Author Archives: Kinsey

Rules of EtiKate: Weddings

Rules of EtiKate: Weddings

If you are anything like me, you are either at the age or approaching the age in which it seems that every other day, a new friend on Facebook is getting engaged. Engagements mean weddings, which are both exciting and nerve-racking. What does Dressy Casual even mean? What is an acceptable gift to bring? Which fork do I use again?


William and Kate attend numerous weddings for their friends, extended family members, and royals from around the world. They are both always dressed impeccably for the occasion and know exactly how to behave as to not draw attention to themselves on someone else’s special day. Here are some general rules of etiquette when attending a wedding, from what to wear to how to behave at the reception.

Dress Code

You receive a beautiful wedding invitation in the mail and get super excited to wear that great dress you just bought, until you see the dress code. It seems a bit like a foreign language. Here are some of the most popular wedding dress codes translated:

Black Tie: Tuxedo for men and a long formal dress for women.
White Tie: Even more formal than black tie, men should have a black coat with longer tails, with a white vest, shirt, and tie. Women should choose an even more formal long gown and wear gloves.
Semi-Formal: A suit for men and a knee-length or mid-calf length dress for women.
Cocktail Attire: Suits for men should be dark in color and women should wear a semi-formal, elegant dress.
Dressy Casual: While men do not need a suit, a sport coat still works for dressy casual, or a nice button-down and slacks. Women should aim for a dress that is in between a sundress and a cocktail dress.
Casual: Men can get away with khakis and a polo shirt and women can wear a sundress and sandals. Even though the invitation says casual, most experts agree that it is not acceptable for either men or women to show up to a wedding in jeans.

While in the past it has been frowned upon to wear black to a wedding, it is now perfectly acceptable, as long as the dress is the proper amount of formalness. Etiquette rules also say it is acceptable to wear white to a summer wedding. If Pippa can do it, so can you. Furthermore, be aware of where the wedding will be held. Dress appropriately for the couple’s venue or religious facility.

Ceremony

During the ceremony, guests should be respectful of the seriousness of the event. Talking should be kept to a minimum and flash photography can be distracting to the couple or to other guests. Make sure your phone is on silent. If you are comfortable participating in their religious activities during the ceremony, go for it; if not, just sit quietly in your seat. Finally, do not bring an unexpected guest to the ceremony if the couple did not expressly note on the invitation that you could bring a guest. This is their special day, so you should respect who they want at their ceremony.

Gifts

Choosing the perfect wedding gift can be both exhilarating and stress-inducing. It is best to look at the couple’s wedding registry to get a feel for what they may need but it is not mandatory to buy a gift from the registry. Be creative but keep the couple in mind one hundred percent. Cash gifts are also considered completely acceptable by modern etiquette. It is now most commonly asked of guests to send gifts to a specific address instead of bringing them directly to the wedding, as it is difficult for the couple to then lug all of the gifts home after the reception. Also, according to Emily Post, gifts should be sent “before the wedding or as soon after the wedding as possible.”

Reception

Finally, you’ve made it to the reception! It’s time to party! Be respectful of the hard work and dedication the bride put into planning this evening. Do not make side comments about her decorations, her music, or her food. Have fun and be respectful of the traditions they are going to partake in; be present for toasts, cake cutting, and the bouquet toss. Most importantly, remember that this is the bride and groom’s day. Do not draw too much attention to yourself or make it all about you. Congratulate the bride and groom and have fun celebrating with them!

Embracing Everyday Gracefulness

Embracing Everyday Gracefulness

When I was the ripe old age of five years old, I started taking ballet classes. While I was never good enough to become a professional ballerina (even though I dreamed about it), I learned a lot in my ten years of pink tights, ballerina buns, and plies. As I grew older, I had toContinue Reading

Rules of EtiKate: Cell Phones

Rules of EtiKate: Cell Phones

As we have discussed before on WWKD, we rarely see Kate with a cell phone. She does not walk down the street chatting into her iPhone or text while she shops. She focuses on the people she is with and the world around her, something we can all do a little more often. I amContinue Reading

Rules of EtiKate: Traveling

Rules of EtiKate: Traveling

Kate and William are known to enjoy traveling, whether it be for engagements in the US and other parts of the world, or going to Africa on holiday. Wherever you are traveling to this holiday season and beyond, here are some tips and tricks to maintain a regal elegance even when you are 30,000 feetContinue Reading

Regal Reads: The Regal Rules for Girls by Jerramy Fine

Regal Reads: The Regal Rules for Girls by Jerramy Fine

After reading Jerramy Fine’s memoir Someday My Prince Will Come, I fell in love with her witty writing and her “dreams do come true” attitude. I immediately wanted to check out her other book The Regal Rules for Girls.    The tagline for this book is “how to find love, a life- and maybe evenContinue Reading

Rules of EtiKate: Hostessing

Rules of EtiKate: Hostessing

Now that we have all learned how to have a flawless table setting, we can start hosting fabulous dinner parties! Whether it is a small get-together, a swanky cocktail party, or a five-course formal sit-down dinner, here are some etiquette tips on how to be a gracious and regal hostess. Send out invitations far inContinue Reading

Rules of EtiKate: Setting a Formal Table

Rules of EtiKate: Setting a Formal Table

While the last two EtiKate posts have been a bit aspirational (Meeting the Queen and Curtsying), this week’s post will focus on setting a formal table, a skill we can all use, whether it be at our next dinner party or the next time we sit down with our takeout. This diagram from Emily PostContinue Reading

Rules of EtiKate: Curtsying

Rules of EtiKate: Curtsying

This week’s EtiKate will look at the act of curtsying. Curtsying is a gesture of respect or reverence made by women by bending the knees with one foot forward and lowering the body. It is considered the female version of the bow. In the past, women would curtsy to anyone of superior social rank. WhileContinue Reading

Rules of EtiKate: Meeting the Queen

Rules of EtiKate: Meeting the Queen

This week, we will be starting a new series centered around tips and tricks for royal etiquette and how to incorporate those tips into your daily life. While we may never marry Prince Harry and become British royalty, Kate has given us a stunning example of how to act regal and ladylike at all times.Continue Reading

Charity Spotlight: Only Connect

Charity Spotlight: Only Connect

Only Connect is a charity intended to create a positive community for prisoners, ex-prisoners, and at-risk young people to help them find their value. They do this through six different programs across London that provide training, support, and creative opportunities. These programs not only help the people involved but are intended to provide contributions toContinue Reading

Charity Spotlight: The Imperial College Healthcare Charity

Charity Spotlight: The Imperial College Healthcare Charity

The Imperial College Healthcare Charity is an organization that raises and manages charitable funds for the five hospitals in the Imperial College Healthcare Trust. These hospitals are Charting Cross, Hammersmith, Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea, St. Mary’s, and Western Eye. Their aim in raising funds for these hospitals is to improve the experience of their patientsContinue Reading

Charity Spotlight: PeacePlayers International

Charity Spotlight: PeacePlayers International

PeacePlayers International (PPI) is an organization aimed at bridging gaps and bringing children together in communities in Northern Ireland, South Africa, Israel, and Cyprus. They do this through a “peacebuilding-and-leadership development curriculum” that teaches them various tactics for improving their individual communities. Their mission is “to unite, educate and inspire young people in divided communities”Continue Reading

Charity Spotlight: BeatBullying

Charity Spotlight: BeatBullying

BeatBullying is an organization that seeks to create an online support forum for young people experiencing bullying, either on the Internet or in school. What makes BeatBullying unique is that they use highly-trained young people as their mentors. That means that if a student or other young person seeks help by registering on the site,Continue Reading

Charity Spotlight: Together For Short Lives

Charity Spotlight: Together For Short Lives

The Association for Children’s Palliative Care, now called Together For Short Lives, is a charity for children with life-threatening conditions and the people who support them. They work closely with hospitals and children’s hospices by raising funds to support and sustain their work with the children. Their primary goals are for every child and theirContinue Reading

Charity Spotlight: The Royal Foundation

Charity Spotlight: The Royal Foundation

The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry was established in 2009 by William and Harry and became fully operational in 2011 when Kate joined as an official patron. The purpose of The Royal Foundation is to act as a vehicle for their individual philanthropic endeavors. The foundation has aContinue Reading