Newport Manners & Etiquette: Breaking Up Is Hard to Do, Calling Off Wedding + Turning Off Phones
Wednesday, May 03, 2017
Calling if off
Q. My ex-fiancé and I are calling off our same-sex wedding. We've canceled the priest, the caterer, the banquet hall, florist, makeup artist, etc., but we sent out save-the-date cards six months ago. What we're having a hard time doing is letting our hundred plus friends know that we're not getting married. Can you help? Wedding presents are already arriving. Names Withheld
A. Assuming you have a wedding website, as soon as possible post an announcement that goes something like this:
By mutual agreement, Michael Ogden and
Phillip Waterson have decided not to wed
and their June 10, 2017 wedding is cancelled.
Your generous gift will be returned
to you with heartfelt thanks.
Through word of mouth, the word will get out either through your wedding website, emails or phone calls. Additionally, you can have a card printed up with the same sort of wording that can also be used as the thank-you card when adding your handwritten words of thanks on the backside. The card can also be used when sending back engagement or wedding gifts.
You do not have to furnish family and friends with reasons as to why you are calling off your wedding. There is no obligation to divulge the details so refrain from overdoing it. Clean and simple, "By mutual agreement, we're no longer planning on getting married."
Breaking up is hard to do
Q. How do I breakup with my boyfriend of many years? We live together. We've been through so much as a couple and he's always been there for me. I don't want to break his heart. He's pressuring me to get married, but I really don't want to marry him. Name Withheld
A. Whether you're breaking up with a lover or someone who once was a very good friend, obviously some ways of ending the relationship are better than others. In order to preserve the friendship, you will have to be calmly compassionate without the appearance of condescension.
- Being deceitful or blaming a third person on the dissolution of the relationship are the two worst ways of manipulating a breakup. How about lying about why you didn't come home the other night and blaming it on your mother?
- Avoiding the person by ghosting them is sheer cruelty and immature.
Research on breakups in intimate relationships found that using a positive tone while openly communicating with the person is the most honest approach.
- Arrange a stressless time and place to meet face to face, such as a park bench on a sunny Saturday. Do not meet on your lunch break or over drinks after work -- unless you're looking for breakup sex.
- Make an effort to show that you value the time you've spent together. How much fun you had on a trip or working on a project.
- While keeping eye contact gently describe the reason for the breakup. It could be that you're not feeling the same enormity of love that you once felt deeply.
If that's the reason, you can say something such as, "I can't hide my true feelings any longer..."
- If the reason for the breakup is that you're gay, tell her or him.
- If the person doesn't turn you on, be honest and say you're just not that into him any more.
Put yourself in the other person's shoes knowing that the worst feeling in the world is thinking you did the best you could (if this is the case) and it still wasn't good enough.
Once you have feelings for someone, they'll always be there. You may not love that person any more but you still care how the breakup will affect him. Learning that someone you love has lost interest in you is probably one of the worst feelings ever. So:
- Never blame the other person for the breakup.
- Verbally explain the reason you don't want to be a couple any longer.
- Try to prevent the conversation from ending on a sour note.
- Try to convince the person that the breakup will serve you both. For instance, if you work in different cities.
How to break up with someone effectively:
- Realize that this is going to be uncomfortable for both of you. Ending a romantic relationship without drama, pain, or guilt should be the objective.
- Talk about ways to end the relationship that meet your needs and those of your about to be ex-partner. Such as, compromising about the custody of the dog, putting leases in one name or the other. Helping them visualize that things will be different by talking about diving up the goods, which seems frightfully materialistic, but is realistic. Who gets that expensive new mattress?
- You want to avoid bitterness and move forward in a healthy way, and perhaps even consider staying friends.
Lastly, never invest deep feelings for someone unless you're ready to face the consequences. I know. Easier said than done.
