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Miss Manners' Guide to a Surprisingly Dignified Wedding Hardcover – January 11, 2010
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About the Author
Judith Martin, born a perfect lady in an imperfect society, is the author of the “Miss Manners” columns and best-selling books, two novels, and a travel book on Venice. She and her husband live in Washington, DC.
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Top Customer Reviews
First and foremost, it seems obvious, but don't buy this book if you don't like Miss Manners' style of writing. Many newspapers run a Miss Manners column, you can use the "Look inside this book" Amazon feature, or you can Google for "advice by Miss Manners" for some sample columns. People tend to either love or hate Miss Manners - I personally find her very arch and witty, but I have friends who feel her dry tone and third-person self-references to be intolerably snooty.
Much of this book is a reprisal of "Miss Manners on Painfully Proper Weddings," so if you have that book already I'm not sure you need to buy this one as well. The only particular advice I can remember that has been updated for modern times is that Miss Manners tolerates the discreet inclusion of registry information on a wedding website. Other than that, the advice is much the same.
In comparison to Emily Post's "Wedding Etiquette", "Wedding Etiquette" is more of a general guide for wedding planning, with some etiquette advice thrown in, whereas Miss Manners' book is mostly about etiquette, with little advice on wedding planning. Whether this is good or bad for you depends on whether you are already getting that planning advice from elsewhere. For example, Post's "Wedding Etiquette" has a very long section on different ways to word the invitation (depending on who is hosting, etc), whereas "Surprisingly Dignified Wedding" has a much shorter section for this.Read more ›
Miss Manners' Guide to a Surprisingly Dignified Wedding is an updated version of an earlier book on weddings, with her recently-married daughter Jacobina Martin added as co-author. It's an invaluable guide to what is truly important at a wedding, what is not important, and what is actually rude. Hair-raising stories abound from all sides: hosts who ignore their guests, ask them to pay for their own food (or simply to deposit money into the couple's bank account), and who treat the wedding as a kind of show business production; clerics who joke throughout the ceremony; guests who refuse to reply to invitations, demand to be allowed to bring friends, or accept the invitation and then fail to show up.
In a world of rapidly declining manners and rapidly increasing friction, Judith Martin draws a roadmap for people who want to live together without offense, and sets a standard for a society in which people are genuinely civil to each other.
Readers unfamiliar with Judith Martin's shtick seem perpetually unaware that someone who styles herself "Miss Manners" is in on the joke. Like the larger volume, the bulk of the wedding book teaches etiquette through primly sarcastic response to reader questions, not exposition. Questions from Gentle Readers consume a larger portion of the book than the full etiquette guide. There are very few instructions on what to do or explanation of traditions. If you are curious about wedding customs or what should be done at weddings, don't expect to find that information here! Miss Manners assumes you already know the broad outline of how weddings are conducted, and the book focuses on what is rude. I haven not read Miss Manners On Weddings, so I have no basis for comparison with that.
One could sum of the bulk of this book in three words: "get over yourself". More specifically if you already knew the following, you need not purchase the book:
-Thank you cards are mandatory and should be written immediately.
-The wedding couple should not be concerned about their guests spend their money if they are moved to do so.
-The venue and food at the reception should be determined by figuring out the wedding budget then dividing that by the number of people you wish to share the day with. Cutting the guest list to afford a nicer venue or dinner is not appropriate- the food should be scaled down accordingly. Serve punch and cake alone if necessary.
-Cash bars are rude.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book! Plenty to laugh about but also lots of practical advice about real situations that must often arise with weddings and wedding planning. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Polly H.
More people should read this book when planning a wedding. It is funny and down right honest about how to not piss off your guests when planning your wedding. Read morePublished 12 months ago by mauve
I finally got tired of reading the same petty stuff repeatedly. The traditional rules of etiquette that Martin sometimes offered were terrific for me. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Judith
I love Miss Manners' advice overall, and this book is such a sane and down-to-earth (and witty!) treasure trove of sensible information. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Paulette
My go-to engagement gift for girlfriends getting married. Helpful, funny, practical.
If nothing else, this book is sure to distract any mother of the bride who, with best... Read more
Very helpful - reminds one of all sorts of important things!Published 17 months ago by Jeanie Robinson-Pownall
very refreshing. this is my go-to resource. If you feel uncomfortable with all the talk of "branding" and "MY day" and all the incredible bull**** you are fed as... Read morePublished 18 months ago by LB