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11.09.200: Etiquette Schmetiquette
common-sense manners for real-world living |
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If it doesn’t offend your beliefs too horribly, however – and you possess the ability to have fun even when surrounded by inebriated buddies saying/doing things that aren’t nearly as clever and hilarious as they, in their "happy" state, think they are – it might not be a bad idea to add an explicit "Bring whatever beverages you’d like to imbibe" to your party invitations, to give guests the option of providing their own booze. Assuming you’re inviting mostly friends, they probably already know and respect your feelings towards alcohol, and wouldn’t expect you to stock up, anyway, so adding the BYO addendum makes you seem like a gracious host – considerate of other people’s personal drinking preferences – without forcing you to throw away your money on something that makes you uncomfortable.

Kid-free wedding receptions ...
My boyfriend and I recently got engaged, a very big deal for both our families since we are both the eldest kids. We aren't the "big traditional wedding" sort of folk so we've decided to fly to Hawaii and say our "I do's" on a secluded beach, just the two of us. Part of our reason for deciding this plan (besides the obvious Pavlov response I display when mentioning Hawaii), is that I come from a gargantuan Irish-Italian Catholic family of breeders. I am the eldest of 37 grandchildren on my dad's side alone.

So as to include our families in our celebration, we've decided on throwing a paired down, less formal reception when we get back. What started out as a backyard bbq has quickly turned into the big, gaudy fiasco I was trying to avoid. My biggest dilemma is this: How can I tastefully stress that this is a "no children" affair? I know, I know, you're thinking "bite your lip and let the kids come", but as I said, there would be some 40+ kids and I don't think I can handle all the little tykes running around screaming.

Also, while I come from a huge family, my fiancé comes from one of the smallest families. Only his parents, one brother and 2 aunts and a grandfather would make up his side, so it would really be like 70 people on my side and 6 on his. That just seems awkward. What should I do? I don't want to hurt my extended families' feelings, but jeez louise! I don't want my "small" reception to be a scene from Kindergarten Cop either. HELP!

St. Louis

read on for our answer ... 


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