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My question is about finding a mother of the bride dress for a summer wedding shipboard.
My daughter’s being married on a yacht in Newport in August. Needless to say, I won’t be wearing a long dress and high heels onboard. Would you please give me some suggestions. The options in the bridal department stores didn’t seem to fit the bill, so to speak. I need a more sophisticated yet casual look. Like what I’d wear on a yacht in the Mediterranean. Dressy Casual. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
–Loretta, New York City
These four photos are curtesy of Maria Pucci at Gramercy Atelier.
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HELP! As I am a working mother, I have no time to shop for a mother of the groom dress and my son is getting married next month. Everyone keeps asking me what I’m wearing and I’m embarrassed that I don’t know. My son said the color is purple and that the mother of the bride will be wearing a lavender cocktail dress meaning knee length. Can you recommend a dress that would end just below my knees that is not sleeveless or backless, please?
–Elizabeth, Boston, MA
- My best advice is to go onto the website of a store in your area and click on dresses, after that you can click on color, hem length and sleeve length, and, of course, click on a price range. When you find a couple of choices that suit you either order a couple (if they are returnable) or visit the store in person and seek out a friendly salesperson.
- Your outfit should look as good from the front for the wedding photos as it does from the rear when you're walking back down the aisle after the ceremony.
Have fun! It's your special day, too!
My niece is getting married at the end of May in Los Angeles at a beautiful old Hollywood style boutique hotel. She is wondering if she should wear a single or two layer veil? Is there a significance to either? She is a beautiful, romantic and stylish woman.
–Lynda, Boston, MA
- The most popular veil drops to the waist: the waist length is 54 inches long.
- The second most popular is the fingertip length that's 72 inches to mid-calf.
- The chapel length is 126 inches long.
- The Cathedral length is 144 inches long.
- If your niece's dress has lots of intricate details and is highly decorated, it would be chicer if she wore a simple veil with a clean raw edge.
- On the other hand, if her dress is simple as in a sleek sheath, the veil can be ornate with detailed embellishments or floral accents.
- For instance, with a sheath: the veil is slightly longer than the hem of the train of the chapel length or floor length dress.
–May Bride & Groom, New England
- Two weeks before your wedding send out an email blast to all the guests on your wedding website who accepted your invitation to your wedding with this request under the subject COVID. "On your phone, please, send a photo of your CDC vaccine card to this number: _____ by such and such date" (before the first date of an event celebrating the wedding couple).
- Then make it clear that on the day of the first wedding event they are attending (perhaps the welcoming party/rehearsal dinner), all guests have to report to the below address to be tested for COVID before joining the wedding festivities. At that time they will also be asked to show their actual CDC card.
- Those who test negative will go forward on the guest lists for all the wedding activities. It's awful to have to do this, but in order to protect all of your guests testing negative, obviously, those who test positive won't be admitted. (In other words, they won't find a place card with their name on it.)
Didi, what is the etiquette these days for inviting friends to a wedding shower but not inviting them to the actual wedding? Due to Covid our daughter’s wedding had been postponed. We are trying to keep everyone safe by keeping the numbers down and the wedding will be outside under an open sided tent for ventilation. Before the wedding weekend we are planning a wedding shower in our former home town to invite friends to meet the wedding couple, but we’re concerned about the wedding etiquette that says a guest invited, for instance, to the engagement party is always invited to the wedding. Is that still the proper etiquette?
Does that etiquette apply to a wedding shower?
Would it be alright to have a wedding shower that includes some guests that are not invited to the wedding?
There was an engagement party last month in the city where the wedding couple live and work for those who probably wouldn’t be making the trip to the wedding this spring. We’re trying not to leave anyone out and we want our many friends and family to know the wedding couple.
–NPW, Portsmouth, RI
On a wedding invitation, whose family crest should be displayed? The bride’s or the groom’s? The bride’s family is paying for most of the wedding – if that matters here.
–EG, New York
Our question is about holiday party invitations, entertaining and mask-wearing.
Today is the day we had planned to send out our holiday party invitations and order a Vermont party ham, but we have no idea what to do because the new Omicron variant of Covid is spreading like wild fires in the USA, and we need to know how to party in this time of the Omicron variant? The usual suspects had been advised that we were hoping to continue our ritual holiday party – having suspended it the year before. Sadly, the biggest problem is that some potential guests are not fully vaccinated, many of whom travel around a lot. We invite mostly people from the neighborhood and close friends, but some commute into the city.
Dr. Fauci and the WHO say to only have small gatherings, mandatory mask wearing for those not vaccinating and good ventilation, and distancing. Well good ventilation isn’t possible with a fire burning in the fireplace, the thermostat up to 69 degrees, and the social awkwardness of asking people to wear a mask. We’re all sick of wearing masks. We can’t ask people to show us their CDC vaccine status and their most recent Covid test result! Do we wing it and have faith that anyone sick or who has been exposed decides not to attend our holiday party? Or do we simply call the whole thing off for another December? Everybody wants to party, especially the kids.
–Linda, Greenwich, CT
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My question is about restaurant dining etiquette. At a restaurant, is it considered rude to keep talking in front of the waiter when he brings the food or is it rude to interrupt the conversation?
- Garçon is the french word for boy and these days one would never ever address a server using boy. A waiter is usually an adult.
