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My first marriage ended in divorce, but I’ve gone by my first husband’s last name professionally for twelve years.
–newlyweds, Newport, RI
- Will the bride be using her maiden name and/or her professional name plus her new husband's last name? Consider how she is best known.
- If the bride is not changing her last name to her husband's last name, or hyphenating it to his, does she include her middle name and/or maiden name, with her professional last name? Her choice.
- In printing out the names, are both middle names spelled out? Or are both middle names represented simply by an initial with a period after it? Both middle names should be represented in the same fashion: spelled out or represented with the first initial followed by a period. Elizabeth B. Livingston and William N. Livingston or Elizabeth Bennett Livingston and William Norman Livingston. Follow style.
- Since some of the wedding announcements are being sent overseas, do you need to make the location Newport, Rhode Island, United States? If they know you live in Newport, Rhode Island, United States, then just the city, Newport, is perfect. Especially when Newport, Rhode Island, United States, already appears on the envelope's return address
- The big decision of whether to use thermography or engraving may be decided by your budget.
- Embossing is no longer an option since the US Post Office now has a band on blind embossing and will not return an envelope that is mistakenly addressed when the return address is embossed.
- Should the envelopes be lined? Not necessarily.
- Do you need a loose sheet of tissue over the card? Perhaps, if the card is engraved. Follow formality.
- Would you like to focus attention on the the weight of the card and its information by having rounded edges with colorful beveling that create a subtle frame for your announcement? It is a lovely option.
- Are you planning on using an eye-catching motif in the heading, such as a family crest or a monogram that combines your first and last name initials. Or perhaps a delightful decoration?
- A brilliant type color and/or boarder/beveling add a memorable touch.
- A motif of a crest or monogram as a heading are also attractive focus point.
- Or are just your names enough?
- When addressing the envelopes yourself by hand, use a really good felt tipped pen or fountain pen instead of a ballpoint.
Photograph courtesy of Dempsey & Carroll.
House Guest Don'ts
- Whether you're sure -- or not -- about your intentions of establishing a committed relationship, do send a thank- you note on your correspondence card or a thank-you card.
- To help your hostess with the meal planning be sure to let her know exactly when you're departing.
- If you've made plans to have a meal outside the house at any point during your stay, make your plans known to her so she's not expecting you and your girlfriend for that meal.
- Learn the time-frame for meals so that you're present to sit down on time.
More Dos for Fitting In As A Guest
- Before making a trip into town ask your hostess if there is anything you can pick up at the store for them: milk, butter, eggs, bread, dog food, paper towels.
- Offer to help with meal preparations and jump in and help with the clearing and cleaning up. My guess is that you're not there to be waited on, but to see how you fit in.
- It goes without saying that you would leave your phone in your room while dining with the family.
- Offer to take out the garbage, clean the grill, walk the dog.
- In this situation where there are children, play ball with them. Take them for a hike, bike ride, or a swim. Join in with impromptu board and card games.
- The last morning of your stay ask your girlriend if you should strip your bed and take your sheets and towels to the laundry basket. Empty your wastebasket, take any glasses or bottles to the kitchen. In other words tidy up your room.
- If you've been a guest for a period of time, during your visit seek out a local florist to have flowers sent to the house after your departure.
- Lastly, no matter how long your visit, simply asking, "What can I do to help?" is a terrifically considerate gift, whether you've brought a material present with you or not.
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My best friend says that I cannot wear my new knockout red dress to an upcoming wedding because it is not appropriate wedding guest dress code attire to wear a bright red dress. Red is my color and the style is my lucky style!
Why does she think I shouldn’t wear a red dress to our mutual friend’s wedding? It’s a beautiful bright and happy dress!
–Lucy, Newport, RI
- There are not as many dos and don'ts to wedding dress code etiquette as you might expect, but wearing a red dress is at the top of the list.
- A red dress at any wedding is a distraction. By wearing a red dress you would be saying to those assembled, "Look at me!"
- Going into fall and winter the colors, burgundy, wine, cranberry, blush, ruby and berry would all be more subtle shades of red. Stay away from bright red, rose, scarlet, candy red, and crimson.
- All eyes should be on the bride on her wedding day.
- It would be incredibly rude to try to upstage the bride on her special day.
My question is about wedding guest dress code. My stepson is getting married this October, an outdoor wedding at 4:00 pm. His biological mother will also be at the wedding. What is the appropriate attire for me? I’m 70, petite and haven’t worn a dress in years.
I would consider wearing a dress, just haven’t a clue what to look for.
–Ann, Savannah, GA
- I also think that an outdoor wedding may call for a lovely jacket.
- Dressy enough, but too dressy.
Dating etiquette was quite different when I was a teen. I’m trying to keep up with what’s going on with my young teenager and her friends. My daughter’s friend (let’s call her Amy) had a date for her school prom with a boy (we’ll call Johnny) from a neighboring town. At the last minute Johnny backed out.
