Listen to Dawn on Big Blend Radio discussing Wedding Toasts.
Photo Credit: Partyspace.com
Listen to Dawn on Big Blend Radio discussing Wedding Toasts.
Photo Credit: Partyspace.com
BE SURE YOU KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Looking for a fascinating read, interesting stuff, better understanding of elite societies? Or a brief vicarious journey into their exclusive cultures and private worlds? This invaluable resource goes beyond the traditional rules of etiquette to explain the often unvoiced customs that demonstrate belonging and respect within various cultures.
The first book of its kind, this informative guide provides the reader with the social behaviors needed to communicate within various elite cultures. An invitation to a golf tournament, the opera, a formal banquet, a polo match, a wedding or funeral, a yacht, afternoon tea, or a wine tasting will no longer be worrisome or discomfiting. Whether host, guest, or spectator, you will find the appropriate conduct, dress, courtesies, guidelines, and terminology to help you feel comfortable in almost any setting. For each particular situation, ELITE ETIQUETTE explains everything you: Need to Know; May Want to Know; May Find Helpful to Know; and Must Not Do. Whoever aspires to elevate or strengthen business or social relationships must understand the rules, courtesies and expectations that identify membership within these elite groups.
Description from Amazon.com
“Here’s to the bride and groom, a case of love, pure and simple: Bride is pure and groom is simple.” Anonymous
Associated with joyous occasions, the perfect toast can set the mood for the event and create memories for the future. However, unlike most speeches, the wedding toast often becomes the occasion when a reluctant, bashful person is called upon to speak eloquently in the spotlight.
From engagement parties to rehearsal dinners, there are many opportunities for multiple toasting—some of which follow tradition and all of which are meant to celebrate the wedding couple. At the engagement party, the father of the bride proposes the first toast to his daughter and future son-in-law. Usually the father of the groom responds with the next toast. Rehearsal dinner party toasts are a more casual opportunity for friends and family to toast the couple, often with personal stories. They typically feature toasts from parents to parents, parents to couple, and best man to groom. Bridal showers, bridesmaid brunches, and bachelorette/bachelor parties are also toasting possibilities.
Image Credit: blog.timesunion.com
TOASTING: TRADITIONAL WEDDING RECEPTION ETIQUETTE
Along with coordinating everything else, the bride (sometimes with wedding planner) has the responsibility of officially inviting individuals to toast/speak as well as scheduling the program. If you are a member of the wedding party (or very special friend/relative) who would like to say a few words, but haven’t been asked, speak briefly. Sometimes others are asked to speak on behalf of someone who cannot be there.
Although many modern brides give brief responses or toast, the bride is not expected to make a long speech.
Wedding toasts/speeches are usually given following the meal; however, presenters may find the meal and festivities more enjoyable, if they speak prior to the meal. This could also ensure that speakers are more coherent—but the guests might be less merry and receptive.
If there is a toastmaster/master of ceremonies (professional or not), prior to the event he/she needs to know who is speaking, order of speeches, and time/s at which speeches will be made. Often the best man serves this function. Proper wedding reception toasting usually follows a certain procedure: Best Man; Father of the Groom; Father of the Bride; Groom; Bride (if she wishes); Bridesmaids; Mother of the Groom; Mother of the Bride; Special Friends/Relatives; Others. The order may change just as long as all speakers are aware of who is saying what…and in what order. The Father of the Bride is responsible for welcoming groom’s parents and all other guests. The Groom thanks his parents and thanks guests for their gifts and good wishes. In some cultures, it is customary for the groom to present small keepsakes/gifts to both mothers. The Groom may also propose the toast of the bridesmaids to which the Best Man usually responds with humor.
Toasts may be made to the Bride or Groom individually or as a couple
HOW TO TOAST
–Prepare and rehearse
–If delivering the principal toast, think of it as a very short speech
–Be sure all guests have been served drinks.
–Always stand and ask others to stand.
–Hold your glass by the stem and raise it to shoulder height. You may toast with a non-alcoholic drink.
–Make eye contact with the person/s you are toasting.
–Be gracious—the recipient/s should feel honored and acknowledged.
–Sentiments should be heartfelt and specific to the toastee/s.
–Including a personal observation, remark, or a touch of humor usually makes for a more interesting toast.
–Keep it short, simple, and in good taste.
HOW TO RECEIVE A TOAST:
–Look at and listen to person giving the toast.
–Stay seated and smile with appreciation.
–You may respond by thanking the presenter, and may also recognize, thank , or honor others at this time.
–Speak for longer than 4 minutes.
–Try to attract attention for your toast by using your glassware or flatware.
–Drink when a toast is offered to you.
–Deliver a toast to yourself.
–Propose or deliver a roast instead of a toast.
–Make the toast too personal.
–Use/make/allude to jokes that only a few present would understand.
–Clink glasses in a formal situation, unless customary/expected within that culture.
When you feel the need to offer a spontaneous toast or are suddenly asked to deliver one, remember all you need are a raised glass and a few complimentary words.
SECOND/THIRD MARRIAGE TOAST: “Here’s to the triumph of hope over experience.” Anonymous
Definition: The first day of May which has always been strongly associated with flowers and frequently includes the giving of May Day Baskets.
Provenance: Celebration of May Day began as pagan festivals, celebrating spring and fertility. May 1 was one of the most important holidays of the year for the Druids of the British Isles; they believed that the day divided the year in half. When the Romans came to occupy the British Isles, they brought new traditions. Their early May was devoted to a 5-day celebration called Floralia in honor of Flora, the goddess of flowers. Ancient customs that still survive in various parts of the world include the dawn gathering of blossoms, flowers, and branches; the decking of and dancing around a maypole; the crowning of the Queen of the May; the Morris Dance (men dancing together in animal costumes); the making of garlands; the hanging of May baskets on the doorknobs of friends and neighbors; washing one’s face with May dew which supposedly has the power to maintain/restore beauty–according to American folklore, girls living in the Ozark Mountains believed that washing their faces with this dew would help them to find and marry the man of their choice.
Image Credit: anoteoffriendship.blogspot.com
May Baskets are not only a celebration of spring but a celebration of giving. The basket filled with flowers–and sometimes other small gifts –is quietly, and supposedly secretly, placed on someone’s doorstep or hung on his/her door knob. Especially popular among children and young
1. How to Care for Cut Flowers:
Image Credit: http://www.rosefloral.com
–Because they require a healthy environment, be sure that your container is free from the bacteria that can clog the stem, preventing circulation of water and nutrients. Scrub or rinse containers with mild solution of chlorox bleach before or after each use. Also give your flowers clean well-ventilated air, as smoke and other pollutants will shorten their lives.
–Flowers respond to the temperature of the water they are placed into. Warm water encourages them to open/grow; and cool water slows their development, adding longevity.
–Always cut stems on an angle while under running water, exposing a larger surface. Use a sharp knife, as snipping stems with a scissors can pinch off the channels through which the water is conducted. When cutting tulips, removing all white portions of the stem will allow better fluid intake.
–Remove all foliage from stems which will be under water, as this will discourage bacteria from forming.
–Flower preservatives can prolong the life of your flowers. Most of them contain ingredients which keep the flowers’ energy level high (sugar), inhibit the growth of bacteria, and lower the Ph factor, enhancing water/nutrient uptake. Follow the instructions carefully.
–Many flower arrangers have their own “tried-and-true” methods of extending flower life. These range from bleach, sugar, crushed aspirin, pinch of salt and baking powder, soda, and copper pennies to various combinations. Some claim that using hairspray on the blooms will extend their attractive lives.
–Take care when combining daffodils in a bouquet, as they exude a sap that clogs the stems of other flowers (especially tulips) that can cause the other flowers to wilt. If you do include them, first soak them in warm water with a teaspoon of sugar for at least 12 hours to leach the harmful sap out of the stems.
–Keep flowers away from direct sunlight, drafts and heating/air conditioning vents; don’t set on top of TV; don’t place close to burning candles. They will enjoy being spray misted.
–Every 2 or 3 days give flower stems a fresh cut, clean out the container, and replace the water/solution to increase hydration.
–Remove flowers that wilt early from an arrangement because they give off ethylene gas (used in commercial ripening) which will cause the remainder of the flowers to wilt sooner.
–Mist full strength lemon juice on gardenias to prevent them from browning.
–When using tulips in an arrangement, dip tulips which have reached the openness you desire into beaten egg whites to prevent their opening any further.
Image Credit: www.nrgetics.com
–Health Benefits–The presence of flowers improves emotional health and helps to relieve stress. A team of researchers at Rutgers University explored the link between flowers and life satisfaction. The recently-published study showed that 1. Flowers have an immediate impact on happiness–a universal reaction; 2. Flowers have a long-term positive effect on moods; 3. Flowers make intimate connections, their presence increasing contact with family and friends. The study also concluded that flowers are a symbol for sharing, especially the sharing of space.
Image Credit: howtopreserveflowers.com
–When working with gardenias or stephanotis, you can prevent browning by first wetting your hands so that the oil from your skin will not touch the petals.
–If you plan to eventually dry your flowers/arrangement, look for plants that are interesting in shape, texture, or color once dried. Choose plants that will retain their shape and not fall apart or disintegrate.
–If you have no commercial preservative, make your own by placing 1 teaspoon sugar and a few drops of chlorine bleach into the water.
–To straighten bent tulips, wrap the stems tightly in damp newspaper, secure with a rubber band, and stand in lukewarm water with light directly above them for a couple of hours.
–Because tulips continue to grow even after being cut, it is best to change water and cut stems daily.
Image Credit: caminhospagao.blogspot.com
–The Pilgrims of the New World observed May Day for awhile until Governor John Endicott (a Puritan) ordered all Maypoles burned down.
–May Day in England is a bank holiday; in France, it includes a procession for the Virgin Mary.
–May baskets can be made or constructed of almost anything–paper or plastic cups, oatmeal boxes, cartons, baskets, vases, pitchers, construction paper, grocery store berry baskets, flower pot, small pail, watering can… Decorated paper cones used as flower containers are called tussie mussies.
–In 2010 Girl Scouts in West Bend, Wisconsin made May Day baskets containing fresh flowers for the surprised residents of local hospitals and nursing homes. It was such a success that they have continued each year.
–Leaving an anonymous May Day Basket is considered “a random act of kindness”.
HAPPY MAY DAY!
Listen to Dawn talk about teaching Charm School classes on McIntire in the Morning on Talk Radio 790 KABC
Thursday, February 21st, Dawn is featured on Big Blend Radio on Fine Dining Etiquette.
-The three-day celebration of courses will be held January 29 – February 1st, including a Business Etiquette Dinner, 20th Anniversary Reception, and Charm School on February 1st, 2013-
Boston, Massachusetts, January 28, 2013 – Quality Expert and bestselling author Dawn Bryan has been tapped to be a featured guest and special instructor at this year’s 20th Anniversary celebration of Massachusetts Institute of Technology Charm School.
This year marks the 20th Anniversary of M.I.T. Charm School, originally started in 1993 by Dr. Travis Merritt. The popular Charm School mini classes take place on February 1st from 12 – 4 PM. Students earn a Ch.D., or Doctoral Degree in Charm.
For this year’s 20th Anniversary, featured guest and special instructor, Dawn Bryan, will host a special Business Etiquette Dinner on Wednesday, January 30th and will give the keynote address and teach four classes at Charm School on Friday, February 1st.
A special celebratory 20th Anniversary reception is scheduled for Thursday, January 31st at 6:30 PM at the R&D Commons, in the Ray and Maria Stata Center, at M.I.T. Chris Colombo, Dean for student life, and Larry Bacow, former Chancellor at M.I.T. will speak about the rich tradition of Charm School. The reception will feature a specialty cake designed by celebrity baker and couture cake maker Maria Nitti, owner of Isabella’s Creations. The cake will be in the shape and design of the Charm School 20th Anniversary logo.
Graduation will commence on Friday, February 1st at 4:00 PM. This will include the presentation of diplomas, which will be signed and presented to students.
About Dawn Bryan
Dawn Bryan’s impressive career includes being selected as a spokesperson and consultant on international protocol for many luxury brands including Gucci, Neiman Marcus, American Express, Hammacher Schlemmer, Citicorps/Diners Club, Swarovski Crystal, and Waterford Wedgewood. Dawn is the author of the best-selling The Art and Etiquette of Gift Giving (Bantam) and has authored many articles, columns and books on the subjects of etiquette, gift-giving and the quality of things for Business Week, Town & Country, Vogue and Glamour among others. Her new book Elite Etiquette will be available Spring 2013. She founded TheQualipedia.com, a website for gifting, protocol, quality and conscious choice. Dawn’s husband, John Casey, graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
About MIT Charm School
Professor Travis Merritt founded the Charm School in 1993, recognizing that to achieve credibility in this global economy even the best technical skills must be combined with the soft skills of good manners, and that an exceptional education for future business and industry leaders must include an understanding of protocol, communication, and diversity. Since 1993 the popularity of Charm School has blossomed into a full-fledged community event with students, staff, and faculty participating.
The expected ritual of holiday tipping need not be awkward, uncertain, or stressful. Because many service people with whom we deal on a regular basis throughout the year expect to be recognized with cash, determining the correct amount can be tricky. Each season brings a plethora of general guides for allocating your tip money; however, these amounts will vary considerably from community to community.
All tipping should take into account length of time they have worked for you; frequency of their service (daily, weekly, monthly); quality of service and personalized attention; extra services they may provide, and—most important– your relationship with them.
Because you are expressing gratitude, a note or card is what makes your gift special. In general, cash is the most impersonal gift, a gift certificate is more personal, and the chosen, wrapped gift the most personal. A thoughtful gift not only says “thank you”, but demonstrates that you have taken the time to know them as individuals.
Here’s some tipping do’s and don’ts from The Qualipedia Founder, Dawn Bryan.
–Make a list and create a plan of action early in the season. In this tough economy, you may have to decide which people are the most important to you before allocating your budget.
–Keep list of your tipping—whether cash or gift–from year to year. Although you may forget, the recipient probably will not.
–Try to give all end-of-the-year gifts graciously in person.
–Present gifts of cash and gift certificates as early in the season as possible, as some recipients may be depending on them for holiday gifts or spending.
–Child care providers, nannies, and teachers appreciate gifts selected or suggested by your children. These could be in addition to your gift.
–Gifts of food should be selected with the recipient’s diet, food preferences/allergies, entertaining needs, and schedule in mind. Otherwise they will surely be re-gifted.
–If you would like to give more but cannot this year. Do not apologize, but thank recipients—in person and/or with a note. Then say that you hope to be able to do more for them next year. Or say that their gift will be coming soon, perhaps for another occasion, such as a birthday or the Chinese New Year.
–Give money or gifts to employees of a company unless you are certain that their policy allows it.
–Give gifts worth more than $20 to postal workers. They are not allowed to receive cash, gift certificates, or gift cards. A special gift: a letter of appreciation addressed to the postmaster of the local office to be added to their personnel file.
–Gift your boss, except in unusual circumstances, as this could be seen as bribery. A group gift will prevent competitive gift giving at the office.
–Give cash to teachers or other professionals, such as lawyers, doctors, nurses, financial planners, etc. However, sometimes parents may join to give a collective gift to a teacher.
–When tipping the same individuals annually, do not set up expectations that you may not be able to meet the next year.
– Present the tip in such a way that you make the recipient feel like a charity case.
Happy Holidays from The Qualipedia!
Fall is officially here with its crisp air reminding us to pull out the warm woolies, and sip a piping hot cup of tea. Dawn Bryan, founder of The Qualipedia, shares some fantastic tips to help welcome in this chilly time of year with an unforgettable tea party.
TEA PARTY THEMES:
There are a variety of ways to throw a tea party. You could go the classic English tea party route, or you could throw all the rules out the window and host a memorable tea party, which does not have to adhere to any of the traditional rules and leaves a lasting impression on your guests. Non-traditional tea soirées can be anything you choose: formal, informal, for a few guests or a hundred. Consider a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party with hat decorating elements, or a fall hat exchange, or chill out with guests and have a yoga instruction followed by a traditional Zen tea ceremony.
Most tea foods are bite-size fingers foods. However, you can update the three course tradition with your favorite mini foods. Consider a gorgeous spread of nuts and dried fruits, kabobs, cheese plates, filo puffs or yummy Spanish tapas instead of the traditional small sandwiches and scones.
Many tea drinkers prefer their tea served plain; however, you should have sugar and other sweeteners, various milks and lemons available for your guests. Tip: Milk goes best with black teas and traditional English teas, and lemon with Chinese.
So gather your friends and host what is sure to be one of the enjoyable parties of the season!
Happy autumn from The Qualipedia.