Q. My daughter insists on sending out the save-the-date cards now for her wedding in eleven months. Not only that but she's asking people to let her know - prior to the invitation being sent - through their wedding website who thinks that they can attend. Who knows what you're doing so far in advance? Seems a bit pushy to me. Mother-of-the-Bride, Houston, TX
A. Who doesn't like receiving an invitation or save-the-date card? They make us feel special knowing far in advance that there is a command to make an appearance at a wedding, milestone birthday or anniversary, or favorite charity event.
Nevertheless, in all fairness and considering that life happens, the save-the-date should be an announcement and not a command to attend. In fact, a guest isn't expected to respond to an invitation until six weeks before the wedding.
Except of course when there is a cutoff asking for a reply by a date that is usually two weeks prior to the wedding day. That cutoff is mainly for the caterer, because he has to know in advance how to plan for the food and beverages, as well as for how many waitstaff to hire. Hosts have to pay for no-show guests.
Curbing phones during a meeting
Q. How can I assure a no-phones meeting? I ask that phones be turned off but then I see eyes elsewhere and attentions not focused on the topic at hand. Sometimes they make me feel like an elementary school teacher looking for note passings. KW, Providence
A. It is not enough to ask people to turn off their phones, because they probably won't do it. Like travelers on a plane: who, whoops, forgot to turn off their phone.
- Ask if anyone is expecting a time sensitive phone call that might happen during the forty minute meeting, because if they are, you want to know about the distraction before the meeting begins.
- Suggest that the person leave the room to take the call.
- At the start, let attendees know how long you expect their undivided attention. Let them know how long you're asking them to stay focused.
- Suggest that anyone not waiting for a call should, please, turn off their phone.
Didi Lorillard researches manners and etiquette at NewportManners.
Related Slideshow: 25 Things to Look Forward to This Spring in New England - 2018
One of the best parts of Spring and Summer is the return of Waterfire.
Providence WaterFire has grown to be an iconic Rhode Island event. Starting out in 1994 to celebrate it has grown to run continuously, once a month, from May-November and boasts over 80 blazing fires in the middle of the Providence River.
Boston Calling, the first New England music festival of the season kicks off in downtown Boston on the weekend of May 25 to the 27.
The festival features performances from Eminem, The Killers, Jack White and more.
Playing Golf at Harbor Lights
Tee it up at Harbor Lights Country Club and dive right into golf season.
The Spring is a great time to get warmed up and get some swings in before the heart of the season hits in the summer.
Enjoy being back out on the course. Save the super serious golf for the summer.
Hiking at Purgatory Chasm in Massachusetts
The chasm is ¼ mile long and runs between giant granite rock, sometimes standing at 70 feet high! You do have to pay to park ($5 MA residents, $10 for you out-of-staters), but exploring the reservation is completely free.
Going For Walks/Runs Outside Without Shivering on East Bay Bike Path
You can go outside and go for a walk or a run without shivering the entire time.
Spring is a great time to exercise and the East Bay Bike Path is a great place to do it.
The 122nd running of the Boston Marathon takes place on Patriots' Day. Catch the annual Red Sox early Patriots Day game, then head down to Boylston St to cheer on the runners.
It's a Boston and New England tradition.
The 2018 marathon will take place on April 16.
Bicycling on the Central Mass Rail Trail
Once the streets are clear of ice and snow and the temperatures rise, one of the most fun things to do in New England is to jump on a bike and go for a nice long ride.
There are plenty of bike paths to explore at your leisure, and many cities like Providence, Boston, and Worcester are beginning to make city streets much more bike friendly.
The Volvo Ocean Race is a 45,000 nautical mile sailing race that takes its teams around the world, across four oceans, touching six continents and 12 Host Cities.
The Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover will be a chance for visitors to view the world’s top sailors and race boats during the 12-day event in Newport.
The Newport Stopover will take place from May 8 to the 20.
