Newport Manners & Etiquette: Bridezilla, Acing the Business Lunch & Easier Job Hunting

Wednesday, February 07, 2018


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Handling an obsessive bridezilla, relationship financial infidelities etiquette, business lunch manners matter, and a tip for easier job hunting were all questions to Didi Lorillard at NewportManners this week.

Bridezilla Is Quite Simply Impossible

Q. Our darling daughter has become quite unreasonable, obsessive and demanding in making plans for her wedding. We've asked her to make compromises but she is acting out a sense of entitlement that we hadn't noticed before. She thinks that because she is the "good" child (did the best in school and has a few degrees, unlike her siblings, and never got in trouble like her siblings), she is entitled to having her wedding her way. The reality is that we can't afford the impractical wedding she wants and we're not going into debt because of her highfalutin ideas. Help?  Name Withheld

A. Your daughter has entered the bridezilla bubble and it needs to be popped. Tell her that if she wants things her way, she will need to enlist her fiancé into pitching in substantially to the cost of the wedding. If you've said these things already, reiterate over a cozy lunch of just the two of you.

  • You're not going into debt over her wedding.
  • In all fairness to her siblings, they will be allotted the same amount for their weddings, and state that amount.
  • Suggest that she get a grip on her values and think about having her bridal registry benefit her favorite charity or cause. Help her take the emphasis off of material goods by talking about how grateful she should be for even having a wedding, unlike most people in the world her age who can't afford one. She should show appreciation toward her family for what they can do for her by giving back. 
  • To show gratitude the wedding couple could designate a small amount of money, the cost of the wedding favor, to a charity in the wedding guest's name. For instance, allows guests to choose the charity gift that they want to donate towards and part of that gift goes to UNICEF, Oxfam or Save the Children and the wedding couple donate for their guests, directly through, as a party favor.
  • Register their wedding present to benefit a designated charity.
  • After all, wedded bliss isn't going to be determined by the fact that you can only afford a DJ, and not a seven-piece band.


Practical ways to reduce wedding costs:

  • Do not encourage plus ones. Friends can't invite friends to your daughter's wedding.
  • Eliminate leaving gift bags in guests' hotel rooms and party favors at each wedding reception place setting.
  • Second hand wedding dresses are very chic.
  • A seated dinner can be less expensive than a buffet.
  • Use paperless post evites for all wedding festivities, the tracking system is helpful and you save a lot of money.
  • Have numbered table cards, but eliminate place setting cards with individual guest names.


Nowadays, wedding couples expect to negotiate a marriage that fills both of their needs. Few wedding couples in the past have had so many conscious decisions to make about the kind of marriage they will have - let alone the kind of wedding. If your daughter is obsessed by getting every detail right in an effort to reflect the uniqueness of their relationship, she may have a fear that once they're married they might not get it right. 


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Doing Lunch -- Eating While Negotiating

Q.  Are business deals negotiated over sharing a meal or having drinks necessary? Our boss just took away our expense accounts for taking clients to lunch. It doesn't make sense. And it leaves us coming up short when clients want lunch and we have to pay, or at least pay our share.  TG, Morristown, NJ

A.  "Let's do lunch." Martini lunches are rare these days, but the martini-less business lunch or dinner is still as pivotal as ever in strengthening relationships and sealing the deal. In Russia and Japan business is almost always conducted over a meal. Tell your boss that recent studies exploring reasons why deciding vital issues while sharing a meal raises the level of productivity in discussions.

  • According to a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, two studies showed glucose levels boost brain activities bolstering self-control and "regulating prejudice and aggressive behaviors."
  • Eating together affected negation outcomes.
  • "The students who ate together while negotiating -- either at a restaurant or over food brought into a business conference room -- created significantly increased profits compared to those who negotiated without dining. 
  • Individuals who negotiated in restaurants created 12% greater profits than those who negotiated over food in a conference room where the fair is likely to be a sandwich and water rather than a full meal


Body language:  

Other research shows that the  unconscious mimicking behaviors  of others  leads  to increased pro-social behaviors;  apparently  when individuals eat together  they act  out  the  same facial and hand motions. 

