Sunday, July 15, 2012

Are YOU making this Etiquette Mistake?

Sunday's From the Heart Series - It's all about the etiquette 

OR, maybe you don’t give a hoot about proper etiquette?

         I do! Even acquaintances of mine will tell you it doesn’t take long to see I am all about manners and proper etiquette!

title page of Etiquette an Rococo-Arabeske
title page of Etiquette an Rococo-Arabeske (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
         I was reading an article the other day about the proper way to handle different etiquette situations, and the topic of being invited to a shower or a party (etc.) hosted (and I use this term loosely) at a restaurant, but with the intention of you paying for your own meal. I thought it was funny because this is a pet peeve of mine, a HUGE one! I have addressed etiquette on my blog before and I thought - it's a favorite subject of mine, so why not do it again? I love hearing what other people are thinking, so I really hope you will comment. It can't be just me who is missing those long ago days of manners, along with "Please" and "Thank you."

         (Back to the subject) This has happened to me on several occasions, and I must admit I chose not to attend the functions. We all view situations in a different light, and this is only my opinion. “Hey, we are having a baby (wedding, etc.) shower at (insert restaurant) in (insert town 2 hours away) on (date, time) for (insert name). We would love (exaggerating) for you to attend, but you will have to buy your own meal.

         This is what I hear when someone issues this type of invitation: “Hey. We want to you to drive two hours, bring a nice gift, and buy your own meal. Want to come?”

         My answer: “No thank you”.

         Now, my circumstances may be a little different in that this is the only time I hear from these types of people, and maybe my response reflects this. Hubby and I do not invite people to join us for anything unless we can pick up the tab. I feel that it is inappropriate to invite someone with the expectation that they travel this distance (and incur fuel expenses as well as four hours driving time alone), purchase a gift, and their meal.

         It really makes me wonder if they had the party at their house, would they have a donation box at the door to defray the cost. Personally, under the conditions where the host cannot actually afford to “host” the event, a smaller gathering at their home would be more suitable.

         I know if I were to attend such an event, the cost of the gift would be significantly altered by the additional expenses I would incur; than if I were attending the same event at someone’s home where I was not expected to also pay for my meal.

         Now, that being said, there have been occasions where my Hubby’s large family has met at a restaurant for a birthday and each family picked up the tab for their family. This is not the same thing. There are always occasions when friends will meet up at a restaurant and everyone will pay for their own tab. These are not the occasions of which I speak.

         To sum up this post (I guess I did that already) I feel that if you cannot afford to host the event at a nice restaurant, you should choose a less expensive venue, or have the party at your home. You should not ask others to pay for your party. I would much rather attend a simple affair at your home than pick up the tab for your party.

         Now that I have vented and expressed my personal opinion, I would love to hear your take on this particular situation. Do you think it is proper to host an event and expect people to pay their own way?

Thanks for joining me today!
Don’t forget to follow my blog for more 
Sunday’s From the Heart and Tuesday’s All Things Southern! 


Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. We had been living in the area for a season, and wanted to have a meal together with our friends before leaving. We had no place to host such a gathering, and besides, meeting at restaurants was our style of socializing. We make it a point, that when we will pay for the meal, we ask them if we can take them out. In this case, we said would you like to meet us at this restaurant. Well, everyone else assumed that it was pay your own, except for the one couple who had a habit of taking. Never had they paid for our meal, never asked us over, etc. They made a big deal out of it and complained to whoever would listen that we had not paid for them. i guess i am actually coming at it from the opposite side as you are, but this really strained the relationship. With friends like this, who needs enemies? i totally agree with you in your situation, a party hosted means the hostess pays. Atleast, i guess they did warn you before you got there. i would not have gone either.

    1. I totally agree with taking friends out, and with a larger gathering as you had, it is all in the wording. In my opinion, this was more the case of wanting to have something large and impressive when you can't afford it. Maybe it was and perhaps not. If grandparents live far away from each other, I think smaller, separate gatherings are more appropriate and also take the attendee into consideration - but that's me. I am a logical thinker. My experience is most people are not. Thanks for stopping by. Your comment was greatly appreciated.

  2. I agree. I would not go either. One of my complaints today is a bride who makes her bridesmaids pay for their dresses. It makes is very expensive for a person who is helping the bride.
    Thank you for blogging about manners.

