Each Wednesday, we tackle wedding etiquette. At times, it’s a reader question or one from a colleague, friend or family member and other times we’ll cover a popular issue. (Note: Questions may be edited for clarity and brevity.)


Question: My wedding isn’t until next spring, but already I’m beginning to feel unknowledgeable and out of my element when it comes to a lot of the points of etiquette associated with a wedding and my upcoming married life. For example, I sat down to write thank you cards for gifts from my most recent shower and I have no idea where to even start. Also, I understand my fiancé and I are expected to give gifts to our bridal party and the others who are helping with and participating in the wedding and surrounding parties, but I’m mystified about what to give that will be appropriate, but also personalized. Finally, after the wedding, there will be so many instances when there are certain expectations, such as at company functions, for spouses and I want to make sure we are doing everything the right way. Or at the very least not make fools of ourselves. What etiquette books do you recommend before and after the wedding?

Answer: Even though I’ve studied and written about etiquette for years, there are still times when I consult my library of etiquette books. There are of course countless online resources, such as this blog, but having a book or two nearby is a handy way to get the information you need quickly and especially when the Wi-Fi isn’t working so well. In April, the 19th edition of “Emily Post’s Etiquette,” was released. This is what many of us call the “Etiquette Bible” and it will get you through pretty much any social, work or cultural situation. Meanwhile, a book by New Orleans author Lynne Farwell White, “Giving and Gifts: The art of Thoughtful Giving,” went into its second printing this year and I think it would be helpful for your gift giving and thank you note writing quandaries. Good luck with the rest of the wedding festivities and in your marriage. With lots of kindness and your good intentions, I’m sure etiquette gaffes won’t ever be a problem for you. If you ever commit one however, a sincere apology usually fixes things in a jiffy.



Do you have a solution to share or a wedding etiquette question? Respond in the comments or email Melanie@MyNewOrleans.com.


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