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. I’d like to move up the corporate ladder; part of that is displaying leadership skills and executive presence.
    How can I make a positive impression on senior leadership when all my interaction with them is via email and conference calls?

    What are some key words or phrases to use in my emails to make them more authoritative? To make senior leaders think “we want to hear more from her”

    • Elizabeth

      You can make your communications as professional as possible by being clear, concise, avoiding informality, and contributing positively and intelligently to the matter at hand. If you try to hard, though, I’m afraid that will come through. Your opportunities for showing yourself well are not limited to email or phone calls, but have tremendously to do with your relationship with your immediate boss, who no doubt reports to his bosses about your performance periodically. If you have a good relationship with your boss, or if you have a mentor in your field, this would be a great topic to discuss with them.

  2. scdeb

    What information goes on a save the date card? The party will take place at a hotel and is in celebration of a 50th birthday. If this has been asked & answered in a prior post the link would be welcome. Thanks.

    • Elizabeth

      The save-the-date usually just notifies someone that an event will take place on a particular date and in a particular city. No additional information is given, because when they are sent out so far in advance, no other information is usually available! The fact that the party will be at a hotel would be extraneous for a save the date.

  3. Dedreia

    My son is getting married in July. He’s attended our church his whole life and the church is throwing him and his fiancee (who lives 6 hours away out of state and won’t even know most of these people) a co-ed shower. I have family that lives 2 hours away and I wanted to invite them to the shower, but my mother says it’s not proper etiquette since most of those I would be inviting to the shower will not be invited to the wedding. However, most of the people from our church who come to the shower will not be invited to the wedding either, but they’ll come because they’ve known my son his whole life and that’s just what people do. So what is the proper thing to do in this situation? Is it okay to invite my family members to come to this church-sponsored shower?

    • Alicia

      Only those invited to the wedding should be invited to a shower. Church or work showers that nobody expects to be invited to the wedding are different and are acceptable as long as only those that are part of the workplace or church are invited. So no don’t invite family who are not part of the church and not invited to the wedding.

  4. Nicola Ingersoll

    I threw a party at a bar for about 25 people. Is it my responsibility as the birthday girl to introduce everyone to people they might not know. A friend was miffed that I didn’t take her around to introduce her to people. But if that is the case, I’d be spending the whole time doing that with everyone, and can’t people go up to people and introduce themselves, and say how do you know xxx or whatever.

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      In an ideal world the host is responsible for introducing guests to one another. However, hosts are often inundated with responsibilities so it’s not always possible to perform all of them thoroughly. When the host is obviously swamped, the guests should take it upon themselves to fill in the gaps where appropriate and, if necessary, introduce themselves.

    • Jody

      Nicola, it seems to me that a “bar party” is a more casual event and I wouldn’t think you’d be obligated to introduce each guest to everybody else. If you’re speaking with somebody (or several people) and another person joins the group, it definitely is polite to introduce the newcomer at that point.

  5. David

    Had this party been at your home, you might have stationed yourself somewhere near the door and led anyone who arrived (who might not know many, if any people) toward a group or couple already in conversation and made the introduction with them. Maybe adding how you knew each other, then quickly abandoning them and returning to your station until all guests seemed to be mingling comfortably. Because your party was at a public venue, this would be difficult. I think if you knew your friend wouldn’t know anyone, you should have kept an eye open for her arrival and simply done the same thing. After that, it’s not necessary to shepherd people about; it’s not a social club. We’re all shrinking violets, to some extent, but ultimately we just have to put on our party face and make the best of it.

  6. Julie

    Having a small destination wedding with family only and a few of our closest friends. Would love to have a large engagement party to include as many as our friends as possible, but cannot invite them to the wedding due to budget. (In the process of purchasing a home)
    My question is: 1) Is it appropriate to invite people to an engagement party if they will not be included in the wedding?
    2) Is it appropriate or not to accept gifts at an engagement party from people who may not be included in the wedding?

    • Alicia

      No it is not appropriate to invite people to an engagement party who are not invited to the wedding. However if you move the party from prewedding to post wedding you can have the exact same party just after you get married and call it a celebration of your marriage and it becomes perfectly polite to invite those who were not invited to the wedding or reception.

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