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Showing posts from February, 2011

Invitations That Say "No Boxed Gifts"

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Have you received a recent invitation containing the phrase "no boxed gifts?"  Did you wonder what they mean - give only "soft" gifts, like linens, not boxed items like toasters? In reality, this is the latest attempt to solicit money as a gift without coming right out and asking for it, which would be a major breach of etiquette. In some Eastern cultures, such as Pakistani or Indian, this term has been traditionally used to indicate a preference for money, not actual gifts. As frequently happens, those in our Western world have adopted the wording and applied it to their own events.

Occasionally, the term is legitimately used, particularly when it refers to someone who may need to ship or transport gifts after a wedding or another party and who cannot take large, bulky items. In that case, giving smaller, "soft," easily packed items is reasonable. However, it shouldn't be printed on the invitation.

From an etiquette perspective, gifts shouldn't b…

RSVPs - Do They Mean Anything Today?

If you have planned an event in the last few years and asked invitees to RSVP, you may have encounted resistance, or, worse yet, people who RSVPed they were coming, but didn't show, leaving you with possibly hundreds of dollars in wasted food. The trend seems to be getting worse with each passing year.

RSVP is French for "Respond, please." It means just that. Invitees need to respond even if they do not plan to attend. Those planning the event need to know how much food to order, how many tables and chairs to rent, how many servers to engage and other issues. Invitations include response cards or a phone number or e-mail for a reason. If guests fail to respond to an invitation to a social event, the hosts may have to spend hours making phone calls. If it is a business event and you fail to respond, you won't be tracked down. Rather, you will be embarrassed when you arrive and are not expected.

In years past, people failed to respond but still came to the event, expec…