|be the perfect host/ess||.||
first wedding invitation I ever received arrived in my college dorm
mailbox in the spring of my junior year, a heavy white envelope,
hand-addressed in proper black ink with my name and dorm mailing
address. Just my name – not my parents’ or my brothers’ or anyone else’s.
There it was, “Ms. Yee-Fan Sun,” inked in careful script and
standing all by itself on the envelope. At the ripe old age of twenty,
I’d finally graduated from being just another kid in the “and
family” part of an invitation, to being my own, separate person. Like
a real adult. Sort of.
course, a real adult would have had a clue or two regarding at least a
few of the intricacies of proper wedding etiquette.
I, on the other hand, was a complete wedding moron. Did I buy my
own gift or sign my name on the gift from the rest of my family?
If the former, what to buy and how much to spend? And how was I
supposed to figure out how dressy of an affair this was going to be?
Were we talking something along the lines of
piano-recital-flower-print-dress type of dressy, or
cocktail-dress-and-real-pearls sort of formal?
a vexing fact of life that you will not know how to be a truly great
guest until you have planned a wedding of your own, a truth I’m
beginning to realize now that I’m 26, and smack dab in the middle of
my own pre-wedding chaos. By the time you get to this point, of course,
much damage will have already been done, and you’ll be embarrassed to
think back upon the many, many social faux pas you have already
inadvertently committed. (To all those brides and grooms who were
unlucky enough to have had me as a guest in my more
wedding-inexperienced, etiquette-impaired days, many profuse apologies.)
But to those of you just starting out in the quasi-adult world of reply
cards and gift registries, a ray of hope: armed with a little knowledge,
it is possible to avoid making
a complete fool of yourself as a wedding guest. A few tips for the
quasi-adult on what the real adults feel you already ought to know about
the rules of proper wedding behavior, but are naturally too polite to
tell you straight out should you somehow manage to violate them.