A lot of brides email me with questions about etiquette, which I dutifully (or snarkily) answer, complete with an "etiquette" tag. But I've become increasingly frustrated with the entire notion of wedding etiquette.
We no longer live in a world where a girl lives with, and is supported by, her father and mother until she goes to live with, and be supported by, her new husband. So why is it still considered proper etiquette for the bride's parents to pay for the wedding?
And it is rarely the case that a newly married couple is setting up household together for the first time, so why do we still shower them with gifts? Couples ties themselves in knots figuring out where to register because they don't NEED ANYTHING, and guests feel obligated to buy a gift/make a fucking donation to the honeymoon fund, even though weddings are GODDAMN EXPENSIVE to attend.
Why can't we throw out all the old rules and rely instead on common sense and good manners?
Consider this question:[M]y fiance and I always wanted a very simple affair for a wedding, nothing crazy and with only close friends and family. We currently live in a different state than where we would be saying our vows so his family would have to travel for our wedding anyway.
My mother recently asked me if I would be interested in having a destination wedding. She would of course pay for my fiance and I to fly (and the wedding) but I'm not sure if she would (or should) pay for the rest of his family to attend as well. What is the proper etiquette for these sort of things? My fiance's family is well to do on their own (is that even a factor??)...but if I decide to do a destination wedding and I know it's traditional for the bride's family to pay for it...does that mean my mom should pay for his close family to attend?
I want to know what the proper etiquette for this sort of deal is before I nix the idea or go along with it.
Blah blah blah etiquette, amirite? Just use common sense. Can his family afford to attend? Yes. Should your mom offer to pay for them? Nah.
But it might be good manners to cover expenses for your bridal party, depending on how well-to-do they are. And what about your other friends? Can they afford the trip? That seems to me to be the more pressing question.