Well, it's come to this. Wedding newsletters.
Now lie still, Emily Post. Subtlety may have seen its day.
For couples who don't want to leave their wedding guests guessing, a few brides have taken to self-publishing. Jennifer Davis of Orange sent out her six-page Nuptial News to wedding guests months before her December marriage to Jeffrey Garza on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, so guests would have time to prepare.
"It's a busy time of year, so I wanted people to save the date," said Davis, who first got the idea when she received a similar newsletter from a friend who was having a wedding in Napa.
Later, Davis noticed that a bride catalog was selling newsletter forms you could customize on your home computer. She figured she'd make her own. "We were a little nervous about sending it. We thought it treaded the line of appropriateness, but most guests really appreciated it."
Dolores Milam, sales and marketing manager for Creations by Elaine, the bridal accessory catalog company that sells blank "Bridal Update" newsletter paper, said this was the first year the company had carried the line. "We felt it was very appropriate for today's culture, in which young people tend to think in terms of computerized communication."
Not to mention commercialized everything. "When you look at what takes place at weddings today, tradition is often out the window," Milam added. "We see many things that wouldn't have occurred to us years ago."
Through Creations by Elaine, the custom paper (which you'll find just ahead of Car Decorating Kits) costs $9.50 for 25 sheets, or $28.50 for 100 sheets. Sales, reported Milam, have been "respectable."
Suggested headings on the catalog sample include "Plans for the Wedding of the Century Are Underway" and "Wedding Weekend Attractions."
The cover page of Davis' newsletter, which went to 300 guests, ran a story of the couple's engagement and information on booking a room at the Queen Mary at the best rates so guests could make a weekend of the affair. It also provided helpful registry information.
Davis and Garza had registered at Macy's, Home Depot (since they moved into their new home, home improvement has become a favorite pastime), and the Waterford Wedgwood store in England, because what Jennifer reee-ally wanted were pieces of her preferred china pattern, Florentine Turquoise by Wedgwood.
"One day at a china warehouse in London she discovered the only china pattern she'd ever fallen in love with," the newsletter says on Page 3.
Unfortunately, you can get the pattern only from England, so the newsletter provides the UK phone and fax numbers for ordering.
Finally, the publication offered advice on how not to embarrass oneself on the dance floor. Davis and Garza are professional ballroom dancers. They chose the Queen Mary because of its dance floor. To get in the know about ballroom dance, Nuptial News has an article on swing dancing, complete with foot diagrams.
If that's not enough, the couple encourages guests to brush up and take a few lessons. "Start practicing--this is no time to sit one out," they wrote.
Or guests could have called Davis or Garza and received a few lessons from them beforehand.
Oh, and one more delicate issue the newsletter deftly handled. Because of the dancing, no kids. "They would just get trampled," Davis said.
But the main reason the couple sent the newsletter: "We didn't want this to be just another wedding people drag themselves to. We wanted to create a fervor."
In the end, Davis considered the newsletter and the wedding a success. "About 60 guests spent the night on the ship and made it a blow-out weekend, which they wouldn't have done if it hadn't been for the newsletter."
As for the china, she received more china from Wedgwood in England than from Macy's. "People really enjoyed getting something different."