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What should we know about wedding registeries? We’re in our early thirties and getting married in the fall. Since our engagement party we’re already sending back engagement presents — from all over the country — that we didn’t need (or like).
–WK, Raleigh, NC
- Most newlyweds appreciate having new linens, especially if they had previously lived with a different person, so you may want to recycle linens used during a past romance. You can have these fresh towels and bedding monogrammed on your own to be sure you have the monogram the way you want it.
- Bar glasses and wine glasses - because of their fragility they are usually the most needed of all items. Order in sets of twelve - guests can buy them for you in pairs.
- Flatware: If you already have a kitchen set, add sterling silver (or plate) that you'll actually use, such as candle sticks, and serving pieces, as well as utensils.
- Kitchen appliances are useful, but register for those you will actually use: a wine cooler, toaster oven, blender, espresso machine, etc. Will you really use that Mixmaster more than every two years?
- Kitchen tools that you don't already have: You don't want to end up with four carrot scrapers and you still don't have a can opener.
- Kitchen linens: dish towels, potholders, and easy-care cloth napkins, placemats, and hand towels.
- Guests from the northeast and midwest will most likely spend more on your wedding present than guests living in the south or the west.
- With the average gift from a family member or good friend valued at $200, guests you're not as close to and coworkers will spend $100.
- So register for items in a wide price range from $12. to $2,000.
- Guests from the northeast are more likely to send checks or gift cards. Although Midwesterners are using checks and gift cards with growing frequency.
- In general, guests from the south and west will spend about a third less on a wedding gift.
- Younger guests are more apt to send a gift from your wedding register than older guests, who find it easier to send a check or gift card.
- 21% of millennials (27% woman and 16% men) surveyed said that they often couldn't afford to attend a wedding and send a wedding gift and so had to regret a few wedding invitations.
- Offer suggestions such as having guests go in on sharing the cost of an Airhub rental instead of paying for a hotel rooms.
- Also, let guests know (on your wedding website*) that they can contribute to your honeymoon for as little as $25 or $50, which gives a bit more flair to a gift than sending a whisk from the wedding registry.
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My question is about how to ask mourners to pay their own way at the post memorial service reception.
How do I put it in a nice way that after my sister’s Memorial Service that the family would like everyone to join them for a bite to eat or have a drink to celebrate her life and add in that they have to pay for their own drinks and food? I don’t care for the word “Dutch” so I’m not sure how to word it properly….It will be announced after the service is over and just don’t know how to word it…
- The Dutch are stereotyped as being stingy or tight fisted. That isn't the case here, because the only way you can make the gathering work is if people pay their own bill.
- This is not a big deal.
- People are used to being asked to pay for their food and drinks.
- You're offering to organize the get-together. You're giving them the option to come for a drink and possibly stay for lunch, but they will be paying their own bill.
- Your closest friends and relatives should help you to get the word out.
My question is about how to handle a the office flirt.
There is a gorgeous woman in my office who makes overly friendly, unwanted, and even salacious advances toward me.
Everyone knows we are both married so when coworkers see her sitting on my desk or rubbing my leg under the table I look the other way. When colleagues rib me, saying, “You lucky dog,” and want to know what’s going on, I tell the truth. Nothing. She’s the office flirt. How do I stop her advances and keep my job? She’s my boss.
- Women often take the lead in finding new couples to swing with, because it is less threatening when the woman makes the first advances and does the foreplay. Find out her intentions.
- Boundaries would need to be hashed out between the four of you to design the kind of relationship that works for all of you so that jealousy doesn't become an issue.
- If she thinks swinging will enhance her marriage, perhaps it will, but it will not solve the problem for you.
- Bringing up these two options may well put an end to your boss's lustful advances.
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My family loves nuts. When we entertain we always serve nuts along with cutup veggies and a cheese canapé, but what guests really love are the nuts.
The problem is that when I see someone’s hand clawing at the nut bowl I get apoplectic wondering when the guest washed his hands last, especially if he came by subway!
Forget double-dipping, what about initial dipping?
My question is about entertaining in the time of Uber.
My girlfriend and I love to entertain. We divide the chores in pulling the dinner together. I usually do the meat or fish along with the beverages. Rosie does the cheese and crackers, side dishes, and dessert and sets the table. We both clean up while talking about who said what.
Recently I’ve also had to order an Uber ride for a drunken guest. Usually they say they can’t access their Uber account on their cellphone, for whatever reason, and I’m asked to order one for them.
Then I get stuck paying for it. It seems petty to go after someone for a cab fare, but they add up. Aside from driving the guest home, what would you do?
