No. 105, March 2011
Crocuses are popping their purple buds up from underneath the last of the snow. Motorcycles are popping out of garages to be dusted, oiled and taken for a spin. Bridal shower, baby shower and sales party invitations are popping into mailboxes and in-boxes. It must officially be Spring! While gardening and garages are not my forte, I can provide assistance and instruction for invitations where the venue is someone's home.
- Clues and Cues. Your invitation sets the tone and formality of the event. For casual events, e-invitations work well. For formal event, mailed invitations are more appropriate.
- Attire Instruction. Guests are generally good about understanding what to wear to a baseball game versus an elegant restaurant. If you are entertaining at home, be specific so that your guests are not left guessing.
- Gift Grab. For showers, guests should be bringing gifts for the honoree, as this is the purpose of the event. While an additional hostess gift is not necessary, it is an act of kindness to bring along a little something for the homeowner.
- Twice is Nice (but not necessary). When you give a baby shower gift, you are not expected to give another gift when the baby is actually born. However, flowers, phone calls or a homemade meal are always a welcome touch.
- Really, Really Like You. If a guest is invited to a bridal shower, the guest should be invited to the wedding. To do otherwise is to say "I like you enough to have you give me a gift, but not enough to invite you to my wedding." Poor taste indeed.
- Pyramid Parties. Sales parties should be clearly announced so that guests are not surprised. While purchases are appreciated, they are not required. Guests may opt to forgo a hostess gift and instead apply those funds towards a small purchase.
- Real Registries. For baby and bridal showers, the registries are merely suggestions. Often first-time parents and brides have no idea what they really want (or need) once the deed is done. Guests can gauge preferences based upon the requested items and still make an independent purchase. Do be sure to include a gift receipt in case there needs to be an exchange along the way.
- Artistic Expressions. Crafty guests may choose to create instead of procure. Thoughtful crafters will take the time to note and mimic the style and taste of the honoree.
- Well Shod. Homeowners should not value carpets above guests' comfort. Any delicate area rugs should be rolled up and hidden away. Guests may be offered slippers or socks, but if the footwear completes the outfit, it need not be restricted to the entryway.
- Controlled Curiosity. Invitations to an event at someone's home is not an open invitation for a grand tour of the domicile. Restrict your movements to areas which have been made ready for guests.
With the spring-time weather we are apt to be more social. Whether you are invited to a bridal shower, a baby shower or a sales party, remember... gracious guests are invited again!
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