Plumb Lines

April 24, 2009

Emily Post, True Defender of Traditional Marriage (Invitations)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael E. van Landingham @ 2:40 pm

Think the NOM is hardcore when it comes to loving marriage? Think again. No one wishes for days bygone more than the former Mrs. Edwin Post. An excerpt from Chapter 11 of her 1922 etiquette book:


The invitation to the ceremony is engraved on the front sheet of white note-paper. The smartest, at present, is that with a raised margin—or plate mark. At the top of the sheet the crest (if the family of the bride has the right to use one) is embossed without color. Otherwise the invitation bears no device. The engraving may be in script, block, shaded block, or old English. The invitation to the ceremony should always request “the honour” of your “presence,” and never the “pleasure” of your “company.” (Honour is spelled in the old-fashioned way, with a “u” instead of “honor.”)

Enclosed in Two Envelopes

Two envelopes are never used except for wedding invitations or announcements; but wedding invitations and all accompanying cards are always enclosed first in an inner envelope that has no mucilage on the flap, and is superscribed “Mr. and Mrs. Jameson Greatlake,” without address. This is enclosed in an outer envelope which is sealed and addressed…

A far cry indeed from today’s e-vites to civil marriage ceremonies between two bearded homosexuals and their beagles on a beach in Massachusetts. Oh how I wish we could return to the days of Mrs. Post’s iron doctrine of traditional marriage invitations.

Notice Mrs. Post’s use of “is” above. Our dear lady isn’t some vacillating, weak-kneed lukewarm guardian of the traditional order. “The invitation is engraved.” Because if it wasn’t engraved, how else could you tell you are being invited to a wedding? Sure the “honour” of your “presence” may be requested in correct “old-fashioned” spelling, but isn’t all of that useless without engraving, preferably with a raised margin?

In the interest of full disclosure I confess here that I have not been as stalwart a defender of traditional marriage invitations as I should like to have been. Quite frankly I have neglected my duties to traditional marriage invitations. I allowed my fiancée to choose blue paper instead of forcing white upon her. And her family, unlike the chivalric van Landinghams, does not even have the right to use a crest, let alone a device. A mismatch if there ever was one.

My greatest shame.

My greatest shame.

The battle to protect traditional marriage was certainly lost the first time a frivilous young woman’s parents asked for the “pleasure” of a couple’s “company” at her wedding and dared “monogram” the invitation with “couple’s initials,” obliterating any true meaning the word “monogram” once held. Yes, we all must work harder to enforce traditional marriage invitations. If not, the slippery slope of declining invitation standards will soon lead to people spelling “honor” without a “u” on the embossed invitations to the triunion ceremony of three polyamorists.

-Michael E. van Landingham


  1. “No one wishes for days bygone more than the former Mrs. Edwin Post. An excerpt from Chapter 11 of her 1922 etiquette book”

    MEvL, I think 1922 already qualifies as “day bygone”…

    Comment by P. Langdale Hough — April 24, 2009 @ 2:44 pm

  2. Good point. I hope you take my post to heart for your future marriage invitations.

    Comment by Michael E. van Landingham — April 24, 2009 @ 2:46 pm

  3. Why is this the first time I’ve seen this??

    Comment by Matthew Schmitz — April 24, 2009 @ 2:47 pm

  4. Too late for that, van Landingham…

    Comment by P. Langdale Hough — April 24, 2009 @ 2:48 pm

  5. I ever marry my “life partner” you will totally get an evite to our “celebration of happiness”, which will probably be on a beach at a trash-art park built by hippies.

    Comment by Jody — April 24, 2009 @ 3:37 pm

  6. I’m relieved that there’s no mucilage on the inner flap. The presence of mucilage on the outer flap is, on the other hand, unwholesome and objectionable. I stalwartly oppose flap mucilage in all its nefarious forms.

    Comment by Robin — April 24, 2009 @ 10:31 pm

  7. I, for one, believe you fiancée has impeccable taste.

    Comment by Suzanne W — April 24, 2009 @ 11:03 pm

  8. As someone who has known MEvL from his earliest days, I can attest that his parents began their union with engraved invitations without a device and on smart raised border invitations using old English script. So, he has imbued in his DNA the desire for proper behaviour (note the old style spelling). So, he can’t help the fact that now, even knowing his fiancée has impeccable taste despite her selection of blue paper, that he is compelled to call out like John the Baptist crying in the wilderness, giving witness to the changes.

    However, I wish Mr. van Landingham to know that he is spitting in the wind and he’d just better wipe his face and man up to the changes in this world.

    Comment by Cheryl Smithem — April 26, 2009 @ 7:38 am

  9. […] Down the Rabbit Hole Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: Barack Obama, Barry Soetoro, Birther, Birther Movement, conspiracy theories, Diary of a Madman, Emily Post, etiquette, forms of address, Gogol, natural born citizen, Orly Taitz, posse comitatus — Michael E. van Landingham @ 5:41 pm I had intended my debut post for this blog to be about the “Birther” movement. The term collectively refers to individuals sincerely concerned President Obama is actually named Barry Soetoro and is a citizen of Indonesia. After reading the website of their de facto leader Orly Taitz, a dentist with a correspondence school law degree, I figured I could let the issue go. Why? Because Orly Taitz is utterly insane, or at least profoundly confused. (And she likes to refer to herself as Dr. Orly Taitz, Esq., which we all know is a complete breach of Postian etiquette.) […]

    Pingback by Down the Rabbit Hole « Plumb Lines — April 28, 2009 @ 5:41 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: