Kombucha Signature Drink Mocktails


{Photo: itsavegworldafterall.com}

I was late to the kombucha craze, and on purpose too.  If there is a trend that everyone is on I generally run in the other direction but when I started to eat cleaner and cut way back on alchohol consumption I started mixing my own mocktails in the evenings using seltzer, lemons, ginger juice, cayenne and herbs.  My mocktails looked as pretty as those a proper mixologist would make.  One busy week I was looking for a short-cut and decided to give into kombucha.  It's replaced my cocktails 90% of the time and it's way healthier.  The movement toward drinking less across generations is real and companies like Curious Elixirs make is easy and stylish.   With all of these options this wedding season's signature drinks should include at least one mocktail!

How to Wear White Tie



{The Queen of England, President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, The Duke of Edinburgh} 
Photo Credit: Reuters

So this has come up a couple of times this week with my wedding clients.  What is formal, what is black tie, what is white tie.  I realized there is some confusion.  When a bride recently asked me if she could have black tie on the invitation I pointed out that if the groomsmen and groom were all wearing blue suits then you couldn't ask the guests to come in black tie.  Then after seeing the POTUS this week in London in a bizarrely ill-fitted waistcoat (Google it), I thought some clarification may be helpful.  The Brits do it the best so I re-posted below the British GQ article on "The White Tie Dress Code Explained" 
What is a white tie dress code? Black tie vs white tie: what's the difference? What to wear to a white tie event? Can you wear white tie to a black tie event? What do you wear to a white tie wedding? and White tie etiquette.





Afternoon Tea Party & Etiquette


Looking forward to next weekend's Afternoon Tea and Etiquette at The Inn at Fernbrook Farms.  My love of tea parties goes way back, well before I started in the events industry.  I happily inherited my great-grandmother's tea service and china before I had a house to put it in.  I dutifully polished her monogrammed silver and pressed the linens.  I love the formality and the simplicity of an afternoon tea party.  Scones, cucumber sandwiches, sweets and some pretty flowers are an easy way to entertain guests.  Add some sparkling wine and it's even better.  Registration link for tickets https://www.fernbrookfarms.com/event/gatherdinner-copy/

Vintage Brides Wedding Etiquette, 1961


Flipping through my vintage etiquette books and found a surprise tucked inside. I don’t know how I never saw this original press release from Grosset & Dunlap from 1961 announcing the publication of The Brides Book of Etiquette by the editors of Brides magazine. I was reading through the book for lost traditions and my favorite might have been the pages about displaying the wedding presents. Gifts used to be sent to the bride’s home, opened and displayed in the dining room. I remember early in my career I planned a wedding in Charleston, SC and the mother of the bride hired someone to stay at the house while the reception took place at another location. I thought it was odd then but learned this practice was because the wedding was announced in the paper, thieves would know that all of the family members were out celebrating and the house and potentially loads of wedding gifts would be unattended. #mannersmonday

Everyday Tipping Etiquette



I had the pleasure to comment the much asked question of when to tip, how much and to who for News12 New Jersey.  The tip jar has maybe been one of the most confusing additions for some.  While you're under no obligation to tip each time, if it's a cafe or establishment you frequent you may want to toss a dollar or two in the jar from time to time.  You can watch the video for more but here is the quick summary:

Food/Beverage

Restaurants: 15-20% of the pre tax bill is standard.  Don't ever leave no tip.  If you have a grievance bring it to the attention of the manager or maitre d'.  Often tips in restaurants are pooled together so by stiffing one server you're penalizing the rest of the staff.

Buffet Restaurants: 10% of the total bill 
Delivery/Take Out: 10-15%
Bartenders: $1-2 per drink

Beauty
Hair stylists/colorists: 15-20% of the total
Manicurists: 15% of the total
Waxer: 15% of the total

Travel
Bellhop: $1-2 per bag handled
Taxi: 10-15%
Housekeeping: $3-5 per night.  Remember to tip each day since housekeeping staff may change during your stay.

Home
Cleaning staff, dog walkers and babysitters: Cash or a gift equivalent to one week's pay
Movers: $20-50 each person depending on the move.

Some Tips to Skip:  
Mechanics, cable installers, flight attendants, UPS/FedEx drivers



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