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Newport Manners & Etiquette: Black Dress Weddings, Thank-You Note Etiquette & What’s Up Dilemma

Wednesday, January 10, 2018


Thank-you note and tipping etiquette, Time's Up workplace dilemma, and all-black dress weddings were subject of queries to Didi Lorillard this week at NewportManners

Are Black Bridesmaid Dresses Absolutely TOO Dismal?

Q. In light of the Time's Up movement, would it be too dreary to ask my bridesmaids to wear black to a June wedding? Everyone looked so handsome and beautiful last night during the 75th Golden Globe Awards wearing black, but I don't want to give a negative connotation on my wedding day. Please advise. By the way, I'm definitely wearing a black wedding dress whether my mother likes it or not! My fiancé will be wearing a black tux.  Name Withheld

A. Your timing couldn't be better. Even without the Time's Up Movement, black bridesmaid dresses would be ever so chic and completely in vogue. The black bridal gown is one of the most popular trends for 2018. This chic style is especially a great favorite in sophisticated cities. Your bridesmaids won't give you any pushback about wearing black. They'll love being able to wear their dresses again, which isn't always the case with bridesmaid dresses, as you may know.

What you may want to do is to have the black bridesmaid dresses knee-length so that there is a distinct differentiation between your full-length bridal gown and the much shorter bridesmaid dresses.

  • When wearing a full-length black bridal gown, you probably would not wear a black veil out of respect for various religious beliefs. A greyish-silver-white veil would be lovely or a decorative hair ornament.
  • You can please your mother with a compromise by choosing white flowers for all the bouquets and boutonnières.


Why Not Get Your Etiquette Together and Act Grateful

Q. What's the drill on thank-you notes and returning a gift you don't like? Can I email words of thanks to people, or do I have to actually buy a box of thank-you cards to write out?  Especially, when you haven't asked for a gift or expected a gift and you don't really like it? Also, when your mom gives you a sweater made by a popular brand, do you have to keep it? Every year she gives me a sweater that I never wear, but I don't want to hurt her feelings.  EM, Newport, RI

A. Wow, not feeling vibes of gratitude here. At least people were thoughtful to give you something! Grow up. Grownups send thank-you emails and texts to people they are on an email and text basis with. When acknowledging special gifts, that attractive box of thank-you notes comes in handy.

It is all about giving thanks. How you say "thank you" reflects your lifestyle and the sincerity of your appreciation. Find a motif that fits your soul, there are certainly a wide range out there whether you're feeling snowed-in, seeking shade under a palm tree or simply want to remind the giver of a Newport attraction. 

  • If you don't like the gift and are having trouble exchanging it, call or text the person to say you would like to return the sweater for a different style, color, size -- or all three.
  • Make a list of who you want to thank and cross off the names as you send your thank-you.


Time's Up Dilemma

Q. How do I know if a potential boss, a male, is hiring me for my skills and abilities, and not just  for my conventionally pretty youthful looks? The job I've been offered is, shall we say, a job to grow into. I know I am capable of doing the work. That is if I don't get into a cycle of self-doubt that spirals out and makes me question every decision and second guess every opportunity that comes my way. If I fail and am fired because I can't do the job, that fact will forever be on my résumé.  Amy, Chicago

A. First off, if you are let go, you do not have to declare that fact on your résumé. When questioned, you can say that the climate of the job wasn't a good fit for you. Make it about your goals and not about the company that let you go.


Acknowledging a tip 

Q. Having given a lot of tips over the holidays, is it fantasy to expect some kind of acknowledgement for having given those tips? I find it rude that people don't have the good sense to say, "Thanks for the check (tip, money card)?" A certain sense of entitlement has risen around tipping. Is there a graceful way to suggest that I would appreciate acknowledgement for the tip?  JD, Providence

A. Post holidays, the tip - no matter the amount - becomes the elephant in the room. If you mailed the tip or gave someone else the tip to give to the recipient, then you can ask an indirect question and say, "I hope you received your tip in time for Christmas shopping." Or directly say, "I'm checking to find out that you received my (cash) tip." Of course, checks can be tracked, but checking up on cash is perfectly acceptable to bring up in a jolly, ho, ho conversation.

When you don't pay the minimum wage, you cannot expect a thank you for a tip. Most workers, whether they're paid at the very least the minimum wage or more, feel they are vastly underpaid. They may be uncomfortable about talking about money. Or fear that thanking you might give the signal that they are satisfied with their financial situation with you, when they are not.

You can find Didi Lorillard on Facebook and LinkedIn, or check out @Newport_Manners on Instagram and her website NewportManners.


Related Slideshow: 25 Things You Must Do in New England This Winter - 2017

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PHOTO: Matt, just Matt

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Whether you are skating on a pond or at one of the many ice rinks across the region like the Newport Skating Center in the heart of Newport.

The skating center provides a full schedule of activities to carry you through the winter including adult and kids skating sessions as well as activities for the entire family. 

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Snowmobile at the Tall Timber Lodge 

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For snowmobiling enthusiasts, Pittsburg, New Hampshire might be the snowmobiling capital of New England with more than 200 trails, all filled with great adventures. 

The Tall Timber Lodge offers a variety of packages that include rentals, dinners, lodging and much more. If you need a break from the trails, the lodge also consists of a spa. 

PHOTO: Paul Williams

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Dog Sled Tours at Ultimate Dog Sledding Experience

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Ultimate Dog Sledding is located just 40 minutes from Portland. 



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Get Out of the Cold and Into the Water at CoCo Key Boston

Danvers, MA

Get out of the cold and into the water at CoCo Key's 65,000 sq. ft. indoor water park in Danvers. 

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For those who might need a break from the water, there is an arcade with games for all ages. 


PHOTO: Coco Key Facebook

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Sled Down Neutaconkanut Hill

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Bundle up, hold on, and enjoy the ride. 

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For more great places to sled, check out GoLocalProv's latest list. 

PHOTO: Popofatticus/Flickr

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Ice Climbing With Adventure Spirit 

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Providence Restaurant Weeks

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Jump Around at Launch Trampoline Park 

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Newport Winter Festival 

Newport, RI 

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Curling at Ocean State Curling Club 

Cranston RI

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Photo: dave/Flickr

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Ice Fishing

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Get the House Organized 

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Here are some ways to get organized this winter. 

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See the Lights at La Salette Shrine

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Do not miss out! 

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Sing-a-Long with the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall

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The seven kids afternoon shows include post-concert photos with Santa as well as special treats. 

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Give to the Community

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See 50 Ways to Give in Central MA Here

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 Zip Line

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Cross Country Skiing

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Ride the Polar Express

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Buy your ticket now for the Black Stone Valley Polar Express! Watch the popular book and film come to life before your eyes as you take a 90-minute train ride with Santa and the Conductor.

Rides will be available every Friday through Sunday with the final stop on December 23. There will be light refreshments and cookies made available, children are encouraged to wear pajamas.

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Paint and Vino 

Pawtucket, RI

Forget about winter by painting a picture of a tropical sunset at Paint and Vino, Rhode Island's first paint and wine studio. Bring children for family paint events and parties, or leave them at home to enjoy complimentary "adult beverages" as you paint.

Perfect for date night, girls night out or a fun Friday night, Paint and Vino's classes run for 2 1/2 to 3 hours and a spot must be reserved.

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Snow Tubing at Ski Ward

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Sledding, skiing or snowboarding not for you? Grab a tube and enjoy the ride down one of the many hills at the Ski Ward.  

Don't forget to take the whole family out to Slopeside Bar and Grill after a long day in the snow. 


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