Newport Manners & Etiquette: Wedding Toasts + Diamond Dress Code
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
A toast is not a speech
How can the hosts of the wedding diplomatically control the amount of toasts given at a wedding? When it is time for the toast....what is the appropriate amount of time that someone should speak...including the Father-of-the-Bride, and the Best Man? J.S.J., Location withheld
The groom and bride select a guest to be the master of ceremony (or hire an MC). Often the bandleader will MC. With you, that person controls the number of toasts, the length of the toast and who toasts. The cheesy and silly toasts are usually made at the bachelor and bachorlette parties and at the rehearsal dinner by groomsmen, bridesmaids and random guests such as the groom's godfather, uncle, football coach, the bride's first cousin, and perhaps her mentor, etc.
For the wedding reception you are correct about setting boundaries. Along with the MC (best man, or brother, etc.) set the stage. Make two lists. One for those toasting at the rehearsal dinner and the other for the reception. At the reception, the MC will announce who is to toast next. He will also quietly remind the toaster he has two and a half minutes to speak and that after three minutes the band will start up and the toast won't be heard above the music. There is actually a protocol: who toasts is based on their relationship to the wedding couple. Since the protocol usually names the best man as the MC, it's his job to reiterate that a toast is a toast and not a speech: absolutely no speeches.
Corralling in the toasts sounds more complicated than it is. Nevertheless, if you are organized, trust the MC, and stick to the two to three minute time limit for the toast, you'll be fine. Of course, you'll have to have the MC signal to the bandleader, who knows only full well when to interrupt the garrulous toaster. If worse comes to worst, you give him the hook. In other words, the party planner or maitre 'd gracefully puts their arm through his and elbows him off his stage.
On the dinner menu, in the wedding couple's wedding website, and through word of mouth you can get the word out that the toasts are preplanned and there will be no rouge toasters. If a guest really wants to make a toast, he or she should contact the MC. Who can gently but firmly say, "I'm sorry we've too many toasts already."
Work as a team and you can make this a smooth reception. ~Didi
She wore black velvet
I have a night wedding, black tie affair, on March 21. Can I wear a black velvet gown or is it too late in the season for it? S.L., Manhattan
You can definitely wear a black velvet gown on March 21. Velvet is the ultimate luxury winter fabric. Look at it this way. If it is too warm to wear a mink coat, you wouldn't wear velvet. ~Didi
"Diamonds for The Ladies" dress code
We have been invited to a 70th birthday dinner in the evening, and the invitation says the dress code is "Diamonds for The Ladies." What do we wear? Should my husband wear black tie? Caroline, United Kingdom
When the dinner invitation doesn't specify "Black Tie" or "Formal Attire," you can assume the dress code is "Suits & Dresses." The diamonds don't have to be real; you can get away with a lot these days with the bling. Such as wearing a fake diamond cocktail ring or earrings.
The dress code for "Suits & Dresses" is best dark business suits for the men and knee-length cocktail dresses or dressy curvy skirt suits for the women, with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. The exception would be if the dress code dictated "Diamonds & Ballgowns," then you would know your husband should wear black tie. ~Didi
Former wife not invited to ex-mother-in-law's memorial service
My ex-husband, after a wonderful 38-year marriage, is so guilt ridden he never speaks to me. His mother just passed away. I am not invited to the memorial service even though his family still adores me. I am sending flowers. What should I write on the card? Would I make them aware I am hurt? M. J., Providence
Dear M. J.,
Sorry to tell you this but the memorial service is not about you. It is all about your former mother-in-law. It is not about you being hurt. When the memorial service is held in a house of worship, anyone can attend. You wouldn't have to be invited. The reception afterwards is another story, as you would have to be invited to that.
What you're telling me doesn't add up. If you really had 38 wonderful years of marriage then why did you get a divorce? Why do you still care about going to the funeral of your former mother-in-law? Not to be unkind, but it sounds as though that chapter of your life is finished, so you may want to try letting go and move on.
On the card write,"Kindest regards" and sign your name. ~Didi
Do you have a question for Didi? Visit her at NewportManners.com. We can withhold your name and location. Didi researches etiquette and all matters of manners for her book, "Newport Etiquette." Previous weekly GoLocalProv.com columns may be found by typing in Didi Lorillard in the above right-hand search.
Related Slideshow: Get Pampered
Bellismo European Day Spa is located inside a beautiful exposed brick building in a convenient area of the city. This place is 3,100 square feet of pure relaxation. Since 1985, Bellisimo European Day Spa has been building a loyal clientele—a testimony to how professional and relaxing their spa environment is. They offer nail and hair services, along with other innovative treatments. What’s hot now? Radio Telemetric Lifting (RTL) to reverse aging, and microdermabrasion.
