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Actual Miss Manners Column


   The following is the recent Miss Manners column regarding a "period"




DEAR MISS MANNERS -- My daughter and her fiance, who met in an organization
that studies and re-creates medieval and renaissance culture, plan to have an
Italian Renaissance theme wedding. The wedding will take place in an
Episcopal church with the usual order of service. There will be some
16th-century musical selections, as there may be during any Sunday morning

There are only three departures from what we normally think of in a
20th-century formal wedding:

1. The dress of the bride, groom and their attendants will be in the fashions
depicted by Raphael in his non-religious paintings. 

2. The wedding supper will be held in a community hall, which they plan to
decorate with banners and such to reflect the 16th-century theme. 

3. In lieu of the usual ''bride and groom's first dance,'' the wedding party
will perform one or two dances of the period.

My husband is enraged that we are ''putting on this circus.'' He thinks the
guests will be insulted by the lack of tradition and alienated by the
unfamiliar clothing. 

My daughter says that she is following tradition -- an even older one -- and
that all formal wedding parties wear dress that is unusual compared to
everyday clothing. 

Are we committing a grave social faux pas? 

GENTLE READER -- At the risk of annoying everybody concerned, Miss Manners
has to say that she shares your husband's distaste for theme weddings, and
yet doesn't think your daughter's plans are distasteful. 

In spite of the argument that out-of-the ordinary clothes are worn at a
wedding, it is not, as many seem to think, a costume party. The wedding party
generally wears formal clothes, it is true, but they are the formal clothes
of the society in which they live. And the traditional wedding dress,
although a unique item, is nevertheless traditional to our time and place.

So why is Miss Manners being uncharacteristically lenient in this particular
case? Well, first, they are connecting the style with a serious interest that
they and their friends share. 

More importantly, they are severely limiting the ''theme'' innovations. 

Miss Manners doubts that friends who know of the couple's interests will be
''insulted'' by these details. 

Miss Manners is the pseudonym of Washington, D.C.-based writer Judith Martin.
Her columns appear Sundays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Feeling incorrect? Write
to Miss Manners in care of the Living section, the Mercury News, 750 Ridder
Park Drive, San Jose, Calif. 95190.


Transmitted:  95-03-11 05:58:03 EST