Emily Post is rolling in her grave. There appears to be a new practice of sending cute poems to wedding guests, ASKING FOR CASH IN LIEU OF WEDDING GIFTS. Make no mistake: these poems (or any other requests) are not cute… they’re rude.
And it seems to be spreading. A bride-to-be who is now claiming to be a wedding expert is using her blog to tell her friends that it’s a smart thing to do. Especially if you, like she and her fiancé, already own their own home filled with everything they need.
There seems to be a departure from the true spirit of receiving wedding gifts — your friends and family are celebrating their happiness for you with a gift. They know your situation. If you can’t use another toaster, blender or microwave, they will often give wine, theatre tickets, or –my personal favourite — a donation in your name to charity.
Sometimes, couples ask for money in order to pay for a wedding they couldn’t otherwise afford. It’s fine to put any cash gifts toward the wedding expenses, but to plan a wedding beyond your means and expect your guests to pay for it is unacceptable.
Always ready to cash in (pardon the pun) on a new trend, brides can now use special wedding registries that claim to “let you ask for cash without sounding tacky.” Even that sentence sounds tacky!
Other couples consider this to be similar to a traditional gift registry. In fact, some go far as to set up Go Fund Me accounts to pay for their weddings and honeymoons! Often this is to help pay for a destination wedding to which the donor won’t even be receiving an invitation!
Gift registries play an important role. They allow guests to chose a wedding gift that will coordinate with the vision a bride has for her home, and they are particularly useful for those who live far from the couple. However, it is in very poor taste to ask for gifts, and printing anything to that effect on the wedding invitation is the highest breach of etiquette.
There is only ONE acceptable way to potentially receive more cash than gifts. That is to not register. Guests will often do what is easiest for them, and if they are unsure of what you want they will often give you cash or a cheque.
Hand-fasting is an ancient Celtic marriage tradition, from which we get the expression TYING THE KNOT. As Celtic culture spread from Ireland and Scotland through Britain and into western Europe, hand-fasting evolved to the point that it was incorporated into the religious marriage ceremonies. In some remote areas, hand-fasting became a form of temporary marriage until it was followed up by a real wedding.
The traditional hand-fasting “chord” was made of rope or dyed cloth; it was a status symbol to have an embroidered chord. It was approximately a yard long, and was wrapped about the hands to mimic the Celtic knot, which symbolized unity and everlasting.
When performing a hand-fasting ceremony, I allow the couple to choose between two variations. One is a non-religious version that involves 4 ribbons, and a blessing of their marriage with gifts from the north, south, east and west.
The other is a Christian version, that uses 3 ribbons, representing the Trinity. This is a variation of a traditional ceremony, in which the priest will wrap his stole around the couple’s hands “Those whom God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” William and Kate were handfasted at their wedding by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The colour of the ribbons is up to you. Some brides like to choose their wedding colours. Others prefer the traditional hand-fasting colours of white for purity, red for passion, and blue for loyalty. Some couple prefer silk cord, which can be found in craft stores. Many add tassels or charms. Use your creativity!
For both versions, I do a blessing of the hands:
There are so many different lace patterns, it shouldn’t be difficult to find the perfect one for your wedding gown! Here are a few of the most popular:
Battenberg: A heavier lace with the feeling of a Renaissance fabric
Brussels: Raised lace resembling a flower; very delicate with subtle patterns; also called “daisy lace”
Alencon: A design of leaves and rose clusters on a net background, often with an “eyelash” edge
Chantilly: Similar to Alencon lace, but without the net; very expensive
Lyon: A fine lace of floral patterns
Cluny: A lace of fine linen thread, featuring wheel or wheat designs
Venise: A roseleaf pattern featuring heavy stitching and a three-dimensional effect
Schiffli: A machine-made lace of a cotton/polyester blend
Guipure: Lace with a bold pattern and few connective stitches
Before you can plan your perfect wedding, you must determine your personal style. It will shine through everywhere on your wedding day, so don’t try to be someone you’re not.
Traditional: You like timeless looks and understated elegance. When planning your wedding, you will follow the etiquette books to the letter.
Romantic: You want your wedding to be straight out of a Jane Austen novel. You love bows, flowers, embroidery, lace−all the trimmings
Dramatic: You love the glamour of Hollywood, and you have what it takes to pull it off. Red roses, slinky gowns, and diamonds give you the look you want.
Free Spirit: You prefer wildflowers to red roses. Your gown will be comfortable and flow freely. You wish you could get married in bare feet!
Sophisticated: You feel at home in Paris and New York. You can spot a Chanel a mile away. “Exquisite” is the word that comes to mind when describing your wedding.
Modern: You believe that “less is more,” and your wedding shows it. You may not be a minimalist, but you certainly like to keep things simple. Ornamentation and excessive decoration is not for you.
Girl Next Door: You are not interested in outdoing anyone. You are comfortable just being yourself. You may want to wear your mother’s pearls on your wedding day.