Wedding Gifts: Can you use them before the big day?

Q. My sister is getting married and she wants to use her wedding gifts before the wedding. I always heard that it was improper to use your gifts before the wedding.

A. If your sister receives gifts before her wedding date she may use them in good conscience.

Tipping at the Salon: Don’t Tip the Owner

Q. I go to a salon where the hairdresser sets his own prices, a cut and color is approx $250.00. Do I really add 20% on top of that? His prices are high because he is good and he can get that price, but it seems that a $50.00 tip on top of the charge is high.

Furthermore, a girl who used to work at a spa, now has opened her own facial/skin care business. She also sets her own prices, and I am unsure since she is the owner, about tipping her. I’m not a cheap person, and firmly believe that hourly service people deserve good tips, but I’m really confused about the high prices set by the independent operators. It seems that the tipping scenario is almost out of control.

A. Because the cost of services has risen, the cost of tipping has also risen. If your hairdresser is the owner of the salon you are not required to tip him. If he is not the owner, a tip of 15%-20% is in order.

Because the woman is the owner of the spa, you are not required to tip her.

Wedding Announcements: Who should place the announcements?

Q. Who is responsible for placing the engagement notices in the paper? My husband and I are hosting and paying for our daughter’s wedding and we placed the engagement notice in our local paper prior to a shower that her future in-laws were giving. We communicated to the mother and to our daughter that we were doing this and that the paper said they would run it 2-4 months prior to the wedding. When the announcement ran in the paper earlier than was expected, our future son in law told us he was upset that we ran the announcement and that he and our daughter should have placed the announcement themselves so they would know exactly when it would run. There is no way of controlling when our paper runs announcements; they appear when there is enough space.

If we are managing all of the arrangements for the wedding, including paying for it and communicating to everyone along the way, who should place the announcements?

A. Engagement announcements are generally placed by the bride’s parents or her immediate family. Your future son-in-law shouldn’t be upset with you for something occurring which is out of your control. Mistakes occur.

Parents’ Wedding Anniversary: How to Word the Invitation

Q. I’m throwing a 50th anniversary party for my parents. I want the invitation to say:


The children of Mr. and Mrs. Smith request the pleasure of your company

at a dinner reception…


The problem is that I’m an only child, but I want to use the word

children to include my husband and 2 children. Can I use this wording?


Also, it’s a formal reception, but it’s between 1:30 and 6:30 on a

Sunday. Can I still call it a Dinner reception? There will be a cocktail

hour from 1:30 – 2:30 and then the guests will enter the room for a 5

course dinner.


A. You may use the word “children” or you may use “the family “. Because a five course meal will be served, “Dinner Reception” is appropriate.