Originally created 07/29/01

Wedding name game confuses minister



Dear Carson: I am a minister. If the bride and groom are medical doctors, what is the appropriate way to introduce them to the congregation at the end of the ceremony? Should I introduce them individually, for example, "I present to you Dr. Bill and Dr. Debbie Smith"; or is it, "I present to you the Drs. Smith"?

Also, what is the appropriate salutation in a letter to a husband and wife who are doctors? - Mixed Up Minister

Dear Mixed Up: Ask them how they would like to be introduced. Either of your examples would be acceptable, as would "Mr. and Mrs. William Dodson Smith."

For a social invitation many doctors prefer the traditional "Mr. and Mrs.," but female doctors often take umbrage. Also, there is the question of whether they use the same last name. For the same last names it would read: "Dr. Deborah and Dr. Michael Horworth Jones." In the case of different last names you could have their names on separate lines, listed alphabetically.

Dear Carson: We are trying to settle a family dispute: What is the proper etiquette for using a tissue? - Kleenex Courtesy

Dear Kleenex: Use the tissue once or twice, then return it to pocket or handbag to be disposed of later. It is offensive to see a germy, crumpled tissue in plain sight.

Dear Carson: I am told that anyone invited to a bridal shower must receive an invitation to the wedding. The invitations to my fiancee's bridal shower were sent out by her aunts, who never passed the guest list by the bride for review. Now there are women invited to a bridal shower who are not on our wedding list. This is a problem as we have limited capacity at our small ceremony and reception. Perhaps your sage counsel can keep us from deeply offending various family factions. Thanks in advance - Out of the Loop

Dear Loop: Just advise your bride to go to the shower, enjoy herself and thank everyone graciously. Mention during the course of the party that you are having a very small wedding and reception. Write each person a gracious note of thanks. These ladies are perhaps closer friends of your aunts' than of yours. This is not the first time such a thing has happened.

Dear Carson: For the past few days I have had several guests drop in without calling first. To me this is the height of rudeness. They seem to think that just because my car is in the driveway that I am obligated to stop what I am doing and entertain them. What is the best way to handle this? - Not at Home

Dear Not at Home: Either do not answer the door or put a note on the door, saying that you cannot answer the door because you are working, sleeping or otherwise occupied.

Or, you may answer it and tell them that you'd love to invite them in but that you are in the middle of some work that cannot be interrupted. Said in a pleasant tone of voice and with an open expression it should be met with a minimum of offense.

Write to Ask Carson, The Augusta Chronicle, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903-1928. Send e-mail to askcarson@home.com. Carson Elliott's Web site is at www.theproperthing.com.