Wednesday, November 25, 2015         


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Wedding date card holds no obligation

By McClatchy News Services


Question: My cousin is having her wedding in Napa Valley in September. She recently sent save-the-date cards. I thought, great, I'll try not to book anything that conflicts with her wedding. But I live on the East Coast and am not certain I'll be able to afford to travel out there. My mother happened to mention this to my aunt (my cousin's mother), who was highly offended. Apparently she thinks save-the-date cards mean, "You'd better be there." My mom offered to pay my way, but I'm a little ticked off. I'd like to be there -- I love my cousin -- but I'm just not sure I can. And I'm a grown adult, so I don't want to have my mother pay for my airfare and hotel just to keep her sister happy. What should I do?

Answer: Sending a save-the-date card is not like planting a flag in unexplored territory and claiming it for Spain (or England, or France, etc.). Save-the-date cards are intended as a way of letting people know about your wedding; they in no way obligate the recipient to attend. Your aunt is totally out of line. I would thank your mom for her offer (which is generous of her), but tell her that if you go, you'd want to pay your own way. Assure everyone that you are keeping the date open and will try to be there, but you will not be able to make a decision until closer to the wedding date.

Q: Should I fold bills when I tip housekeeping, or lay them out flat?

A: It doesn't matter whether the bills are folded, flat or made into little origami birds. Housekeeping will just be happy that you remembered to tip. Just make sure they're somewhere obvious, like on the bed.

Email travel etiquette questions to Lesley Carlin at

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