News and Articles

October 2006
The Daily Home Talladega, Sylacauga-Pell City, Alabama

Dear Millie,

My husband and I plan for an early arrival time at weddings so we can get an aisle seat. But, when late comers arrive, my polite husband usually moves down and allows them to have the better aisle seat. Is it OK to remain in our seat and have the late arrival squeeze past us or should we move down?

Dear Reader,

This is one of those unwritten laws; you are not required to relinquish your seat for the sake of those who did not plan as carefully as you. You put forth the effort to arrive in time to take an aisle seat, which gives you a clear view of the proceedings. Therefore you need not move to make space for the later arrivals - late comers take the best place available.

Dear Millie,

The holiday season is approaching, and I am planning on entertaining. Are there any guidelines for the timing of mailing the invitations?

Dear Reader,

The invitation brings people to your party.

Once you have selected your entertaining timetable, follow these rules of thumb for mailing or telephoning your invitations to various functions.

Put invitations in the mailbox:

  • Two or three weeks ahead of time for a business or social lunch
  • Three weeks ahead for a cocktail party
  • Four weeks ahead of time for an important business or social dinner
  • Three weeks before an informal dinner
  • Four to eight weeks for weddings
  • Four to six weeks for a dance
  • Two to three months before an invitation to stay at your home for the weekend

Yes, some people will wait until the last minute to organize their dinners or plans, so don't be insulted by an improperly timed invitation.

I like the quote from the legendary party giver, Elsa Maxwell, who once said during an interview, "Make them die with anticipation to come to your party because of the invitation, and once you get them there, don't let them down."

Dear Millie,

Do you invite guest to the Bridal Shower if you do not invite them to the wedding?

Dear Reader,

No one should be invited to a wedding shower who is not also invited to the wedding. It is extremely presumptuous to invite one to a shower, which requires they bring a gift, and then omit them from the wedding list.

There are two exceptions: when a wedding is very small and restricted to family, with perhaps no reception, a shower may be given and friends invited who may have been invited to the wedding, if it had been larger. Second, when co-workers in an office wish to give a shower for the bride, it is likely that they all will not be invited to the wedding; the shower is their way of wishing the bride well.

Questions on etiquette are appreciated and may be sent to Millie Chastain at 812 Chastain Road, Talladega, Alabama, 35160 or e-mailed to Fall Programs: Those wishing to attend "Everyday Etiquette for Children," "Holiday Survival," and "Holiday Tea," may register by e-mailing