My Little Etiquette Shop: Places please! This is a rehearsal dinner, people!

What the heck? Who needs to rehearse how to eat, right? May is here and from New York to San Francisco, wedding guests are digging through drawers trying to find invitation maps they buried under receipts and take-out menus.  Many will discover that they have been invited to a rehearsal dinner, whether or not they are in the wedding party.  We had some etiquette queries come in about rehearsals and the associated dinners, so we’re going to take them on. Do you have questions about being a wedding guest? Write us! We love questions, rehearsed or not.  Please put the word “Etiquette” in your subject line.


Why was I invited to my friend’s Rehearsal Dinner? I’m not in the wedding party, and I’m not family.  Is it rude to decline the invitation?


A:   Well, Barbara, rehearsal dinners have changed over time.  Many are still intimate affairs where the people who are at the actual rehearsal go out to dinner.  Others, however, have become parties practically as elaborate as the weddings themselves.  Many couples have decided that with guests traveling from afar, it’s nice to invite out-of-towners to the dinner so as to have an activity their first night, and see friends and family.  Others choose to invite those closest to them who are not in the wedding party to join the group to recognize their special place in the bride or groom’s life. Regardless of what your friend’s reason was, it’s a nice invitation, and chances are the food will be better than at the Motel 6 coffee shop so hey – why not?  As to declining, no it’s not rude, as long as you actually decline according to the invitation’s instructions.  If it says to call your friend’s future Mother-in -Law, you should call her, and not just drop your friend an email.  People are dealing with caterers and the bride may not have time to communicate (or remember) all such details. She’s a little busy right now. And, needless to say, thank her FMIL for the invitation.

Let the toasting begin!  More on wedding guests to come.

Malin / Balestriere Rehearsal Dinner
Why am I here? For the party, of course! Photo by Sean O'Shaughnessy

My Little Etiquette Shop: Prom Posies and the Problems they Pose

It’s that time of year again, when you’ll see groups of teens looking awfully snazzy overtaking hotel ballrooms all over the country.  The occasion? You likely remember it well: Prom.  As this year’s crop of Juniors and Seniors gets ready to boogie down in their gowns and tuxes, we thought we’d tackle 2 of the etiquette questions that pop up when kids venture out into the wonderful world of social events. Have others? Send ’em in! We’ll revisit prom in a future blog post.

Succulent boutonniere suitable for wedding or prom
Boutonniere using succulent - perfect for prom or desert wedding

Q: Who orders and pays for the flowers?

A: Each date buys the others’ flowers (corsage or boutonniere as appropriate).  Mom, feel like taking over for your busy teen?  We actually recommend letting  your son or daughter handle this on their own.  It’s an important step for young people to learn how to operate in the world – making Prom arrangements with local businesses is a great start. Encourage your teen to order flowers, and to communicate with their dates to find out what they are wearing so that everything coordinates nicely.

Q:  What do I do if my date arrives and the flowers don’t match my outfit? Or are really ugly? Do I have to wear them?

A: Whatever those flowers look like, smile, say thank you, and put them on.  This is someone who you liked enough to go with to the Prom, and they are giving you a gift. Do you really want to crush them and start the evening off on a negative note?  Not good form. The exception to this rule is if you have allergies. If your corsage is going to make you sick, by all means thank your date, and explain that you’ll keep it at home to admire later due to your sensitivity to the particular bloom.

Corsages and boutonnieres have come a long way. Gone is the single rose and baby’s breath that was the mainstay of every prom and wedding in the eighties, replaced by succulents or other unexpected elements. The scratchy elastic bands have been replaced with silky ribbons and stretchy pearled bracelets.  Some girls even carry a small handheld bouquet.  Let your floral professional create a special memory for your big night.

Stay safe everyone!

Phew! We’re exhaling happily as Valentine’s 2011 fades to black

Hear that? That’s the sound of the My Little Flower Shop team singing the praises of Father Time for getting Valentine’s Day behind us so successfully. Thanks to everyone who made it possible, meaning both employees and customers. V-day is the second biggest holiday in the Floral world, first being Mothers’ Day.  Both lead to a certain level of chaos around the store, but it’s always fun. There’s something cool about being part of a floral design marathon that leaves you ankle deep in stems, leaves and little scraps of ribbon.  Plus, if you ever want to witness pure happiness, volunteer to deliver Valentine flowers.  I guarantee, no one has ever been more glad to see you than that little blonde at H&R Block getting her first dozen roses in front of an office full of co-workers. You will suddenly understand why people name their children “Joy” because you will witness its’ beauty.

The aforementioned aftermath in the store is not so beautiful, but I thought I’d share this shot of our dear Alan (an extremely talented designer) among the wreckage so that people could see the flip side.  It may not be the beautiful part, but it is the stuff joy is made of, and that, I believe, is what drives us as designers.  The secret? We create joy the other 363 days a year – not just Valentine’s and Mothers’ Day. We’re happy to spread it your direction. You know where to find us.