    1. Thank you for stopping by Stephanie. I agree that today, brides sometimes get a little carried away and forget the budgets of some of their attendants. I have read several articles about brides allowing their attendants to choose their own dresses, but within the same color range (and appropriateness of course.) I realize that this would not work for large formal affairs, but then maybe the bride should pick up the cost for her dream wedding at that point, or at least above a certain point. After all, I am sure she would also like the "dream" shower that her attendants would like to give her. Probably to other's dismay, I have lots of things to say on manners, so expect to see more! lol

  3. Personally I would not be bothered if I were invited to an event in which I was asked to pay for my own meal. I would be happy to have been included, but at the same time I think there should be understanding that if you invite people expecting them to pay that you can't be upset if they decline your invitation. In this economy not everyone can afford to foot the bill for friend/family gatherings, but they don't want to lose out on those experiences that bring us together.

    I think it's fine to ask this of people, but I think it's wrong to expect it of people.

    And on a side note I think it's always been tradition that the bridesmaids and groomsmen pay for their own attire. It's supposed to be an honor to be asked to stand up in a wedding. However, I do find it rude when Brides pick out expensive dresses for their bridesmaids. Brides should choose reasonably priced dresses, and if they want couture gowns then they should pay for them.

    1. Thank you for stopping by Lauren. I like your comments. I wasn't bothered so much that I was asked, but that it was expected/assumed. I am not considered "part" of this group, so I guess I was perhaps a little more put off than I might have been.

      I also agree with you on the wedding etiquette. So long the dress is within reason, it is expected that the attendants pay for their dresses. It is when brides expect their "dream" wedding to come at the cost of those who may not be in a position to afford it. I appreciated your comment. Thanks.

  4. I'm pretty old school. I still think showers should be hosted by a non-relative, and you shouldn't throw your own shower. I also think invitations should arrive more than 3 or 4 days in advance. I also think that if you choose not to come, or, in my case, do not get around to opening your mail until the following week and realize you've missed the shower, you shouldn't be flamed on Facebook by the husband of the guest of honor.

    1. Thanks for visiting Red Tash. I like that "old school". I guess I am too. I find it strange that immediate families are hosting showers. But, so many things have changed as well - pregnancies out of wedlock, etc. so I would have to think that non-relatives are less likely to throw the traditional wedding/baby/etc. showers now. And, it is oh SO NOT RIGHT to be flamed on facebook by the husband. That is BAD taste and that person should apologize.

  5. I agree, and your post reminds me (maybe you can write about this next) that these days when people say no thank you to an invitation, for some reason they feel compelled to explain why. Invariably, the comment is something like, "I can't make it because I am doing something WAY MORE FUN than attending your event!" A simple "no thank you" should be sufficient. I use a "no thank you," no matter if I have another pressing engagement or I don't feel like going.

    Also, when I use my simple "no thank you," I have been asked to explain why I can't go. "What else could you be doing that could possibly be more important and why don't you rearrange it?" the host demands. It makes for an awkward situation.

    1. Hi Margaret! Thanks for stopping by. Yes! I will have to address that issue! No means NO. I am not one for explaining. Personally, I do not feel the need, and I really hate it when others offer these long, drawn out explanations that I do not need to here. Makes me think they "protest a little too much?"

      I think I would tell them, "My priorities are different from yours."

      I'll definitely be writing more on manners! It is such a pet-peeve of mine how can I not? Thanks for the suggestion.

  6. I know I'm late to to the discussion but I certainly feel the same way. I really think that many of these gatherings can be hosted in the home which eliminates the burden. But it feels like people want to get fancier than they can afford and I'm picking up the tab.

    Is it bad that I feel the same way about wedding invites where the RSVPs do not have a return stamp? I know it is such a small thing but it seems so inconsiderate to me.

    Oh and I shouldn't say this but I can't help it. I was once invited to a surprise engagement where the future groom rented a boat to propose to his future wife on. We were all part of the surprise but we had to pay $35 a person to help him on his engagement... My hubby was not pleased but it was a close friend so I couldn't say no. So that was $70 for me and the hubby to help pay for the fancy proposal... I didn't have the heart to say no but that's why I think people shouldn't even ask.

  7. Alexis - you are never late to the discussion. I agree with you on hosting events - that you can afford - in the home.

    RSVPs - My opinion - they should include a stamp. I guess it hasn't been an issue with because up until now, I have never received an RSVP without a stamp.

    What a lovely idea for a proposal - but, I wouldn't have attended that either. I truly feel that it is inappropriate. Plan your big surprise, but have the decency to pay for it yourself. It should be a treat to everyone.


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment! I really appreciate it! I read each and every response, and I love hearing thoughts and opinions from fellow bloggers, readers, and authors. If you have a blog, please leave a link so I can visit you back. Thank you.

I try to answer most comments, so if you would like to read my response, please visit often. Or, just click the "Email follow-up comments to [...]" box before publishing, to receive notification of new comments.

If you have to leave a comment anonymously, don't leave one at all. I will delete it. Own up to your thoughts.