The Lady Guide to Modern Manners: 17 August

Dear Thomas

I write in some distress. My daughter is very upset because she has been, to all intents and purposes, sacked as a bridesmaid at her best friend’s wedding. Quite frankly, she is struggling financially, like a lot of young people, and can’t afford the train fares to take part in rehearsals. Her failure to attend is the reason given for demoting her. She has partly paid for her bridesmaid’s dress and it seems she is expected to attend the wedding all the same. What should she do?

Rosemary Carr, Oxford

Dear Rosemary

What an awful situation! Has the Bride got somewhat above herself? Or is she breaking up, poor thing, with pre-wedding nerves? What are these rehearsals for, in any case? Is this a Royal Wedding?

As I’ve mentioned before, as the summer wedding season heats up, what with the expense, the expectations and the dream of total perfection to be realised, all too often the whole thing boils over into total horror! In 2016, Reggie Yates, the TV presenter, even went so far as to split with his fiancée, Tia Ward, because he was ‘weirding out’ over wedding plans.

Perhaps bridesmaids being dismissed isn’t so surprising, although I must admit I’d never heard of such a thing before. But now some horror stories have come to my attention. Tori Holder, of Georgia, USA, was relegated to holding open some barn doors so the bride could pass by to the ceremony. To deepen the humiliation, her bridesmaid’s dress was substituted with a flower girl get-up identical to the one worn by a 12-year-old who was present – but Tori was in her early 20s.

Over in Missouri, Britney Templer lost her job just before the wedding, which caused ‘too much stress to the bridezilla’. So she was removed from her position as bridesmaid and not reimbursed the $180 she had paid for her dress. Another was sacked as bridesmaid, but her husband was kept on as groomsman – so she had to go to the wedding.

I think your daughter could try to reason with her friend, who may just be getting overwrought and is unaware of what she’s doing. If the bride feels angry and let down regarding the rehearsals, well, aren’t the happiness of the day and the prospect of lasting friendship more important? Why spoil all of that for the sake of few measly rehearsals? If it’s really so important, can’t somebody else pay for your daughter’s train fares?

Don’t take it lying down, I say. That bride may come to regret her actions.

Incidentally, veering slightly, men at weddings with top hats: don’t hold them in the crook of your arm upside down, especially in photographs. It looks as if you’re about to have a whip-round.

Please write to Thomas at the usual Bedford Street address or email

 WHAT TO DO ABOUT...Waistcoats 

My email has been sizzling ever since I tackled this hot topic here on 20 July. The real issue, of course, is (as it were): what lies behind the nets?

Janet Backhouse writes from Hamp- shire, berating me for my frivolous attitude to privacy. She has no time for rude passers-by who peer in. The solution is simple: apply ‘a reflective film to the accessible glass. It is unobtrusive and looks like an ordinary glass window from both sides, the advantage being that from outside you do not see into the room. This is readily obtainable. Please let Sabrina know about it. there are several online retailers where this can be obtained and it is very easy to apply. 

By contrast, Ann Robson writes in that her hobby is peeking through other people’s windows, especially in the winter: ‘If there is an open fire or wood burner lit, it makes it extra special. Sometimes, someone may be seen preparing and cooking an evening meal; then I can conjure up pictures of what the meal may be.’

I agree: glimpsed through a window, especially at dusk, other people’s lives take on an alluring romance and mystery.