Vintage Saturday: Amy Vanderbilt’s Advice on Accepting Jewelry

Cherished readers, this excerpt comes from Amy Vanderbilt’s Every Day Etiquette circa 1956 page 191. The Lady finds this advice interesting because in our times, people accept all kinds of gifts from whomever offers them, never really giving much thought to the look of it all. This young lady wrote to Miss Vanderbilt and asked if she must give back a costume jewelry bracelet. Miss Vanderbilt responds with the passage below:

No, costume jewelry does not come within this ban. An un-engaged man should not give to a girl such things as real diamonds, pearls, or mink coats. He must avoid anything so personal as underthings. A recent news picture showed an important American diplomat fastening on his daughter’s wrist a large rhinestone bracelet which, it was explained, was a “gift from one of her boy friends”. So, you see, gifts of costume jewelry are quite all right, even though the cost may be high. After all he could have sent you a spray of orchids that could have cost the same amount of money or entertained you at an equally expensive dinner.¬†

The Lady agrees with Miss Vanderbilt…it is always nice to have a durable gift!

Best Vintage Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett

Wedding Wednesday: Thoughts on Showers

Cherished readers, The Lady has attended many showers in her life and has been asked about the planning of countless others. Here are some of the more common questions I receive about wedding showers.

Display or acknowledgment of gifts of money: The Lady realizes that at showers, the bride-to-be opens the gifts of those attending, but to open each envelope that might contain a check or cash and to announce to those gathered how much someone gave is quite gauche, in The Lady’s opinion. To announce that someone gave you a modest amount after someone gave you a large amount can cause undue embarrassment. It is better to avoid public discussion of money at all costs.

Multiple showers or engagement parties: The Lady cautions against having too many parties. Should you have an extravagant party announcing your engagement, any showers given by friends should be small affairs. The financial strain placed on those who feel obligated to give multiple gifts is too great.

Work gifts: In many places a group gift is generally what is given by the coworkers of the engaged. Usually, not everyone in the department is invited to the wedding, but is it necessary to give an individual gift if you have already contributed to the group gift? The Lady says that it is not.

Family as hosts for showers: In the past it was frowned upon for the family of the bride to host a shower due to the appearance of the family asking for gifts for the bride. The Lady realizes that times have changed. A better suggestion would be for the host to be a friend of the bride and for the family to perhaps contribute ‘behind the scenes’ by supplying the food or decorations.

Cover charge to attend a shower: Believe it or not, The Lady was once issued an invitation asking for a contribution to pay for the buffet supper served at a shower. This is completely improper. You do not charge your guests for the privilege of attending your shower and giving you a gift! (The HORROR!!!)

Best Shower Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett