Wedding Guest Etiquette

Wedding Guest Etiquette Wedding season is here! If you are invited to a wedding, your main role as a wedding guest is to attend the celebration with an attitude of consideration and respect for your hosts and their very special day.  Here are 5 tips to help you demonstrate this: 1. RSVP  Immediately RSVP is French for “please respond” (répondez s’il vous plaît). Your most important obligation as a guest at a wedding is to respond to the invitation immediately, especially if you are unable to attend. At the very least, it allows your hosts enough time to give an accurate count to the caterer. There is usually a card to return with your reply. 2. Respect your Invitation The invitation will be addressed to the people invited. If you may bring a guest, your invitation will read “Your Name and Guest.” If it does not, it is not your place to ask your hosts if you can bring a date or your children. If your children are invited, they will either receive their own personal invitations or their names will be listed under yours on the envelope. Do not add their names to a reply card ...

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The Difference Between Afternoon Tea and High Tea

April 09, 2018  |   Blogs,Business Etiquette,Dining Etiquette   |     |   0 Comment

The Difference Between Afternoon Tea and High Tea Growing up in Newfoundland, sipping tea instead of coffee was more of “the norm.”  I remember my grandparents putting on the kettle and making pots of Red Rose or Tetley orange pekoe tea to sip on for the morning, or to have whenever anyone was around and we were spending some social time together. The tradition of sipping tea made its way into our family through my mother, who was a huge fan of “afternoon tea.”  As a child, my mom enjoyed taking my sister and me to restaurants for  afternoon tea - our favourite part was the cakes and pastries!   As an adult, I remember accompanying my mom on a business trip to London, England where she treated me to a traditional afternoon tea service one day at an absolutely beautiful tea-house just across the street from Harrods.  It was such a beautiful and grown-up experience.  And the tradition continued when she hosted an “afternoon tea birthday party” for my sister and me when we each turned 40, at beautiful hotels that specialized in this service such as Hotel Newfoundland in St. John’s, and the Chateau Laurier in ...

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Happy Holidays: Enjoying Family Christmas Traditions

December 20, 2017  |   Blogs,Business Etiquette,Dining Etiquette   |     |   0 Comment

Happy Holidays: Enjoying Family Christmas Traditions Every Christmas, my parents, sister, husband and I spend the holidays together.  Some years, we may be fortunate to have other relatives join us, but it’s pretty much a given that this core family group will gather together for the holidays. One of our traditions, as with many families, has been the stuffing of stockings and the giving of gifts to one another on Christmas day. Last year, we decided to scale back with respect to exchanging Christmas gifts and would start a new Christmas tradition - no gift exchange! It went so well, that we are doing it again this year.  We have created a new family tradition. We had been trying to scale-back for years, but it had never worked.  The truth is, we loved the fun of finding that special gift for each person and the joy of watching them open it on Christmas morning. When we reflected, though, on what truly mattered to us during the Christmas holidays, was being together and our love for one another. We all agreed that what brought us the most enjoyment over the holidays was our time together cooking meals, sharing recipes, ...

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How to Master the Art of Giving a Toast

How to Master the Art of Giving a Toast If you have ever hosted a business or social event that takes place over a meal, it is important to know your duties and the proper protocol for giving a toast.  There are two traditional toasts given by the Host.  The first is the welcome toast that takes place before the meal begins.  The second toast is given by the Host to the Guest of Honour (if there is one) as the dessert course is being served. At the beginning of a meal, it is proper etiquette for the Host to rise and welcome all of her or his guests.  A savvy Host should remember the 3 B’s of toasting - begin, be brief, be seated! Keep it simple.  Less, is more.  An example of a good welcome toast is: “Good Evening.  I would like to welcome each of you to this evening’s festivities.  Please enjoy your meal. Cheers.” Everyone can raise their glass to this toast and take a sip of their beverage.  You are not obligated to clink glasses or go around to everyone at your table. However, do make eye contact with each person at your table if it ...

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The Essential Tipping Guide for Everyday Life

The Essential Tipping Guide for Everyday Life Tipping is a very old practice, but it remains a source of confusion and debate for many.  While it is customary for us to tip the waitstaff when dining at a restaurant, do you know what to do if there is a “tipping jar” at a coffee shop or have multiple people serving you at a Spa? Tipping is important because it acts as an additional source of income for people working in a service industry.  As soon as a “tip” becomes expected (not optional), then it becomes part of a person’s wage or salary and thus negates the intention of a tip. Giving a tip is our way of saying “thank you” for doing a great job and demonstrating our gratitude to those who have served us.  Think of the Road Side Assistance person who came to your rescue when your car broke down, or the pizza delivery person who braved the Winter elements to bring you dinner, or the Bellhop who delivered your luggage to your room. There are many service providers that we encounter in everyday life.  When you find yourself engaging face-to-face with one of the following service providers, express your ...

