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. Linda McClellan

    We lived in South America 1996-2000. A friend of my daughter’s from SA, who she has kept up with through Facebook, is getting married. She is marrying the son of some friends we knew through our company while we lived there. My husband talks with the mother when he returns for business? We did not get an invitation to the wedding nor verbal requests to come. However, we wouldn’t be able to go (costs, time…). My daughter wants to send her a gift. Is this appropriate? My husband was in SA for business recently and saw our friend. He felt she was avoiding talking about the wedding. We are fine about not being invited and do not want them to feel awkward. I don’t feel we should send a gift but a card and note of best wishes would suffice. What do you think?

    • Alicia

      A gift is always great. If you want to avoid the awkward aspect of looking like asking for invite send it after the wedding.

  2. Pat

    I just hosted a 65th birthday party for my husband. I have met his sister and her husband and daughter at Thanksgiving. (I did not eat much at her place over thanksgiving, I took my own food, special diet.) I have never met before this birthday his brother and sister in law. I cooked a huge spread of food for this party. His brother and sister in law ate nothing. His sister and brother in law and niece ate only a few appetizers. I was not aware of any food allergies for any of them. What is the proper thing to do etiquette wise if I attempt this again? I did not say food would be served, just figured they would eat more! Thank you.

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      It may be helpful to include on the invitation (or say over the phone if it’s more casual) something to indicate if they should plan on eating. If you will be providing dinner, say so. If you are providing snacks or hors d’oeuvres, you can say that too. That way people will know whether or not to eat beforehand. FYI, the host is not responsible if people choose not to eat, so if it happens again try not to notice.

      • Pat

        Thank you. It was a come and go party lasted all day and very casual. I had a boat load of food. Everyone ate except his family! I dropped the ball on saying there would be food I figured it was expected! I did an evite via email for the invitation. Called it a birthday bash! Next time I will mention there will be food if I choose to do it! I took it personal since it was his family that did not eat!

        • Alicia

          No reason to take it personal. People can eat or not at a gathering and likely has more to do with their own habits then anything else. As long as they were gracious guests and you offered hospitality then let them eat or not and really do not read so much into it.
          Could be dietary issues, could have been feeling ill, could be overly picky eaters, ect no matter what it is their own issue and not one you should feel bad about.

  3. Jody

    I agree with Alicia. I recently sent a gift to some friends who were married; I wasn’t invited to the wedding and didn’t expect to be invited so I felt no awkwardness.

  4. Liz

    A friend recently commissioned me to dye some silk scarves that she wanted to give as gifts. We agreed upon a price beforehand. But when she wrote her check, she overpaid me by 30%. I was flattered, but also concerned. My friend is just about to give birth – and has regaled us with stories about “pregnancy brain” making her absent-minded. I don’t want to make her uncomfortable if her generosity was intentional, but I also don’t want to take advantage of the situation if she made a mistake. Is it indelicate to approach her and ask if the “tip” was intentional?

    • Alicia

      I’d say something to her. Silk scarfs seems like something that does not need tipping so I’d just say something and then if she meant it as a tip she can say so.

Leave a Reply

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