Dear Carson: Is one expected to bring a gift to an engagement party? Isn't it proper etiquette for the father or host of this event to announce the engagement and to introduce his future son-in-law? Otherwise, if he doesn't make an announcement, the event is just like any other cocktail party. - Engagement Etiquette
Dear EE: It is not expected that you bring a gift to an engagement party, and yes, an announcement explains the whole idea behind a special event for the father of the bride or host of the event to announce the engagement of the bridal couple.
Dear Carson: Does the term "special" on a restaurant menu mean a special price or the featured item of the day? My girlfriend and I disagree on the term. She always orders the "special" because she thinks it costs less money. - Special Stipulation
Dear Special: The term "special" on a menu conveys the chef's special creation or dish of the day. Rather than being less expensive, it usually is, though not always, more costly than some of the other entrees.
Dear Carson: We are engraving initials for a gift. The person's last name starts with O'S. Would you use "O" or "O'S" as the last initial? He uses his middle name rather than his first name. - Initial Inquiry
Dear Inquiry: There is no rule in regards to monograms, and people play with them in various ways. I, too, use my middle name as my first name and only use the first name on legal documents. In your case, if I were going to have only a last name monogram, I would use the "O'S", but if I were using a three-letter monogram, I would use my first-name initial on the left, The letter "O" in the middle and my middle-name initial on the right.
If I were monogramming a man's shirt cuff or pocket, I would use the initials in order, first name initial, middle name initial and last name initial. Hopefully, I have made this clear. Thank you for writing of an exception to the rules.
Dear Carson: We are attending a wedding in the South and have been told by a friend that if you give a shower gift, you do not have to give a wedding gift. In the Northeast, that is not customary. If you plan to spend $100 to $125 on a nonfamily couple, does the shower gift factor into that final tally? - Gift Guessing
Dear Gift: I do not agree with what you were told. If your shower gift amounted to what you were going to give as a wedding gift, however, I would say it would suffice.