Newport Manners & Etiquette: Black Dress Weddings, Thank-You Note Etiquette & What’s Up Dilemma

Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Didi Lorillard, GoLocalWorcester Manners + Etiquette Expert

Thank-you note and tipping etiquette, Time's Up workplace dilemma, and all-black dress weddings were subject of queries to Didi Lorillard this week at NewportManners

Are Black Bridesmaid Dresses Absolutely TOO Dismal?

Q. In light of the Time's Up movement, would it be too dreary to ask my bridesmaids to wear black to a June wedding? Everyone looked so handsome and beautiful last night during the 75th Golden Globe Awards wearing black, but I don't want to give a negative connotation on my wedding day. Please advise. By the way, I'm definitely wearing a black wedding dress whether my mother likes it or not! My fiancé will be wearing a black tux.  Name Withheld

A. Your timing couldn't be better. Even without the Time's Up Movement, black bridesmaid dresses would be ever so chic and completely in vogue. The black bridal gown is one of the most popular trends for 2018. This chic style is especially a great favorite in sophisticated cities. Your bridesmaids won't give you any pushback about wearing black. They'll love being able to wear their dresses again, which isn't always the case with bridesmaid dresses, as you may know.

What you may want to do is to have the black bridesmaid dresses knee-length so that there is a distinct differentiation between your full-length bridal gown and the much shorter bridesmaid dresses.

  • When wearing a full-length black bridal gown, you probably would not wear a black veil out of respect for various religious beliefs. A greyish-silver-white veil would be lovely or a decorative hair ornament.
  • You can please your mother with a compromise by choosing white flowers for all the bouquets and boutonnières.


Why Not Get Your Etiquette Together and Act Grateful

Q. What's the drill on thank-you notes and returning a gift you don't like? Can I email words of thanks to people, or do I have to actually buy a box of thank-you cards to write out?  Especially, when you haven't asked for a gift or expected a gift and you don't really like it? Also, when your mom gives you a sweater made by a popular brand, do you have to keep it? Every year she gives me a sweater that I never wear, but I don't want to hurt her feelings.  EM, Newport, RI

A. Wow, not feeling vibes of gratitude here. At least people were thoughtful to give you something! Grow up. Grownups send thank-you emails and texts to people they are on an email and text basis with. When acknowledging special gifts, that attractive box of thank-you notes comes in handy.

It is all about giving thanks. How you say "thank you" reflects your lifestyle and the sincerity of your appreciation. Find a motif that fits your soul, there are certainly a wide range out there whether you're feeling snowed-in, seeking shade under a palm tree or simply want to remind the giver of a Newport attraction. 

  • If you don't like the gift and are having trouble exchanging it, call or text the person to say you would like to return the sweater for a different style, color, size -- or all three.
  • Make a list of who you want to thank and cross off the names as you send your thank-you.


Time's Up Dilemma

Q. How do I know if a potential boss, a male, is hiring me for my skills and abilities, and not just  for my conventionally pretty youthful looks? The job I've been offered is, shall we say, a job to grow into. I know I am capable of doing the work. That is if I don't get into a cycle of self-doubt that spirals out and makes me question every decision and second guess every opportunity that comes my way. If I fail and am fired because I can't do the job, that fact will forever be on my résumé.  Amy, Chicago

A. First off, if you are let go, you do not have to declare that fact on your résumé. When questioned, you can say that the climate of the job wasn't a good fit for you. Make it about your goals and not about the company that let you go.


Acknowledging a tip 

Q. Having given a lot of tips over the holidays, is it fantasy to expect some kind of acknowledgement for having given those tips? I find it rude that people don't have the good sense to say, "Thanks for the check (tip, money card)?" A certain sense of entitlement has risen around tipping. Is there a graceful way to suggest that I would appreciate acknowledgement for the tip?  JD, Providence

A. Post holidays, the tip - no matter the amount - becomes the elephant in the room. If you mailed the tip or gave someone else the tip to give to the recipient, then you can ask an indirect question and say, "I hope you received your tip in time for Christmas shopping." Or directly say, "I'm checking to find out that you received my (cash) tip." Of course, checks can be tracked, but checking up on cash is perfectly acceptable to bring up in a jolly, ho, ho conversation.

