Etiquette Tips

When it comes to Etiquette, we've been there, done that, now serving 44 tips in 6 categories ranging from Answer User Questions to Netiquette.

Where do the parents of the bride and groom sit at a wedding? What if either or both sets of parents is divorced?

Proper Wedding Seating of Parents

When the bride and groom's parents are together, they are seated in the front pew of the church, near the aisle. The bride's parents sit in the left pew and the groom's parents are seated in the right pew.

There are exceptions for certain circumstances. If either the bride or groom has a widowed parent, that parent may certainly invite a guest to be seated with him or her.

It becomes a bit more complicated if the parents of the bride or groom are divorced. The mother and stepfather if there is one, will sit in the front pew as already described.

In the next few pews, the immediate family will be seated. This includes grandparents, siblings, and so on.

The bride or groom's father will be seated in the next pew behind the rows of the mother's immediate family. If the father is remarried, his family will be seated with him. If there are hard feelings in the family, the father's wife may choose to sit elsewhere in the church, and futher back.

If the bride or groom is closer to a stepmother or is not on good terms with the mother, the father and stepmother may be seated in the front pew instead of the mother.

Still one more exception is that if the divorced parents get along well and everyone would be happy with the situation, it is sometimes perfectly acceptable to seat the parents and stepparents all in the front pew, but only if all agree to it.

Who makes the speeches at a wedding?

Wedding Speeches

Wedding speeches are a way to toast the bride and groom and share stories about the happy couple.

Typically, the bride's father, the groom, and the best man all give speeches. On many occassions, the maid or matron of honor also gives a speech.

The father of the bride often speaks first, perhaps sharing stories of the bride growing up and how happy he is that his daughter has found a great husband. The father of the bride often offers advice to his new son-in-law and thanks all of the guests for coming.

The groom may also speak, often on behalf of his bride. The groom often thanks everyone for coming, thanks his new in-laws and of course, his beautiful new bride. This may also be a time for the groom to give tribute to any friends or family members who could not attend or who have passed away.

The best man will then toast the new couple. Many times there may be humorous stories of the best man and the groom. The best man may give some history of himself and the groom and then launch into how happy he is for the couple. The best man's speech is usually one of the most anticipated of the evening.

A strong majority of the time, the maid or matron of honor also gives a speech to toast the couple. This speech may be similar to that of the best man's but perhaps a bit more emotional.

When planning a wedding, it is entirely up to the bride and groom as to who they prefer to make wedding speeches. However, the people who typically do give speeches have been listed here.

Is it proper etiquette to give one's own daughter a baby shower? If so, who would be invited?

Baby Shower Etiquette

In the past, etiquette demanded that only non-relatives of the parents-to-be host a baby shower. Fortunately this has changed and mothers or sisters often host the showers now.

Keep in mind that more than one person can host the shower, too. If staying within the family, the mom-to-be's mother and sisters may want to share in the planning (and thus, the costs) of hosting the baby shower.

When it comes to a guest list, if it is not a surprise party, by all means show the guest of honor your proposed list. She may want to add (or subtract!) someone. A baby shower is generally attended by the relatives of the mom (and dad), mom's friends and close co-workers, and so on.

It is accepted to do invitations by email or by calling the guests, but many people still prefer the traditional paper and mail invitations. If the parents are registered somewhere, be sure to let your guests know.

Let`s say your bill comes out to $10.00, and tax is a dollar. What is the total amount of money you should leave with tip included?

How Much to Tip

There are at least three ways to figure this out using the basic 15 percent tip.

1. The easy way is to double the tax which would be more than 15 percent. So then, the total you would leave amounts to $13.00.

2. Next you could leave 15 percent of the food total which would be $1.50, bringing the total you would leave to $12.50

3. Last and probably the one most people use is to add 15 percent - depending on service you could leave more or less - to the entire bill which means your total would be $12.65.

Can you please suggest a website for second marriage etiquette?

Second Wedding Etiquette Resources

Some helpful second wedding etiquette resources online:

- Here Comes the Bride, Again . . . Second Weddings: Etiquette, Tradition and Planning -
- Ask April: Etiquette for Second Marriage -
- Wedding Gazette -
- Mannersmith -
- The State Journal -

What is the proper amount to tip the barber, the cab driver, room service, and similar situations?

Tipping Etiquette

Tipping guidelines:

- Barber: $2-3.
- Taxi, limo, paid shuttle, or van driver: 15% of the total fare, but no less than $1. Tip up to 20% for extra service like helping with your luggage or making extra stops.
- Driver of courtesy shuttle: $1-$2 per bag if the driver helps with the bags.
- Porter or skycap: $2 per bag. Tip more if the bags are heavy.
- Room Service: 15-20% of total charge unless gratuity is included, in which case tip nothing or $1.
- Maid service: $1-5 per day, up to $10 per day if you make a big mess. Tip daily and leave the tip on your pillow.
- Food server: 15-20%
- Bartender: 15-20% or $1 per drink.

For more tipping etiquette, check out:

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