Monday, May 17, 2010

Top 5 Checklist for Bridesmaids

You’ve just been asked to be a bridesmaid in a wedding party, congratulations! Aside from helping plan her bridal shower, helping her into her dress and standing on her side holding a 10 lb. bouquet, here are some other helpful tips that you could use to make sure your bride doesn’t turn into “Bridezilla” during the wedding process.

1. Help her find “The Dress”
Photo Credit: www.jeutonic.com
Agreeing with every dress choice and chiming in about how beautiful the extra tulle makes her look isn’t helpful. Bring a camera to take photos of the bride in each dress she tries on to give her a better idea of the fit. Also be there to step in whenever a pushy salesperson is trying to sell the bride a “one of a kind” avant-garde dress that’s worth 3 arms and a leg. This process should be a fun, adventurous, bonding discovery for you and the bride.

2. Help with the Gift Registry!
Photo Credit: www.wedding-planning-makes-perfect.com
Most men dread being in any store all day. Help out the groom and bride by volunteering to help her set up appointments and scan wedding presents. Make sure she is choosing reasonable items to use and also some fun things too.

3. Be the Wedding Representative!
Photo Credit: www.bride.ca
There are always last minute details and information for the wedding party. Be the life line for the bride and groom and communicate to the wedding party any last minute details or information. This could really help to avoid any wedding party disasters.


4. Keep the Bride Calm and Collected
Photo Credit: www.weddingplanninginstitute.com
It’s her special day and things are going to be hectic! Try to pull the fuse on some of the blow-ups and make sure the bride has everything she needs before getting dressed. Maybe having some snacks packed for any emergency hungry wedding party members or the bride. Also make sure that any staff working the event speaks to you or the Maid of Honor in order to not worry the Bride about a wedding d├ęcor or guest issue.

5. Enjoy the Reception, It’s a Party!
Photo Credit: www.engagements.ca
Whether the special couple is the life of the party or into food and alcohol, enjoy the atmosphere and the celebration! Dance, drink, and eat! Put aside anything negative that might be going on with bad guests or wilting flowers, the bride wants to see that her family and friends are enjoying her reception and sharing in her special day!

Monday, May 10, 2010

How to Properly Set Your Table

So now that we've all learned about napkin etiquette, we can graduate to properly setting up a table! Fun Fun!

Writing Credit to www.napkinfolding.net.


There are a lot of variations in the way one can set up a table. The setup is dependent on what is being served and the formality of the meal. The following are guidelines and pictures for general table setting.

(Table Setting w/ Napkin on Left of Forks)


(Table Setting w/ Napkin on Plate)
The following are the items included in the left photo listed in order from left to right: salad plate, bread plate, napkin, salad fork, dinner fork, dinner plate, dinner knife, water glass, teaspoon, soup spoon and wine glass in the upper right.

Table Setting Guidelines

  • The napkin can be placed to the left of the forks, underneath the forks, on the plate or in a wine glass.

  • The bottom of the main dinner plate should be 1-2 inches from the edge of the table.

  • The silverware should be about half an inch apart from each other and the plates.

  • The bottom of the silverware should all be lined up with each other.

  • The salad plate can be placed either to the left of the forks or above it.

  • The bread plate is placed to the upper right of the salad plate.

  • Forks are placed on the left side of the dinner plate and knife and spoons are placed on the right.

  • The cutting-edge of the knife should be facing the plate.

  • Silverware that you use first should be placed farthest from the plate. The fork that you use first should be placed the far left of the plate and the spoon that you use first should be to the far right of the plate.

  • The water glass/goblet should be placed an inch above the point of the knife, with other glasses being lined up slightly below and to the right of the previous glass.

  • A butter knife can be placed horizontally on top of the bread plate if needed.

  • A name card can be placed directly above the dinner plate.
  • Monday, May 3, 2010

    Etiquette about Napkins?!

    Writing credit and Photos given to www.NapkinFoldingGuide.com

    About Napkins:

    Table Napkins

    Today, discriminating hosts and hostesses have a wide variety of napkin products from which to select. For formal dining, there is the cloth napkin, the paper napkin being reserved for more informal settings.

    Cloth napkins come in several sizes, each size tailored to a specific use. A beverage napkin, used when serving drinks and hors d’oeuvres, like most cloth napkins, is square, about five inches to each side. A luncheon napkin is a couple of inches larger, and a dinner napkin larger still. The theory, evidently, is that the more food and drink that is served, the more potential there is for spillage, so the bigger the napkin must be to catch it.

