...don't say anything at all. This was one of those mother rules in my upbringing, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
Prince William's and Kate Middleton's royal fairy tale wedding is a case in point.
I was appalled at the news coverage:
"Her dress was too simple."
"They should have chosen an evening wedding."
"Security was too expensive."
"The hats were absurd."
It went on and on ... and on.
As those who have done it know, weddings are extremely personal. As an officiant, I have celebrated weddings at the top of a mountain, in a public park, in a charming stone chapel, in synagogues and churches, even in a family laundromat.
It's the persons who are marrying who usually determine what the ceremony is about no matter the pomp or circumstance surrounding them. Wills and Kate didn't have that choice because they're public figures. They did, however, make the choices they could.
A simple dress, a daytime wedding, security as required and, yes, the frivolous hats. So be it. It was their wedding.
Even though they're public figures, I figure they were entitled to make their own choices. Not only that but the media could have chosen to be elegant about their elegant choices, but they did not. Instead, the coverage carped, complained and otherwise made wrong one of the most significant days in these people's young lives. And it wasn't just the media: the blogosphere went wild with opinions.
Who entitled us to have an opinion at all?
Oh, yes, free speech, I know, and I believe in it, but as I scampered through the whining and moaning about the royal wedding, I was reminded often of my stern, proper mother.
If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all -- it seemed wiser and kinder as the day wore on.
I wish the Prince and his bride every best experience in their royal lives of service.
Follow Dr. Susan Corso on Twitter: www.twitter.com/PeaceCorso