Today's Sound Off concerns wedding etiquette:
Dear Heloise: I've been a professional wedding planner for 14 years, and I love what I do for a living. However, over that timespan, I've seen a number of people embarrass themselves by their boorish behavior and failed attempts to be cool or steal attention away from the bride and groom. There are some do's and don'ts that might be helpful for these folks:
First, don't assume you can bring a date. If the inner or outer envelope says "plus one," then you may bring one other person with you. However, if that plus one has children, they are not invited.
Don't assume your children are invited. The inner or outer envelope must say "and family" or "and children," or list each child by name. If it doesn't, then do not bring them. They are not automatically invited. (And, please, no pets either.)
The bride usually wears white, so no, you are not welcome to wear a white dress to the wedding. That goes for ivory, cream or any other version of white. Don't call the bride and place her in an awkward position by asking if it's OK to wear a white dress to her wedding.
Silence your cell phone and do not make calls during the wedding. Do not record the wedding on your cell phone. The bride and groom hired a photographer to do that, and you'll just get in their way.
I don't care if it's a beach wedding -- no jeans or shorts. Wear proper wedding attire. It's classier. Do not propose to your significant other at someone else's wedding or make some big announcement during it. The day belongs to the bride and groom.
Be sure to RSVP in a timely manner, and don't show up unless you've sent in your RSVP. Sit where you are assigned and drink responsibly.
If you were not invited to give a toast, then don't! If you were asked to present a toast, keep it respectful and short: no dirty stories and no tales of former girlfriends or boyfriends.
No drama and no complaining. So, eat, drink and be merry. -- Valerie S., Boston
Valerie, thank you for this list. Every spring, I get questions about wedding do's and don'ts, but you have summed them up very clearly! The only thing I would add to this list would be: Don't call the bride and ask her to include their son or daughter as the flower girl, the ring bearer or a bridesmaid/groomsan. Most brides resent that sort of thing. -- Heloise
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School is about to start for many students, so here are some things to remember:
-- School buses rarely, if ever, wait for anyone. Be out there on time.
-- If at all possible, make tomorrow's lunches the night before and keep them in the refrigerator. It saves time and a little chaos in the mornings.
-- Make sure your children have done their homework. A good rule is no TV or computer games until homework has been finished and checked.
-- For younger children, have a schedule or routine for them to follow and stick to it.
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