Iâ€™ve been invited to a brunch from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Whatâ€™s an appropriate time to arrive? Dear Invited:When to arrive at any type of party seems to baffle many people, so Etiquetteer thanks you for the opportunity to present a few examples:
Are you picking up a trend here? Etiquetteer certainly hopes so, because it should be perfectly obvious that you arrive at a party when the party starts. â€śFashionable latenessâ€ť is a fraud perpetuated by the Lazy and the Perpetually Tardy. Etiquetteer has long said that â€śFor Maximum Fun Potential, arrive punctually.â€ťThis also keeps your hosts from fretting that no one will ever get there.Every rule has its exceptions, of course:
- When youâ€™re invited to a brunch that goes from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM, arrive at 11:00 AM.Â
- When youâ€™re invited to a dinner party for 8:00 PM, arrive at 8:00 PM.Â
- When youâ€™re invited to an evening party and the invitation says 9:00 PM, arrive at 9:00 PM.
- If you and a friend decide to meet for drinks at 6:00 PM, meet at 6:00 PM.
Oddly enough, the occasion when promptness is most important is not for a party at someoneâ€™s home, but when one is dining with a large party in a restaurant that will only seat complete parties.Â Dear Etiquetteer:Iâ€™m getting married soon, and want to know if itâ€™s OK to include a link to our gift registry on our wedding website. So many people ask it seems like it will be easier. Dear Bride to Be:It depends on how greedy you want to appear. If you donâ€™t mind at all that people will think you are aÂ grasping, selfish young lady who is only inviting people to her wedding because of the gifts she expects to receive, then by all means, post a link.Please forgive Etiquetteerâ€™s Moment of Temper. You are very correct that a large number of guests at any wedding will ask about what a couple might want as a gift. But not everyone does, far from it. Create a registry page, by all means, but donâ€™t provide a link to it from your wedding home page. When your guests ask you or your mother (these questions still frequently come to the brideâ€™s mother), e-mail them the link to the registry. In this way, Perfect Propriety is preserved.And if your mother doesnâ€™t have e-mail (still a possibility) she can go back to the old-fashioned way and tell the querents â€śOh, theyâ€™re registered at [Insert Name of Retailer Here]. Just ask for the list.â€ťÂ Dear Etiquetteer:What should I wear to a wedding in April?Dear Guest Appearance:Regardless of the time of year, take your cues from the invitation. For an evening wedding, if it says â€śblack tieâ€ť or one of its many tiresome variations such as â€śfestive black tieâ€ť or â€ścreative black tie,â€ťÂ then a tuxedo for the gentleman and a long gown for the lady is most Perfectly Proper.Assuming that you are invited to a wedding that begins before 5:00 PM, gentlemen would wear dark business suits and ladies could wear day dresses or suits. Etiquetteer immediately thinks of those nubbly wool Chanel suits of the early 1960s. Add a hat, and Etiquetteer will love you forever.Â If April in your region is cold, this is also the time to get out your fur piece. Etiquetteer remembers Edith Whartonâ€™s amusing description of â€śall the old ladies of both familiesâ€ť at Newland Archerâ€™s wedding to May Welland. The wedding was in earliest April, and the ladies in question had all dug out their grandmotherâ€™s fur pelisses, scarves, tippets, and muffs for the occasion . . . so much so that Newland Archer noticed the smell of camphor over the wedding flowers.
- When you are invited to a church wedding, you may arrive up to half an hour early for the music. Do NOT expect to be seated after the procession has started!Â
- Any time â€śishâ€ť is added to an invitation, add 15 minutes. If a friend says â€śLetâ€™s get together about six-ish,â€ťÂ you can show up any time between 6:00 and 6:15. 6:30 is pushing it, and 6:45 is downright rude.Â
- â€śOpen houseâ€ť invitations mean you can arrive any time during the party and remain Perfectly Proper. Indeed, Etiquetteer just attended a lovely open house that went from 2:00 â€“ 9:00 PM one Saturday. People came and went throughout and the hosts received them happily whenever they appeared. (Etiquetteer cannot assume that you brunch invitation was an â€śopen houseâ€ť since you donâ€™t use those words.)Â