Open Thread

by epi on January 22, 2013

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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.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrea January 22, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Our wedding is in May 2013. I’m working on our invitations and have no idea how to word them. Originally we were paying for everything, but since we’ve lived together for 5 years our family and friends have offered to pay for wedding services instead of traditional gifts. Since our wedding is now a collaboration of finances from several people does that make the groom and I the hosts and if so how should I word that? Or do I list my parents as the hosts since they are giving me away? Or can I list my mother and mother-in-law as hostesses since I’m very close with them both and they are helping me do all the planning?

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Elizabeth January 22, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Hosting and paying for the wedding are not necessarily connected. You could be paying for the wedding and still list your parents as hosts. Traditionally, the bride’s parents are the ‘hosts’ of a wedding, however it has become more and more common for the bride and groom to host their own wedding. There is no way you could communicate the complex structure of who is paying for what in your invitation. So, you should keep it simple, and use wording that indicates that you are hosting it yourselves. If you want to make both sets of parents ‘hosts’ as well, you could do that too: Andrea Smith and John Black, along with their parents Jane and Joe Smith and Sarah and David Black, request the honor of your presence … etc. (There are tons of places online with sample wording, you just have to sift through it to find exactly what you want.) I would not list just the mothers (unless the fathers are deceased). The way to acknowledge all of your friends’ generosity would be during the toasts, or you could also mention something in the program (if you plan to have a printed program). Daughter should probably not be listed as host.

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Andrea January 23, 2013 at 9:56 pm

Both of our fathers are deceased and both our mothers are remarried…I forgot to add that was causing some of the confusion as well, sorry. I think we’re going to go with ourselves as hosts and list special thanks to our moms on the programs.

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Andrea January 22, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Oh, also we have a daughter, should we make her the hostess?

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Riss January 22, 2013 at 1:34 pm

We had multi-hosting due to assistance in finances as well. We went with “Bride and Groom, together with their families invite you…”

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Nina January 22, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Our invitations also had, “Together with their families, Nina and Steve…” but we did not actually list the families. We were pleased with this, as the “family” umbrella also included our siblings, who didn’t contribute money but did help out a GREAT deal with the wedding and definitely felt like co-hosts.

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Confused January 22, 2013 at 10:16 pm

When talking about someone who is about to graduate from a professional program, would you state that they are going to graduate “with a Doctor of chiropractic degree” , “as a doctor of chiropractic “, or “with a doctorate in chiropractic”? I’ve heard every different method and am unsure as to which is correct.

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Just Laura January 22, 2013 at 10:22 pm

I’d like to introduce Jane, who just became a Doctor of Chiropractic! (Also a Chiropractic Doctor from the brief research I just did.) You could say, “Jane just earned her D.C.!” but many would be unfamiliar, unlike when we say “John just earned his Ph.D.!”

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Jenny January 23, 2013 at 9:28 am

Our wedding is in May of 2014. I’m getting things all set now to try to reduce the stress and cost of things. I am a nanny for the most wonderful 2 1/2 year old girl. I’ve had her since she was 3 weeks old and she means the world to me. I couldn’t love her any more if she were my own. She will of course be the flower girl (only because MOH requires she at least be able to write her name!) I’ve known her father since I was 14, and he has always been very important to me. Two years ago when my father was dying, he was the one sitting there with us in the waiting room helping us make some VERY difficult decisions. I would really like to include him in the wedding somehow, but I don’t want him to take my dad’s place. Also, my Uncle, a few male cousins, and my mom’s boyfriend might be offended if he were to be involved and not them. In addition, his wife, my little girl’s mom, is SO mean to me on a daily basis. My mom and my bridesmaids say they will “shoot” me if I include her, since all she does is put me down and make me feel bad, but I feel guilty leaving her out. I think she’s alienated so many people by being mean that she has no friends left. I feel like perhaps offering her some kind of role in the wedding will be a nice gesture, but she has always “thrown my gesturers back in my face”. I just don’t know what to do. I already have all my bridesmaids, so she would know that she was an “add-on”, and that could be more hurtful than not including her at all. Please HELP!!! Thank you!!

