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 Devil Is In The Wedding Details

If you read bridal blogs and magazines, there’s a lot of talk of  “details” and “special touches” that brides and wedding planners are using to make 2013 weddings unique to each bridal couple.

Don't let the details get your veil in a twist! It's ok for place cards to be place cards and not art.

Don’t let the details get your veil in a twist! It’s ok for place cards to be place cards and not art.

At the same time, I think the focus on producing creative details can put a lot of pressure on brides especially in this age of Pinterest and so many places to submit beautiful wedding photos for publication. Don’t let the culture of details get into your head- let the unique ideas reveal themselves as you plan. Take a deep breath, and maybe make time online a little less Pinteresting.

Be well, and love well.

Dinah.