Ask the Countess: Recession Woes and Weddings

Ask the Countess: Recession Woes and Weddings

LuAnn de Lesseps answers your etiquette questions!


Due to the recession, I have no money to spare on dining out, movies, or any sort of entertainment at all. I have recently become good friends with a woman who is very comfortable financially and she often invites me out to dinner, first class vacations and other events and always offers to pay. I am uncomfortable living beyond my means at another's expense, even at her insistence. And frankly, I cannot afford the clothing it requires to attend many of these events. I have tried to explain to her in the past how awkward it makes me feel. How do I gently turn down her offers without offending her?

Sounds like you have a great thing going but if you're uncomfortable you should simply decline the invitation and suggest doing something at a later date and make it something you can afford. Picnics, museums and a walk in the countryside come to mind.
The Countess

Countess, my fiance and I are getting married in Hawaii in September. It is the second marriage for both of us. We have not invited any family or friends, as we would like this to be a private experience. When we return from our trip, I would like to send out some announcements of the big event. Do you have any suggestions on how the announcement should be worded? I do not want people to think we are trolling for gifts, as we are not. Because we are not having a reception or any kind of party, I would just like to announce the nuptials without anyone thinking that we are asking for gifts. Do you have any suggestions?
Thank you so much.

Congratulations! Wedding announcements can be sent up to a year after your wedding. No rush. Why not combine a beautiful announcement with your new address.
The Countess

Dear Countess,
A few times a month beginning a couple of months ago, a regular group of women have gotten together to play bridge. Some of us are good friends, and some acquaintances. One woman has a family event coming up, for which invitations were sent out. I had no expectation of being invited as I do not know this woman as well as the others do, however, the event has been mentioned in my presence at these gatherings. I feel it is discourteous and tactless for this subject to be broached. Do I say something or do I sit there politely, and do my best to ignore it? I think we will be meeting several more times before this celebration takes place. Thank you!

I think it's very rude for a person to keep bringing up a party for which you have not been invited. I would ignore it. It sounds like a family affair in any case.

My father has recently taken ill due to cancer, and I wanted to get your thoughts on something that has been occurring pretty frequently as of late. Three distant relatives continually call over and over again. I understand they are concerned, but their has to be a point where I need some space. I've tried to tell them this, but they continue to persist. What can I do?

Politely state that you will call them if there is any change with your father's status or don't pick up the phone. Do you have caller ID?

Dear Countess,
Do you think it's inappropriate to attend a destination wedding without giving the couple a gift? I would love to get them something, but after paying for the hotel and airfare, I'm already way over my budget!

It's inappropriate to not give a gift if your attending thier wedding..I would send a gift soon after the wedding that you might afford. It doesn't have to be expensive, just heartfelt.

If you could only stress one etiquette rule, what would it be? Thanks Countess!

Never complain or explain! They are both a waste of time.


Post your etiquette questions for the Countess below, and then check back next week!

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