and more, the 5th edition answers every couple's contemporary questions. And Peggy Post continues to provide the tried and true guidelines every couple needs for a memorable wedding, from announcing the engagement, to budgeting for the ceremony and reception, to choosing the perfect caterer, florist, photographer and music–– and bringing it all off with minimum stress and maximum style.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060745042
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/27/2005
  • Series: Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette Series
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 7.37 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 1.11 (d)

Meet the Author

Peggy Post, Emily Post’s great-granddaughter-in-law, is a director of The Emily Post Institute and the author of more than a dozen books. Peggy writes a monthly column in Good Housekeeping and an online wedding etiquette column for the New York Times.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Engagement Etiquette

For the betrothed couple and family and friends, the engagement can be a time of unequaled euphoria. The goodwill that engagements engender is both thrilling and contagious. The generous opening of hearts by others in celebrating your happiness is a touching testament to the power of love.

The engagement period is an essential time, both to fully plan your celebrations and to acclimate yourselves to the idea of becoming a couple. The engagement period may be most valuable as a time of adjusting to the fact that you are committed to sharing your life with another person. It's when the romantic fantasy of perfect love hits the bedrock of reality. This is the time to make certain that marriage is the right decision for both of you and to think through potential obstacles to your happiness and how you plan to deal with them.

Perhaps you are wondering whether the engagement is right for you. While there is potentially less pain for all concerned in the breaking of an engagement than in the ending of a marriage, there is nonetheless a sense of loss. A broken engagement affects not just your own emotions, but those of the people dear to you as well. Think it through carefully; once family and friends are told, your commitment becomes real. Ideally you will find that you briefly had "cold feet," and that working through possible conflicts now will only strengthen the bonds of your love and commitment to one another.

Finally, your engagement is also a time of overwhelming detail — and enough stress to derail the most solid of unions. Don't give in to pressures to stage a celebration that ismore about the festivities and less about you. Stay focused on your vision. Delegate chores to others who have offered to help. Stick to the day-to-day routine activities of your life. And whether the time between your engagement and your wedding is six weeks or six months, remember to take time off from organizing every now and then to enjoy each other and to immerse yourself in the fun and happiness your engagement brings.

Engagement Etiquette Guidelines

Engagements require only a few simple guidelines. First, there are no papersto sign or tests to take to become engaged. You have only to say "yes" for anengagement to become official. Second, there is no prescribed length of time for anengagement. Some people might consider six months a long engagement;others take their time and stretch it out to three years. It may be as brief oras long as the couple requires to make their arrangements, save for their lifetogether, or complete schooling, work, or a period of mourning. What's typical? The average length for an engagement in the United States is fourteenmonths. Many couples say that six months to one year is a comfortablelength of time for them to be engaged.

Third, do not become officially engaged until you are divorced. Many a couple has jumped the gun and announced their engagement when a divorce is still in process. Even if an annulment or divorce is imminent, an engagement to another person should not be announced until the former union has been dissolved. Finally, a certain protocol should be followed in getting the news out about your betrothal. In sharing your engagement plans, certain family members and close friends should hear the news first.

Sharing The Good News

The guidelines of when, how, and to whom the news is spread have to do with people's feelings. Always let thoughtfulness be your guide.

Old Ways, New Ways

Historically, if the marriage had not been arranged by the two families in the first place, it was up to the groom to ask the young woman's father for permission to propose. If permission was granted, the groom would then, on bended knee, formally propose.

Today, in most cultures, things are very different. The bride and groom themselves usually make the decision to marry. Then they inform their families, but not necessarily to ask for their permission. Generally parents are the first to get the news, and in most cases the bride tells her parents and the groom tells his. But sometimes they do this together, sharing the news as a couple. Ideally the news does not come as a shock to the engaged couple's loved ones. If, during the courtship, the couple feels that their relationship is becoming serious, it's a good idea for each to become acquainted with the other's family members and close friends. If they live far away from family, the couple should be sure to mention their special relationship in phone conversations, letters, and/or e-mail before announcing their engagement.

