Newport Manners & Etiquette: Updated Etiquette for Memorials + Weddings
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Memorial to my sister
Q. My sister died this past spring in Italy, where she had lived for many years. As an artist, I felt I had to create a work in her memory and have cards made up of the image to send to her friends. Is that appropriate? Even though we lived in different countries, we were close and I took care of her as well as I could. I spent a few days with her two weeks before she died when we said our good-byes.
Friends of hers have written their condolences, but since Italian is not my native tongue, I want to send them the image I (her brother) created for my sister that is helping me through my deep feelings of grief. She was buried with her husband who predeceased her, so I feel this is something I can do to commemorate her life. Is it OK? She was always greatly supportive of my work. –B.J., Westport, CT
A. What a truly wonderful expression of appreciation for the life of your sister. Through a memorial to your sister in the form of an original work of art printed on a card, you are immortalizing her. You will not have to have too many words in the card following a powerful image. It could be as simple as her name above the years of her life.
Adding a few handwritten words of appreciation before signing your name would be perfect: "With much appreciation, all good wishes, sincerely yours," (sign your name). Don’t give this creative instinct a second thought. In your own time and in your own way, you are stating that your sister will be remembered. ~Didi
Q. Do we have to include a reply card with the invitation to our daughter’s wedding? That invitation to her formal wedding is very attractive, but she says people forget to fill out reply cards and that nobody has stamps anymore because bills and letters are done online. She wants to have everyone RSVP to their wedding website for all the wedding festivities. Not all of our older friends and relatives will understand about responding to a wedding website. There lies our dilemma, how to be elegant, thoroughly modern, and communicate to all the generations? –Alexandra, Grosse Pointe, MI
A. You do not have to include a wedding reply card to your daughter’s upcoming wedding in the wedding packet. Your daughter is right in assuming that she and her fiancé’s friends will respond to all the wedding festivities more efficiently and promptly when replying to the couple’s wedding website. However, you will need to be sure the the web address appears prominently in the wedding packet. For example:
RSVP: Jasper&[email protected]
If you are worried about what older friends and relatives will think about not receiving a reply card and thinking theirs was omitted from the invitation packet, remember that for generations reply cards were not used for the RSVP. The the old-fashioned standard note to the bride’s mother (you) was the only form of acceptance. No doubt you will be receiving their RSVP in their own words and names can be added to the acceptance list on the wedding website.
Here are the most popular wedding websites offering RSVP option to the wedding as well as to other wedding festivities:
The latest word from professional wedding planners and coordinators is that the old-fashioned response/reply card is not working. When guests are expected to use a paper reply card with a return self-addressed envelopes, out of 200 guests invited, only 120 return the card -- and of that number only eighty will actually show up.
Because of this, caterers are now requiring a headcount sometimes up to six weeks out. An impossible lead time for the RSVP cutoff date. Furthermore, hosts end up paying for the cost per person of any no-shows. Now, that can be an unexpected (and unwelcome) added expense if you're paying for guests who don't bother to let the host know they cannot attend after all.
In wedding etiquette we have to use a more efficient method of collecting the acceptances and regrets. In other words, we have to speak the language of our guests, which these days is predominately a digital audience. Keeping all records of all acceptances and regrets for all the pre-wedding, wedding, and post-wedding events on the couple's wedding website makes perfect sense. A huge convenience for the guests, as well as the hosts.
Didi Lorillard answers questions about all matters of manners and etiquette at NewportManners, the best of which appear here.
Related Slideshow: newportFILM’s 2015 Summer Lineup
Thursday, July 2nd at 8:30pm
Queen Anne Square
A heart-racing documentary portrait of Carl Boenish, the father of the BASE jumping movement, whose early passion for skydiving led him to ever more spectacular –and dangerous– feats of foot-launched human flight.
