My SO and I have known Harry and Jane for eight years. In all that time, they referred to each other as “my fiancé/e”. I always thought they would never get married and used the term to pacify the families. Was I ever wrong!
We attended their wedding this summer. They saved for it themselves – no family members were asked to pay for it, and none of the guests were “shaken down” for money. She was lovely in a long white satin dress, he wore pinstripes. His brother (who was supposed to be best man) was shipped to an overseas base (he’s in the service) about two months before the wedding, but it was handled by one of the other ushers stepping up and the brother’s name left on the guest list & a place setting left open for him at the main table.
Her sisters were bridesmaids, their dresses complimented each other and the bride’s but did not match exactly. I learned after the reception that they were actually regular dresses accessorized so that the girls could get more use from them than just wearing them once.
The bride and her mother & sisters decorated the hall the reception was held in, using fabric draperies to soften the room and add color to an otherwise dull white Elk’s Club meeting hall. There was enough food for all of the guests – about 100 in all – and although it was chicken, it was good chicken. I think the catering was the only thing the bride and groom hired out for.
The music was provided by a friend with a sound system who mixes at a local club on the weekends. The selection was wide enough to keep everyone – from her very Midwestern family to our hipster friends – happy.
No cake was smashed in faces, no one got drunk and sick, and they somehow managed to organize beds and travel for about 25 guests who came in from the Midwest, Canada and Illinois.
The really amazing thing is that the groom managed to do all this with a ruptured disc in his back (which he told none of us about until the week after the wedding) and the bride’s job had just been downsized, leaving her with half the paycheck she has normally been getting. But she was all smiles coming down the aisle, and no one was the wiser.
Its young people like Jane and Harry that make me think that maybe etiquette is not dead just yet. 11-25-08