Although it may seem old-fashioned, it is still courteous for the prospective groom to explain his career and life plans and his prospects to the bride's parents, as evidence of his respect for them.

Kids First

When one or both members of the engaged couple has children from a previous marriage, the children should always be the first people to hear the news, told to them by their parent alone, without the future stepparent present. Children of any age need time to adjust to the idea. You should also tell an ex-spouse, if for no other reason than to smooth the way for your children's involvement. (See "Encore Weddings," chapter 11.)

Telling Other Relatives and Friends

Once parents and children have been told the news — and not before — the happy bride and groom will want to share their engagement plans with other relatives and friends. They can do so by making telephone calls, writing notes, or sending faxes or e-mails. Or they might wait and surprise everyone with an announcement at an engagement party. Regardless, there are certain people other than parents and children who should hear the news first, who would be hurt to read of the engagement in the newspaper or hear of it from someone other than the couple. These include grandparents, siblings, favorite aunts and uncles, and close friends. Always include them as special people in the know before the rest of the immediate world finds out.

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette, 4e
Cherished Traditions and Contemporary Ideas for a Joyous Celebration

Chapter One

Engagement Etiquette

For the betrothed couple and family and friends, the engagement can be a time of unequaled euphoria. The goodwill that engagements engender is both thrilling and contagious. The generous opening of hearts by others in celebrating your happiness is a touching testament to the power of love.

The engagement period is an essential time, both to fully plan your celebrations and to acclimate yourselves to the idea of becoming a couple. The engagement period may be most valuable as a time of adjusting to the fact that you are committed to sharing your life with another person. It's when the romantic fantasy of perfect love hits the bedrock of reality. This is the time to make certain that marriage is the right decision for both of you and to think through potential obstacles to your happiness and how you plan to deal with them.

Perhaps you are wondering whether the engagement is right for you. While there is potentially less pain for all concerned in the breaking of an engagement than in the ending of a marriage, there is nonetheless a sense of loss. A broken engagement affects not just your own emotions, but those of the people dear to you as well. Think it through carefully; once family and friends are told, your commitment becomes real. Ideally you will find that you briefly had "cold feet," and that working through possible conflicts now will only strengthen the bonds of your love and commitment to one another.

Finally, your engagement is also a time of overwhelming detail -- and enough stress to derail the most solid of unions. Don't give in to pressures to stage a celebration that is more about the festivities and less about you. Stay focused on your vision. Delegate chores to others who have offered to help. Stick to the day-to-day routine activities of your life. And whether the time between your engagement and your wedding is six weeks or six months, remember to take time off from organizing every now and then to enjoy each other and to immerse yourself in the fun and happiness your engagement brings.

Engagement Etiquette Guidelines

Engagements require only a few simple guidelines. First, there are no papersto sign or tests to take to become engaged. You have only to say "yes" for anengagement to become official. Second, there is no prescribed length of time for anengagement. Some people might consider six months a long engagement;others take their time and stretch it out to three years. It may be as brief oras long as the couple requires to make their arrangements, save for their lifetogether, or complete schooling, work, or a period of mourning. What's typical? The average length for an engagement in the United States is fourteenmonths. Many couples say that six months to one year is a comfortablelength of time for them to be engaged.

Third, do not become officially engaged until you are divorced. Many a couple has jumped the gun and announced their engagement when a divorce is still in process. Even if an annulment or divorce is imminent, an engagement to another person should not be announced until the former union has been dissolved. Finally, a certain protocol should be followed in getting the news out about your betrothal. In sharing your engagement plans, certain family members and close friends should hear the news first.

Sharing The Good News

The guidelines of when, how, and to whom the news is spread have to do with people's feelings. Always let thoughtfulness be your guide.

