1. Matt


    I am looking for guest list advice. This fall I am hosting an anniversary party for my parents. As I am finalizing the addresses of my guest list I have run into a problem.
    My cousin(41) has two children(13 and 9) from a previous marriage; his children live with their mother. He currently lives with a woman who has two children of her own (14 and 8). Who do I invite? How do I send the invitation? Ideally we would just like my cousin and his children. But his girlfriend shouldn’t be left out I suppose, then where does that leave her children? Do I invite them all and pay for another entire table? Or invite none and avoid this situation?


    • Elizabeth

      I think you should invite all of the children or none of them. You cannot invite your cousin without his partner – they are living together, they are a social unit. You could easily invite just the two adults and none of the children. However, if you are going to invite other children of the same age, then it has to be all of them, I’m afraid.

  2. Pam

    Two of my nieces graduated this month. One was from Nursing School and one was from Dental School. My husband drove 7 hours to the first graduation from Nursing School and brought a gift of $200. The second niece wrote on the graduation invitation ‘no gifts please’ We drove 3 hours to the graduation and a party at a local bar. The “gifts” were a big production. They brought them all in and put them on a table and then we all stood and watched her open everything. I felt very uncomfortable (we did bring a gift for each of the three girls, but it was all baking things and hardly a graduation gift.) then her Dad (my brother-in-law) over and said.”yes these were her only gifts because she did not graduate from college since the program was “all in one”. Why would they put no gifts on our card and then make such a big production?

    • Cyra

      Who knows why people do the rude things they do? In my opinion, there were two major faux pas that contributed to the uncomfortable environment. One was writing “no gifts” on the invitation (which is certainly a debate we don’t need to get in to here since there is a whole other thread just about that!), and the other was making a production about gifts at an event other than a shower. At a bridal or baby shower the whole point of the event is the gifts, so making a production out of opening them makes sense. A graduation party, though, is not the place for such an exhibition.

      • Elizabeth

        I actually think that this situation is a great example of why ‘no gifts’ is a bad idea, even though it is usually prompted by the best of intentions. Many events will inspire people to bring gifts, especially something like a graduation. Friends and family will want to bring gifts, and will feel free to (mostly) ignore any ‘no gifts’ requests. Then the honoree feels obliged to open the presents that the guests have so graciously brought (having done so during birthday parties, Christmas celebrations, showers), and it makes it really uncomfortable for the rest of the guests who took the invitation at its word.

        People having celebrations or events of any kind should never use ‘no gifts’ because they simply shouldn’t tell their guests what to do or how to spend (or not spend) their money!

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      That is an excellent question. It sounds like these people are under the all-too-common false impression that “no gifts” is code for “bring gifts.” In other words, they were being tacky. You were correct in following directions and have nothing to be ashamed of. The hosts on the other hand…

  3. brent

    I have question about wedding attire. My wife is thinking about wearing shorts to a wedding on the 29th of this month. It is at a golf course country club. The outfit is very nice and very dressy in my opinoin, but a lady wearing shorts to a wedding? I know for men it is a no no but what about women. She looks fantastic in it and no one will be wearing the same thing as her!

    • Karen

      Oh, dear. If she looks fantastic in shorts, I’m sure she’d also look fantastic in something like a slim sheath dress, which can absolutely fit in as country club attire. Ladies certainly wear shorts to country clubs, but I think they tend to do so when they’re going for their tee time or their court reservation! If the wedding turns out to be informal enough that shorts would have been appropriate, she still won’t look out of place…and if, as I suspect, the wedding turns out NOT to be informal enough for shorts to be appropriate, she won’t have to worry about being underdressed. You could, perhaps, call the bride or groom (whichever one yo uknow better) to ask about the dress code, but otherwise I wouldn’t risk shorts when there are so many other equally-fashionable but less-fraught options.

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      Only if it is a casual wedding. And I mean really casual, like you aren’t expecting to see a single neck tie.

    • Cyra

      I would say it’s a no-no for women as well. I understand that this doesn’t really make sense, since there is very little difference between a pair of shorts and a a skirt, but that’s just the way it is. I would suggest she find a skirt similar to the shorts she plans on wearing so her outfit remains essentially the same!

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