Monday, April 4, 2016

Wedding Invitation Etiquette Question: Which Name?

Wedding Invitation Wording

Full Name, Maiden Name or First Married Name?


My question is: when writing my invitations for my second marriage, should I use my full maiden name or my current legal name? I did not return to my maiden name after divorcing because of my children. Our invitations will be informal, but I think we should use our full names. However, mine would be rather ostentatious looking and sounding if I used all four names. Do I drop my middle name, my maiden name or my first married name?

Thank you,


Hello Julia,

If your wedding is informal, full names aren’t typically used on the invitations.  Moreover, you would use the name you are using now, which would be your legal name. 

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

Most sincerely,


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Bridal Shower Etiquette: Mulitple Showers


Is it proper manners to have multiple showers?

I recently attended a housewarming-shower for friends who bought a home. Now, they are planning a very small wedding, for which I'm not invited, but expected to help host several showers.  I feel used.  Am I expected to also give a gift at all of these showers?   

Dazed & Confused

Reply by The Polite One

Dear Dazed & Confused,

You are correct to feel used, as this is excessive and greedy behavior.  First off, the housewarming is not a shower.  The homeowner hosts this and provides the party and gifts are optional.  Secondly, this couple should never request a shower and should only accept two, for which family shouldn't be involved in hosting.  It often becomes a greedy feeding frenzy.  Thirdly, only those invited to the wedding may be invited to a shower--only one shower. 

Feel free to skip this.  If possible, it would be beneficial to inform them that you've read that this is not polite behavior and want to spare them embarrassment. 


The Polite One

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Encore Wedding Gift Q & A: Proper Gift?


What is a proper encore wedding gift?

While not a first for either of my friends, they are getting married after living together for a decade. Since she is an avid cook, I considered new knives but am not sure if this is considered a proper wedding gift.  

Best Friend 

Reply by The Polite One

Dear Best Friend, 

You are a very generous friend. It is a great gift. 

Sincerely, The Polite One

Encore Wedding Q & A: Big or Small Wedding?


Should we have a big or small wedding?

Dear Polite One, 

We are both in our forties and I've been married before but he hasn't.  I have a pre-teen daughter and he has no children.  What type of ceremony is appropriate for our situation? Since I had all the trimmings the first time, should we this time?  He really would like a traditional all-out wedding/reception.
Interested in Propriety  
Reply by The Polite One

Dear Interested in Propriety, 

Go for it!  This is a new beginning for both of you as a couple.  Celebrate and enjoy it.  There are few restrictions for encore/second-time brides these days.   Elements to be avoided would be a blusher veil and your father escorting you down the aisle; your daughter would be a great choice.  Throwing your garter and bouquet is probably not a great idea as well.  You and your husband would be at the head of your reception line because you would be hosting, not your parents.  Other than that, the sky is the limit.  You can have the wedding that you desire, register for gifts, include a bridal party, all of it.   

If this were a 3rd, 4th... wedding, to some it might appear gauche to wear a traditional gown though.   


The Polite One

Prewedding Party Q & A: Angry Guest Invited to Shower, but not the Reception

Invited to shower, but not wedding

My cousin invited me to an after-party -- cocktails after the reception -- and her shower.  The invitation for both these events included her registry information.   I am insulted, as it appears that I'm invited to give her gifts, but not to enjoy the wedding as one of the preferred guests.   


Reply by the Polite One
Dear Insulted,

You are right to be insulted, as this is obscene and extremely improper. Only those invited to the wedding, may be invited to the shower.  Plus, an after-party is not polite to all guests.  Those invited to the reception may be insulted that they aren't invited to this event as well.  It is unfortunate she doesn't know better.  Feel free to decline.  You are not obligated to give anything.  

Registration cards inside the invitation…not surprising and very unsettling.  


The Polite One

Prewedding Party Q & A: MOH Attend Shower?

Must MOH attend out-of-town shower?

As matron of honor, must I attend the shower if it is out-of-town, as I can't afford the airfare.   Should I send a gift.  The bride said she would understand if I could not. 

Reply by The Polite One

This is not a problem, because when the shower is hosted out-of-town, it is not necessary to attend.  A gift isn't even necessary if not attending.  But, you might want to give a group gift with other attendants if there are others.  The gift doesn't have to be nearly as expensive as a wedding gift.   


The Polite One

Engagement Ring Q & A: Wear Another Woman's Ring?


Must I accept the other woman’s ring?

Although, I understand it's proper etiquette to return the engagement ring when the wedding/engagement is called off, what happens to the ring afterward? My boyfriend want to give me a ring he gave to someone else--she called it off.  He feels that the ring carries his love to whomever he gives it.  I, on the other hand feel that the ring symbolizes the love for her and their relationship. I am very interested in what etiquette surrounds it.

Wants own ring 
Reply by The Polite One

Dear Wants own ring, 

It is inappropriate and impolite to give a woman a ring that was intended for another. You are correct that the ring was meant for her and should be sold or given away--not given to you.  If he has any questions when he pops the question, encourage him to come to me. 

Best wishes for a bright future. 


The Polite One