When you don't pay the minimum wage, you cannot expect a thank you for a tip. Most workers, whether they're paid at the very least the minimum wage or more, feel they are vastly underpaid. They may be uncomfortable about talking about money. Or fear that thanking you might give the signal that they are satisfied with their financial situation with you, when they are not.

You can find Didi Lorillard on Facebook and LinkedIn, or check out @Newport_Manners on Instagram and her website NewportManners.

  • Go Snowshoeing at Wachusett Mountain

    Leominster, MA

    For those who can't ski or snowboard, snowshoeing is another way to get around in the snow. Wachusett Mountain is the perfect place for snowshoeing.  


    PHOTO: Matt, just Matt

  • Ice Skating at Newport Skating Center

    Newport, RI 

    Whether you are skating on a pond or at one of the many ice rinks across the region like the Newport Skating Center in the heart of Newport.

    The skating center provides a full schedule of activities to carry you through the winter including adult and kids skating sessions as well as activities for the entire family. 

  • Snowmobile at the Tall Timber Lodge 

    Pittsburg, New Hampshire

    For snowmobiling enthusiasts, Pittsburg, New Hampshire might be the snowmobiling capital of New England with more than 200 trails, all filled with great adventures. 

    The Tall Timber Lodge offers a variety of packages that include rentals, dinners, lodging and much more. If you need a break from the trails, the lodge also consists of a spa. 

    PHOTO: Paul Williams

  • Dog Sled Tours at Ultimate Dog Sledding Experience

    Oxford, Maine

    Embrace the call of the wind and go up to New England Dog Sledding for dog sled tours. Tours are pulled by trained and "friendly" Husky sled dogs and are offered throughout the area.

    Ultimate Dog Sledding is located just 40 minutes from Portland. 



  • Get Out of the Cold and Into the Water at CoCo Key Boston

    Danvers, MA

    Get out of the cold and into the water at CoCo Key's 65,000 sq. ft. indoor water park in Danvers. 

    The park includes multiple water slides, tube rides, pools and so much more to take your mind off of winter, at least for a little while. 

    For those who might need a break from the water, there is an arcade with games for all ages. 


    PHOTO: Coco Key Facebook

  • Sled Down Neutaconkanut Hill

    Providence, RI 

    Neutaconkanut Hill has some of the best slopes for sledding in the state. 

    Bundle up, hold on, and enjoy the ride. 

    In addition to the sledding slopes, snowshoeing and cross country skiing is offered at this legendary Providence slope.

    For more great places to sled, check out GoLocalProv's latest list. 

    PHOTO: Popofatticus/Flickr

  • Ice Climbing With Adventure Spirit 

    Burlington, Vermont

    For the adventurous out there, Adventure Spirit in Vermont is your place for ice climbing. Choose from climbing at Bolton Quarry, Bristol Cliffs or even Smuggler's Notch to be lead by one of their experienced instructors.

    Be prepared to spend your day strenuously climbing some of nature's frozen streams and flow offs. They also offer alpine climbing and outdoor rock climbing for those who wish to fully test their limits.


    PHOTO: Adventure Spirit

  • Providence Restaurant Weeks

    Providence, RI 

    Providence Restaurant Weeks will take place from January 14 to January 27, 2018, with nearly 100 restaurants participating. Enjoy three-course lunches at $16.95 and three-course dinners at $29.95 or $34.95, as well as two-for-one specials.

    Restaurants include Capriccio, Milk Money and many more. 

  • Jump Around at Launch Trampoline Park 

    RI, MA or CT

    Need to get some energy out? or get the energy out of your kids? Head to Launch Trampoline Park. They have a park in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. 

    With dodgeball, basketball, foam pits and more, indoor trampoline parks have something to offer people of all ages. Whether you want to bring a group of children for the day or sign up a group of adults for some "xtreme" dodgeball, trampoline parks can be a great change of pace and a fun way to try something new.

