Cat Chat episode 12: Be my guest

Oh, admit it.

You’ve forgotten to RSVP to a wedding. You’ve written a check to the bride and groom because you forgot to go to the bank on Friday. And you’ve worn black to the hotel reception.

(OK, I did.)

But are these things truly faux pax in the world of weddings and formal events?

Well, I sit down with Sandra Williams, owner and event designer of Finishing Touch Hawaii, to learn more about proper guest etiquette to formal events.

And let me tell you, I need the advice!

Got a suggestion for someone I should interview? Got an idea for a topic I should tackle? Post ‘em here. We love hearing from you!


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17 Responses to “Cat Chat episode 12: Be my guest”

  1. matti2d January 25, 2011 at 9:30 pm #

    useful interview this week, Cat.

    when we got married, my wife’s friend told us to register for anything and everything that we could imagine (at Macy’s). even if we didn’t want it, we put it on there. Turns out, Macy’s has (had? it’s been a while) a pretty good return policy for registry stuff so we were able to return the stuff we really didn’t want and recieve store credit. we were able, with that credit, to fill out sets that we didn’t get (china, stemware, etc), purchase a sofa/loveseat set for our place and even have a little left over for Xmas shopping the next year.

    the problem with not registering is that you’ll sometimes get that guest (or guests) who don’t find much left on the registry and will then go to Ross and pick up a set of dishes and call it a day (or even re-gift something). then, you’re stuck with that ugly floral pattern for years. jjjj

    • SANDRAWILLIAMS January 26, 2011 at 3:27 am #

      @matti2d I agree! Most people chooses not to register these days because they think wedding registry is ‘old fashion’, but there are always people who prefer giving a gift instead of monetary gift. Registry is helpful for both the wedding couple and the guests! It gives the couple what they really want as a gift, and it saves the guests some headaches to guess what the couple want for their wedding. It’s definitely a win-win!

    • nonstopmari January 26, 2011 at 4:49 am #

      @SANDRAWILLIAMS @matti2d i love registries, they take out the guesswork and the curse of two toasters. and re rsvps, what i really love are e-vites: no stamps or addressing, and instant replies, confirmed.

    • matti2d January 26, 2011 at 10:53 am #

      @nonstopmari @SANDRAWILLIAMS sometimes, if we look too late, the registry is slim pickings, but we can bundle a number of smaller ticket items to an appropriately priced gift. my wife often balks at this, wishing, instead, to go for the one big thing (china sets, punch bowl, etc). I say “who cares?” if they registered for it they must want it, and they can return it, anyway. (btw, she’s the one who introduced me to the “register for everything and return it for credit” strategy in the first place, so I’m not sure what the problem is…also, I’m typing this from the sofa we bought with the return credit!!)

  2. Melissa808 January 25, 2011 at 11:25 pm #

    Is there a cheat sheet for this? I need one!

    • Cat January 27, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

      Tell me about it. I’m a horrible guest, by these standards!

  3. nathankam January 26, 2011 at 12:13 am #

    Wow, I’ve actually been a good guest in the past. LOL! Being in PR and doing our fair share of special events, the RSVP process drives us crazy sometimes. Great tips Sandra. I also realize I should have hired a planner/experts for many projects. I know better now.

  4. CodyZamboni January 26, 2011 at 1:12 am #

    I’m all for small intimate weddings.
    Pot luck at the beach with family and friends is how I would do it.
    The most important thing is the marriage, not the wedding.
    The rest of your life commitment versus only 7 hrs of your life
    Gee, what’s more important ??
    IMO, people tend to forget that.
    80% of all the most extravagant, expensive, coordinated to the tiniest detail perfect type wedding receptions I’ve been to, have all ended in divorce, or the marriage is in serious trouble
    The worst one, the marriage only lasted 11 months.
    The bride’s parents, to this day, are still paying off the 2nd mtg they took out to pay for it.
    For that wedding, I was late, I wore jeans, and broke a few other etiquette rules.
    Does any of my rule breaking even matter, given the marriage didn’t even last a year ??????????
    Duh ??????
    IMO, in an ideal world, everyone would have simple, small scale, intimate, low cost wedding days.
    and IF the couple is still together after 15 years ,then you can have the full blown, gaudy, all out wedding reception of your dreams.
    And I think, waiting 15 years, the wedding reception will mean alot more.
    And be more memorable.
    To everyone involved. The couple, their families, and guests.
    Prince William and the royal family should take note.

  5. johngarcia January 26, 2011 at 1:55 am #

    I’m with Nate — I’ve been a pretty good guest! haha

  6. turkfontaine January 26, 2011 at 2:04 am #

    one of the nicest traditions of Portuguese weddings is the “Copo d’ Agua”. just popped into my head for some reason. la, la. la

  7. Annoddah_Dave January 26, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    Cat: Another wedding related post? Sign of things to come??
    How about interviewing some coach’s wife. What makes them stick to a guy who spends so much time on the job. I wonder what line they used to convince their wife that their married life would be 24/7 bliss? How do they explain it to their kids? How do they create quality family time? What advice do they have to women who contemplate dating a coach or someone so commited to their work? As a coach’s wife, who is their hero? What do they hate most about the job? What is their favorite meal creation?

    • Cat January 27, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

      @Annoddah_Dave Hmm. Interesting! Any coach in mind?

  8. M January 26, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    Hello Cat!
    Is someone planning a wedding? :)

    • Cat January 27, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

      @M Don’t get ahead of yourself! :)

    • SANDRAWILLIAMS February 2, 2011 at 4:46 am #

      @Cat @M Cat, you should come to our event Social Light to learn more about event and wedding planning! It’s at the Ihilani on March 27 ( It’s a one day event seminar followed by an amazing after party – open bar, cigar bar, chocolate bar, swag bag, drawings….etc. Try to come!

  9. WildeOscar January 29, 2011 at 2:48 am #

    Cat Chat has been at the pinnacle of video infotainment for at least five weeks now. Another great episode! Most events around workplaces with more than 50 employees should have professional planners. It is such a waste of time and energy to have an employee with no idea how to do an event other than a backyard barbeque sending dozens of e-mails and trying to keep track of all these details.

    The signs say that 2011 is an auspicious year for Cat, and now is a propitious time to begin planning.

    • SANDRAWILLIAMS February 2, 2011 at 3:28 am #

      @WildeOscar Speaking with our past clients, most of them will probably say that the amount of headaches and time we save them (by having us plan their events) is priceless. Event planning is a very time consuming task, and one can be sucked into planning all the small details and forget about the big picture – which is having a great time at your own party! As much as we recommend working with a professional planner for an event or wedding, we also realize that alot of people like to plan their own event – the “DIY – fers”. Finishing Touch has a one day event we are putting on, called “Social Light” to help those who like to plan their own wedding and events. Along with some movers and shakers in the Hawaii event industry, we will be giving out all the secrets and tips of how professionals plan amazing events! For those who love event planning and want to learn more about 2011 event trends, Social Light is a must-attend event! Info and registration to Social Light can be found on the website.

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