Happiest of Tuesdays, dear readers! I adore special events, from weddings to charity functions, and since attending my first wave of these gatherings years ago, have learned so much in terms of etiquette and protocol. Whether attending a fabulous black-tie charity event with your husband or ladies luncheon supporting a cause near and dear to your heart, being your best self will always be in fashion, and so I’ve created a list of tips for novices and experts alike (never hurts to brush up on manners!). Enjoy!
- Introductions: After you’ve found your place card and strolled over to your table, take a moment to introduce yourself to your fellow dinners. You may know some of them or they may be new faces, but either way greeting them will be a wonderful way to start the event.
- Table manners: Perhaps the most important etiquette element at a special event, polished table manners will make you shine like the star you are! Channel the charming “B & D” trick when locating your bread plate, and remember a la “Pretty Woman” that utensils work their way in. When finished with your meal, position your utensils diagonally on the plate.
- Clutch: Perplexed about where to house your clutch during the event? Instead of placing it on the table, place it either in your lap under the napkin or behind you in your chair.
- Conversing: Whether you’ve just met or you’re seated next to a confidante, engage in conversation with the lovely ladies and gents at your table.
- Tech: Strive to keep your cellphone in your clutch while at the table (on the silent setting please!), and wait to text, browse social media, or use your phone until after the event. If you’re expecting an urgent call or it’s an emergency, kindly say “excuse me” and excuse yourself to the ladies room or lobby to take a call.
- Listening: Special events often call for speeches or keynote addresses, and so out of respect for the host/hosts, refrain from chatting when the guest of honor, emcee, etc. is speaking.