Old Ways, New Ways

Historically, if the marriage had not been arranged by the two families in the first place, it was up to the groom to ask the young woman's father for permission to propose. If permission was granted, the groom would then, on bended knee, formally propose.

Today, in most cultures, things are very different. The bride and groom themselves usually make the decision to marry. Then they inform their families, but not necessarily to ask for their permission. Generally parents are the first to get the news, and in most cases the bride tells her parents and the groom tells his. But sometimes they do this together, sharing the news as a couple. Ideally the news does not come as a shock to the engaged couple's loved ones. If, during the courtship, the couple feels that their relationship is becoming serious, it's a good idea for each to become acquainted with the other's family members and close friends. If they live far away from family, the couple should be sure to mention their special relationship in phone conversations, letters, and/or e-mail before announcing their engagement.

Although it may seem old-fashioned, it is still courteous for the prospective groom to explain his career and life plans and his prospects to the bride's parents, as evidence of his respect for them.

Kids First

When one or both members of the engaged couple has children from a previous marriage, the children should always be the first people to hear the news, told to them by their parent alone, without the future stepparent present. Children of any age need time to adjust to the idea. You should also tell an ex-spouse, if for no other reason than to smooth the way for your children's involvement. (See "Encore Weddings," chapter 11.)

Telling Other Relatives and Friends

Once parents and children have been told the news -- and not before -- the happy bride and groom will want to share their engagement plans with other relatives and friends. They can do so by making telephone calls, writing notes, or sending faxes or e-mails. Or they might wait and surprise everyone with an announcement at an engagement party. Regardless, there are certain people other than parents and children who should hear the news first, who would be hurt to read of the engagement in the newspaper or hear of it from someone other than the couple. These include grandparents, siblings, favorite aunts and uncles, and close friends. Always include them as special people in the know before the rest of the immediate world finds out.

Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette, 4e
Cherished Traditions and Contemporary Ideas for a Joyous Celebration
. Copyright © by Peggy Post. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

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( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 24, 2009

    More than Just Etiquette

    Forget your preconceived notions of old-fashioned bridal etiquette. This is a wonderful reference and quite a good read for any bride who is planning a wedding. As the mother of the bride, I bought this book after hearing a rave review from a fellow shopper while in a B&N retail store. My daugther immediately snagged this book from me because it is loaded with practical advice about everything involving wedding planning.

    The book answers questions we didn't realize we had. For example, ever wonder how old is too old for a flower girl? Do you know what do do about feeding the officiant and the musicians working your wedding? There is useful information on every page of this book. I think I will need to buy a second copy because I will never see my original copy again.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Hands down, the most useful wedding planning book I've come across

    In the cacophony of wedding planning & etiquette books, "Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette" rises above the noise to provide a concise & helpful guide for planning your big day. As a bride-to-be who is overwhelmed with the sheer number of options and details that have become "essential" in a modern day wedding, this book has helped to cut through the BS and plainly lay out what is necessary, what is nice to have, and what is a waste of time and money. Chapters about family, finances, and legal considerations have started conversations that I otherwise might not have had with my fiancee for months or possibly years. If you are looking for a definitive guide to outline the do's and don'ts of wedding planning, this is it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2010

    helpful

    I found this book to be very helpful. I'm pretty clueless about this wedding planning stuff, and reading the book calmed me down in a way and helped me to focus. You don't have to do everything they tell you, of course, but I think the book gives good advice.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2009

    very useful and up to date

    this book is great because it informs you on up to date information, and its very easy to read. you can find what you are looking for easily. any question you have about your upcoming wedding is answered in this book, its packed with information.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2003

    Definitely Helpful...

    I used this book as a 'wedding bible' -- it got me through all of the stages of my wedding, from showers and invitations to the ceremony itself to thank you letters. It made my responsibilities as a bride much more organized!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2013

    Many of my basic questions were not covered in this resource. Ve

    Many of my basic questions were not covered in this resource. Very disappointing!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted July 14, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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