This unconscious mimicking of each other may  induce positive feelings toward both the  other party and the matter under discussion.

Table manners are important. 

If one of the people you are dining with has gross table manners, you're less likely to stay engaged in what he's saying because he's talking with his mouth full of food, distracting you into thinking about his appalling manners and not the business at hand.


Don't Let Financial Infidelities Keep You From Marriage

Q.  I love my live-in boyfriend. We've been together three years, and he wants to get married, but I'm hesitant because we haven't worked out the money thing. We really don't have the money we need to save for our ideal wedding. Not that we have to have fancy champagne and a catered dinner. How do I get Billy to focus on the fact that we need to talk about money and make plans. We never discuss our finances. Sometimes he has money, sometimes not, but he pays half the rent and utilities. What's a wannabe bride to do?  Name Withheld, Providence

A.  You don't need to read studies to tell you that the most common problem most couples face is the hesitancy of talking about money. You're certainly not alone, Ms. Wannabe bride, in your wish to take stress out of your relationship by dealing with money more responsibly. So make a pact. Assure your boyfriend that you're committed to keeping your financial independence, but you'd like it if the two of you would start setting aside money to pay for your debt-free wedding. How much can you reasonably both contribute a month to the wedding pot?

First off, you must have a truthful sit-down discussion about your spending. 

"Financial infidelities" are the greatest concerns for most couples. Hiding spending is a relationship breaker. 

  • What are your pet hidden expenditures? 
  • How much of that can you each commit to the wedding pot?
  • How much of that can you spend on shared experiences such as date nights, vacations and entertaining friends?


Investing in your long term relationship is something to work on together. Try cutting down by spending more time and money on having shared experiences.

  • When friends and relatives learn your plan, they may even offer to pitch in to help pay for your wedding. Wouldn't that be nice!



Searching For A New Job In 2018 Made Easy

Q.  I'm miserable in my job. At first I was excited about having my first job after college, but the culture here is toxic. Guys who do the exact same job make a lot more money than we women, even though we were all hired around the same time. How do I find the best job for me? I can't afford to quit before I know for sure that I have another one and job hunting seems like a full-time job in itself.

TC, Jamaica Plain, MA


A.  Iceland recently made it illegal to pay men more than women for the same job description. Take a look at the and download the app, a job search app that is currently being used by 45 million monthly unique users researching corporations. It's easy to drag your résumé on to and allows job seekers, like yourself, the ability to upload their résumé to apply for jobs or to simply save to use at another time.

  • Not only will you have access to millions of jobs and information about other companies, but the fact that you can integrate your resume into job applications is time saving.
  • We like the checklist to use when researching a company and the idea that you can read reviews from people, like yourself, about the culture of the company. 


It's all about how to find the right job faster. Best of luck.

Didi Lorillard research manners and etiquette at NewportManners for her forthcoming book.


Related Slideshow: 25 Things You Must Do in New England This Winter - 2017

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Ice Skating at Newport Skating Center

Newport, RI 

Whether you are skating on a pond or at one of the many ice rinks across the region like the Newport Skating Center in the heart of Newport.

The skating center provides a full schedule of activities to carry you through the winter including adult and kids skating sessions as well as activities for the entire family. 

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Snowmobile at the Tall Timber Lodge 

Pittsburg, New Hampshire

For snowmobiling enthusiasts, Pittsburg, New Hampshire might be the snowmobiling capital of New England with more than 200 trails, all filled with great adventures. 

The Tall Timber Lodge offers a variety of packages that include rentals, dinners, lodging and much more. If you need a break from the trails, the lodge also consists of a spa. 

PHOTO: Paul Williams

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Dog Sled Tours at Ultimate Dog Sledding Experience

Oxford, Maine

Embrace the call of the wind and go up to New England Dog Sledding for dog sled tours. Tours are pulled by trained and "friendly" Husky sled dogs and are offered throughout the area.