Didi, we are vegan and we are in the midst of planning our vegan wedding reception dinner menu. Understandably, not all of the guests are vegan–especially those guests of our parents’ generation. We’re not redneck hippies about food, but we want to adhere to our principles about food. Do you have any recommendations for us? We’re looking for a festive menu for a seated wedding reception dinner that will appeal to 150 guests. Or least be palatable to most. Do you have any suggests?
–C & W, Boston, MA
(Guest's name in a large handsome font.)
macomber turnip and apple soup
roasted heirloom baby carrots, hazelnut pistou
grilled marinated cauliflower steak
shoestring onions, vegan demi-glace
sweet corn polenta cake
baby kale, caramelized onion, piquillo pepper
shallots, lemon, herbs
orecchiette with vegetarian meatballs
caramelized onion, arugula
local green salad with herbs
romanesco cauliflower, endive, fennel and turnip
saffron poppy seed dressing
sweets and dancing, dancing, dancing
Date of reception
CHARLOTTE & WILLIAMC & W, please, do let us know--if you do use any of this above menu--how it worked out so that we can be helpful to other vegan hosts. Have fan at your fantastic wedding!
Vegan wedding care and sweets.
Photo credit: VG Patisserie, Paris, France
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Are interruptions rude? In a real life conversation can’t an interruption sometimes enliven the discussion? At a recent dinner party of eight friends around the table the conversation at one point got rowdy in a jolly way, with everyone putting in their two cents on a particular topic. It was all in good fun and didn’t get out of hand. No one was mean or critical.
- Isn’t it far better–and more fun–to have real life lively conversation rather than too many dreary dead silences?
On a professional level, when our company team is problem solving on a Zoom and colleagues start interrupting, we often find that the conversation becomes more constructive and productive. Really, are all interruptions rude?
–Diana, Newport, RI
- Social anxiety, on the other hand, manifests in someone who is speaking way to much and way to fast. Like a nervous tic it can be annoying for all. They need to slow down.
- Zoom conversational hijackers are rude.
- Add to the what the speaker has to say, do not negate the speaker.
- The reality is that some people are just simply oblivious to other people.
- You can say, "Please, don't interrupt me." If the rude interruptions continue, that's not cooperation,
First of all Bonjour! A conversation never starts in France without saying “Bonjour” first. A good European Manners Tip. I have a question for you!
What do you do when an ‘almost’ friend has painted a portrait of your dog and it is the worst painting you have ever seen. To boot, I have a collection of professional painters that have painted my Violette and they are hung in my long entrance hallway. I can’t hang this one. Honestly, not to hurt her feelings what do I do? I’m attaching a photo of my favorite painting of Violette to date.
–Cynthia, Uzès, France
- Be sure to first tell your new artist friend exactly what you like about her painting of Violette, before detailing exactly what you don't like.
- Even if that's a hard conversation to initiate.
I have two questions about my daughter’s upcoming wedding: escorting her up the aisle and my toast. My former wife and I have come to an agreement that both parents escort the bride up the aisle at our daughter’s backyard wedding next weekend. My former wife at first insisted that just she should escort our daughter up the aisle. We reached a compromise and we’re both walking our daughter up the aisle. My questions are: On which side do we each take, and at the altar where do we, her parents, stand during the ceremony? It’s a backyard wedding. They were supposed to be married in a church followed by a large reception at the height of Covid-19.
Instead of paying for a big wedding, I helped my daughter and my future son-in-law finance a house in New Hampshire (where their wedding ceremony and reception are taking place) with the money I would have spent on their large pre-Covid wedding. My toast has been relegated to the rehearsal dinner the night before, because the groom’s father “isn’t up to it,” and my wife is giving what should be my toast at the wedding reception. I prepared a fifteen minute toast, and was told it was too long. Then I pared it down to eight minutes. Please advise.
–A Traditional Dad, Newport, RI
- At the altar you would stand on your daughter's right side. Your daughter the bride stands to the left facing the officiant at her father's right side.
- Welcome the guests to the wedding and specifically to the rehearsal dinner; if you are not also paying for rehearsal dinner, thank the groom's family by name(s) for hosting the rehearsal dinner.
- Introduce yourself with, perhaps, a short story about when you first met the groom.
- Thank the guests for coming to the wedding couple's happy celebration.
- Make it clear that you're proud of your daughter for making such a wise choice.
- Tell your daughter you love them both.
- Toast the wedding couple to have a brilliant loving future.
- Time your toast to last three to five minutes.
I have an etiquette question about giving a cash wedding gift. My nephew was married last weekend. My family of five adults–me, my husband, and three children, all in their twenties, attended. So I thought $200 per person would be the $1,000 wedding gift. Is that correct? I typically ask my sister these questions, but she’s the mother of my nephew and I don’t want her to feel uncomfortable.
Last question, our daughter who lives and works in Paris is attending a wedding in the south of France and she is a bridesmaid. Do you know what the protocol is for a wedding gift in France? Does she give cash to a wealthy couple? Sorry to pester you with these questions. Any advice would be appreciated.
–Deb, Portsmouth, RI
–Didi, Newport, RI
The protocol on Memorial Day for raising the American flag is that it is flown at half-staff only until noon. But when raising the flag to half-staff, first raise it to the top of the flag staff for sixty second before lowering it to half way down the flag staff.
- At twelve o'clock raise the flag up to the top.
Accepting A Compliment