Dear Carson: My husband is graduating from his medical residency program in June and I want to give him a reception to celebrate his achievement and hard work.
I want to stage this event at an elegant restaurant, but our budget will be small until after his graduation. Would it be inappropriate to expect people to go Dutch? If so, how would you word the invitation?
We live in a small house and we both come from large families and have lots of friends. - Big Plans/Small Budget
Dear Reader: Yes, it would be inappropriate to invite guests to an expensive restaurant and require them to pick up the tab. Perhaps your mother or his mother would agree to have the affair in their home. If so, you would bear the expense of food and beverages.
If not, I suggest you have an open house at your place and stagger the times on the invitations. Congratulations to you and your husband.
Dear Carson: My 91-year-old father, a much beloved community leader, died a week ago. My mother and I have received many condolences, food, flowers and donations in his name, all of which were a great comfort.
We plan to acknowledge the flowers, food and contributions in his name, but do we need to send an acknowledgement card to those who sent notes or cards and what about e-mails to the funeral home's Web site? - Grieving Daughter
Dear Reader: There's no need to send acknowledgement cards or write notes for a preprinted card or e-mail. However, I suggest you send an acknowledgement even to those who sent handwritten notes. Also, it lends a gracious touch to write a line or two on the engraved acknowledgement card.
Dear Carson: I would like your opinion about styles of stationary for thank-you notes.
Like my mother before me, my daughter and I have always used 5-by-3-inch folded notes in white or cream embossed with our respective monograms. However, now that my daughter is in college the many friends whom she has brought home to visit have written lovely notes on all kinds of attractive stationary; larger, folded notes printed in wine, red or blue with first name only in funky scripts; or large personalized correspondence cards in all styles and colors, for instance.
I have begun to feel that my daughter and I, with our little folded notes, seem a bit too staid and stuffy, with which my daughter agrees. Thanks for your help. - Staid Stationary
Dear Reader: The funky stationary, colored paper and ink are acceptable. However, I do not consider your cream colored, embossed stationary either staid or stuffy.