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Andrea January 23, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Maybe you could ask your male friend to be an usher at your ceremony, and his wife could pass out the programs. That way they can stand together, greet your guests, and show them their seats. Then they aren’t actually in the ceremony but they aren’t completely left out either.

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Alicia January 23, 2013 at 11:34 am

Do not add your employer to your bridal party it will be awkward for all involved. Guest is a great role at a wedding and one that too many brides think of as nothing but most people actually prefer.
As for your guy friend options are:Guest, reader, usher,bridesman, ect . But actually you are probably best off if you just have him as a guest.
Not everyone needs a big roll as really friend and guest is a big as it really gets. Other roles are favors that you are asking of these people not honors persay. Just speak to your friend tell him how much his friendship means to you. That is the best honor.

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Winifred Rosenburg January 24, 2013 at 12:34 am

My brother’s pregnant wife found out, after trying to get pregnant for a long time, that there is a 99% chance that she will be having a miscarriage in the next week or so. I would like to send them a condolence letter, but I don’t really know what to say. Any suggestions?

I’m also not sure when to send the letter. She has told us that she does not want to end up giving everyone a blow-by-blow of what’s going on so she has asked everyone not to ask about it and to assume, unless she tells us otherwise, that she has miscarried. I would hate to accidentally have them get the letter before the miscarriage, but I don’t want them to get it a while after either. How should I time it?

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Just Laura January 24, 2013 at 10:44 am

My brother’s wife very recently miscarried. No situation is the same, but I like to believe I understand your family’s sadness and frustration.
Please don’t send the letter. She doesn’t want anyone asking about it and doesn’t want to let anyone know when it occurs (has gone so far as to instruct you all to “assume” the worst). Evidently, she doesn’t want to think about it, and even the kindest, most loving and respectful letter will serve as that unwanted reminder.
I know many women who have miscarried get understandably upset when everyone else seems to ignore their pain, or when others appear to so easily forget about the loss and go on with their lives. In those cases, a condolence letter is thoughtful and assists with the grieving process. In this instance, however, your s-i-l appears to have made her feelings quite clear.

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Elizabeth January 24, 2013 at 11:23 am

I agree with Laura. It might be best, instead, for you to communicate your condolences through your brother, who can pass on your sentiments gently and at a good time. You should definitely not send anything until you hear something. Your brother can keep you apprised of the situation. Once you know for certain, it might be nice to send a brief card (not a letter – you don’t need a lot of space to say “I’m sorry for your loss and I’m thinking of you.” Anything more would be too much for someone who doesn’t want to talk about it.).

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Milly January 27, 2013 at 12:45 pm

I have a friend who always gives me my Christmas present after Christmas, often 2/3 months after – even though I always make the effort to get hers to her before Christmas. How can I tell her when she does get around to giving it to me ‘thanks but no thanks’ and that in fact I don’t wish for us to exchange gifts any longer?

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Elizabeth January 27, 2013 at 4:39 pm

It’s a pretty big snub to refuse a gift. I understand that gifts given belatedly can signify a whole host of negative things: your friend doesn’t care enough about you to purchase the gift in a timely manner, or she isn’t willing to pay a higher price before the post-Xmas sales, or that you are an after-thought, or that she’s just giving you a gift out of obligation. However, I would propose that the late gift means something more about her than you: she’s overwhelmed by life/the holidays, she’s having financial problems, or she’s a bit self-absorbed. In any case, my advice would be to accept this year’s gift graciously, and then change up your exchange next year. Instead of giving her a gift, send her a holiday card with warm wishes. She’ll probably be relived at one less holiday obligation, and you can focus on the mutually enjoyable aspects of your friendship (time you enjoy spending together, mutual interests or hobbies, etc).

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Jody January 28, 2013 at 8:30 am

Elizabeth had some very good tips. I’d like to add one more idea — perhaps your friend is hoping that you won’t send her a gift, and by the time she realizes you have it’s too late for her to send you something before the actual holiday. When you’re getting yourself organized for the holidays this year, maybe you can give your friend a call (or send an e-mail) saying that you’d like to stop exchanging gifts. You can keep it on a light note, saying that you’re cutting down on your gift exchanges across the board (or something like that). You might find that your friend is a bit relieved.

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