    Cloth napkins may be purchased in a rainbow of colors and a variety of fabrics, imprinted with custom designs and monograms, and can even come with matching tablecloths. However, a high-thread-count, white, linen or linen-cotton mix damask napkin is still considered the zenith of elegance.

    Though a wedding reception should be considered a formal occasion, only the very wealthy can afford to have a catered meal for scores of guests, one that is served on fine place settings where cloth napkins have been set out. An acceptable cost-cutting compromise for big celebrations including weddings is to use a paper napkin whose size, heft, and finish resemble a cloth napkin. They can be ordered embossed with the bride and groom’s monograms or otherwise tailored to the buyer’s specifications.

    Napkin Etiquette:

    Ready to Eat

    Whether the napkin is cloth or paper, when in polite company, a napkin is to be used with a measure of etiquette, so as not to offend other diners through a display of boorishness. (You’re excused from these rules only when the napkin you are offered is one of those flimsy little paper things that pop out of tabletop dispensers – the kind of “napkin” you cannot place on your lap expecting it to not blow away within 20 seconds; even here, however, try to keep boorish behavior in check.)

    Rule 1: When you’re given a napkin, use it. Don’t let it sit beside your plate. It was given to you for wiping your face when you need to and to protect your lap from spills. Leaving it beside your plate marks you as a slob.

    Rule 2: Wait for the host to pick up and unfold his napkin before you do the same with yours.

    Rule 3: If the napkin is larger than your lap, fold it such that it just covers your lap.

    Rule 4: In polite society, movements at the dinner table tend to be small, so don’t make any ostentatious displays like wildly shaking the napkin to open it. Just unfold it. And when you wipe your mouth, don’t use the napkin as you would a wash cloth during your morning shower; gently dab at your mouth.

    Rule 5: Don’t wait for the food to be served before you open your napkin. Should your napkin still be sitting on the table when the food arrives, the server may have to create space to set your plate.

    Rule 6: Should you have to leave the table during the meal, leave the napkin, loosely folded, on your seat or on the table to the left of your plate. Also put the loosely folded napkin to the left of your plate when you’re done eating, never on the plate.

    Waiter

    Rule 7: The place for a napkin? In your lap. It is not tucked into your pants, nor does it belong tucked into your shirt collar. However, if you are in a milieu where that kind of behavior is acceptable, don’t be afraid to go along. For example, diners from Southern Italy (or southern New Jersey) have long known that a bowl of spaghetti topped with marinara sauce can be better enjoyed when you don’t have to worry about the red stuff splattering on your shirt. Many Italian and Italian-American diners therefore tuck the napkin into their collars as a matter of course. Feel free to do the same. Live! Enjoy!

    But what about that waiter who carries a napkin draped over one arm? In part, it’s practicality. It’s readily available to mop up any accidental spills or other messes at your table. But the practice dates back a couple of hundred years in France; that was how waiters carried the napkins they would distribute to diners. Napkins have been in use for thousands of years.

    It’s possible that cavemen at their wooly mammoth barbeques wiped the grease from their mouths using the animal’s pelt... and then rubbed it in their hair to get that suave, slicked-back look. But we don’t really know that. What we do know is that, by the Bronze Age, it’s likely something like a napkin was in use in many parts of the world. The first recorded use of the napkin was by the Romans. When that hearty eater, Buffetus Allucaneatus, reached for his napkin at the Roman dinner table, he didn’t find a cloth. What he used was some wadded up unbaked dough, which he pressed to his face. That removed whatever bits and morsels of food were sticking to it. Later, if he wished, he could bake and eat his napkin, morsels and all.

    Scottish Recipes

    With the fall of Rome, Europe entered that slovenly, napkin-less period of the Dark Ages, with its uncouth barons and unwashed princesses wiping their hands on their tunics and mopping their faces with their shirttails and cuffs. We don’t know how knights encased in steel armor managed to wipe off their mouths.

    By the time of the Renaissance, the French had a single, large communal napkin about the size of a table cloth which everyone at the table used. It may have been the precursor of the table cloth. It got smaller and smaller over the years until everyone had his own napkin. By the 1700’s, the French aristocracy had even promulgated rules of napkin etiquette, some of which we still use today throughout the Western world; e.g., we don’t blow our nose into our napkin. Or anyone else’s napkin, either.