Northshore Magazine

Northshore January February 2016

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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44 | JANUARY + FEBRUARY 2016 BY CHARLOTTE ROTH Wedding planners weigh in on etiquette. Dos and Don'ts of I Do Wedding Etiquette Page 44 IN THIS ISSUE Weddings are joyous occasions, but the meeting of friends, family, coworkers, and acquaintances can be a perfect storm for faux pas and etiquette gaffes. Fortunately for couples and wedding-goers, there are a few univer- sally accepted rules to make any couple's big day run smoothly. Amy McLaughlin of Amy McLaughlin Lifestyles, headquartered in Newburyport, and Andover–based Janie Haas of Janie Haas Events share knowledge gained from years of crafting North Shore weddings. ETIQUETTE FOR GUESTS Declining or accepting a wedding invitation is the first step, and there's a proper way to do it. Most couples will include an R.S.V.P. card with the invitation, and guests should respond using this card. McLaugh- lin recommends adding a personal note, whether you're declining or accepting: "If you're declining the invitation, it's especially important to convey your regrets," she explains. "Many couples will save R.S.V.P. cards as keepsakes, so even if you're accepting, writing a short note to the bride and groom is meaningful." It's rarely appropriate to R.S.V.P. by phone or email, unless the initial invite was via Paperless Post or a similar service, according to Janie Haas. "Depending on your relation- ship with the bride and groom, you may want to follow up your R.S.V.P. card with an additional email or phone message," she adds. McLaughlin also stresses the im- portance of accepting or declining an invitation as soon as possible; "Many couples have an 'A-list,' of must-have guests and a 'B-list' of people to invite if space allows. If guests on the 'A-list' decline promptly, the couple may be able to send their invitation to another guest." Regard- less, both McLaughlin and Haas stress that a gift is expected whether or not you attend the event. A few rules govern the choosing of gifts. McLaughlin and Haas agree that it is acceptable, at times, to go off-registry, especially if you're close to the bride and groom. "A good friend of mine knit my daughter photograph by Iakimenko Anton

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