Sign up today and save up to 67% on a Hartford Courant digital subscription

United States Census Bureau

Etiquette plan for a non-wedding bash

If you're not saying a traditional "I do" you're joining a growing number of people in the U.S. "Marriage optional" is one of the top trends that may affect consumer behavior and mind set in 2012, according to experts at JWT, a marketing communications company based in New York City. In 2000, more than 3 million unmarried couples cohabited; in 2011 that number more than doubled to 7.6 million couples, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. When family and friends learn of your event, they may have expectations that don't match yours. Be very clear about what you're celebrating so your guests aren't confused or disappointed, say party experts. ...