The Wedding Series – Vendor Tipping Tips

To tip, or not to tip: that is the question.
Whether 'tis better in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outraged vendors,
Or simply to bite the bullet and shell out a sea of cash.
~ Parody of Hamlet's Famous Soliloquy


Of all the etiquette topics that crop up in our lives tipping is one of the most frustrating and confusing. And we Americans seem to have created this tangled web. Many countries, such as Japan and Brazil, do not observe this custom; but it should be noted that some countries that do not observe tipping, per se, do build into their prices a gratuity. Likewise, tipping in the U.K. is not as widespread as in the U.S., although American tourists are apparently influencing tipping patterns there. 

The Wedding Series – The Wedding Bands

With this ring I thee wed
and with all that I am
and with all that I have
I honor you


The exchange of wedding bands during the marriage ceremony is another highlight that is at once joyful and solemn, and much anticipated by all, especially the bride and groom. The ring having no beginning and no end symbolizes the continuous and endless commitment that the bride and groom are making to each other. The rings are meant to be worn forever as a symbol of that commitment and to make known to the world that such a commitment has been made.

And, as with all thing connected to the wedding ceremony, there is etiquette to observe in the ceremonial exchange of wedding bands.

The Wedding Series – Toasting

“Ladies and gentlemen,
I’m sorry to drag you from your delicious desserts.
Uh, there are just one or two little things I feel I should say as best man.
This is only the second time I’ve ever been a best man.
I hope I did the job alright that time.
The couple in question are, at least, still talking to me.
Unfortunately, they’re not actually talking to each other
– the divorce came through a couple of months ago.  
But I’m sure it had absolutely nothing to do with me.
Apparently, Paula knew that Pierce had slept with her younger sister
before I mentioned it in the speech.
The fact that he slept with her mother came as a surprise,
but, um, I think was incidental to the nightmare of recrimination
and, um, violence that became their two-day marriage.
Anyway, enough of that! Um, my job today is to talk about Angus,
and there are no skeletons in his cupboard. I thought.
I’ll come on to that in a minute. I just would like to say this:
Um. I am, as ever, in, uh, bewildered awe of anyone who makes
this kind of commitment that Angus and Laura have made today.
I know I couldn’t do it and, uh, I think it’s wonderful they can.
So, anyway, back to Angus and those sheep!
So, ladies and gentleman, if you don’t…
raise your glasses…uh…the adorable couple!”
~Hugh Grant as Charles in Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)


Toasts are a highlight of the wedding celebration, both at the rehearsal dinner-- where they are more free-form, anecdotal and often hilarious -- and the reception, where they are more scripted, brief and well-planned. But because a toast is carefully prepared and rehearsed does not mean it cannot be witty and entertaining. Brilliant toasts have been known to prompt tears of sentiment, nostalgia and laughter and add truly memorable moments to a wedding celebration. Some couples tape their toasts for posterity, which I think is a great idea. 

The Wedding Series – Double Weddings


"Here come the lovers, full of joy and mirth."
(Enter lovers Lysander, Demetrius, Hermia, And Helena)
~ Thesius, A Midsummer Night's Dream,  Act 5, Scene 1


William Shakespeare seemed to find joy in double weddings, as he wrote about them at least thrice, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado About Nothing and Twelfth Night. A double wedding also was the focus of the 1937 romantic film comedy, Double Wedding, starring William Powell and Myrna Loy of the Thin Man movie series fame. And remember the achingly romantic double wedding in Pride and Prejudice

The Wedding Series – The Pregnant Bride

Still from the "His Love Makes Me Beautiful" scene
from the 1968 movie, Funny Girl,
starring Barbra Streisand, 
produced by Ray Stark, directed by William Wyler
and distributed by Columbia Pictures


When Barbra Streisand performed her famous Ziegfeld Follies scene from Funny Girl back in 1968, audiences found a pregnant bride a shocking -- and at the same time an amusing -- idea, even though the movie scene was set in the 1930s, where a real pregnant bride would have been even more shocking and maybe not quite so amusing. And, historically, rather than escorting his daughter down the aisle to meet her groom, the role of the father of an unwed pregnant daughter was to oversee the proverbial -- or actual -- shotgun wedding.

The Wedding Series – The D.J.

Even when I was a hip-hop DJ I always kept it classy.
The motto is always 'flashy but classy.' You've got to be original
and stand out from the crowd and take some chances.
But you've always got to keep it classy.  
~ Mayer Hawthorne

 The disc jockey is an icon that parallels the history of recorded music. One of my favorite music history tidbits is that the Grammy Awards are named for the gramophone, which was invented in 1887. DJs date back at least to the 1930s but rose to radio fame in the 1950s and '60s and disco fame in the 1970s.

DJs are a popular choice for wedding receptions because they are less expensive than hiring a live band and can offer a wider selection of music. The DJ also can offer an entertaining personality and for that reason often doubles as the master of ceremonies (MC) at weddings.

The Wedding Series – Greeting Your Guests


Guests bring good luck with them. ~ Kurdish Proverb

A warm greeting complete with a dazzling smile, eyes that are lit up and a friendly handshake -- and where appropriate a hug or quick squeeze -- can lift peoples' spirits and make them feel welcome, wanted and deeply appreciated. No less a greeting -- along with a heartfelt "thank you for attending" -- should be extended to each and every wedding guest by the bride and groom, the parents and other family members of the wedding couple. No guest who has spent time, effort and funds to get to the wedding should be overlooked or ignored by the bride and groom and their families.