Dear Carson: My son will have a small wedding ceremony in New York with about 40 to 50 guests, including family and a few close friends. It is his and the bride's second marriage and my son does not want his guests to have to pack and wear tuxedos. How should we word the invitation? My son wants to put on the invitations, "Tux not necessary,"but I think that is tacky. My idea is to let people know by word of mouth. Do you have any suggestions? - Dress Dilemma
Dear DD: Wedding guests are accustomed to having written information on the invitation. There can be hitches when we depend on word of mouth. Someone may not have received the information and could be exasperated that they packed or packed and wore a tuxedo. My suggestion is to let them know on the actual invitation. What about "Non-Black Tie"?
Dear Carson: I have been invited to the "Christmation" (first communion and confirmation) of two infant baby sisters. Their religion is Byzantine Catholic and they make all three sacraments at once. The parents are expecting three gifts, since their children will not be having a separate Communion and Confirmation.
The family is torn about what to do. Some of us cannot afford to give three times the gift they would normally give at a Christening. Some of us think that the parents are getting off cheap by only having to host one party instead of the typical six parties. My husband thinks we should give what we want regardless, but I don't want my sister-in-law upset that her children were "gypped," as she put it.
Please advise, as the event is fast approaching. Thanks. - Confused in Southern Indiana
Dear Confused: I agree with your husband. There is no cause for you to feel that you must meet someone else's greedy expectations.
Just give one very nice gift, rather than three.
Dear Carson: This might seem like the dumbest question you've ever heard, but here goes. I've searched high and low all over the internet and have not been able to figure this out. I received a wedding invite with, of course, an R.S.V.P. card. There is a line that has the letter "M" in front is it and nothing else. Am I supposed to add the "r." or "rs." along with my husband's name to indicate "Mr." or "Mrs."? - Reply Rancor
Dear Rancor: On the space provided write, "r. and Mrs. _____ accept/regret."
Dear Carson: As a restaurant manager I am often asked questions about etiquette. Today's question was about a college graduation party that will be held in May. Is it wrong to requests the guests to pay individually or should the graduate's parents foot the whole bill? - Manager's Muddle
Dear Manager: The parents should pay unless the guests have been forewarned it is "Dutch Treat."