Open Thread

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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.


  1. Geoff

    When making announcements, room blocks, directions, etc., in which both the bride’s and groom’s names appear, which name comes first? Is it the Smith (bride) – Jones (groom) party, or the Jones/Smith party?

  2. Syd Parker

    I broke a wine glass at a friends house – and bought a set of similar ones – 4 – to replace. I walked in and handed them to her and she said – NO NO NO I can’t take that – no! I felt like an idiot. Shouldn’t you place a person’s glass if you broke it?

    • Elizabeth

      The response to any gift should always be “thank you.”

      I can imagine that a hostess would not want you to replace a broken glass. Glasses are for using, and they do break occasionally in the course of being used. I would not expect my guests to replace a broken glass. I am personally particular about my glassware. I like for it all to match. Unless my guest knew exactly where I bought my glasses and exactly what model to buy, a similar but not exact set of replacements would not be of much use to me. I also simply do not think a guest is obligated to replace it. It is certainly nice to offer, but you must listen to the hostess when she says, “Really, that’s not necessary, you don’t have to do it.”

      However, when you had already bought the replacements, she should have just said thank you and not made you feel bad about the gift. If they weren’t to her taste, she could have regifted, donated or returned them.

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      It’s one of those strange things in etiquette: the guest should offer to replace it, but the host should turn the guest down and consider it part of the cost of hosting. The guest should respect the host’s rejection of the offer. (This is assuming the glass was broken in the course of expected guest behavior and not trying to juggle glasses or anything.)

    • Jody

      Agreed that if you break a glass you should offer to replace it. It’s up to the host to accept or decline the replacement offer; I also agree with Elizabeth in that since you’d already bought the glasses the host should just have said thank you.

      I don’t know either of you but I’d like to assume the best of the hostess here and think that her “no” was another way of saying “it’s really not necessary of you to do this.” Maybe the glass you bought were much nicer than the one that was broken.

  3. Syd Parker

    At a recent Holiday Party I said to my guests – let’s go in by the fire and the tree to have dessert. One person looked up and said NO. So I said well anyone who wants to eat dessert come sit by the fire. How do you say no to the hostess?

    • Elizabeth

      Wow, that was quite rude of your guest to say, and I think you handled it well. Perhaps the guest was particularly comfortable, or they were in the midst of a conversation. They could have said, “I’ll be there shortly” or “I’ll join you in a moment.” Perhaps there were not enough seats by the fire, they could have said “Do you mind if I bring this chair with me.” I can think of many reasons why a guest would not want to move or would not be ready to eat dessert. However, the party is directed by the host, and there were a million better ways to deal with the situation, none of them involve refusing!

    • Maggie

      That does sound rude, but I do wonder if she mis-heard or misunderstood you. Perhaps she meant to only decline the offer of dessert and didn’t realize the whole party was moving–just that dessert was being offered by the fire.

  4. Barb

    My step-daughter and her boyfriend moved her from out of State four months ago, and more or less begged us to host Christmas Eve dinner, which I told them I was not going to do again (to much expense and work). They insisted they would buy the liquor and help out with the food. My husband and I covered the food and only asked them to bring one side dish and the liquor, but as of last night they informed us they’re not bringing the liquor. I have expensive scotch that I know the boyfriend will “want” to drink it with us. Not sure if I’m in a “sharing” mood”! What would some of you do???

    • Alicia

      Not everything needs to be offered to guests some things can be held in reserve and guests should not take what is not offered

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