Books for Brides: Miss Manners on Painfully Proper Weddings

Does today’s Books for Brides title, Miss Manners’ Guide to a Surprisingly Dignified Wedding, sound like a total yawn-fest to you?  then you probably aren’t familiar with Miss Manners.

Books for Brides: Book review for Miss Manners' Guide to a Surpringly Dignified Wedding
Miss Manners’ Guide to a Surpringly Dignified Wedding

As one of the Amazon reviewers  puts it, “Miss Manners is “in on the joke [and] teaches etiquette through primly sarcastic response to reader questions.”

And — depending on your style of humor — what results is a pretty darn funny book that made me laugh out loud several times each time I sat down to read it.

In fact, I honestly think I laughed out loud more while reading Miss Manners’ Guide to a Surprisingly Dignified Wedding than I did while reading either Sophie Kinsella’s Wedding Night or Cathy Guiswite’s The Wedding of Cathy and Irving (which you can also read my reviews for, if you click those links).

How can a book about etiquette be funny, you ask? Well, here’s a few samples to show you what I mean:


Dear Miss Manners — When attending a wedding abroad, what is considered proper for gift giving, taking into account the guest’s traveling expense to be in attendance? Can the guest’s presence be considered as a gift?

Gentle Reader — Miss Manners is curious as to what you think your presence is worth. More than an electric can opener, but less than a tea service? Guests do not get expense accounts for attending weddings, which they can then apply against the debt of a wedding present.


Dear Miss Manners — Do you think it is appropriate to to have a full or partial cash bar at a wedding reception? Some coworkers and I were wondering if it would be rude to ask your guests to pay for a drink, or whether today’s economy warrants such actions.

Gentle Reader — Miss Manners is going to take to drink herself, if she keeps having to listen to that argument. No, you cannot use the economy as an excuse for the extreme rudeness of charging your own guests for their refreshments.


I must admit that this book had a sort of voyeuristic appeal to me:  People enclosed the number of their mortgage company’s phone number in their wedding invitation and asked for help with their down payment? Somebody refused to attend their relative’s wedding because their pet monkey wasn’t invited?

It also made me feel vindicated at times (this will probably make some people mad at me, but no, I do not like cash bars either).

You can probably tell from the above quotes whether this book would be “your thing” or not. And would this book make an interesting gift, and if so, for whom, and what would it imply?

Hmm … I’ll leave that for you to decide.


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