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Didi’s Manners & Etiquette: Rekindling Romance + Wedding Etiquette Update

Thursday, April 02, 2015


It may never be too late to rekindle that old relationship and here's how. Organizing a wedding? Here's an update for both the host and guest.

How to Include My Partner on the Reply Card

Please tell me how to include my same-sex partner on the reply card to a wedding. Mark and I have been together for over a year and I think it would be rude of me to attend my friend's wedding without him.  The line where I fill in my name starts with an 'M'_____________.  

~Jake, Portland, OR

Hold your horses. Before filling out the card, the polite thing to do would be to ask the person you're closest to -- the bride, groom, bride's mother -- if in deed, as a guest,  you are allowed to bring another guest. With the cost per person of every guest at least a hundred dollars, the host is trying to keep to within a budget.  

Once, you get the go ahead, fill out the card with your name first, because it is the more familiar name and the likely name on the invitation list.  Fill out the card like this:  Mr. Jake Anderson and Mr. Mark Dias.

Remember, when sending your wedding present from the bridal registry to be sure to include on the card that it is from the two of you; it would go without saying that the cost of the gift would approximate the cost of hosting both of you at your friend's wedding.


Rekindling a Match

I recently became reacquainted with an old beau who is interested in rekindling our old romance. After many emails, he finally sent me a photo. He is quite handsome, BUT, he was wearing an earring and a man-necklace. I like everything else about him, but men with earrings and neck chains is not my thing. In fact, it is a complete turn-off. What should I do? Should I just bow out of the situation or ask him how important wearing this jewelry is to him? I don't want to seem like a bossy or critical person, especially so early in the game. Your advice?  

~Katie, Northeast

Getting back together requires more than mere physical attraction. It should crave deep thought and mindfulness. Twice I've tried to rekindle a serious old flame. One told me point blank: You broke it off last time and you know why. With the second, it was obvious that there was still strong physical attraction, but again, there was something I knew I couldn't change.

The good news is that neither reason was superficial. They both were about sex, and one included monogamy. Neither reason had anything to do with man-jewelry, but it certainly would have been a challenging issue if I had had to face it. Nonetheless, I would have gotten rid of the man-jewelry over time starting with the earring. As a compromise, won't do (or wear) such-and-such, if you'll just wear one piece of jewelry at a time.

If you can't talk to this old beau about what irks you about the way he adorns himself, then will you be capable of talking about the big stuff? Will you be able to agree on which painting to hang over the fireplace mantle? As well as other harder life-altering decisions that include financial planning?

It is far easier to drop subtle hints about not liking men's jewelry in general. For instance, by pointing out in a restaurant a man wearing a bold gold chain around his neck or a brassy bracelet, and I don't mean a watch, and mention that it looks tacky. He'll get the hint that you've tabled the topic of his jewelry for discussion. 

Or gently ask him to take off a piece of  jewelry because it interferes with your love making. Psychologically it is a turn-off for you, so his man-jewelry will inevitably affect your sex life.

What you'll learn is that you can gently and slowly change the way a man dresses without criticizing his taste or lifestyle” if you have the patience.

There will be things about you that may turn him off. It comes down to the old grownup version of the game Truth or Dare. Do you two dare to tell the truth? Does he love you enough to forgo the earring after you've told him it's a turn off?

Discuss any issues sooner rather than later. Why did you breakup? Does that same make-or-break issue still exist” such as living on different coasts and now you're on the same coast; or one of you resented paying for everything, and now your incomes are more evenly matched?

At some point, you may want to take the relationship quiz that recently appeared in the New York Times's 36 Ways to Know Your Lover” which is online at NewportManners.

In the meantime, here is a photo of Brad Pitt, with an earring. By the way earring and all he's the first ever male face of Chanel. 


Wedding Invitation and the Reply Card

My daughter is to be married in August and we're working on the wedding invitation. I'm of the old school that reply cards with self-addressed, stamped envelopes are tacky. They always seem desperate and the expense is  outrageous. Guests should be able to write a simple note accepting the invitation. However, the printer says we have to have a reply card, but do we really need to put stamps on all the reply cards?  

~G.T., Providence

People have come to accept the fact that they have to fill out a reply card in order to attend a wedding. The practical reasons are clear. The caterer will need a head count ten days out in order to hire the right amount of waitstaff and enough food and beverage; having a cut-off date on the reply card will encourage guests to mail their reply in a timely fashion. You would have numbered the reply cards by hand  in small print on the back to make it easy to identify the responder. That number would correspond to his name on the invitation list.

No, you do not have to include a stamp on the reply card envelope. Wedding coordinators recommend doing so because there are so many people paying bills and corresponding online who wouldn't necessarily have stamps on hand. That could delay the feedback process. Believe it or not, some people will simply fill in their names 'Paul and Judy,' and if there are two Paul and Judys or even one Paul and Judy, who don't include their last name, you may not be sure who has accepted. Stamping the reply envelope is a small courtesy to your guest for reply on time.


More Wedding Invitation Etiquette

How do you fill out a blank reply card when it only says, "Kindly reply by August 12th"?  

~Arlene B. Nashua, NH

A. Simply follow the facts on the wedding invitation. In your clearest handwriting, write:  Arlene and John Wilson accept your kind invitation to attend Louisa and Ryan's wedding on August 22nd. 

Less formally, you can also write a sweet personal note, but it is not required or even expected. For instance:  Due to a prior commitment, Lewis and I are fortunately unable to attend Louisa and Ryan's wedding on August 22nd. Lewis joins me in sending are best wishes, congratulations and love,  Charlotte Brown.

Do you have a dilemma about love, family and life in general for Didi? Go ahead and "Ask Didi."  If your Question is used, we can withhold your name and/or location.


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