My Little Etiquette Shop: Graceful handling of Gift Gaffes

This is the gift table that my sister made.

If the invitation says "no gifts, please," bringing a gift anyway is not good form.

Today we’ll address a guest issue from the Bride’s perspective – but all you guests-to-be out there listen up!  Spare the bride and groom some trouble (see below) and play along.  On to the question.

Q:   Hi My Little Etiquette Shop,

We are going with “no gifts” at our wedding. In my experience some guests bring   gifts anyway, and those who don’t feel very uncomfortable. Can this be avoided?

-testing out of the gifted program

A:  Testy,

The short answer is no.  People bring gifts because they love you.  You cannot (nor would you want to) change that.  You can, however, plan to handle these items so as not to inspire guilt in those who have correctly followed the presence not presents protocol.  1) Do not have any tables near the front of the space that could be used for gifts.  2) Assign someone you trust, and that people know (college aged is ideal) to be outside the entrance to intercept possible packages. Make sure he/she has a boutonniere or corsage so that Aunt Eunice doesn’t think there’s a tuxedoed bandit in the parking lot of First Unitarian Church.  Have your helper bring things to an established (safe) place. Ta da!  No sign of gifts = no guilt.

Note to guests: “no gifts” = no gifts. It does not mean “Oh they don’t really mean that.”

Happy Fourth everyone!  Flowers are safer than fireworks, FYI.


We’re the Tops! Alltop said so! Got the little doohickey to prove it!

Image representing Alltop as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

The aforementioned doohickey, red and round, bestowed by the blog-spotlighting site Alltop, is proudly displayed to the right of our blog text. In interwebs parlance it is actually called a badge.  So although the blog they noted us for was our “we don’t need no stinkin’ matches” entry, My Little Flower Shop sure is proud of our non-stinkin’ badge.*

Home base - the reason we have a blog at all. Come let us make your wedding beautiful!

Here’s how Alltop describes themselves:

The purpose of Alltop is to help you answer the question, “What’s happening?” in “all the topics” that interest you. You may wonder how Alltop is different from a search engine. A search engine is good to answer a question like, “How many people live in China?” However, it has a much harder time answering the question, “What’s happening in China?” That’s the kind of question that we answer.

We do this by collecting the headlines of the latest stories from the best sites and blogs that cover a topic…Ultimately, our goal is to enhance your online reading by displaying stories from sources that you’re already visiting plus helping you discover sources that you didn’t know existed.

On how they choose what they list they write:

If you’ve gotten the impression that Alltop is not based on computer algorithms or popular voting, you’d be right. We are highly subjective and judgmental.

So now a lot more people know MLFS exsists, because we were evaluated and chosen to be among the Top by highly selective people.  Which is awesome! We wear our badge with pride.  Thanks Alltop!

*For those of you who have always wondered what the heck people are talking about when they quote this line or something that sounds like it- it’s a piece of overwrought dialogue from the classic film “Treasure of the Sierra Madre.”  Somehow it became goofy insider comedy shorthand – I blame Mel Brooks.

What Brides (and Event/Wedding Planners) can Learn from Extreme Cage Fighting

Chuck Liddell facing off against Rich Franklin...

Image via Wikipedia

What’s the one thing everybody knows about cage fighting? No holds barred. No rules. Can that apply to the bridal design world? Read on. And if you got to this blog by googling “cage fighting bride?” you have got to email me. Because that’s awesome. Etiquette books contain mountains of good advice- and we owe the people who write them a great debt of gratitude. Receiving line order and invitation wording – couldn’t do it without them. People notice sometimes though, that we don’t keep a lot of wedding planning books around the store. Happy to share why: we believe in the “Ultimate Fighting” school of wedding design. We operate by nobody’s rules but our own, and as far as we’re concerned, there are no rules.  That works for us on a few levels.

1)  There are no rules for us in the way we design.  Nothing is off the table, and so all our pieces are developed as individual ideas. We don’t do the cookie-cutter follow the trend thing.

2)  There are no fashion or style rules.  If a bride loves and wants a baby blue and pale yellow theme for her December wedding, we aren’t going to talk her into more “seasonal” colors. Velvet in summer, rhinestones in the morning, snowflakes in July…we color outside the lines.

"out of the box" Prom entryway display - La Quinta prom 2011

3)  There are no rules for who our clientele will be. We would never turn away a wedding for being too small.  Everyone’s celebration is important, and deserves beautiful wedding flowers. We take a budget, work out what can be done, and make it beautiful.

4)  Since we allow our ideas to develop from the ground up, it passes on the “no rules” ethos to our brides and quinceaneras.  They can tell us what they truly dreamed- not just what they think we can do or what the girl next door had at her event. We really listen – we don’t impose a vision of how things “should” be.

So as you plan (your wedding, or your client’s), make sure you’re following your instincts, your dreams and your heart.  Don’t bother so much with rules.  And the only holding that matters, is that of hands, and hearts.

bride and groom in gazebo