Taylor Swift, one of America's reigning sweethearts (and current sweetheart of Bobby Kennedy's grandson, Conor Richardson Kennedy), has run afoul of the most basic of etiquette tenets....failing to RSVP to a wedding--and then showing up anyway.
Over the weekend, Conor's cousin Kyle Francis Kennedy tied the knot in Boston, with a reception at the city's swank Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel. Although Conor was among the invitees, according to the mother of the bride, he never replied....until an hour before the wedding, when he texted his aunt to ask if he could come, and whether it would be okay to bring Swift.
In an interview with the Boston Globe, Vicki Kennedy asserts that she "...responded with a very clear, 'Please do not come.'" Heedless of that request, the couple showed up anyway, at which point Vicki approached Swift, introduced herself and gently asked her to leave, concerned that the pop star's presence at wedding would distract from her daughter's special day. "It was like talking to a ghost," says Vicki Kennedy. She seemed to look right past me."
Reportedly, the couple left during dinner and returned later for dancing at the reception.
The whole matter raises some serious issues as well as some lessons from which we can all learn....
•First and foremost, there is no excuse whatsoever for failing to RSVP to a wedding. A stamped, addressed reply card is included in your invitation. Could it be any easier? It is the height of rudeness to keep a bride and groom on pins and needles about your attendance, as it affects everything...from table seating to numbers for the caterer.
•Texting an RSVP....an hour before the wedding, no less, is worse than not RSVP-ing at all. Conor may only be 18, but he is a Kennedy and should certainly know better.
•Doing anything that could potentially ruffle the feathers of the mother of the bride on the day of her daughter's wedding day is also inexcusable. From Vicki's account, she politely asked Swift to leave...a completely reasonable request given the media circus that could have ensued. The country star should have made a hasty exit and let the bride enjoy her moment.
I happen to have great respect for Taylor Swift....her gracious handling of the Kanye incident at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2009 demonstrated her maturity, and her wholesomeness (contrasted with the likes of Lady Gaga or Britney Spears) is notable. However, if she is pining to serenade Conor with "You Belong With Me," and become a member of the Kennedy clan, she has a bit to learn about etiquette. For starters, she would do well to follow the example of Jacqueline Kennedy, a woman for whom appearances and comportment meant everything.