1. Shari Myrick

    Help etiquette experts. My son and future daughter-in-law are having a formal evening wedding in February. There will be 8 groomsmen and 4 ushers. The groomsmen will be in traditional tux’s. The question: Is it appropriate (acceptable) for the 4 ushers to wear their “Sunday” black suits (which they already own and do not match exactly). Two of the ushers have some financial constraints which is why the question has arisen.

    • Graceandhonor

      That would be fine, unless the groom graciously offers to pay for all the ushers’ tuxedos. But then, ideally, he would offer to pay for those of his groomsmen, too. Buttonieres for the ushers should match or closely resemble those of the groomsmen.

  2. Kim

    I have a question, whether it is proper to have a baby shower for an unwed mother?
    My son’s girlfriend is pregnant, however they had already broke up when she found out she was pregnant. They aren’t certain if they will stay together as a couple, however they have a baby on the way.
    A few friends insist they need a baby shower. Is it proper to have a shower and invite family and close friends?

    • Graceandhonor

      It is unfortunate this situation is what it is, but yes, a shower would be alright. However, you, as the father’s mother should not host it, nor should any relative of him or the mother. Hopefully, a friend will step forward.

  3. Beth Pearson

    I usually respond to all RSVP requests when I am invited to a party where the guests are invited to buy merchandise (the Tupperware type thing). I recently got an invite emailed to me however, that left me feeling so annoyed, I just ignored it. The email said she was having a party in 2 days but she was too “wimpy to brave the cold” and her daughter (co-host) was too busy with her school activities to take around invites. But we were all invited and welcome to forward on the invite to anyone else as she might not have “all the addresses” and the merchandise being hawked would make great stocking stuffers. (it was 9 days before Christmas). I had several things scheduled for the evening of the party, but I probably could have squeezed in a visit to her house to buy something if I was interested, but I wasn’t. I was irritated at the request to spend my precious time and money doing something to help her when she wouldn’t even spend the time to give a proper, personal invitation (meaning one of those postcards the demonstrator usually provides). I didn’t feel like taking the 10 minutes I would need to come up with an appropriate response and niceties and figured a 2 word response of “Can’t come” was rude. So, I ignored the invite. Now that it’s been a couple weeks I wonder if I was rude myself and should have made some response.

    • Graceandhonor

      You were not rude and did not owe them a response. Bad enough they are hawking merchandise under the guise off a social invitation, but leaving it up to you to do the inviting for them is beyond the pale, not to mention their poor timing during the busy holiday season.

      • Randy Strauss

        I fear I’m going to have to disagree with Graceandhonor on this one. Any invitation, no matter how rudely delivered or how much the request puts a burden on you, deserves a polite response. I would have said, “Thank you for the invitation, but I must decline” or something along those lines.

        If you are good friends with the hostess, I would talk to her privately and inform her as to how uncomfortable the request made you feel. If the invitation was from an aquaintance, I would leave it at a polite refusal.


  4. Elizabeth

    I have a birthday coming up and our family wants to celebrate by going to a favorite pub. I would like to have some friends join us as well, but can’t afford to foot the bill for dinner and unlimited drinks for a crowd. Is there a polite way to word an invite to some friends to come “dutch treat” and each couple pick up their own tab yet enjoy an evening out together without it sounding tacky?

    • Graceandhonor

      You’ve already guessed this is not the best form, but let’s try to come up with something…ask your family, “Rather than buy me gifts, please host this party and pay for our guests.” Short of that, a friend should step in and act as defacto host and spread the word that its Dutch treat.

  5. Kelly

    I am a single person and I joined an unrelated family for dinner on Christmas Eve. I brought a hostess gift. I had planned to stay a short time. However, immediately after dinner the family opened Christmas gifts. I indicated that it was time for me to leave, but the hostess ushered me to the family room to observe their ritual (she did give me a gift).

    Growing up and when my parents were still alive, we always opened gifts at home on Christmas morning. So their ritual was a surprise to me and I felt very uncomfortable.

    In the future how can I handle holiday invitations? It seems awkward to ask in advance if their will be a gift exchange.

    • Graceandhonor


      Please don’t worry about this anymore. Your hostess sounds like a lovely and gracious person who wanted you to be with their family and give you something without placing any burden on you. Just be sure you continue taking a nice hostess gift next time and always be sure to write a thank you note. If you want, you may certainly have a gift for your friend or her family on hand. Many families do their gift exchange on Christmas Eve, particularly extended family, and there is certainly nothing wrong with this at all. You are lucky to have such warm friends.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *