19 Comments

  1. Brockwest

    Ooops, I made a mistake in voting on the phone in the bathroom poll.
    I forgot, one is NOT supposed to use phones in public bathrooms, showers, changing rooms anymore as phones now have cameras and can take pictures of someone in a state of undress.
    If you are in a state of undress and someone has their phone out, it would be appropriate to ask them to put the phone away until you are properly dressed.
    Many changing rooms now have “no cell phones because of cameras” signs up now.

    • Jerry

      No . . . one is not supposed to take photographs of someone in a state of undress. (Many states have laws attaching criminal liability to the taking of such photographs.) There’s a big difference between using the phone as a phone in the bathroom and using the phone as a camera. That some changing rooms have “no cell phone” rule is irrelevant. Last I checked, a changing room is not a bathroom. And if I were using my phone in the bathroom, and someone asked me to put it away, I would tell them to stuff it!

  2. Stephanie

    I was asked by my future Sister-in-Law to be one of the bridesmaids. This is my first time not being the maid of honor. The MOH took a vote among the bridesmaids and we all agreed that it was a good idea to have the invitations printed and ordered online and we would all chip in for the cost. The MOH did not clear the wording with the rest of us. I was shown the invitation and was appalled to see that the last line on the invitation reads “Save a tree, no need to wrap”. ( The bride is not “green” at all). I was then told that “unfortunately” the registry info could not be printed on the invite as there was no room (!!!). When I asked why people were told not to wrap their gifts, I was told it was because there will be 100+ people (news to me, since there are only 6 women in the grooms family) at the shower and she will have time to open gifts “but everyone will be acknowledged”. Whether she opens gifts in front of people or not, I think it was incredibly tacky to instruct people not to wrap their gifts. People tell me this is common now, that brides don’t want to go through the effort of opening gifts in front of people so “green” or not, they say “please don’t wrap”. Is that true? Am I wrong to think it’s not appropriate to tell what to do with their GIFTS? I feel like all of the shower guests will be walking into a merchandise display right out of Macy’s.

    • Elizabeth

      It sounds like you need to talk to the bride about what she wants. Does she know about and support these plans? Also, your bigger problem may be this guest list – who is paying for the shower? If you are partially on the hook for it, you may want to have an honest conversation with your fellow bridesmaids about what you can afford!

      • Stephanie

        I am unsure if the shower is a surprise or not so I am not comfortable asking the bride about it, but we are having a bridesmaid gathering on the 2nd to assemble the invitations. My question really boils down to two things: 1. Is it or is it not appropriate to instruct people to not wrap gifts when the shower is not officially “green”? 2. How do I convey to people who “don’t know any better” and who have never seen any different that it really IS tacky to include a “we registered here” card, regardless of everyone else doing it? Question 2a. is if I lose that battle, do those cards go in invitations for people you “know” are not coming? I doubt my cousin from Hawaii will be flying in for the weekend, but I want her to feel included so I put her on the guest list.

        • Elizabeth

          Normally you do not invite people to showers who you know can’t make it because it seems like a pretty blatant gift grab. I wouldn’t worry about making your cousin not feel included – she obviously lives far away and can’t make it, so the invitation really doesn’t make sense for those kind of people.

          Regarding the gift wrap: who’s to say that the shower isn’t “officially” green? I think you mentioned in your earlier post that the invitations are already printed. So, whether or not it’s appropriate kind of doesn’t matter, it’s already a done deal. The only thing you can argue for at this time is to MAKE the shower more green. That might mean getting live plants for centerpieces instead of cut flowers, renting real plates instead of using disposable, etc. If you google it, I’m sure you can find lots of ideas.

          As to how to convince people that they’re being tacky – that’s a tough one. Part of having good manners is not putting down others, so you have to be careful. The best thing would be to bring an etiquette book and say, “You know ladies, I’ve been doing some research, and I feel like we should take a minute to think about including the cards. Emily Post says…” etc. If you are outvoted, I’m not sure what else you can do. It would definitely be the WRONG thing to go around telling the guests about your disapproval later.

          Lastly – a surprise shower??? With 100 guests? I’ve never heard of such a thing. You should really call the MOH ASAP, clarify things, and really – talk to the bride. If she has strong feelings about any of this, it sort of trumps everything doesn’t it? That might be your best argument: “I actually checked with the bride, and she said she would be mortified if we included the registry information – so let’s not!”

        • Winifred Rosenburg

          I agree with Elizabeth and would like to add that one of my etiquette books states that it’s okay to include registry information in a shower invitation because unlike a wedding it’s specifically an event for gift giving. The information just has to be on a separate card and not on the main invitation.

    • Alicia

      Wow!! I’ve never seen this even at a very green brides wedding. ( ok I did wrap her present in a tablecloth which I thought was cute yet green)
      I’d get together with all the bridemaids over coffee or tea ( studies show people are nicer when holding a warm drink) and ask each of the bridesmaids starting with someone you know is more on your scale what they think bride would like for shower and ending with MOH. A 100 person shower is huge and assumes pretty much every woman invited to the wedding is invited to the shower. ( only those invited to the wedding may be invited to showers)
      When you agreed to chip in for cost of printing invites how many invites did you agree to? I think the idea of 100 invites as opposed to say 25 should be a large cost difference and hosting 100 people as opposed to a more common 25 is also a huge cost difference a 25 invited person shower can be done at a home where 100 people needs a rental facility and catering as opposed to the best party recipes of teh bridesmaids. This MOH needs reigning in.
      How close are you to the mother of bride any chance she is a reasonable woman who could help?

      • Stephanie

        Hi Alicia,

        We are all getting together on 12/2, at which point I expect I’ll learn a lot more about what’s happening and who all is coming. I do think that every woman invited to the wedding also got an invitation to the shower, and I suspect maybe some more than that. The brides family is so huge she is not inviting any of her friends to the wedding. I find it hard to believe she would not invite her friends to the shower, but I don’t actually know because I’m on the grooms side. I only contributed the guest list for my family.
        When I agreed to chip in for the invites, I don’t remember her giving a count, I just remember her saying it was $13 per person.
        And I’m not close to the mother of the bride at all. I believe it is her sister (so brides aunt / MOH’s mother) who is funding the shower. I don’t know how involved she is. I DO know that she is a woman who sends written invitations for her Thanksgiving & Christmas dinners, so you would think (I would think), that a function for her daughter would follow all of “the rules”.
        Also, is it really wrong to invite women who live so far away? I don’t want it to look like a gift grab. The bride has been adamant that this wedding is about family and all of the 1st cousins are being invited, so I thought it was only right to invite them to the shower. Should they only be invited to the wedding?

        • Winifred Rosenburg

          Weddings are considered big events (even if it is a small wedding) so it’s fair to think that people might travel great distances to attend. That’s why it’s okay to invite people who live far away to a wedding. Showers, on the other hand, are considered small events so it’s assumed that people who live far away would not travel for it, except perhaps in the case of immediate family and bridesmaids. Therefore it’s rude to invite someone who doesn’t live nearby because it’s safe to assume they won’t be coming so it seems like you’re just inviting them in hopes that they’ll send a gift anyway.

          • I agree with Winifred in that many get the wrong idea when invited to a distant shower for a non-family member. And some of us have it spelled out in much plainer English. The last time I was invited to a distant shower (1000 miles away), the sender included a note that read something to the effect of, “If you can’t make it, here’s where you can send the gift [bride’s address].”

  3. Clara

    This past week 2 of my friends and I made plans to meet in the city for dinner next month. I just got finished making reservations online and forwarding them the emails. They said it was all good and couldn’t wait. 2 hours later I get an email from one friend about how her coworker invited her to a show that is the same day and can they come to dinner too and how maybe there will be tickets left for the 2 of us. I am not interested in doing this. My feeling is that when her coworker approached her she should have said that she had other plans that day. I would rather now that she just go with this co worker and forget our plans…she is trying to combine all of us and I would rather not do that. What shoud I say to her?

    • Elizabeth

      Just say that you were looking forward to catching up with just her and other friend, so you’d prefer to find another date when you can do that. (if you and other friend still want to meet by yourselves, no need to tell her that.)

      • Clara

        Okay so I told her that we should just pick a different day for the 3 of us and she should go ahead with the show plans with the co worker. Now she is throwing it back on me that she thought we could go to this other restaurant that was talked about and go as a group, but that if I don’t want to do that it’s ok and that she had plans with us first. Why can’t she just make her own decision? She is putting me in the position of being the stick in the mud so that if I say to her “well then let’s just do what we originally planned” then I’m the curmudgeon and if I say “why don’t you just go ahead with your co worker” then I sound bitter. This is very manipulative on her part.

        • Elizabeth

          This might be time for you to level with your friend, and also offer her a reason. Can you articulate why you would actually rather not do this group thing? Perhaps your time for socializing is limited and you were really hoping to catch up with old friends rather than have to make small talk with new ones? (Let’s say for the sake of argument that this is your reason.) You could say:
          “Friend, I have to be honest with you, you’re putting me in an awkward position here. I think I’ve been clear about my preferences, which are to have dinner with just you and OtherFriend. It’s not that I have anything against your coworkers, but my time to socialize is limited and honestly I was just really looking forward to catching up with you guys and I’m just don’t want to spend my one night out a month with people I don’t know making small talk. It’s perfectly fine if you want to go to the show – we can get together another time. But I don’t really like being put in the position of deciding your social life, so please don’t put me in that position.”

          I should also say that if you don’t really have a compelling reason to not do this group thing, you should consider it. You might really hit it off with the coworkers. But I don’t think it’s curmudgeonly for you to gracefully decline the group invitation as long as you articulate a reason that your friend can understand.

        • Vanna Keiler

          Hi Clara. Hmmm….sounds like a sticky situation indeed. If you tell her the plans are off and you all reschedule to meet as a group later, and then meet with the other friend anyways, your friend will feel left out. Seems like she wanted the get-together to change to meet her own plans. I say do what you want to do, and feel confident that, as friendships go, people sometimes need to be reminded that, unlike family, friendship is all about “no hassle”. So if it’s a hassle and you are irked, tell her you are rescheduling for the three of you, and leave it at that.

  4. Gary

    Maybe off topic but,
    My wife says I’m a car snob because I think it is more hospitable to pick two guests up at the train station with our roomy Honda Pilot SUV, she insists on using a two door compact Honda Civic.
    I’m convinced all things being equal it’s just nicer to ask them to slide into a large four door SUV than climb over the bucket seats in to the back of a two door compact car. Im I mistaken?

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