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06.26.2003

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06.26.2003: Etiquette Schmetiquette
common-sense manners
for real-world living
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1 2

wedding shower AND engagement party ...
Q:
My mother threw my fiancť and me an engagement party where people brought gifts. She insisted she throw us this party but now she won't give me a bridal shower because she thinks it's "too much gift-giving".  The problem is, my entire family lives in Florida and I live in NY. My maid of honor is throwing me a very small shower here (around 10 people) but I would like a shower with my family as well?

Is my mom correct in saying it's too much to throw an engagement party and a shower?

A: Sadly, yes, Iím going to have to side with mom here. Traditionally, the engagement party isnít really a big gift-giving occasion, but merely an excuse for everyone to meet and greet the happy couple, and offer their congratulations; the fact that all your relatives arrived bearing goodies is fairly unusual (but very nice of them, obviously). I can see why your mother would feel uncomfortable throwing a shower for you now, since it does seem a bit much to invite the same guests to yet another wedding-related party, and this time one where gifts are traditionally very definitely expected. On top of which, thereís sort of an unofficial rule that itís not in the best taste for the mother of the bride to throw the bridal shower Ė the idea being that it looks a little iffy if mom invites all these guests to a party whose main purpose is to deluge her precious little darling girl with gifts galore. If another relative/friend of yours wanted to throw you a shower back in Florida, thatíd be another story altogether, but as things stand, I say concede to mom on this point, and enjoy your small, intimate shower with friends in New York.

hairdresser tipping ...
Q:  Does one, or does one not tip a hairdresser who is owner or part owner of the salon?

A: I too have heard the rumor that it isnít considered necessary to tip a hairdresser whoís also the owner of the salon. But personally, Iím a fan of rewarding good service Ė particularly when the service provider in question is wielding scissors, and has the power to potentially inflict a mortifyingly awful haircut on me the next time I show up for a coif fix. Will your salon-owner hairdresser be expecting a tip? Quite possibly not Ė but then again, youíll get all the more brownie points for your generous acknowledgement of their good work.

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