Graduation EtiquetteGraduation season is here, which means that it’s time for all of the ceremonies and parties that go with closing one door and opening another. Whether you are the one graduating or the one attending, be prepared for this big exciting day. Here are some do’s and don’ts for graduation etiquette.

Don't: If you are giving the graduate a present, please don’t take your gift to the graduation ceremony.  It then becomes someone else’s responsibility to take care of that gift. Send your gift in advance either before or after the graduation.

Do: If you receive a graduation announcement in the mail then you are not required to send a gift.  A congratulatory card is sufficient. If you are invited to the ceremony or to the graduation party then a gift is appropriate.

Graduation Dos and Donts

Don’t: Ask for an invite to the actual graduation. Many families receive limited tickets and can only select a certain few. If you are close enough to the family, you will probably receive a ticket. Otherwise, save your celebration for the party.

Do: Follow the specific dress code. If you are attending the graduation ceremony dress appropriately. If you are just going to attend a party follow the attire requests on the invitation or ask your host. It is always better to be overdressed than underdressed.

Don’t: Forget to turn off your cell phone. The last thing you want is to take away attention of the graduates because you accidentally left your phone on ring.

Do: If you receive a graduation present sending a handwritten thank you note is a must. An email or quick phone call is not appropriate.  People took time to pick out a present you should take the time to send a personal note.  (Click here to view a simple format for writing thank you notes.)

Happy graduation celebrations!

Summer is right around the corner which means June through October begins the biggest wedding season.  Here is a list of Do’s and Don’ts on how to be a great wedding guest.

?????1. Do RSVP: When you receive a wedding invitation, always respond by the deadline with whether or not you will attend. The RSVP’s are time sensitive because the bride and groom or their families plan catering and seating around the attendance. RSVP’s = Money.

2. Don’t Keep Your Phone On: Before the ceremony begins, do a quick check to make sure that your phone is on silent and will not cause any disruptions. You do not want to be the person responsible for having your phone ring as the bride walks down the aisle or the happy couple is saying their vows.

???????????????????????????????3. Do be Early: Arrive 20-30 minutes ahead of the scheduled start time to make sure that you have a seat.  Weddings are meant to start on time and it is rude to disrupt the festivities by coming in late.

4. Don’t Assume a Plus One: Some couples have a strict budget and it is not possible for them to let their attendees bring guests. You will always know whether you can bring a guest or your children by the way the invitation envelope is address.  Unless the invitation specifies that you may bring a date never assume that you can. Remember your envelope tells all.   Please don’t call the bride and groom and ask them if it’s ok for you to bring someone. That puts them on the spot.  Extra guests add to the party cost.

5. Do Follow Dress Code: If the invitation specifies black tie then a man wears a tuxedo and a woman may wear a long gown.  If the wedding is in the evening, and black tie is not specified, then a man wears a dark suit and a woman wears a cocktail dress or basic black, decorated with rhinestone earrings.  The location of the wedding (picnic, beach, bowling alley) will always add clues to what you need to wear.

????????????????????????????????????????????6. Don’t Get Wasted: Many weddings have a variety of cocktails and an open bar. Even though there is an endless amount of booze be careful and think before you drink in excess.  You do not want to do or say anything that you would regret the next day.  Have a great time and let loose but make sure that your thoughts and head are clear.

7. Don’t Talk Forever: This a very busy day for the wedding couple. Everyone at the wedding is there to celebrate them. Congratulate the wedding couple and then move on . . . they have many other guests and family members to attend to.

The next time you are an invited guest at a wedding, remember that even though the day is about the wedding party, YOU still play a vital role.