Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 15596th edition (January 11, 2010)
Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #208,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #22 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Weddings > Planners #53935 in Books > Reference
This is a review of "Miss Manners' Guide to a Surprisingly Dignified Wedding," and also a comparison of this book to "Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette" by Peggy Post.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" 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.
I own Judith Martin's larger book, Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior and was delighted to get a chance to read her Guide to a Surprisingly Dignified Wedding, though the time for it to be any use to me is past, as my sister's marriage occurred last month.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.
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