Open Thread

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.


  1. Sharon Brennan

    please answer this for us…..Wedding is outdoors romantic rustic at 6pm, on Labor Day weekend..bridesmaides are wearing long chiffon pink gowns, Bride long gown. Nothing on the invitation says Black tie or Formal.
    I wanted to wear a white summer dress to the knee with a tan/gold shawl with gold jewerly, but I was told by my daughter, not to wear white?
    what do the lady quests wear?

    • Alicia

      Daughter is right a summer dress in some color other then white or ivory would be lovely. White dress with gold accents is bridal and wedding inappropriate.

    • Jody

      I disagree with Alicia on this one. I think your tan/gold shawl will offset the white dress nicely, so that you won’t be in all white and seen to “compete” with the bride. If you live in a part of the country where it’s still quite hot on Labor Day weekend, even in the evening, I believe your suggested attire sounds appropriate.

    • Elizabeth

      White should generally be avoided for weddings. Even if your dress isn’t strictly “bridal,” it’s still not good form. At some point you will get warm and remove your shawl, and then you’ll just be wearing a white dress. Any other color in the rainbow is fine. (Even black, in my opinion, but people do disagree about that.)

  2. Becky

    Unless you have absolutely no other clothes, why would you even bother risking it? either offending the bride, or the hushed whispers of judgmental scorn from other guests. All the angst, fear and questioning are easily avoidable. Just select something else instead of spending so much time trying to figure out how to self-justify standing on the line without crossing it. I understand wanting to look nice and being fashion forward, but someone’s wedding is not the place to push the envelope. Move on.

        • Elizabeth

          You’re welcome. If you check back quickly enough, you can see the list of most recent comments along the right side of the page. Otherwise, you just have to go back to the page where you originally submitted. That can be harder to find if it’s an open thread, because there’s one of those posted everyday. Even the search doesn’t work so well, because I don’t believe it searches comments, only EPI blog posts. Hope that helps.

  3. Linda

    I have a question regarding shower invitations. I was married 33 years ago and had a lovely shower for my wedding and one for the birth of my son. I realize things after changed in that period of time, however, I graciously received what I was given in both cases. Today I was handed a baby shower invitation for a couple’s second baby (I thought you got one shower for your first especially if the 2nd was the same sex) with requests for certain gift cards to be bestowed upon the parents. Is this now appropriate? I hope I am not being nit picky but this struck me the wrong way and I do not intend to give them anything. I have noticed this trend on most shower invitations I receive…..

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      You are correct. Showers are only given for the first child and shower invitations should never dictate to give gift cards. Feel free to RSVP “no” and not give it another thought.

  4. Kelly

    I have a couple questions about my wedding. Is it appropriate to send save the date cards and invitations to almost everyone you know (that only adds up to 65 people in our case) or to only include the closest friends and family? We don’t want to insult anyone, and we want to be inclusive. I was thinking that if a friend felt they were not close enough to attend, they would simply decline. I would rather be safe than sorry, socially.
    The second question is about my first husband: he lives close and is friendly, and our son will be walking me down the aisle… should I even talk to him about if he and his partner would like to attend, or just ignore the whole topic?

    • Elizabeth

      The onus is on you to decide who you want at your wedding. If someone receives an invitation, the will think: “Oh, this person really wants me here – they invited me.” They will not decline because they are “not close enough” – what is the measure of that anyway? If they are new/not close friends, they may understand the invitation to mean “this person thinks we’re better friends than we are” or “this person wants to be better friends with me.” They may also just think that you are inviting everyone willy nilly to in order to get gifts.

      There is no hard and fast rule about who you have to invite. There are super small weddings with 10 or 20 guests (family only) and then there are weddings whose guests number in the hundreds because it is tradition to invite the entire community or the businessman dad sees it as an opportunity to entertain all of his guests. People draw the line all the time – they can only accomodate a certain number, so they don’t do plus-ones, or they don’t invite second-cousins, or whatever. This is all acceptable.

      My advice would be to invite those people with whom you are close, and who would (if the situation was reversed) invite you to their wedding of a similar size. If you have friends who are not as close, but with whom you would like to be closer, you could invite them as well.

      On the subject of your first husband: the person to ask this question to is your fiance. How does he feel about your first husband attending? If he’s ok with it, then you can simply send an invitation, and at that point your first husband can decide if he’s interested in coming. No need to discuss it in advance.

      Finally, on save-the-date cards. Frankly, I think these are overused. Save-the-dates are useful if you’re having a destination wedding and people need to really plan their schedules months in advance. Otherwise, you can just send the invitations 6-8 weeks in advance and trust that people will come if they’re able. Naturally, all your closest friends and family will already know about the wedding date because you presumably speak to them on a regular basis.

    • Alicia

      Invites should be sent to only those you truly wish to attend. Sending and invite is saying that you really wish someone to attend. So if you do not feel someone is close enough that you really want them to attend then do not invite them.
      Save the dates are great if out of town or for those who may need to travel for others it is overkill. Often only those out of town get save the dates.
      Ask your soon to be husband to decide the former husband situation as it is most alkward for him

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *