1. Marilyn McMillan

    Hi there! We own a vacation lake home and would like to know, if it is ok to ask guests, to clean up after themselves? We constantly have guests over the Summer and I would like to enjoy my vacation home too……

    • Cindy Post Senning

      Hello Marilyn,

      It definitely is okay to ask guests to help with clean up – not just after themselves but also when the group creates the need for clean up. You can do it without sounding bossy. At the start of your visit simply lay out the expectations. “You know we all chip in here so nobody has to do all the work. We just ask that everyone take care of their own dishes and waste paper. The trash is under the sink and the recycling bin is in the pantry…”

      When you’ve all spent the afternoon down by the lake, “When you head back up to the cabin, would you please grab a beach chair if you have a free hand. Thanks” or ask for a hand with the cooler, picnic baskets, or trash bag. Be specific so your guests know what they can do to be helpful.

      When everyone is getting ready to leave, “Would you mind bringing your sheets and towels down to the washer and just toss the blankets and spread over the bed. Thanks.”

      If you are clear about expectations, it’s quite a bit easier. Sometimes people just need to know the routines and then they are glad to help out.

      Have a wonderful summer! Cindy Post Senning

  2. gammy

    My son’s fiance is from Denmark. For purposes of entering college, they are getting married this Friday in a small ceremony with immediate family only. None of her family will be in attendance so she wants to have a bigger, religious ceremony next year in her family church in Denmark where more of her family can attend. My questions involve having bridal showers, registering for gifts, putting wedding photos in the paper, etc. Is it okay to do all this stuff next year for their other “wedding”? We have not done any of that yet since this ceremony is going to be for legal purposes essentially. We would also like to have a nice, big reception for them after the “wedding” next year. Thanks for your comments.

    • Julie

      I’ve seen similar questions in other etiquette books and columns and I’ve always seen the expert advise that the wedding occurring now be considered the actual wedding, that no one should be getting married twice. Obviously this is your daughter in law’s choice, not yours, but apparently any follow up festivities should just be regarded as celebratory dinners and parties, not weddings. Therefore, I don’t see them advising in favor of having wedding announcements and showers a year after the couple has already been married.

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