Newport Manners & Etiquette: 2017 Wedding Trends + How to Accept A Compliment
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
NewportManners this week.
Weddings 20017 update
Q. We're getting married in September 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
A. At NewportManners, we're seeing a lot of questions about the importance of pre-nuptial agreements. Also, problems tend to arise in unconventional families where there are different cultures and when step-relatives have to be placated by the wedding couple. Pulling it all together gracefully and economically are top goals.
In a nutshell, here are the most asked questions that you should be aware of and talk about amongst yourselves:
- 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 day - and especially the reception - are the key to a great wedding.
- Design a monogram.
- 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.
Wedding fashion 2017
Q. 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
A. From the wedding dress to the last dance, watching fashion walk down the aisle and on the dance floor is entertaining. Here are some concerns we're seeing about wedding fashion this year:
- 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.
- However, guests don't have to be dressed in perfectly color coordinated outfits from hat and dress, to to 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. Hanging gracefully from the shoulder, a bag with a long strap is easier to manage when you have a glass of champagne in your left hand while the right is handshaking.
Q. 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
A. Find out what monogram the wedding couple have chosen. Once I gave a set of towels from the bridal registry and my friend the bride was upset because the monogram wasn't in the right order. Monograms can be tricky, but they can also be fun.
In general, this is the drill for monograms:
- 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, but only using the child's first initial or first name spelled out can be charming: Olivia or Felix
Accepting a compliment
Q. 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
A. A recent study found that nearly 40% of women surveyed feel awkward about accepting a compliment and 18% will attempt to shrug off the compliment. Answering, "Oh, that was no problem."
That's because when someone gives you a compliment your brain immediately tries to figure out if the compliment is genuine or manipulating.
- 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 you're in a clothing shop and the salesperson gives you too much attention in the hope that you'll buy something, they often pay a compliment.
- 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.
It is engrained in our brains to respond to a compliment with modesty by saying, "Oh, it's a castoff I've had this dress at the back of my closest for years."
Get over it. We're pretty much hardwired to be embarrassed by praise and so belittle or reject the compliment. Simply reply with a sincere "thank you."
How to react to a compliment without feeling clumsy:
- 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.
In relationships compliments are key to making the other person feel good about himself.
In long-time relationships we tend to criticize more than 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."
The internet is a place where people go to find compliments from people they know - as well as from complete strangers - who are all, also, desperate to be Liked and praised.
- Nevertheless, it is the insults that will be embedded in the brain more than the compliments.
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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