372 Chandler Street, Worcester. (508) 799-7767.
Photo: The Merlin Phuket/Flickr
Mocine Salon and Spa
Whether you need a full pamper session or just some hair and makeup done before heading out on a Friday night, Mocine has got you covered. Every month, there are specials and discounts on treatments that are definitely worth checking out. Need a day out with the girls? The spa hosts great group parties! Make sure to try out the Moroccan Mud Wrap and the Wine Wrap—they are amazing.
258 Park Avenue, Worcester. (508) 756-5555.
Looking to try out a day spa for the first time? Head over to Essential Aesthetics Day Spa—each new client receives a complimentary service upon booking a second appointment. Essential Aesthetics is dedicated to removing all the stresses that are present in day to day life. Enjoy well-being treatments, anti-aging treatments, beautification treatments and more.
17 Converse Street, Worcester. (508) 831-0400.
Since 1987, Tu Moda has been making it their mission to help people look and feel the best that they can. With services that cater to men and women of all ages and skin types, there will definitely be a treatment that will cater to your needs. Tu Moda uses only top-notch products, and their services are high quality and professional.
574 Pleasant Street, Worcester. (508) 754-1513.
Photo: Dennis Wong/Flickr
If you’re looking for a one stop shop for beautifying yourself inside and out, St. Cyr Salon and Spa is for you. This spacious day spa offers a plethora of great products and services perfect for anyone. Choose from an array of spa packages, like the Day of Luxury or Men’s De-Stress Package. If you need a quick pick me up, try out great services like their new Alaskan Mud Facial al a carte.
235 Park Ave., Worcester. (508) 752-2222.
Photo: Dennis Wong/Flickr
Head to Paul Conzo Day Spa & Hair Salon this month to take advantage of specials on cranberry and pumpkin services! This great full service salon has plenty of treatments to choose from that are sure to be a hit with anyone. Try out a relaxing massage, a paraffin hand dip, a full body scrub, or go all in with a spa package. While you’re in, pick up a gift card for a no-brainer holiday gift!
490 Shrewsbury Street, Worcester. (508) 754-5418.
Photo: Tara Angkor Hotel/Flickr
Rituals Salon & Spa in Leominster is a local favorite. While they offer traditional spa treatments like manicures, pedicures, and hair styling, they have one thing that sets them apart from the rest: their mother-to-be services. If you or someone you know is expecting, treat them to a day full of relaxation. Treatments are all pregnancy friendly and include Tummy Masque Treatments, Mother-to-be Pedicures, Well Mother Massages, and more.
646 Central Street, Leominster. (978) 537-9394.
Photo: Mer Montagne Vacances/Flickr
If a clean, spacious environment is what you are looking for when finding your perfect salon and spa, Colours is your go-to. They specialize in skin and nail care, and offer complete spa packages that will make you feel amazing. With five types of massage, you will keep coming back for more.
638 Chandler Street, Worcester. (508) 792-7577.
In Latin, “Fulgere” means to shine. Fulgere Salon & Spa wants to help its customers do just that. Their services go beyond the aesthetic benefits of traditional salon treatments in order to de-stress and harmonize the entire person. Try out their deep tissue massage for a truly relaxing experience.
108 Grove Street, Worcester. (508) 831-9595.
Moji Salon & Day Spa wants to help you accentuate and pamper all that you have to offer through their innovative services. Their stylists and nail technicians are highly trained and educated in all the best cutting edge techniques in the industry. If you have had problems with salons in the past, they also offer corrective treatments!
1064 Pleasant Street, Worcester. (508) 791-8686.
Photo: Prefeitura de Sete Lagoas/Flickr
- Newport Manners & Etiquette: Sex Etiquette for Seniors + More
- Newport Etiquette + Manners: Smoking Etiquette
- Newport Manners + Etiquette: Bridezilla Returns
- Newport Manners & Etiquette: Kiss Me, Kiss Me Not
- Newport Manners + Etiquette: Gum Chewers At Work + More
- Newport Manners & Etiquette: Minding Your Party Manners
- Newport Manners & Etiquette: Nanny Cams + Relationship Busters
- Newport Manners & Etiquette: New 2014 Wedding Etiquette + More
- Newport Manners & Etiquette: Relationship Dilemmas + More
- Newport Manners & Etiquette: Relationships, Birth Control + More