Open Thread

by EPI Staff on April 28, 2011

Welcome to Etiquette Daily

This open thread is your space to use as you like.  We invite you to discuss current and traditional etiquette. Feel free to ask questions of each other and the community moderators here.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Marianna April 28, 2011 at 2:51 pm

My wedding is tomorrow. My fiance’s uncle just told us he won’t be coming even though he told us he would because he has to work. He offered to pay for his plate ($100 non-refundable). Would it be rude for us to accept his offer?

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Just Laura April 28, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Congratulations on your wedding tomorrow! I’m sorry you’re having these last minute problems. How kind of the uncle to realize the financial inconvenience this caused for you. As long as you didn’t guilt him into this (I’m not saying you did), I don’t see a reason why you can’t accept.

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Kate April 28, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Hello,
Two part question:
1- Is there an etiquette regarding what is appropriate dress for a wedding/reception?

2 -I know it’s rude to include anything regarding dress on the invitation unless it’s black tie but, would it be appropriate to create a FAQ portion to the website and add a What should I wear question?

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Alicia April 28, 2011 at 3:05 pm

People know what to wear based on the venue and the time of day as well as the formality of the invite. A formal invite with a cathedral and then a grand ballroom at 8pm will have people wearing their best gowns. An informal invite in a park at 11am will have folks wearing a nice sundress. A Ren faire style invite with the wedding being held at the renn faire jousting tournament with a feast to follow and people will wear corsets. You set the tone and the dress style by invite style, time, and location.
A Faq what to wear will cause more questions then it will answer. It also implies you do not expect your guests to know how to dress appropriately and that can be rather insulting.

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Just Laura April 28, 2011 at 3:14 pm

As a follow-up, one generally does not wear white/ivory (unless she is the bride), black (unless you’re in mourning about the occasion), or apple red (considered a bit racy for a sacred event like a wedding).
If everyone is going to be barefoot on a beach, I think it’s a good idea to let the guests know that, so that no one ruins their stockings. Aside from those sorts of issues, Alicia’s right – you don’t want to insult your guests.

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Kate April 28, 2011 at 4:03 pm

That’s what I thought but someone was endorsing it on an etiquette thread so I thought I’d ask if it was appropriate or not.

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R. April 28, 2011 at 7:11 pm

I’m curious to read this etiquette thread that prompted your question. Would you be able to post its URL here please?

I also agree with what Alicia and Just Laura have written. If there’s a special clothing requirement that guests should be aware of (like the barefoot on the beach example), that should certainly be mentioned. I’d like to include dark navy into the don’t wear list of colours… basically, if you’d wear it to attend a funeral, it doesn’t belong at a wedding. Personally, I really dislike the new trend of black at weddings (be it decor or in guests’ outfits).

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Elizabeth April 28, 2011 at 8:32 pm

I have noticed a change in the kinds of clothes that people will wear to funerals. No longer is it a sea of blacks, grays and navy blues. Similarly, it is becoming increasingly more common to wear black and other dark colors to weddings. Not, of course, to indicate disapproval, but because the Little Black Dress is thought to be party worthy and many weddings have evening receptions with dancing into the night. Personally, I find black very chic and would not avoid wearing it to an afternoon wedding ceremony which had an evening reception. Black at a day wedding? Not so much. But I wouldn’t think it rude if someone did.

Lin April 29, 2011 at 11:56 am

I would only include a “what should I wear” question only if you get a lot of people asking that question after the invites are sent out, mentioning that you have received a lot of questions in regards to this, and apologize for any miscommunication on the matter, or if some aspect of the festivities will require a certain dress code.

In addition to everything else already said, I would expect the dress to be atleast a tad bit above casual, otherwise it really does look disrespectful. I was at a wedding of a family friend when a significant part of his family decided to show up in torn-up jeans and stained t-shirts as retaliation to a family feud going on. My friend and his bride were very embarrassed, and had to field a lot of tough questions from her family and concerned friends that night.

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Cindy Schmid April 28, 2011 at 11:30 pm

I received a wedding shower invitation in the mail today for someone I haven’t hear of before. I assumed they had the wrong person. After calling the RSVP regrets only person, I found out it is my neighbor’s son’s fiance. I have never met her and didn’t even know her name. I do not know the person hosting the event. Am I obligated to go to this bridal shower?

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Elizabeth April 29, 2011 at 4:54 am

Of course not. Send your regrets with a clear conscience!

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Country Girl April 29, 2011 at 11:34 am

Elizabeth is right, you are not obligated to attend. However (even though this invitation comes off sounding somewhat like a gift grab), perhaps your neighbor persuaded the bride to invite you because she thinks highly of you and wanted to include you/ introduce you to this new part of her family. So after RSVPing that you won’t be able to attend to the proper person, you might also wish to thank the neighbor for making the effort to include you and wish her the best with the new addition to her family.

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Graceandhonor April 30, 2011 at 2:32 pm

You received this invitation in recognition of your relationship with the groom’s mother, not the bride. If you are close to this neighbor, it is the loving thing to make a fuss over her happiness for her son and attend this shower and take a gift to the bride. If you are not close to this neighbor, then the invitation you received was overreaching. In either case, your neighbor should have mentioned you would be receiving an invitation. Sometimes, correctly, we receive invitations to wedding events that recognize ties of family members to the bride and groom. This is an example of what, contrary to contemporary narcissism, is meant when it is said weddings are not just about the bride and groom, but are a part of strengthening many ties in our society.

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