Tuesday, January 28, 2014

To Choose or Not to Choose...

I often get asked questions about proper etiquette. With the wedding season coming up, I have been getting a steady stream of questions regarding wedding etiquette. Recently, I was asked a wedding etiquette question that I didn't know the proper answer to, but it was because it was a regarding a topic that I don't see Bride's putting too much energy into in our current social norms. Should the Mother of the Bride (MOB) choose her dress before the Mother of the Groom (MOG), and should the MOB and MOG dresses compliment the colors of the wedding party?

The tradition answer to the first question is yes, the Mother of the Bride does choose her dress first, and the Mother of the Groom should choose a dress that complements (but does not match) the MOB's dress. Typically I tend to lean towards traditional etiquette, but in this instance, I can honestly say I really didn't put much stipulation on what either mother should wear at my wedding. Our wedding invitations specified a dress code of "Semi-Formal" (I did NOT want anyone coming to my wedding in cargo pants, or jeans!), and I assumed that both mothers would follow that dress code... and they did! All on their own!
My mother in a beautiful dusty aqua gown.
Ken's mother in a lovely black dress.
I, personally, think that a bride has enough planning and stress on her to have to worry about such a minor thing. By allowing each mother to choose her own dress, it free's the bride for other matters that need her attention, and also avoids any potential conflict that may result in trying to choose a dress for the MOB and MOG. That's not to say the bride shouldn't have any input on the final decision, and some MOB's and MOG's may want the brides help in choosing a dress.

Some brides may have a specific style, color, and length she wishes the MOB and MOG dresses to be. Some bride's may want the MOB and MOG dresses to match or compliment the bridal party, while others may not care at all. I have recently noticed a rising trend of brides in the "I don't care, as long as it's nice" category. It is because of this trend that I wasn't even aware that there is a specific order in which the mothers get their dresses.

Whichever category each bride finds herself, in regards to MOB and MOG dresses, making sure both mothers know your expectations from the start will help this wedding detail go much more smoothly, and hopefully stress/conflict free!

Did you choose your MOB/MOG dresses? Were there any conflicts/concerns about MOB/MOG dresses?

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Frustrating and Confusing Misuse of ...

I know that my grammar isn't perfect. I'm sure readers find grammatical errors in my writing quite frequently. I'm a frequent abuser of run-on sentences, hence my love of ellipses. However, I have noticed a growing trend in a major grammatical error that is, quite frankly, driving me crazy! The misuse/abuse of the ellipsis...

In formal writing, an ellipsis is used to signify an omission within a quote. Informally an ellipsis is meant to convey a pause, or a break in a train of thought. I won't go into too much detail, but if you want to know more I found a great article here.

My pet peeve is with the growing trend of using an ellipsis in place of an exclamation point, or period. Here are some examples I see on a regular basis.

"Happy Birthday..."

When I see this, my first reaction is, "Do they not want to wish that person a happy birthday?". Using an ellipsis in this example makes the birthday greeting seem as though it is written reluctantly rather than with joy. 

"It was great seeing you..."

Was it really? Because written like this make me think it really wasn't so great after all.

"Thanks for all your help today..."

Well, if you aren't grateful for my help, then next time I won't offer. I hope you are starting to see my point. An ellipsis is a pause... an emotional straight faced contemplation. There isn't any excitement, joy, or positive emotion when using an ellipsis. Now, change all three sentences by ending them with an exclamation point, and you will see what I mean.
"Happy Birthday!"
"It was great seeing you!"
"Thanks for all your help today!"

Using an exclamation point shows the intent of your feelings, and doesn't leave the reader confused, frustrated, or offended. Not that an exclamation point can't be used offensively, but at least you are well aware that you are choosing to use it in an offending manner. Until next time ... please use your punctuation responsibly! 
Charles Schulz always captured the melancholy emotions of Peanuts with ellipses.