DEAR MISS MANNERS: I come from a very traditional family that hosts large gatherings and events regularly. They insist on having a guest book at these events. There is no room in these books for anything other than the attendees’ names.
I understand their usefulness for events that do not have invitations, but otherwise find them cumbersome and think they become clutter. When I get married, I would prefer not to have one. Am I committing an etiquette faux pas?
GENTLE READER: Such books are most useful at funerals, when the family is not in a position to keep track of who attended.
Otherwise, it is hosts, not guests, who love them. Miss Manners can only admire guests who are adroit at producing clever remarks or drawings on the spot, as she is not among them.
And your family is not even asking for that. Unless they are teenagers posting open invitations when their parents are out of town, they should already have the names and addresses -- and acceptances -- of their guests, so there seems little point in these books, except as souvenirs.
But etiquette takes no position on the question. Your relatives are not wrong to maintain such books, and you will not be wrong to omit one.
(Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, firstname.lastname@example.org; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)