Johnny and Amy connected through my daughter on social media. It seemed to be an amicable friendship. Even though they never actually met in person, they messaged everyday for three months. Now Amy and my daughter are wondering what went wrong? How could Johnny break the date to go to the prom with Amy without offering an excuse?
How do we teach our teenagers to navigate dating on social media in a more civilized and polite manner?
- In ghosting, which predates texting, you simply dump the person you were dating, courting or had previously had a crush on by going cold turkey and not answer texts or any kind of messaging. The dumper acts as though he/she never even knew the dumpee. Leaving the dumped to lick their wounds wondering what they did wrong. Too lazy, the wuss doesn't offer an explanation.
- There is no fear of obligation or commitment.
- The heartbreak is allegedly less devastating when the relationship peters out -- drifts out of your orbit.
- You circle round and round each other (much like wagging dogs sniffing each other in the park) through social media before making a decision as to whether to actually meet for the first time in person.
- Or you return to the relationship you miss a lot.
- It's self-protective.
- A common theme in online dating is keeping an eye on your options.
- In the gay community orbiting is a diplomatic way of cultivating being part of the community.
- People orbit when they are not ready to commit but don't want to totally eliminate contact because they might miss out on being able to reconnect going forward.
- Dming on a post is a way of getting into another person's orbit.
- Orbiting lets us keep tabs on people whether it's a platonic or romantic relationship.
- Not texting someone back is as rude as not returning a phone call or answering an email.
- On the other hand, if s/he's a narcissist, s/he'll be back -- so block him or her.
- Orbiting is creepy. Like stalking, so watch out. Especially if you've been ghosted and s/he's orbiting you. Block him or her.
- Us this incident as an opportunity to teach empathy.
- From time to time monitor your teen's Internet behavior in the hope that you don't find that s/he is wasting time orbiting, or is being hauntingly orbited by someone else.
About wearing white before Memorial Day. What’s with the leader of our country and the world doing wearing white before Memorial Day?
- Nowadays, winter white is a marvelously chic color.
Invited to an informal no neckwear wedding in June. Do I have to wear a jacket? I’m not part of the wedding party, just a roommate from college. The wedding is not in a church, but outside. The groom isn’t wearing a tie, but he is wearing a jacket.
–JG, Portsmouth, RI
- By showing up in a respectable jacket you won't risk being mistaken for one of the caterer's waitstaff.
- A pocket handkerchief -- without too many points -- would be swell as well.
–Jeff, Location Withheld
- On your excel spread sheet find a way to designate who writes the thank-you note to whom.
- In modern times, sending out a thank-you note upon receipt of a gift (or notification of a gift) is far more efficient.
- Older folks, especially, really like receiving the acknowledgment that their gift was received and is appreciated, sooner rather than later. (They often write saying, "I haven't received a thank-you note for a wedding present and it's been a year!")
- The rule of thumb is that you have a year to send all your thank-you notes, but I recommend giving yourselves a six month deadline.
- And, no matter the design of the thank-you note, flat card or fold-over, always be sure to include a handwritten personalized line or two mentioning a brief description of the gift. And, when applicable, that you, also, wish to thank them for coming to your wedding.
- Don't bother taking your thank-you notes with you to write out during your wedding trip/honeymoon. They simply won't get done.
- These days, some couples have a monogram designed to include both their first and last initials. The four letters are intertwined.
- When the bride and groom are both using the same last name they sometimes simply use the first initial of that last name as their signature motif. For instance, a pronounced G. These can often be found boxed online or in stores that sell stationery.
- Being even more creative, we also see a motif such as an anchor, shell, palm tree, two monkeys, sailboat, bug, that, perhaps, appeared on the save-the-date card (meaning anchor the date), cocktails napkins, etc. These can, also, be bought already boxed saving the expense of printing.
- Traditionally, the bride and groom would have their own note card (him) or fold-over notes (her) with their full name. Or the fold-over note or flat card, you would simply have printed: Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Stuart Greene.
- When the couple own a house or apartment, they may simply have their address on a notepaper or card, once again, so that both can use the same stationery. Quite convenient when the couple use different last names.
- The Printery in Oyster Bay (not to be confused with the company by the same name in Glen Cove), NY, has an exquisite selection of hand engraved stationery.
- When you have a message that you can use over and over customizing the same tone, such as: "Jeff joins me in thanking you for the beautiful wooden salad bowl," writing thank-you notes isn't as daunting of a task as one anticipates.
–Grace, Hilton Head, SC
- We’ve both been attendants ourselves so we understand that the cost, especially if you have to travel to a wedding, is a huge commitment, anywhere between $1,000-$2,000 per wedding.
- Friends who thought they were close friends had hurt feelings because they hadn’t been chosen to be in the wedding party.
