Bride shouldn't ask her guests for money

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Dear Carson: I have a friend engaged to be married in the fall. She has expressed on numerous occasions that she prefers "money only" as a wedding gift. She has even asked me more than once the proper wording for her invitations to tell her guests her preference. They have both been previously married and already have their own households.

I think this lacks tact; however, I did suggest registering at various stores, but she has consistently mentioned the "money only" preference.

Should she place this as an insert in the invitation or not mention it at all? - Friend with Tact

Dear Friend: Both ideas lack tact. Any mention of gifts is presumptuous and sounds greedy.

There is too much feeling of entitlement for couples these days.

Dear Carson: Is there a proper way for addressing a formal invitation to same-sex couples? This is an awkward situation, because I am in charge of a huge fundraising gala. Do you have any suggestions? - SSS

Dear SSS: In addressing same-sex couples, put them on separate lines using alphabetical order;

"Mr. John Adams"

"Mr. Aaron Benchley."

Dear Carson: I have a relative and a friend who take bites off my plate and one who drinks from my glass.

This really bothers me. I think it is presumptuous and unsanitary, but I don't know of a tactful way to handle it. Do you have any suggestions? - Mooching Off My Meal

Dear Mooching: I'm with you. Neither my husband nor I like the habit of other people helping themselves from our plates and drinking glasses.

If a spouse does it, that is one thing, but for anyone else, it totally turns me off.

Why not say something such as, "If you pass me your bread and butter plate, I'll send a bite your way"? This practice is especially egregious during cold and flu season.

Dear Readers: It has been such a joy to write this column for 14 years, but the time has come to address myself to the re-write of a book on Southern etiquette for modern life, which I wrote for publication in the early 1980s.

My readers have meant so much to me. I have learned so much from you, and addressing your opinions and concerns has enriched my life. I have learned much about the concerns of people than I was previously aware.

Some of your questions have led me to research some points of etiquette of which I was unaware.

I want to thank The Augusta Chronicle for giving me the opportunity to write The Proper Thing, and my loyal readers who consistently read it.

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