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We’re hoping to put together a winning wedding guest list.
My friend had a lot of no-shows at her wedding. It took place on a holiday weekend, when she mistakenly thought people would be able to get away, but apparently they had better plans. In sending out invitations to our wedding in Newport how many do we need to send out to ensure that there will be at least a 100 guests at our wedding?
We have to give a deposit to the caterer on the number of guests and if we have last minute no-shows, we will have to pay for the food and beverages they weren’t there to consume and waitstaff will still have to be paid.
–SG, Worcester, MA
I made a terrible mistake and apologized, but I know that merely saying sorry wasn’t enough. My boyfriend is barely talking to me, he is so mad at what happened. It was a silly mistake, which I made worse by trying to cover it up while over-explaining, but I got caught in an untruth.
I keep telling him I’m sorry, but he so doesn’t seem to believe me! How do I convince my boyfriend that I am truly sorry.
- For much of the population, saying sorry hasn't made its way into their interpersonal skills set.
- There are those who simply cannot recognize apology-worthy situations.
- Others simply do not feel the value of the apology.
- Accept responsibility for your wrong-doing action.
- When appropriate reenforce that apology by saying it won't happen again.
- Be sure to make it clear that you understand and acknowledge the ramifications of the wrong-doing.
- So don't be vague, look for clarity in what went wrong.
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With wedding seasons fast approaching I’m considering various gifts from the wedding registries and am wondering how to monogram initials on bar glasses, leather goods and towels?
–Ali, Brooklyn, NY
- For gifts to the bride of linens and lingerie, use first, last, middle initial with her new last name initial centered larger. The monogram for Edith Lorillard Cowley: ECL
- For the groom monogram on leather or bar items including glasses for Robert William Cowley: first, middle and last first initial all the same size: RWC or all 3 initials with first and middle initial stacked next to the slightly larger last name initial.
- The monogram for a married couple on silver, for instance, would be simply the last shared initial C, or for Edith and Robert Cowley: ECR
- For a same sex couple, such as Andrew Brown and Jared Kelly, use both first initials: A+J or both last name initials: B+K or stack both last names with the K directly underneath the line: B
- When the bride keeps her maiden name, that's when you can get really creative with two large last name initials centered between two smaller first name initials on either side: ELCR
- Monograms for children are the same as above with the girl's last name initial in the middle larger and the boy's last name initial the third large initial. Using only the child's first initial or first name spelled out can be fun as well as charming: Olivia or Felix.
All of the above stationery is from
The Printery in Oyster Bay, New York.
What are the dos and don’t trending in wedding fashion in 2017 for the wedding families as well as the wedding guests? As a wedding planner I have to keep up on what’s in and what’s out.
–LB, Newport, RI
- The Strapless or backless wedding dress is fine as long as the church, or house of worship, doesn't mind if the bride is showing a lot of skin. Some religious institutions require covered shoulders, which is easily done with the addition of a bolero that can be unbuttoned and taken off for the reception. You would have to ask about a dress with an up-high slit to reveal a thigh.
- To tan or not to tan is always a concern because if the tan isn't professionally applied, it is apt to rub off and stain clothing. A certain amount of tan looks better in the wedding photos, but you don't want to overdo it with a fake orange glow. If the bride looks tan that's OK, especially if the groom is tanned as well.
- Like shoes, undergarments you will wear at your wedding should be worn to dress fittings. Wedding shoes should be broken in, even if it is around the house while cooking dinner or doing laundry.
- Likewise, experiment with makeup and hairstyle ahead of time so there is no disappointment with the wedding photos.
- It is still NOT acceptable for women guests to wear white, because the bride is the only person wearing white. Black is always chic, but red is an attention-grabbing color, as are loud prints. A guest's outfit shouldn't be seeking scrutiny unless of course it is monochromatic.
- However, guests don't have to be dressed in perfectly color coordinated outfits from hat and dress, to hand bag and shoes.
- Hats are great at the ceremony whether it is held indoors or out, but leave the hat in the cloak room or car before going into the reception. Hats don't belong on the dance floor, unless the hat is a fascinator or a small brimless cocktail hat. Any hat with a brim can deter social kissing.
- Comfort is always key, which is why a handbag on a small chain is easier to handle than a clutch.
We’re getting married in September 2017 and for both of us it is our second wedding. What can you tell us about weddings now after an interval of six years? Both or our first weddings were quite simple, but this time we’re going all out.