Ultimate Dog Sledding is located just 40 minutes from Portland. 



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Get Out of the Cold and Into the Water at CoCo Key Boston

Danvers, MA

Get out of the cold and into the water at CoCo Key's 65,000 sq. ft. indoor water park in Danvers. 

The park includes multiple water slides, tube rides, pools and so much more to take your mind off of winter, at least for a little while. 

For those who might need a break from the water, there is an arcade with games for all ages. 


PHOTO: Coco Key Facebook

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Sled Down Neutaconkanut Hill

Providence, RI 

Neutaconkanut Hill has some of the best slopes for sledding in the state. 

Bundle up, hold on, and enjoy the ride. 

In addition to the sledding slopes, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are offered at this legendary Providence slope.

For more great places to sled, check out GoLocalProv's latest list. 

PHOTO: Popofatticus/Flickr

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Ice Climbing With Adventure Spirit 

Burlington, Vermont

For the adventurous out there, Adventure Spirit in Vermont is your place for ice climbing. Choose from climbing at Bolton Quarry, Bristol Cliffs or even Smuggler's Notch to be lead by one of their experienced instructors.

Be prepared to spend your day strenuously climbing some of nature's frozen streams and flow offs. They also offer alpine climbing and outdoor rock climbing for those who wish to fully test their limits.


PHOTO: Adventure Spirit

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Providence Restaurant Weeks

Providence, RI 

Providence Restaurant Weeks will take place from January 14 to January 27, 2018, with nearly 100 restaurants participating. Enjoy three-course lunches at $16.95 and three-course dinners at $29.95 or $34.95, as well as two-for-one specials.

Restaurants include Capriccio, Milk Money and many more. 

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Jump Around at Launch Trampoline Park 

RI, MA or CT

Need to get some energy out? or get the energy out of your kids? Head to Launch Trampoline Park. They have a park in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. 

With dodgeball, basketball, foam pits and more, indoor trampoline parks have something to offer people of all ages. Whether you want to bring a group of children for the day or sign up a group of adults for some "xtreme" dodgeball, trampoline parks can be a great change of pace and a fun way to try something new.

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Newport Winter Festival 

Newport, RI 

The 2017 Newport Winter Festival is set to be held from February 16-25. 

The festival features live music, food, games, a chili cook-off and so much more over a span of nine days. 

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Indoor Rock Climbing

RI, MA or NH

Do you need a new challenge this winter? Try one of New England's indoor rock climbing gyms. Whether you choose Rock Spot Climbing in Rhode Island, Carabiner's in Massachusetts, or Vertical Dreams in New Hampshire, rock climbing is a fun and challenging way to get some exercise without running on treadmills.

Photo courtesy of Rock Spot Climbing

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New England Pond Hockey Classic 

Merideth, New Hampshire 

You have never seen hockey like this. 

The 8th annual New England Pond Hockey Classic kicks off on February 2 with final team rosters due on January 20. Get your team together and head up to New Hampshire. 

If you can't make it up, grab the skates and find your local pond and play hockey anyway. BE SAFE of course. 

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Curling at Ocean State Curling Club 

Cranston RI

You watch curling in the Olympics every year and you love it. So try it this winter. 

The Ocean State Curling Club has your curling fix. Hosting events and tournaments or "bonspiels" at the Veteran’s Memorial Ice Rink in Cranston, RI, the Ocean State Curling Club is a "social club for anyone interested in recreational curling." The club also offers lessons for those who want to learn the sport. 

Photo: dave/Flickr

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Ice Fishing

Across New England

It's practically a tradition for a lot of people, but ice fishing is an interesting winter experience. Head out to the ponds and see what you can get. 

But be safe, it takes 4-6 inches of ice to support a person and 8-10 inches to support a vehicle.

