Open Thread

by epi on August 1, 2013

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.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer August 4, 2013 at 3:29 am

I wanted to know if it’s appropriate to sign my husband’s name to gifts and cards we give if he has passed away. I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable, but to me I still feel like every card or gift is from my husband, son and I, and it will always be that way for me. He passed away very unexpectedly 5 months ago at the age of 42. For my sons and I he is always with us and a part of every decision I make no matter how big or small. I feel as though he should get the credit for the thought put into the card and or gift since he truly has a part in choosing it. Is this ok to do?


Alicia August 4, 2013 at 6:50 pm

As he clearly did not help give the gift as he is no longer here it is not good to sign his name to gifts and cards. People will likely find it creepy or you senile for signing as if he were alive. Instead mention him in the text of the card.


Elizabeth August 4, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Jennifer, I am sorry for your loss and I understand why you would want to sign his name. Unfortunately, only the living can express sentiments, give gifts and send cards. This has the very real possibility of confusing the recipients of the cards and gifts, making them wonder if he is still alive, or it might come across as a passive-aggressive rebuke to them for not being more supportive to you or not mentioning him enough. You should not sign his name for him, and as Alicia suggested perhaps only mention him in the text of your card. Again, you have my sincere condolences.


Lee August 6, 2013 at 12:54 am

My Stepdaughter Is having her mother and father walk her down the aisle. (Divorced for 16 years). Groom is lo having his parents walk him down aisle. How does stepmother, of 12 yrs, go in processional? It was suggested boyfriend of mother of bride walk down after groom & parents, then stepmother walks down aisle unescorted…..won’t that be weird, for a formal occasion? Would it be ok ,proper, if father of bride, my husband, escorted me down aisle and then go back ,either by center or side aisle, to escort bride down aisle with his ex wife, bride’s mother?


Elizabeth August 6, 2013 at 8:36 am

Since the bridal procession usually is made up of the bridal party only, it would make sense for you to simply be at your seat when the procession begins rather than being escorted down the aisle as a part of it. I understand that this seems like I”m suggesting you shouldn’t have “the honor,” but where does it end? Does grandma get walked down the aisle? Favorite aunts? Usually the groom’s parents traditionally do not walk him down the aisle, and would also simply be in their seats when the wedding begins. It would be weird for your husband to do two trips, although I”m sure it’s been done.


Lee August 6, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Who should walk the stepmother down the aisle? The stepdaughter wants her to be part of the wedding party in the procession. That is very sweet. The groom will be escorted by his parents. The stepmother is expected to proceed down aisle unescorted by anyone…just self. Wouldn’t that be considered Improper etiquette for a formal affair – to proceed down aisle unescorted? Thanks


Elizabeth August 6, 2013 at 11:43 pm

Oftentimes brides walk down the aisle unescorted themselves, so no there is nothing necessarily “improper” about Stepmom walking herself down the aisle. It is sweet that Stepdaughter wants to include Stepmom. If father of the bride doesn’t want to make two trips, either Stepmom has to be escorted by someone else or walk by herself. Is there anyone else who can do it? There is no set rule in terms of etiquette. An usher? A favorite uncle? It probably would be simplest and make the most sense to walk down unescorted.


Delphi August 7, 2013 at 10:37 pm

As we live interstate, I purchase an airfare for one of my elderly parents each year. We have a great time and our teenage sons love the visits. Last year we attended a family members’ funeral in my home town. At the church my family greeted us. Later we attended the crematorium. We noticed that my family were aloof, I thought that was from sadness, they did not extend or want to speak or include us in conversation, thus it was not only sad but very uncomfortable. We spoke to everyone and hugged them when we left. Before leaving we spent an evening with my parents then returned to our hotel and flight home the next morning. Later we found we had not been included in the wake with the rest of my siblings, nieces nephews etc. I haven’t enjoyed the best relationship with my siblings but we try always to be polite and caring. I believe they were upset because we did not visit prior to this person’s passing away and other residual issues from the past. His illness was such short notice, it would have been difficult for my wife and financially to attend interstate twice. We did send cards and messages of our love and wishes to that person before their passing. Now my mother is about to visit and already she has mentioned that she has invited family members, who ignore us, to our home as they will be in the area. I am still a little hurt. Also I feel that as these family members see my parents anytime they want, it would be nice if we could have 3 days once a year with my mother. What is the right thing to do. Allow them to start using our home as a bed and breakfast, then they will go back to ignoring us again. My family can be rather dominating. Thank you for your advice.


Winifred Rosenburg August 8, 2013 at 8:59 am

You can tell your mother “I was looking forward to spending time with just you. How about we spend time with the rest of the family another time when I have prepared my home for that many people.” Then stick to your guns. It’s your home. You don’t need to have anyone you don’t want to have in it.


Delphi August 8, 2013 at 9:53 pm

Thank you for your email and exactly my thoughts. I thought I was being a little mean but I am glad that my thoughts on this is shared.


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