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Author Topic: Miss Jeanne Really Needs to Talk to Cosmo  (Read 2316 times)

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MamaMootz

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Miss Jeanne Really Needs to Talk to Cosmo
« on: July 17, 2014, 11:52:30 AM »
this was on the MSN site today:

http://living.msn.com/love-relationships/24-things-no-one-tells-you-about-being-a-wedding-guest#scpshrjmd

(cut and paste link to browser because site isn't letting relationships get through there)

People will ask for cash (tastefully)? Stick to the registry?
« Last Edit: July 17, 2014, 11:55:09 AM by MamaMootz »
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gollymolly2

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Re: Miss Jeanne Really Needs to Talk to Cosmo
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2014, 12:47:53 PM »
I didn't think this was terrible. Some advice was spot on, some I disagreed with, but it didn't seem awful.

 It seemed more based on reality than the way things should be. So no, brides and grooms shouldn't ask for cash or be upset if they get gifts off the registry. But if you're not a regular wedding-attender and you're trying to figure out what kind of gift to get, it's really not bad advice at all to give gifts from the registry or cash. No, that's certainly not required under etiquette rules, but you're more likely to end up with a gift the head couple likes. Etc.

Thipu1

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Re: Miss Jeanne Really Needs to Talk to Cosmo
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2014, 11:03:18 AM »
I agree with gollymolly2.  This seems less an etiquette guide than an alert about things you might encounter.  If you're still wearing your Wedding guest training wheels, the article could be very useful.

However, dancing most certainly IS optional. 

mime

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Re: Miss Jeanne Really Needs to Talk to Cosmo
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2014, 11:21:11 AM »

The advice includes don't get too drunk, don't laugh if something goes wrong during the ceremony, try not to steal the spotlight, sit politely through the toasts, and getting tipsy in front of cute guys is a plus. Sounds like advice given to a young adult about to attend events without mom & dad for the first time, from a peer with maybe three whole such experiences under their belt.

(As for the registry: I always go with the registry. I'm not great at picking out things to suit others' tastes, and I just want the B&G to get something they want)

TootsNYC

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Re: Miss Jeanne Really Needs to Talk to Cosmo
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2014, 12:00:58 PM »
I love this one:

Quote
Don't ask the bride/groom for any favors.
Like, if they can take your picture. Or if they know the best highway for you to take home.



Umm, yeah. Lots of people need to hear this. I think especially younger people who don't have as much life experience and aren't as used to be totally self-sufficient.

Winterlight

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Re: Miss Jeanne Really Needs to Talk to Cosmo
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2014, 12:15:43 PM »
I tend to view Cosmo as a magazine for those just out of school. (I think I aged out of it  a while back.) So the tips are really aimed at people who haven't been to "adult" formal events very often.
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gellchom

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Re: Miss Jeanne Really Needs to Talk to Cosmo
« Reply #6 on: Yesterday at 01:13:45 PM »
Another bad piece of advice (let alone "rule") in this article:

"Even if it's an open bar, you should still tip the bartender."

Um, no.  You do not tip at an open (= hosts are paying for it) bar, the same as you don't tip your waiter.  The hosts are tipping the bartenders the same as they are tipping the waiters, the band, and everyone else.  So no tipping, and absolutely no tip jars to encourage it.

Tipping the bartender (or anyone else) implies that you think that your hosts are cheapskates who won't take care of the staff properly -- the same as if you attended a dinner party at their home where they had hired someone to do dishes, and you went into the kitchen and slipped them some cash.  "I presume that my hosts are exploiting you and not paying you fairly, but I am better than that, so I will make up the difference."

Some people say that they tip the bartender to encourage the bartender to remember their favorite drink, pour heavily, let them skip the line, or some other VIP service.  Very rude; you are trying to buy yourself better service than everyone else is getting -- the same as if you tried to upgrade your meal to something better than what everyone else is being served or to get yourself VIP service -- at the expense of everyone else.  "I am $20 more important than all the other guests, and I want to be sure everyone knows it."

I know there are exceptions: in Israel, at least in some circles, guests are indeed supposed to pay for the servers by tipping.  Fortunately my SIL had some extra cash when I found myself without any in my evening bag, because I didn't know about this. So there may be other places, too.  But unless you are sure that you are in one of them, don't tip.

AustenFan

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Re: Miss Jeanne Really Needs to Talk to Cosmo
« Reply #7 on: Yesterday at 05:37:41 PM »
I may get piled on but...I usually tip anyone who doesn't set the price for the services they are personally providing me. A nail tech employed by a salon gets tipped, one working out of her home setting her own prices doesn't. Spa massage therapists get tipped, the one who comes to my home for whatever price she dicates doesn't.

If there is a tip jar at an open bar I will throw a couple bucks per drink in. I assume if the hosts have a problem with it they would tell the venue to remove the jar. I do it to show appreciation for a service received, not to insult my hosts hospitality. I actually think stating that I question my hosts generosity more offensive than tipping could ever be, it seems petty to seek bad motives in what is supposed to be an expression of gratitude.

I don't know that I've ever received better service as a result, but don't see how it could be anyones business if I did. Is it different than paying for first class on a flight or is that also grandstanding? If a couple dollars here and there buys me superior service then I would consider it an excellent yet unexpected benefit and sort of a return on investment.

gellchom

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Re: Miss Jeanne Really Needs to Talk to Cosmo
« Reply #8 on: Yesterday at 08:18:33 PM »
I may get piled on but...I usually tip anyone who doesn't set the price for the services they are personally providing me. A nail tech employed by a salon gets tipped, one working out of her home setting her own prices doesn't. Spa massage therapists get tipped, the one who comes to my home for whatever price she dicates doesn't.