Length: 101 minutes
Director: Marah Strauch
Producers: Eric Bruggemann, Marah Strauch, Lars Løge, Alex Gibney, Josh Braun, Dan Braun, Samantha Horley, and Phil Hunt
Thursday, July 16th at 8:30pm
The latest film from legendary documentarian Albert Maysles ("Grey Gardens", "Gimme Shelter"), "Iris" pairs the late 88-year-old filmmaker (who passed away on March 5) with Iris Apfel, the quick-witted, flamboyantly dressed 93-year-old style maven who has had an outsized presence on the New York fashion scene for decades.
Length: 80 minutes
Director: Albert Maysles
Producers: Laura Coxson, Rebekah Maysles, and Jennifer Ash Rudick
Thursday, July 23rd at 8:30pm
The Redwood Library and Athenaeum
"The Diplomat" tells the remarkable story of the life and legacy of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, whose singular career spans fifty years of American foreign policy from Vietnam to Afghanistan.
Director: David Holbrooke
What Happened, Miss Simone?
Thursday, July 30th at 8:30pm
Doris Duke's Rough Point, 680 Bellevue Avenue, Newport
Classically trained pianist, dive-bar chanteuse, black power icon and legendary recording artist, Nina Simone lived a life of brutal honesty, musical genius and tortured melancholy. In this epic documentary, director Liz Garbus interweaves never-before-heard recordings and rare archival footage together with Nina’s most memorable songs, to create an unforgettable portrait of one of the least understood, yet most beloved, artists of our time.
Length: 102 minutes
Director: Liz Garbus
Producers: Amy Hobby, Liz Garbus, Justin Wilkes, and Jayson Jackson
Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict
Thursday, August 6th at 8:15pm
Newport Art Museum
Bouncing between Europe and the United States as often as she would between lovers, Peggy Guggenheim’s life was as swirling as the design of her uncle’s museum, and reads more like fiction than any reality imaginable. "Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict" offers a rare look into Guggenheim’s world: blending the abstract, the colorful, the surreal and the salacious, to portray a life that was as complex and unpredictable as the artwork Peggy revered and the artists she pushed forward.
Length: 97 minutes
Director: Lisa Immordino Vreeland
Producers: Stanley Buchthal, David Koh, Dan Braun, and Lisa Immordino Vreeland
Best of Enemies
Thursday, August 13th at 8:15pm
The Elms Mansion Gardens
"Best of Enemies" is a behind-the-scenes account of the explosive 1968 televised debates between liberal Gore Vidal and conservative William F. Buckley Jr., and their rancorous disagreements about politics, God and sex.
Length: 87 minutes
Directors: Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon
Producers: Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville
Thursday, August 20th at 8:00pm
Oscar®-winning director Louie Psihoyos ("The Cove") assembles a team of artists and activists on an undercover operation to expose the hidden world of endangered species and the race to protect them against mass extinction. Spanning the globe to infiltrate the world’s most dangerous black markets and using high tech tactics to document the link between carbon emissions and species extinction, "Racing Extinction" reveals stunning, never-before seen images that truly change the way we see the world.
Length: 94 minutes
Director: Louie Psihoyos
Producers: Fisher Stevens, Olivia Ahnemann, and Gina Papabeis
Harry & Snowman
Thursday, August 27th at 8:45pm
Newport Polo Grounds
"Harry & Snowman" is a feature length documentary that tells the remarkable life story of international show jumping legend Harry deLeyer, whose career was launched by his famous show jumping horse Snowman.
Director: Ron Davis
Producers: Ron Davis, Nancy Knox Talcott, Clay Westervelt, Karin Reid Offield (Exec. Producer), and Paul Winston Blavin (Exec. Producer)
Thursday, September 3rd at 7:30pm
Norman Bird Sanctuary
Set in one of the least known landscapes left on earth, "Tiger, Tiger" is the story of a man with numbered days seeking to save the tiger, an animal whose days may also numbered. Director George Butler.
Length: 90 minutes
Director: George Butler
Producers: Julian Robertson, Caroline Alexander, and Keero Birla
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