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The MBA Bride | October 24, 2021

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3 Strategies for Brushing Up on Bridal Etiquette

Let’s deviate from our typical discussion of bridezillas and business school rhetoric to examine how workplace learnings can apply to bridal planning. In particular, how we approach office politics should be like approaching bridal etiquette. Let’s start with two stories. Story #1. When one of my friends, let’s call her Lauren, got married a few years ago, she invited the parents of the members in her bridal party. Some of the parents barely knew the bride or groom. Befuddled by this quandary, I asked what the deal was. Turns out Lauren read an etiquette book that said it was proper and appropriate to invite the parents of the bridal party. Since I’ve never heard of this before, I gave her a funny face and then chalked this one up to learning something new every day.
Story #2. A good friend, let’s call her Cordelia, told me that she is offended that she’s on the B-listed to a friend’s wedding. With the wedding a short time away, Cordelia hadn’t yet received her invitation and was waiting to see if she would “make the cut.” How did she find out she was on the backup list, you ask? The bride and groom told her she could go if others declined. Offensive enough for you? In Emeril tradition, let’s “kick it up a notch” with the fact that Cordelia’s beau is an A-lister and received his invite months ago. AWKWARD.Both of these instances are so extreme on the bridal etiquette spectrum. One adheres so tightly to the bridal behavior of yesteryear and the other seems so blunt and rude. As a modern day bride, what kind of etiquette should you employ? And how?!?!

Start by thinking of when you were new to a job and the skills you used to fit in with your new co-workers. In particular, at first, most of us sit back and observe the Dos and Don’ts of the workplace. Can you bust out a “your mama’s so fat” joke and everyone take it in stride? Or is it so prim and proper that you must address everyone by Mr. or Ms.? The only way you know is to stop, look and listen.

And that’s what brides should do as well – brush up on the Dos and Don’ts of wedding planning by stopping, looking, and listening. Before you do anything else, stop your action. Look at other brides’ behavior and decide how you feel about it (but don’t say it out loud unless you’re complimenting the bride). Next, listen and read. Buff up on your bridal know-how by reading a book or two. Below are a inexpensive books you can order through Amazon:

Remember, you don’t have to use everything you hear, see, and read. Choose which bridal etiquette tricks you’d like to honor and which you want to deviate from, and understand why. But most importantly, just stop, look, and listen.

Do you have a bridal etiquette experience that you feel compelled to share? Tell us in the comments below.

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