If there is a tip jar at an open bar I will throw a couple bucks per drink in. I assume if the hosts have a problem with it they would tell the venue to remove the jar. I do it to show appreciation for a service received, not to insult my hosts hospitality. I actually think stating that I question my hosts generosity more offensive than tipping could ever be, it seems petty to seek bad motives in what is supposed to be an expression of gratitude.

I don't know that I've ever received better service as a result, but don't see how it could be anyones business if I did. Is it different than paying for first class on a flight or is that also grandstanding? If a couple dollars here and there buys me superior service then I would consider it an excellent yet unexpected benefit and sort of a return on investment.

Re the bolded -- it's very different.  The difference is that on the plane, you are a paying customer, so you choose what level of service you want and pay for it.  It is indeed no one else's business.

But at a wedding, like any other social event, you are someone's guest.  You graciously accept whatever your hosts provide -- you don't try to upgrade it by buying yourself something that your hosts have not provided and that the other guests aren't enjoying.  If you were at a wedding reception at a hotel, and the hosts were serving chicken, it would be very rude to try to order a steak from the hotel's restaurant.  If the hosts were serving just desserts, it would be rude to have a pizza delivered.  You don't bring a superior wine just for your table.  And you don't try to buy yourself better service or "top off" what the hosts are paying. 

The bartenders don't set their own wages, but neither do the cooks, servers, or band members.  That's why the hosts do tip them -- but it is for them to do, not the guests.  Guests show the staff appreciation by thanking them.

Your point about what to do if there is a tip jar on a hosted bar is interesting.  I agree that if there is a tip jar out, it removes the sense that the guest who tips is rudely implying that the hosts aren't paying and tipping adequately (maybe they really aren't and they are the rude ones, expecting their guests to pay the staff).  Really, the hosts should tell the staff that there should absolutely not be a tip jar; the staff should not be asking or hinting for the guests to give them money.  Good venues and caterers do not allow it; they certainly shouldn't.  Maybe at a cash bar it's different -- do the hosts not pay the bartenders, and therefore also take care of their tip, at a cash bar?  In that case, both the tip jar and tipping would be acceptable, I guess, as long as it's a community where cash bars are considered acceptable in the first place.

I like your guidelines for tipping spa and salon workers.  I never thought about using whether the person sets the prices as a benchmark; I agree, it's a good system.

AustenFan

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Re: Miss Jeanne Really Needs to Talk to Cosmo
« Reply #9 on: Today at 03:45:41 PM »
In all your situations you paint the tipper as trying to upgrade or buy their way into something better, which is where I think the disconnect is coming from for me since that has never been my intent, tipping is merely the social norm and monetary appreciation for a service someone is providing me. Buying 'up' never crossed my mind, and I don't think I've ever received superior service for it, but I wouldn't be surprised if I'm recognized as a generous tipper at places I frequent.

I see your point and think the motivation for the act of tipping can make it rude, but IMO tipping itself isn't inherently rude or a way to cast aspersions on the hosts generosity.

gellchom

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Re: Miss Jeanne Really Needs to Talk to Cosmo
« Reply #10 on: Today at 04:32:08 PM »
Okay, I see where we are talking past each other.  My point wasn't about the bad motives of anyone who makes this mistake, just that I disagree with the Cosmo article which says guests should tip at open bars.  I'm sorry for being misleading if that's what it seemed like to you.

The point is this: customers (in the case of a wedding, that's the hosts) tip.  Guests don't.  No matter what their motives.

Returning to my analogy above, if you were invited to a dinner party at someone's home, and they had hired someone for the evening to help with serving and doing the dishes, would you tip that person?  I hope not.  It really would be out of place.  If I were your host, I would be really irritated, the same as I would be if you "helped" me by going into the kitchen and "fixing" the seasoning of the food that I was going to serve.  It's one thing to offer to help, quite another just to go ahead and take it upon yourself to do it.  Well, the same is true of paying the helpers at someone else's home: I suppose you could offer to contribute, but you don't interfere with your hosts' planning and just go ahead and do it.  The fact that your motives are nothing but the best doesn't change that. 

Similarly, if your friend treats you to lunch for your birthday, you might offer to leave the tip.  But simply to leave an extra tip on top of what she leaves for the server would be rude.  Again, the motives are irrelevant.

And a wedding reception, like any other party or hospitality, is simply an extension of the same principle.  The hosts, not their guests, pay, including the tip.  Guests stay out of it.

And because that is the way it is, for a guest to violate that convention by tipping looks odd.  But the point isn't that it will necessarily be taken as either an insult to the hosts' generosity or rudely trying to buy superior service -- it could also just make the guest look clueless or perhaps conforming to a foreign system where tipping by guests is the norm.  Or that they have been reading Cosmopolitan:)
« Last Edit: Today at 04:44:08 PM by gellchom »

AustenFan

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Re: Miss Jeanne Really Needs to Talk to Cosmo
« Reply #11 on: Today at 05:07:13 PM »
I disagree that things can be summed up in such a black/white fashion and think your stringent rule fails to take situational appropriateness into account. 

Due to my job I'm frequently hosted at events that cover both the social and professional obligations of my industry. I'm certainly not going to be noticed as the lady from XYZ company who never has a couple dollars for the tip jar, it would reflect poorly on me and the company I'm representing. If a private host hires a bartender and there is a tip jar I'm going to use it, if that wasn't appropriate the tip jar wouldn't be there.

I'm not going to chase down my waitress or the kitchen staff, the situational appropriateness of the situation is no longer there so it's not a comparable scenario.

I don't think it's possible for etiquette to cover every situation that comes up and that people need to use their own judgment. To me it's like how commenting negatively on someones appearance is rude, until you're telling them they've tucked the back of their skirt into their nylons or have spinach in their teeth. There are mitigating circumstances for everything.