Emily Edwards, Guest Author
I was raised with a heavy emphasis on Etiquette and Manners: Don’t chew with your mouth open; Send thank you notes when you receive a gift; Wait until everyone at the table has gotten their food before you begin eating; etc. etc.
Well, as a kid this translated into rules, rules, rules… and I was not exactly a rule-oriented little girl. In fact, I liked to break the rules any chance I got, just for the sake of going against the grain. In fact, my favorite phrase was, “You’re not the boss of me!”
But one of my moms taught me that Etiquette was not just in place to “tell us what to do.” Rather, it was just an agreed upon way of doing things so that everyone (i.e. society) knows what to expect and there is not chaos and confusion.
A good example of this is traffic laws. Could you imagine if everyone was just doing their own thing on the roads and not following the agreed upon driving etiquette? I know some of you are saying, “As a matter of fact, yes I can! There are a ton of rude drivers out there.” And that is exactly the point.
If people are going through an intersection on a red light, changing lanes without signaling, or double parking… what does that cause? Chaos. Confusion. And sometimes disaster.
Well, the same is true with Etiquette. I know that Etiquette has been shifting and changing to accommodate our modern world and times, but the problem is that with everyone putting their own modern twist on Etiquette, it is losing the consistency of knowing what to expect… the very essence of why we need Etiquette in the first place.
For example, many people have started treating the acronym, R.S.V.P. as what you do if you are coming to an event. Some even make the mistake that it means, “Regrets Only.” They have forgotten or disregarded that R.S.V.P. is French for “Repondez, S’il Vous Plait” which means, “Respond, Please.” Respond if you are attending. Respond if you are NOT attending. RESPOND. This can have a huge impact on the host/hostess when planning an event. Especially one as large and typically formal as a wedding.
Since, as a Wedding Consultant, not following Etiquette has become one of my biggest pet peeves, I will spare you of me getting on my soapbox about the topic. But let me just say this: Following Etiquette is important. It may not be as dire as a traffic accident, I know. But please, Brides, Grooms and Guests alike, take the time to do your research and make sure you are following the proper Etiquette. It does not exist to boss you around, it is just common courtesy.
BONUS Article: Répondez s’il vous plaît! – RSVP
Copyright © 2011 – Emily Edwards. Reprinted with permission. Emily Edwards is the owner and lead consultant of Your Heart’s Desire. She has over 10 years of experience as a Wedding Consultant and currently plans and coordinates over 15 weddings a year here in this beautiful state of Arizona. Call Emily at: 623-628-6280. Visit her Wedding Blog.
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