Weddings and Whistleblowers, Vol. 5, Issue 5

Dear Etiquetteer:Do I have to invite someone to my wedding if I was invited to theirs?Dear Engaged:Etiquetteer suggests you consider your relationship to the couple in question before using attendance at their wedding as a factor. If it’s your sister, yes, you should probably invite her and her spouse. If it’s the brother of a colleague you see at quarterly meetings, probably not.Long story short, invite the people you want to be with you, and the people your parents want to be with them. Then plan the reception based on that number of people. Yes, this might mean you can’t offer more than a thin slice of cake and thimble of champagne to each of your guests, but so be it.

Speaking of weddings, Etiquetteer found himself getting mighty annoyed reading a discussion about pregnant brides over as Smart & Sassy. (Special to Etiquetteer's mother: there's a lot of profanity, so you probably won't want to read it.) This led Etiquetteer to create a wedding survey, which you are cordially invited to take here. This does involve controversial questions about bridal pregnancy, wedding clothes, and catering, so be prepared.

Dear Etiquetteer:Do you stand by a whistleblower who is a friend? Not necessarily a friend but an honest person?Dear Ethically Challenged:Your question reminded Etiquetteer of Little Mary Haines in TheWomen asking her mother "Which is more important, Truth or Honor?" "They are equally important, darling" coldly responded her glamorous mother, played by Norma Shearer in the most memorable role of her career.If you believe the whistleblower to be not only an honest person but also accurate in the accusations, then YES, by all means, back up that person in the face of all adversity! How else are we to have a Perfectly Proper society unless innocent bystanders like yourself stand up for what is Right and True to defeat the Wicked and Evil?

EXAMPLES FROM THE DAILY LIFE OF ETIQUETTEER: Etiquetteer had occasion recently to begin a journey to a Distant City by train. One of the most distressing experiences was trying to purchase two magazines at a magazine stand from a Woman For Whom English Was Not the First Language who was much more absorbed in talking with her friend on her cell phone than in conducting any business! Transacting business in these circumstances is difficult at best, but with someone whose attention is actively engaged elsewhere . . . well, it didn’t make Etiquetteer feel like a valued customer, to say the least! A brisk "Excuse me, would you please finish your conversation later?" was definitely in order.

Etiquetteer cordially invites you to join the notify list if you would like to know as soon as new columns are posted. Join by sending e-mail to