- On the other hand, we know that it is hard to say no when someone asks you to be their maid-of-honor or best man.
- Does my college roommate, at whose wedding I was a bridesmaid, assume she is one of my bridesmaids?
- Several friends are pregnant, making choosing the bridesmaid’s dresses a nightmare.
- Others have small children that will have to be fed.
We’ve decided that our wedding should be an inclusive wedding of our truly closest family and friends. And where certain guests are not signaled out as more special than others. Everyone will be treated equally.
–AS, Watch Hill, RI
- Whether you have six attendants each or twelve each, you'll be spending too much energy on keeping everyone happy. For you, it may be better to have none.
- Make everyone happy by sparing your friends the huge commitment of being an attendant.
- You can get yourselves down the aisle without attendants.
- Avoid drama, invite only your best friends.
- Ask yourselves, Are attendants more of a hassle than an honor?
- The current trend: Fifty percent of couples choose not to have large weddings with attendants.
–BC, Seattle, WA
- As the host, unless you're not particular, make a list of assumed single people you are inviting whom you want to extend a plus one invitation to your wedding.
- If the guest doesn't list his plus one's name on the reply care to the ceremony, find out the name of the guest your guest is bringing as their plus one.
- Add that person's name to your guest list after the original guest's name on the spreadsheet. That way if the name of the plus one changes, at least you're keeping a correct head count.
- As a guest, he or she is being invited because they're liked by the wedding couple or their parents.
- If a mutual friend hasn't been invited, it is because the bride and groom don't want him at their wedding, so it is in bad manners to bring him as your plus one.
- It can be hurtful to the plus one to be told they weren't invited because they aren't liked, so don't push it.
- Make it clear that if a guest is bringing a plus one, s/he sends a gift from the bridal registry from both the original guest and his/her plus one.
- The plus one can certainly send his own gift from the bridal registry, as a thank-you for having been invited, but don't count on it.
- Don't get caught up in being stuck with a revolving guest list of unwanted plus ones -- surprises that you either don't know or don't like.
- Do give a plus one to a friend's SO when they've been together for over six months and you've met him or her more than once.
- Don't give an open plus one because you're stuck if you know the plus one and don't like him or her.
- Do give a guest traveling from afar, who may not know people at your wedding, the option of having a plus one.
- Don't think you have to offer all of your extended family members plus ones, the fact that they're family means that they'll have people to talk to at the wedding anyway.
- Do ask single participants in your bridal party if they would like a plus one, and get the name and address of the person to whom you can send an invitation.
- Don't get talked into giving someone a plus one once the list has been finalized, which is after the cutoff date for the reply card return. Even if he says, "She's the one. I can't wait for you to meet her."
- Often the size of the list depends upon the fire code of the venue where the reception is taking place.
- Leave your answer at that.
- A small wedding is in the eye of the beholder. What a small wedding may be to you, might look like a big wedding to me.
- Couple: With a good pen print the names of the guests who are invited on the outside and inside envelopes (if you're using two both).
Mr. Matthew J. Whitman (guest)
Ms. Annie Louise Kelley (plus one)
- For a family: when residing at the same address, list on the inside and outside envelopes the names of the children you wish to invite. For instance you may not have accommodations for small children and babies. You can also list, or just list, those names in the upper left hand corner of the actual invitation:
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- There is no time constraint on sending a condolence note. Whoever is handling your friend's personal affairs will appreciate your taking the time to write him or her a note.
- Remember that a man who makes it known that he has children is traditionally paid a higher salary or/and accrues more benefits than a woman in the same job.
- Men in the workplace are rewarded for having children, while women doing the same job are penalized.
- Should a colleague say, "I didn't know that you had children," nonchalantly respond saying, "I didn't think anyone would be interested."
- Check out the company culture at glassdoor.com.
–AW, Charleston, SC
- You don't have to invite children and you didn't.
- So you can stick to that excellent decision.
- They are the child of the bride and groom.
- They are the child of the bride or groom from another relationship.
- They are siblings or step-siblings of the bride or groom.
- There is nobody to watch the child while his/her parent(s) attend the wedding.
- The child is twelve-years-old or older, and then -- only if there is a connection with the bride or groom.
- The wedding is very formal, either white tie or black tie.
- The reception is held at six o'clock or later in the evening.
- The dinner is seated formally with place cards and table cards.
- There won't be any accommodations to feed, seat or entertain small children.
- There won't be any childcare available at the wedding ceremony or reception.
- You want all of your guests to have a good time.
- If it is a guest coming from out of town, offer to help find a caregiver that can stay with the child during the wedding reception.
- Invite the guest to bring the the child to the ceremony, and then gently remind her/him that there won't be any accommodations for the child at the reception or seated dinner.
- After all, the parent wouldn't want their child to be the only child at the reception.
Accepting A Compliment