Dressy Casual… what does that mean??? Should you wear your little black dress or slacks and rhinestone encrusted flip flops?!? Ever received an invitation to a party with confusing suggestions on what to wear? Most etiquette books cover traditional dress such as white tie, black tie, etc What happens when the terminology isn’t in the etiquette books. We have compiled a list of dress suggestions that might appear on modern invitations, beginning with the traditional and moving to the “what are they talking about” selections. White Tie White tie is ultra formal and used primarily for diplomatic occasions or debutante balls. Men wear a black coat with tails, black evening pants, black patent leather shoes, stiff white wing collared shirt, studs, white pique vest and white tie. Ladies wear formal evening gowns. Black Tie This is also formal attire. Men should wear a black tuxedo jacket (white dinner jackets are fine in the summer or in the tropics) and matching trousers, formal white shirt (plain or pleated front), studs and cufflinks, black bowtie, black cummerbund, black patent shoes (highly shined black leather lace shoes are acceptable). If you choose to wear a vest, it should be a subtle pattern or...Read More
A timetable will help you plan a dinner party to perfection. You can adapt it to your own schedule, recipes and parties by working backward from serving time. Choose your eating time, then subtract the time each recipe takes to bake and prepare. Write down your timetable, allowing extra time for possible problems, and build in time so you can relax too. Figure out what time you need to start preparing each dish. I like to post my timetable right on my refrigerator so it doesn’t get lost. Make sure to check off each task for the party as you complete it. If lots of people are in a tiny room, they’re going to need to loosen up a bit. There’s no question about it, alcohol allows people to approach and converse with others more freely. Pour your guests a drink as soon as they arrive, and then encourage them to refill their glass or the glasses of others throughout the night. Figure two to three glasses per person when estimating how much to buy–one bottle holds roughly four glasses. Obviously you don’t want to get people wasted and everyone must have a designated driver, but there’s nothing wrong with spreading...Read More
Question: On the bottom of my daughters birthday invitation I would like to give some ideas on things she likes since I am always asked what she is “into” at this time. Is that appropriate? Debra The Everyday Etiquette Answer: Debra, It is never appropriate to offer written gift ideas on a party invitation. I know that you would be doing this as a convenience for the guests; however, this could be misinterpreted as “legislating” what gifts your daughter is to receive. If the guests want gift suggestions, they will ask and then you may offer some ideas. Thank you for asking Everyday Etiquette. I hope the birthday party is a huge success. Ms. Carey
Question: I have been invited to a costume party that is by invitation only. It is being hosted by a very affluent acquaintance. I am much honored to have been invited. Should I bring a gift, or thank you trinket? I was taught you always bring a thank you gift. Wine seems a bit trite. Brownies do not seem to be a good idea either. Mareshah The Everyday Etiquette Answer: Mareshah, A small gift is always appropriate to bring to your hosts. It is a very thoughtful and gracious gesture. If your hosts enjoy wine, then a nice bottle of wine would not be considered trite. Cocktail napkins and wine glass charms are a fun gift also. Fresh flowers or a plant is another good hostess gift idea. If you know them well, something for their home (candle, small decorative accessory, etc.) is also very appropriate. Please remember it is not the gift but the thought behind the gift that says thank you for the invitation. It is also very proper to send a brief thank you note after the party. This is not mandatory, but a very nice thing to do. Have a great time at the party. Ms....Read More