August 03, 2010

Quotable: Wedding Edition #2

Dear Miss Manners

What is your opinion of an engagement party which is also a fundraiser for the engaged couple? They are upfront about it being a fundraiser, and it takes place at their house, where they are cooking a meal for cash.

The idea behind it is that the marriage is in part because one member of the couple is of another nationality and hasn't been able to earn money in this country. Because of their single income, they would like to raise money from friends for the wedding.

While I have nothing against fundraisers, combining it with the engagement party seems a little gauche to me, since many people I know feel like they must attend the engagement party or risk offending the couple.

Gentle Reader

If there is a difference between engagement/wedding festivities and fundraisers, you would not know it from Miss Manners's mail. Nearly all the bridal questions concern one form or another of extracting money or dry goods from guests.

And perhaps not so coincidentally, many of them refer to the partner in the engagement as being a "finance." The overriding purpose of this event, as its hosts and beneficiaries have explained, is not to celebrate but to raise money. Those who agree that this is offensive should not attend, but this does not prevent them from showing their goodwill by congratulating the couple and wishing them happiness.

--Miss Manners in a column from May 11, 2010, The Washington Post

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