–JL, Buffalo, NY
- Pre-nuptial agreements can set a nasty tone. Unless the dos and don'ts of what points should be included - and which could be eliminated or altered - are made by agreement, work for both. Like any agreement, you have to compromise.
- What percentage of the guest list is taken up by the parents? At least sixty percent of the quests are those of the bride and groom. The other forty percent are divided between the parents of the wedding couple to include their closest friends and family members.
- There are problems when you invite young children to a formal or semiformal wedding. Children can be invited to the ceremony but not to the reception.That information has to be made clear on the couple's wedding website.
- Find a way to make the fathers and stepfathers feel they have a role by giving them specific responsibilities for the day of the wedding.
- Make the mother-of-the-groom feel included by asking for her advice and ideas.
- Come up with ways to maximize the photography investment.
- The problem with the cost of the wedding for attendants. The bridesmaids dresses and groomsmen's outfits should be affordable. When possible the hosts should offer to help cover expenses for attendants who are students or others who are known to be under financial strain.
- Be sure to include customs of the melding families in the various festivities.
- The timeline for the wedding festivites - and especially the ceremony and reception - are the key to a great wedding.
- Figure out your budget and who is paying for what.
- Design a monogram.
- As soon as you have a timeline, monogram, and wedding registry set up your wedding website.
- Choose between an online wedding registry or your favorite brick-and-mortor store early to help keep track of what you need.
- The bride should decide whether of not to take her husband's surname after the wedding.
- Someone should be appointed to be the point person on coordinating transportation.
- Listen to the band or DJ first hand before hiring.
- Be sure to get signed contracts from all the vendors: the hairdresser, videographer, florist, caterer, the band manager, wedding cake baker and chauffeur, etc.
- And don't forget to find out whether the tip is included in the cost of the contract.
How do you encourage accepting a compliment?
When I try to compliment my daughter, who is a wonderfully caring mother, wife, and daughter, she pushes it away by saying, “Oh, that’s nothing. No worries.” In trying to show my appreciation of her, I would like this extremely accomplished person to be able to accept compliments graciously. What can I tell her?
–AE, Beverly Farms, MA
- When someone you barely know gives you a gushing compliment that makes you feel queasy, you probably won't trust the person's intentions.
- Flattery, as you know, is often used to butter someone up because they want something and they'll go as far as being hypocritical to get what they want.
- When that flattery feels false we assume the person complimenting the tattoo is actually appalled by it.
- We do this to others and suspect others do it to us.
- Slightly surprised that an older person would compliment your tattoo, immediately say "thank you."
- Resist returning the compliment because it could come out sounding stiff.
- It is better to change the subject and then later on discreetly slip in a compliment.
- Try to compliment your child, lover, partner, spouse once a day.
- Even if is sounds insignificant, it can make them feel good when you show your appreciation by saying, "Thanks for taking all that stuff out to the garbage."
- Or tune in to the fact that you like that he brought your morning coffee to you in bed and hope he'll do it again.
- If you see something you like, just say, "I like the way your green sweater goes with your corduroy trousers."
- Nevertheless, it is the insults that will be embedded in the brain more than the compliments.
My question is about what to wear to our post wedding reception.
I am going to North Carolina after our West Coast wedding. I have never been in the South and he is from an old Southern family.
What should I wear as we are having a reception for the Southerners who could not come to the wedding, held at a local historic house.
I am a 5’6″ brunette, size 12, busty and I like simple classic things, and I don’t wear short skirts as I am older and have too many leg veins!!
Where do we start when teaching our young children table manners, can you give us the basics, Didi?
–Carolina, New York, New York
Melanie, Melanie, if you're able, keep your elbows off the table.
And Melanie, keep your napkin on your lap!
12 Table Basic Table Manners Children Should Know
- Don't take more than you can eat.
- Never put your elbows on the table because you could tip over your beverage glass.
- Keep your napkin laid out across your lap to catch food that falls, and leave it on the table when you leave your chair.
- Don't put too much food in your mouth. "Please" and "thank you" should be used all the time.
- Don't talk with your mouth full or the food will fall out.
- Answer as soon as you are spoken to.
- Teach your children to disagree respectfully.
- Ask to be excused from the table and take your plate to the sink.
- After opening a door, hold it open for the person behind you.
- If you lift the toilet seat, place it back down after peeing.
- And be sure to wash your hands.
This may sound like a stupid question about body language but how should a woman sit? I’m noticing a lot of mansplaying and womansplaying. Guys and gals sitting with their knees splayed out, is that okay?
–JC, Little Compton, RI
Accepting A Compliment
After the Break Up