1. Andrea

    We recently received in invitation to a Catholic wedding. The invitation said “reception immediately following the ceremony AAQT”

    What does AAQT mean?


    • Graceandhonor

      Andrea, I am unfamiliar with this acronym; could it refer to a local venue where the reception is to be held? I cannot locate a reference for it, having checked etiquette, wedding, liturgical, Latin, and acronym sources.

  2. Abby Craddock

    I have a strange question. I was wondering what the proper way to address your deceased in- laws is. If your father in- law was dead before you married your husband, is it proper to still refer to him as your father in- law?

    • Graceandhonor

      Abby, I can understand your desire to handle this correctly, and suggest you simply refer to him as your father-in-law. Your husband still thinks of him as his father and that is your point of reference. If someone asks for more information, you may clarify the situation at that point, but I suspect this will rarely be an issue. I daresay your husband and his family will be pleased.

  3. Mary

    i have never done this before so be patient…i work in a 5 star bed and breakfast and i have never been a server or waitress before. i thought i knew proper serving etiquette…not so. what side do i serve drinks on and what side do i serve food on? any other advice i will be thankful to read

    • Graceandhonor

      Mary, your first source for this information should be your employer, post haste! “Mr. Manager, I am eager to conduct my job properly. Please show me how you wish table service to be done.” You will be trained as they wish, and earn respect for your thoroughness.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Although your employer may do things differently, the traditional way is drink on the right, bread on the left. The way I learned was this: Bring your thumbs and forefingers togeather, with your remaining fingers, your left hand will make a “b” for bread, and your right hand will make a “d” for drink.

  4. Paula Jewett

    I’m divorced & un-remarried mother of the groom. I’m also not financially able to help with the wedding.Father of the groom (who has remarried) is paying for almost the entire wedding. On the invitations have the bride’s parents and who are still married as “Mr. and Mrs.”, the groom’s father as “Mr. and Mrs.”, I feel the “Mrs.” applies to my son’s step-mother and not me. My son tells me that according to Emily Post Wedding Etiquette there’s nothing on how to list the groom’s divorced mother only the bride’s divorced mother, so my name is not on the invitation. He also said that only those that are hosting the wedding are on it. My feelings are hurt that as mother of the groom my name is not on the invitation. Please any help is appreciated as this issue is really dividing the family.

    • Graceandhonor

      What a sad situation for you, Paula. Generally, the bride’s parents are listed as hosts on the wedding invitation if they are paying for the wedding. If the groom’s parents are chipping in, as is increasingly common, they are courteously listed as well. It would have been gracious for your son and everyone involved to include you as a host, even though you are unable to financially contribute, but because you did contribute an important member of the wedding. This would have been the gracious thing to do.

      Now, your son is mistaken in taking any reference from Emily Post so literally as to assume divorced mothers of brides can be accommodated and divorced mothers of grooms cannot. This is absurd. Your name should have appeared as Mrs. or Ms. Paula Jewett on a separate line, after your ex’s and his current wife.

      Your son owes you an apology for the insensitivity with which he has treated you about this; your ex-husband has also failed as a wise father if he stands by and allows this situation to fester. As for your brother and his family, they should go and support you fully througout the day. It would be appropriate for him to address this slight of you with your son face to face after they have affirmatively rsvp’d, but NOT on the wedding day. The message should be delivered directly, but calmly and your son should understand your brother and his family firmly support you.

      But, despite what anyone else does from here on out, I urge you to do the next right thing. Do not expect an apology but be grateful if you receive one. Go. Be happy for your son. Put all these hurt feelings in a little box and bury them in your garden. You have been treated poorly but it is up to you to forgive.

      You are in my prayers.

      Encouragingly, supportively, staunchly,


  5. Paula Jewett

    please help as this problem is causing real problems, my brother and his entire family are now not going to the wedding

  6. Avis Jenkins

    Is it proper to send wedding invitations to some members of a nuclear family and not others?
    My husband has first cousins that my family is closer to than others. Is it proper to send an invitation to three siblings and not the other two because we’re closer to the three? Or is this dangerous for family relations? On one side of the family, we have not corresponded with some family members for years. Should we still invite them, if we’re inviting their siblings?

  7. Kerry Strausbaugh

    I know many people claim to have third and even fourth cousins. I thought that after a second cousin once removed true family ties ended. Just wondering. Does anyone know?