Walking the Newport Cliff Walk
The Cliff Walk is one of Newport’s most famous attractions is its gilded age mansions lining the coast. Entry to the mansions will cost a fee, but with the Cliff Walk, you can enjoy views of the mansions with amazing views of the water all for free.
The 3.5 mile long path runs behind the mansions on the eastern shore of Newport. It is a National Recreation Trail – the first in New England! The majority of the walk is easy, but be sure to wear good shoes; the sand can make the path slippery.
Outdoor Dining at Boat House Restaurant in Newport
Newport Restaurant Group made this a must-visit spot several years ago and now the expected accolades have followed.
The views of Mount Hope Bay are unparalleled.
Enjoy a nice glass of wine with some lobster fritters that had sweet corn and a chipotle mayo and followed that with pan-roasted George’s Bank scallops with a delightful spring pea risotto, pea greens from Allen Farm and a citrus emulsion.
Spring Vacation on Block Island
Get away from the hustle and bustle of the world and take a spring vacation to Block Island and enjoy all they have to offer.
Maybe a spa? a swim? Some shopping? there are plenty of options.
If Block Island doesn't do it for you, Newport is also a great place to take a break.
Or maybe do both.
Visiting Arcadia National Park in Maine
People have been drawn to the rugged coast of Maine throughout history. Awed by its beauty and diversity, early 20th-century visionaries donated the land that became Acadia National Park.
The park is home to many plants and animals, and the tallest mountain on the U.S. Atlantic coast.
Visit Acadia and hike granite peaks, bike historic carriage roads, or relax and enjoy the scenery.
The 7th annual Newport Craft Beer Festival is set for Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28 at Newport Storm Brewery.
The event will bring in brewers from as far away as California and as close as Newport.
It is a 21+ celebration.
Get your rods and reels ready because with the approach of warmer weather comes the return of fishing seasons. While some New England states allow for fishing year-round, many New England states have opening days for trout fishing that begin in early April.
Although there is still a plentiful amount of snow on the ground, fishing season is right around the corner.
photo credit: Grand River Conservation Authority/Flickr
Sailing at Charles River Yacht Club in Boston
One ritual of the spring that many New Englanders are looking forward to is getting the boat back in the water and the Charles River Yacht Club is a place to do it.
After the brutal winter, we've had, boaters are chomping at the bit to get back on the water and enjoy our awesome waterfronts and bays.
Time to break those rackets out and hit outdoor courts because Tennis season is here.
No need to go hard right away, ease into the season.
Have a great Tennis season.
No More Winter Coats
It is time to shed those big bulky winter coats.
Instead, grab a vest or a sweater and put those coats deep in a closet.
Summer is Next
A reason to look forward to Spring?
Because summer is next and soon we will all be sitting by the pool with a summer cocktail.
April Fools Day
Time to start planning out what pranks and tricks you are going to pull off on April 1.
April Fools Day is always an exciting day because you never know what is going to happen.
While you are planning your pranks, beware of any that may be played on you.
Get the gardening tools ready because gardening season is just about here.
Head to your local garden shop, find the best flowers you can and plant away.
Lower Heating Bills
As winter will come to a close New Englanders could look forward to spending less money on heating bills.
Although the bitter cold is hitting New England hard, and also therefore hitting their wallets hard, this brutal cold streak will soon come to an end and we'll be able to turn down our thermostats save some cash.
photo credit: Images Money/Flickr
Sun dresses. Sun Dresses. Sun Dresses. With the approach of spring, it means that sundresses are almost back! Sundresses are a fun way to show off how hard you've been working to keep the weight off all winter long.
photo credit: jessejamesjake vintage
Easter Egg Hunts
Easter is a great holiday. It is always great to spend time with friends and family and of course for those with kids, it's a great day for Easter egg hunts in the backyard or around the neighborhood.
PHOTO: Ross Mayfield/flickr
While this winter was not all that bad as far as snow is concerned, it will be nice to know it is gone for awhile and there is no need to worry about it.
Well... we can only hope.
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