Open Thread

by epi on February 24, 2012

Welcome to the 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.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Winifred Rosenburg February 24, 2012 at 2:10 pm

My husband’s 30th birthday is next week. Like most people turning 30, he isn’t happy about it. For his birthday, I’m making a CD with messages from his friends and family that they’ve been gradually sending me. I just got a message from one of his friends, and in her message she made fun of my husband for being old. Would it be rude of me to ask her to make a new message where she doesn’t tease him about something he’s obviously sensitive about?

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Jody February 24, 2012 at 2:46 pm

I don’t think it would rude at all. You could say something like “thanks for the message, but I’m trying to keep the messages on a no-teasing level.”
If you don’t want to get back to her, you could always say that you had so many messages that your CD was already full by the time you got to hers.

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Just Laura February 24, 2012 at 5:02 pm

^I agree.

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Just Laura February 24, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Friends,
A very good friend of mine lives overseas with her Army husband and their two little boys. She is now happily pregnant with a girl. One of the wives on base offered to throw her a baby shower. Because the baby’s gender is different and they are far from family, she accepted. Since that time, the other person has done hardly anything except invite people. My friend has purchased most of the supplies herself: table clothes, plates, the fruit platter and the punch. My friend also rented the space.
I have never thrown a shower, nor have had one thrown for me, but I was under the impression that throwing a shower for a friend meant taking on the responsibilities of the shower (food/drinks/space/decorations, if any).

She is now concerned she has to get this person a hostess gift. I told her that since there apparently is no hostess, she should simply write her a nice Thank-You note for take time to help organize.
Would anyone with shower experience care to weigh in?

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Country Girl February 24, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Absolutely throwing a shower means taking on the all the accompanying hosting responsibilities. Unfortunately for her, it now seems your friend is essentially throwing her own shower. I wonder how she got roped into having to purchase everything? (Did the host ask her to? Did she want to? Was it not being taken care of so she figured she needed to?) If this “host” couldn’t afford party items, then she shouldn’t have offered to host on her own. Perhaps she could have first pooled a couple more friends in to share costs and find a home or cost-free venue before offering to throw this shower. I would advise the friend to still maintain with guests that this person is the host of the party (for obvious reasons), but since your friend is really taking on the hosting responsibilities now, there is no need to buy a hostess gift for someone who simply mailed the invitations. This is sort of similar to a hostess inviting you over to their house and expecting you to cook everyone dinner. A thank you note from your friend to this person should more than suffice.

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Just Laura February 24, 2012 at 8:22 pm

I checked with my friend, and the “hostess” made decorations herself (which personally I feel takes time/effort), and baked cupcakes. But my friend noticed three days out that nothing else had been done, so she went ahead and handled the rest. She thinks the hostess meant well, but assumed others would chip in, so offered the shower to my friend without checking with the other people. No one else volunteered their money (although several have promised to attend).

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Nina February 25, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Dear Just Laura, I wonder if there was simply a different understanding of what constituted a shower. Where I come from (rural Canada), it’s essentially punch and cookies in someone’s living room or backyard. However, when my friend married into an Italian family, they threw her shower in a rented hall with a full meal and wine! I was startled (and not dressed properly for such a formal occasion) but other friends assured me that that’s what’s expected in Italian and other communities. It’s too bad your friend has had to take on more than she wanted, but it could be that her friend honestly thought that cupcakes and decorations were all that was needed! There’s certainly no need for a hostess gift, though–thank-you note and a hug would be fine.

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Just Laura February 25, 2012 at 9:42 pm

I will relay your advice to her. Thank you for the input!

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Annie Mossey February 27, 2012 at 5:26 am

I really hope I’m doing this right….

I just wanted to ask a rather unique question about wedding etiquette…

We’re having a wedding at a Renaissance Festival, and unfortunately, the packages only include 10 complimentary tickets, and we can not afford much more than that.

So… would it be rude to ask out guests to pay their way into the Ren Fest? If not, how would we go about it? What would we say in the invitations???

I’d be SOOOO BEYOND GRATEFUL for ANY help you can give us!

Thank you!

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Alicia February 27, 2012 at 9:28 am

You need to pay the admission for all the guests you invite. There may be a group discount ticket price. But if you can only afford admission for 10 people then either you need to change venue or not invite as many people.
Telling people they must pay to attend your wedding is not kind not acceptable.
So get group discount admission, change venue, or cut guest list to only those you can afford to host.

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Country Girl February 27, 2012 at 1:13 pm

I agree with Alicia, it is definitely not kind to ask guests to pay to attend your wedding. So at choosing a wedding like this, you may have to shorten your guest list to one that fits your budget.

I would however add (if the package doesn’t include food) it shouldn’t cost the Renaissance Festival anything to allow you some additional guests. Plus they will lose money if you take your wedding elsewhere. I think you could kindly explain to the person in charge of the festival that you would love to have your wedding at the fair, but since you are unable afford both the package plus the attendance of more guests, that you are sadly having to consider other options. Be sure to let them know you have your heart set on having you wedding at this event, and then simply ask them if there is anything they can do. The festival may be willing to offer you a few more admissions. It certainly doesn’t hurt to ask, so long as it is in a friendly manner and you are polite whatever their answer. Good luck, and congratulations!

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Jeff February 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Is it appropriate to list the live in boyfriend of the bride’s Mother on the invitation as one of the parent’s of the bride? Parents are divorsed and this will be a formal evening wedding.

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Alicia February 27, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Well it would be wierd to list a person as a parent of the bride when they are not actually either a parent of step parent of the bride. I would not call them a parent as they are not. If they are a host you could list them as a host but I still would not call them a parent as it would cause confusion

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Elizabeth February 27, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Well, invitations don’t generally specify the exact role or relationship between people. There would be nothing amiss in writing:

Ben Smith (bride’s dad)
and
Jane Smith and Bob Jones
request the pleasure of your company at the wedding of their daughter (or just Melissa Smith)

Consider the situation in which the mom remarried but did not take the new husband’s last name – it would read the same.

I think it really depends upon who is actually hosting and what the bride and groom prefer.

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