When you don’t want a political party.

Tough political fights are expected this election season. How do you keep them out of the dining room come Thanksgiving? Here are some tips to keep your holiday a non-political party.

  • History repeats itself: Who’s given campaign speeches during appetizers before? Speak frankly about their behavior making family members uncomfortable.  When asked politely, most people’s bad behavior can be cut off at the pass.

    Change the subject - talk abut the floral centerpiece!

    Change the subject – talk abut the floral centerpiece!

  • Set ground rules: We think that everyone knows not to discuss politics and religion at big gatherings. Not so. Take a cue from boxing refs and make an announcement: “I want a good clean dinner! Any partisanship gets you bumped to the kids table!”
  • Shut it down: If someone does spout off, don’t just roll your eyes and go with the flow. Be firm but polite, and change the subject. This is your house.

With these tips, your holiday table can be a politics free zone! Time with family can be stressful, but remember, we also need to be grateful for these folks who drive us crazy- because we also happen to love them very much. Enjoy your family!

Be well and love well.

-Dinah

My Little Etiquette Shop: How to handle uninvited guests

Q: I’m worried that my family will just bring relatives who weren’t invited– what do I do?

A:  First of all, unless your family is on the run from the law, take a deep breath and relax. Even if a few people did crash the wedding, the world (or event) wouldn’t come crashing to a halt.

  • If you’re super concerned, station a few strong ushers in the back to escort uninvited guests out. Don’t even let them get in the door.
  • If it’s only a few, hotels and other venues are prepared to add settings last minute.  Depending on your contracts, there may be additional charges, but it won’t make you or break you.
  • As etiquette goes, be cordial to whoever shows up. Hostility takes energy and that’s only going to affect you negatively on what’s supposed to be a very happy day.  Again, employ those usher/buffers to keep them away from you and don’t let a few rude people ruin your wonderful day.

Be well, and love well!

-Dinah4128082276_bd9e50792e_m1

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The 4th of July Non-Weekend. Bad for Brides? Good for Guests? You decide.

Ah the calendar.  Tomorrow, the 4th of July falls on a WEDNESDAY for the first time in many years.  For those with office jobs whose vacation days are comparable to certain rare truffles in the food world, this is a big deal. There are calculations by which you can take only a few days off, and yet stretch your vacation and/or wedding weekend to five days, all with the aid of a well placed Monday or Friday out of the office.  Thanksgiving is the ultimate centerpiece to the art of stretching PTO: you can take a full seven days and only “spend” three.

But this year (darned Gregorians) Fourth of July isn’t participating.  And some are breathing a sigh of relief.  Hint: it’s not the brides.  People who might have attended weddings this holiday, are attending barbeques.  And parades.  And celebrating Independence Day well, independently.  There are many people who don’t want to have their summer plans set for them by receiving a “save the date” in February and being expected to clear their calendars.

As a bride, it’s hard to see outside the bubble where your wedding is the Most Important Thing In The World, but sometimes people have fun things scheduled at the same time or want to have that option.  And that’s OK. (Well your sister really ought to keep her schedule open, but let the rest of your list plan their own vacations, and lead their own lives. It’s not anybody’s fault, and there shouldn’t be any lasting drama or upset about who had something else going on that day ).

All thoughts running through my head on a summer’s day… enjoy your barbeques tomorrow.  And the weddings that are happening this weekend!  Remember, you can always have sparklers no matter what time of year it is*  And no matter who comes, or what the season, your wedding will light up with joy and memories for everyone.

Live well, and love well.

Dinah

 

* please check the fire regulations in your area and at your venue!