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The Power of Gratitude

The Power of Gratitude Gratitude is an attitude, no matter what. It is a choice. There is power that comes with choosing to feel grateful because it can shift your energy and bring more of what you truly want in your life. Gratitude is about giving thanks, for acknowledging all that you have, all that you feel, all that you love - both personally and professionally. Next week is Thanksgiving.  What are you grateful for? To whom, or what, do you need to give thanks? At this time of the year, it is a good reminder to slow down and take stock of our good fortune, successes, and all for which we are grateful; to make a focused effort to live each and every day with gratitude and appreciation; and to give back to those who have made our lives all the better. My husband and I typically travel at this time of the year to visit with our respective families.  This year, we are excited to be hosting Thanksgiving Weekend and to have our house filled with family.  It has been a few years since our niece ...

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‘Tis the Season: 10 Etiquette Tips to Shine at Your Office Holiday Party!

‘Tis the Season: 10 Etiquette Tips to Shine at Your Office Holiday Party! ‘Tis the season to be jolly! However, being too “jolly” at an annual office holiday party could potentially impact your career. Remember that the office holiday party, though wrapped in a social context, is still a business function. How you behave will be observed and remembered by someone whose opinion can impact your job.  Your professional presence, that impacts your reputation, is key - so be on your best behaviour at all times. To ensure an enjoyable and successful evening, consider the following tips: Not Going is Not an Option The office party is part of your job. It is a time for co-workers and colleagues to gather together outside of the day-to-day workplace for some fun and well-deserved recognition. If attending your office party feels like a chore then it’s time for a mind-set change. Put on a smile and see the event as a networking opportunity. Recognize the Opportunity to Advance Your Career The office party is an opportunity for you to distinguish yourself from the crowd. It is a chance for you to demonstrate your ability to handle business situations of a social nature - notable soft skills considered by management for career ...

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! Gratitude:  the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. At this time of the year,  I like to take stock of my good fortune, success, and all for which I am grateful; to make a focused effort to live each and every day with gratitude and appreciation; and to give back to those who have made my life all the better. My husband and I typically travel at this time of the year to visit with our respective families.  This year, we are excited to be hosting Thanksgiving Weekend and to have our house filled with family.  It has been a few years since our niece and nephew visited with us in Ottawa, so we plan to take them around and show them the sites and sounds of the Nation’s Capital! All celebrations for me include fun, food, family and festivities.  The 4 F’s!!  What special plans do you have for Thanksgiving?  Are there particular traditions that encompass your celebration? A tradition that I particularly enjoy is having each person sitting around your Thanksgiving dinner table acknowledge something or ...

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Wine Appreciation and Etiquette

September 03, 2014  |   Blogs,Business Etiquette,Dining Etiquette   |     |   0 Comment

Wine Appreciation and Etiquette My blog focus for the month of August is all about etiquette surrounding what I love most - food, wine and dining! It’s not a secret that I have a passion for food, wine and travel.  I’ve just returned from my summer vacation in Italy where I lived my passion every day!  I had the opportunity to visit wineries and take part in wine tastings in many different regions of Italy. Through these experiences, I was able to gain additional insight and appreciation for the art and enjoyment of wine, as well as the etiquette surrounding it. Wine is a beverage that is enjoyed by many at both social and business events.  Whether you are hosting a dinner party, or attending a business meal where wine will be served, it’s good to know a little something about wine and the etiquette surrounding it to enhance yours or your guests’ experience. 1. Let your wine breathe. Allowing your wine to breathe oxidizes the wine which brings out the potential of the flavor. There are several ways that you can do this. You can decant the wine or let it ...

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How to Properly Eat Soup

August 26, 2014  |   Blogs,Business Etiquette,Dining Etiquette   |     |   0 Comment

How to Properly Eat Soup My blog focus for the month of August is all about etiquette surrounding what I love most - food, wine and dining! It’s true - you “eat” soup, not “drink” it.  As a dining etiquette expert, as well as a business person that attends many meetings that take place over a meal, I have observed many different “styles” of how people eat their soup. For many, how to properly eat soup is a mystery! Here are 12 dining etiquette tips that take the mystery out of how to do so, and ensure that the next time you are eating soup, you have the technique mastered: 1. The soup spoon will be placed on the far right of your main plate, to the right of the knives.  It is served before the main course. Use your utensils from the outside, in. 2.Soup is often served in (a) a wide, shallow soup plate, (b) a deeper soup bowl, (c) a small bouillon cup, about the size of a teacup, for clear broth or, (d) a two-handled bouillon cup for cream soups. 3. The soup spoon ...

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