DEAR MISS MANNERS: Who should be responsible for the cost of the wedding? Should the bride and groom help with the wedding expense or ?should all of the cost fall to the parents? If so, what percentage should ?the parents pay and what percentage should fall on the bride and groom to ?be?
Our daughter is planning her wedding. The bride and groom are 28 years old ?and this is the first marriage for both. They have college degrees and good-paying jobs. In fact, they make approximately twice what the mother and father of the bride do. Both the bride and groom have their own homes. Neither of them have been dependent on either of their parents for five years.
My daughter feels that traditionally parents should pay for the ?entire wedding and want to do so. I realize that I married 32 years ago and ?things are not the same price as they once were but 15k to 20k is a little ?hard to handle.
I will also mention: Mom and dad will be borrowing most of the money ?for this wedding. I need some help on this matter. I do want to do the ?right thing.
GENTLE READER: No doubt your daughter does, too. A young lady with so much respect for tradition will doubtless be grateful to Miss Manners for explaining the circumstances of the tradition she is so eager to follow.
The parents of the bride did, indeed, pay the wedding costs for a bride living under their protection as their dependent. They also planned the wedding so that it met their taste standard, in addition to costing what they could reasonably and comfortably afford.
As circumstances changed, and brides tended to be older and more independent, these arrangements shifted. Parents conceded more -- often totally -- to the taste of the bridal couple, who are, by definition, at a self-absorbed stage of life and less experienced at entertaining. Weddings became ever more extravagant and expensive. The bridegroom's parents took over responsibility for the night-before dinner, and will sometimes volunteer to contribute more. The couple often pays some or all of the costs in order to get the wedding they want but that their parents cannot afford.
Etiquette never interfered with these arrangements as long as they were voluntary and within the families involved. But at no time did it condone people dunning one another, whether it is the children dunning the parents, the bride's family dunning the bridegroom's family or, the latest vulgarity, the bridal couple dunning the wedding guests.
Miss Manners strongly advises you not to take financial counseling from people who have demonstrated that they are indifferent to the plight of their own parents going into debt.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Occasionally someone at work will bring in a box of candy and set it in the office for all to enjoy. We've been debating as to whether or not one should take the paper candy holder when they take a piece of candy. Some say that to leave it leaves a mess. And others say that, although it is a bit messy, it should be left in the box as a place holder so the candies correspond to the map of candies if there is one.
GENTLE READER: Miss Manners does not recognize the existence of paper place-marks that allow workers to spend too much time hanging over the desks of their generous colleagues. The policy here should be throw as you go.