From the category archives:

Entertaining

Q: At a family meal recently there was some friendly discussion regarding the passing of the food. So, which way is it? Do you pass to the Left or the Right? A: You pass to the right, or counter clockwise. You pass it from your right hand to the person on your right’s left hand. […]

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First Dibs: Who Should be Served First?

by epi on September 13, 2014

Q: When hosting an informal dinner party who should the hostess serve first…children or adults? A: Children, so the adults with them can help them with their food before being served themselves.

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Q: What is the proper etiquette for burning candles? My mother-in-law says you do not burn candles in the day, only at night. In the past, we have wanted to light the candle in the centerpiece on the Thanksgiving table but she is adamant that you don’t light candles in the daytime. A: She is […]

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Q: When is the proper time to remove your guests’ dinner plates – after everyone is finished? I have a friend that insists on helping out at dinner parties but she starts removing plates before all are finished. She also insists on putting away food from buffets within 15-20 minutes of the meal. I think […]

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Q: When someone brings a bottle of wine as a gift for a dinner or appetizers and drinks, do you open that bottle right away or can it be used at another time?’ A: You may do either. The wine is intended as a gift to you to do with as you please. If you […]

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Announcement – ‘Awesome Etiquette’ Podcast Launch!

by Daniel Post Senning on September 3, 2014

We are pleased to announce that the Awesome Etiquette Q&A podcast is now LIVE! The Emily Post Institute is thrilled to be partnered with American Public Media’s new podcast network Infinite Guest to bring you Awesome Etiquette hosted by Lizzie Post and Daniel Post Senning As your hosts, we’ll talk about etiquette in our own […]

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Dish Delivery: Proper way to Return Dishes

by epi on September 3, 2014

Q: I have always been told that it is ‘rude’ to return a dish to a person empty. Therefore, when I am returning a dish, say after a holiday meal when others have brought food, and left their dishes for me to wash (just a little sarcism!), I always put something in it. I may […]

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Q: Is it proper etiquette for a parent to throw a baby shower for their child or does it seem to be greedy? A: No, you never have a shower for yourself. Showers are traditionally given by friends of the family, or relatives of the couple.

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Q: When an adult birthday invite states No gifts please do you oblige or still bring a gift as a nice gesture? A: You oblige. If you feel especially close to the birthday person by all means you can send or give him a gift at another time, but it isn’t correct to take it […]

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Q: I hosted a small dinner for friends. One of the couples was 2 hours late and said nothing about it (no apology, etc). I said nothing and still have not mentioned it to them. Should I have said or done anything about their tardiness?’ A: It may be that they got the time wrong, […]

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