September 2000: What is this brunch business?
The post-wedding hotel brunch on Sunday is now almost de rigueur. Is there any emerging tradition for who ought to foot the bill? Is it logical to look to the groom’s family? Also, should the newlyweds feel obligated to show up, assuming they haven’t left on a honeymoon?
When did the relaxed, informal end to a wedding weekend become another forced march past a steam table? I see the fingerprints of the limp-croissant lobby all over this.
Brunch isn’t de rigueur, especially not the hotel part, and no one “ought” to do anything. It’s a kindness volunteered (important detail) by anyone who feels inclined to volunteer it--and has the blessing of the couple (very important detail). It can be immediate family, other relatives, friends, whoever wants in. Brunch can go on without the bride and groom, but only if they say so. I don’t think “wildcat brunches” are where we as a society really want to go.
July 1999: Men of honor
This past weekend was my brother’s wedding. After all the toasts were done, I asked him and my other brother to be my “best men” -- in place of a maid of honor -- for my wedding next year. I’m getting lots of flak for it from family and friends. They think it’s weird and in bad taste. They’ve said it’d be better to make them groomsmen instead. What do you think?
I think your family and friends are meddlesome old cows (cattle?). It’s a fine idea. But don’t completely flout tradition: Make them buy $300 mauve tulle tuxedos they’ll never wear again.
July 2007: The name game
I am getting married next year, and my fiance really wants me to take his name. The thing is, I like my name, and my career is blooming under my maiden name.
I don’t think that changing my name or not is representative of how I feel about my fiance or marriage. Should I suck it up, or is this an archaic tradition that I can ignore?
If you declare this an archaic tradition you can ignore, then, like it or not, you are representing how you feel about your fiance and marriage. By flipping them both the bird.
Full disclosure: My bias is toward the values you forge (your connection to your name), as opposed to the values you’re fed (brides become Mrs. Groom).
So reject the tradition, by all means, if your beliefs say you must.
But please don’t ignore it. You owe it to your chosen life partner to act like his life partner, too. And that means respecting the fact that he wants something, learning why he wants it, and weighing these reasons carefully -- and transparently -- before you choose to reject them. He owes you the same. Neither of you should tread lightly, just tread as if you care.
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