    • Graceandhonor

      Well, Kerry, if those family ties just ended, we wouldn’t get to hear how President Obama is related to Princess Di. Seriously, just because we don’t know our family tree, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, does it?

  8. Susan Landsman

    I have a question concerning the use of the term, “step mother.” I am the mother of an adult daughter. Her father and I are divorced, and he is married to a very nice woman. My daughter always refers to her father’s wife as “my step mother.” Once when both I and her father’s wife were introduced to a neighbor (her father and his wife were visiting from out of state), my daughter introduced us as “my mother” and “my step mother.” I always thought, perhaps mistakenly, that introductions should be made as: “This is my father and this is his wife, Laura, and this is my mother, Fran,” instead of “This is my father and my step mother, and this is my mother.” Many thanks for clearing up this point.

    • Graceandhonor

      Susan, I don’t think there is a rule per se about this, but I agree with your assessment; “stepmother” is best used with underaged children. However, I know of no good way for you to introduce this subject to your daughter without you coming off as insecure, so I’d drop it.

      • Susan Landsman

        Thanks, Graceandhonor. I’ve never mentioned it to my daughter or anyone else, but I confess it bothers me. However, I’ll just drop it, as you suggest.

        • Graceandhonor

          Would be interesting to know how Stepmom feels about being called that by your daughter. Were I in her shoes, I’d prefer, like you, to be introduced as the wife of my husband. Oh, well.

          • Alicia

            I think that if it bothers you you should say something to your daughter. The Stepmother description descibes formost her relationship to your daughter as opposed to the wife of my father which describes her more in relationship to her father not herself. Stepmother does conote a warmer and closer relationship then my fathers wife which has conotations of not accepting her and a cooler relationship. However, if it bothers you do say something. But first consider if it is something you can simply put behind you.

          • Graceandhonor

            Between you and me, Susan, I believe “stepmother” often has negative connotations (aside from usurping mom) and that is why I stated my preference as I did. The important thing is your relationship with your daughter, and maintaining her respect for you, and that is why I stand by my original advice.

          • Susan Landsman

            Thanks for your comments. I always like to get other points of view. I note that my grandson calls my daughter’s father “grandpa,” but calls his wife by her first name. (My grandson is 13).

  9. Regina

    Dear Emily Post and Readers:

    My husband and I live in a high rise apt building with pleasant senior neighbors. What miffs me, however, is when people just come knocking at our door for non-emergencies without calling first. They all have phones and our number. Any suggestions?



  10. Alicia

    I think you should ask the bride or groom or someone else very close to them. It is most likely a reference to some area of the church grounds where the reception will be held.

  11. Vanna Keiler

    Paula, sorry to read about your wedding problems. It sounds like things have escalated, as they often do when emotionally-charged, milestone events like weddings occur and what seems like minor issues become full-blown deal-breakers for all.

    Keeping this in mind, at this point you have voiced your opinion and your brother (and family) has gone so far in supporting you that they are now not even planning to attend. Yes, it may have not been fair to exclude you from the wedding invite, but the bottom line is that you ARE an important attendee of the wedding at the very least, and I would personally, if the situation were in my court, be the first to immediately diffuse the situation and back down completely. The wedding couple and all involved have enough on their plates planning the event that they may simply feel you are adding to existing wedding planning drama. I would contact your brother and urge him to reconsider if he has not already replied to the invite. If his mind is set, I would then contact your son, express your apology for letting this get out of hand, and offer any assistance you can—I bet there’s plenty of things you can help them with, and thereby be involved on some non-financial level.

    Otherwise, relax and bring yourself and a smile to the wedding and enjoy this great moment in your son’s life.

  12. Aaron

    I’m sorry to hear about your situation but unfortunately your son is right in that it is the people who are hosting the event that go onto the invitation. I.e. if him and his fiancee were doing this on their own the invitation wouldn’t of had either parents on it unless the, the host, decided to put them on there. The peoples comments above saying not to take Emily Post to literall is all an opinion. If you were looking for the answer of what Emily Post says to do, then he is right. I searched Emilys wedding etiquette book searching for this answer. Again I’m sorry about your situation

  13. Graceandhonor

    Hi, Aaron,

    Just to clarify, I was referring to her son’s statement that only divorced mothers of brides could be named on an invitation but not divorced mothers of grooms. I was not referring to the fact that generally, only those paying are named as hosts; however, those who do pay are entitled to add a non-paying parent if they graciously choose to do so.


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