Photo courtesy of Dushan Hanuska/flickr

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Get the House Organized 

The weather isn't great, it's freezing outside. Winter presents a great opportunity to get the house organized. It's not the most fun thing in the world of course, but it will pay off and at the end of it, you will be glad you did it. 

Here are some ways to get organized this winter. 

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Go Snowshoeing at Wachusett Mountain

Leominster, MA

For those who can't ski or snowboard, snowshoeing is another way to get around in the snow. Wachusett Mountain is the perfect place for snowshoeing.  


PHOTO: Matt, just Matt

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See the Lights at La Salette Shrine

Attleborough MA

By far one of the coolest lighting displays you will see anywhere in New England and maybe even the country. 

The Festival of Lights runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. every night until January 1. 

Do not miss out! 

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Sing-a-Long with the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall

301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA

Held at Symphony Hall, the Boston Pops holiday concert is filled with food, sing-a-longs and a visit from the one and only Santa Claus!

Have some holiday cookies as the Boston Symphony Orchestra plays holiday classics for you and your family.

The seven kids afternoon shows include post-concert photos with Santa as well as special treats. 

The concert runs until December 31. 

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Give to the Community

While the winter holidays are generally the biggest volunteer days of the year, any day of the year is a great time to give to organizations or people in need.

Items like food, clothes, and blankets are just some of the things that are needed most this time of year. 

See Ways to Give in RI by Clicking Here. 

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First Night Hartford New Years Eve Celebration 

Hartford, Connecticut 

Join First Night Hartford for its 29th year of celebration! The multi-venue event will include performances by aerialists, Circophony Youth Circus, the Connecticut Academy of Irish Music, and Crafts and tours at Bulter McCook House. 

Don’t forget to stay for the fireworks starting promptly at 6 p.m. with a second showing at midnight to ring in the New Year!

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 Zip Line

Mount Washington, Bretton Woods New Hampshire

Soar down Mount Washington on a series of tree-top zip lines! The Canopy Tour is lead by one of Bretton Woods Adventure Guides as they describe the native fauna and flora. You'll descend over 1000 feet of elevation on this 3-hour tour. Each tour guide can take a group of up to 8, so grab some friends and zip down the mountain!

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Cross Country Skiing

East Bay Bike Path, Bristol to Providence RI 

Grab your poles and skis and head down to the East Bay Bike Path for some Cross Country Skiing. Of course, you can go cross-country skiing anywhere there is snow and some flat land, but the East Bay Bike Path stretches about 14 miles from Bristol to India Point Park in Providence. 

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Ride the Polar Express

Woonsocket, Rhode Island 

Buy your ticket now for the Black Stone Valley Polar Express! Watch the popular book and film come to life before your eyes as you take a 90-minute train ride with Santa and the Conductor.

Rides will be available every Friday through Sunday with the final stop on December 23. There will be light refreshments and cookies made available, children are encouraged to wear pajamas.

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 Take a Nature Walk at Squam Lakes

Holderness, New Hampshire

Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness, NH offers a wide arrange of guided tours of live animal trails. A staff naturalist leads and teaches groups how certain animals are adapted to the winter climate in New Hampshire. The guided tours are run on weekends and can be a great way to experience and learn more about nature in New England.

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Paint and Vino 

Pawtucket, RI

Forget about winter by painting a picture of a tropical sunset at Paint and Vino, Rhode Island's first paint and wine studio. Bring children for family paint events and parties, or leave them at home to enjoy complimentary "adult beverages" as you paint.

Perfect for date night, girls night out or a fun Friday night, Paint and Vino's classes run for 2 1/2 to 3 hours and a spot must be reserved.

Photo: Yelp Inc./Flickr

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Snow Tubing at Ski Ward

1000 Main Street, Shrewsbury, MA

Sledding, skiing or snowboarding not for you? Grab a tube and enjoy the ride down one of the many hills at the Ski Ward.  

Don't forget to take the whole family out to Slopeside Bar and Grill after a long day in the snow. 


PHOTO: Flickr


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