  • Newport Winter Festival 

    Newport, RI 

    The 2017 Newport Winter Festival is set to be held from February 16-25. 

    The festival features live music, food, games, a chili cook-off and so much more over a span of nine days. 

  • Indoor Rock Climbing

    RI, MA or NH

    Do you need a new challenge this winter? Try one of New England's indoor rock climbing gyms. Whether you choose Rock Spot Climbing in Rhode Island, Carabiner's in Massachusetts, or Vertical Dreams in New Hampshire, rock climbing is a fun and challenging way to get some exercise without running on treadmills.

    Photo courtesy of Rock Spot Climbing

  • New England Pond Hockey Classic 

    Merideth, New Hampshire 

    You have never seen hockey like this. 

    The 8th annual New England Pond Hockey Classic kicks off on February 2 with final team rosters due on January 20. Get your team together and head up to New Hampshire. 

    If you can't make it up, grab the skates and find your local pond and play hockey anyway. BE SAFE of course. 

  • Curling at Ocean State Curling Club 

    Cranston RI

    You watch curling in the Olympics every year and you love it. So try it this winter. 

    The Ocean State Curling Club has your curling fix. Hosting events and tournaments or "bonspiels" at the Veteran’s Memorial Ice Rink in Cranston, RI, the Ocean State Curling Club is a "social club for anyone interested in recreational curling." The club also offers lessons for those who want to learn the sport. 

    Photo: dave/Flickr

  • Ice Fishing

    Across New England

    It's practically a tradition for a lot of people, but ice fishing is an interesting winter experience. Head out to the ponds and see what you can get. 

    But be safe, it takes 4-6 inches of ice to support a person and 8-10 inches to support a vehicle.

    Photo courtesy of Dushan Hanuska/flickr

  • Get the House Organized 

    The weather isn't great, it's freezing outside. Winter presents a great opportunity to get the house organized. It's not the most fun thing in the world of course, but it will pay off and at the end of it, you will be glad you did it. 

    Here are some ways to get organized this winter. 

  • See the Lights at La Salette Shrine

    Attleborough MA

    By far one of the coolest lighting displays you will see anywhere in New England and maybe even the country. 

    The Festival of Lights runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. every night until January 1. 

    Do not miss out! 

  • Sing-a-Long with the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall

    301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA

    Held at Symphony Hall, the Boston Pops holiday concert is filled with food, sing-a-longs and a visit from the one and only Santa Claus!

    Have some holiday cookies as the Boston Symphony Orchestra plays holiday classics for you and your family.

    The seven kids afternoon shows include post-concert photos with Santa as well as special treats. 

    The concert runs until December 31. 

  • Give to the Community

    While the winter holidays are generally the biggest volunteer days of the year, any day of the year is a great time to give to organizations or people in need.

    Items like food, clothes, and blankets are just some of the things that are needed most this time of year. 

    See 50 Ways to Give in Central MA Here

  • First Night Hartford New Years Eve Celebration 

    Hartford, Connecticut 

    Join First Night Hartford for its 29th year of celebration! The multi-venue event will include performances by aerialists, Circophony Youth Circus, the Connecticut Academy of Irish Music, and Crafts and tours at Bulter McCook House. 

    Don’t forget to stay for the fireworks starting promptly at 6 p.m. with a second showing at midnight to ring in the New Year!

  •  Zip Line

    Mount Washington, Bretton Woods New Hampshire

    Soar down Mount Washington on a series of tree-top zip lines! The Canopy Tour is lead by one of Bretton Woods Adventure Guides as they describe the native fauna and flora. You'll descend over 1000 feet of elevation on this 3-hour tour. Each tour guide can take a group of up to 8, so grab some friends and zip down the mountain!

  • Cross Country Skiing

    East Bay Bike Path, Bristol to Providence RI 

    Grab your poles and skis and head down to the East Bay Bike Path for some Cross Country Skiing. Of course, you can go cross-country skiing anywhere there is snow and some flat land, but the East Bay Bike Path stretches about 14 miles from Bristol to India Point Park in Providence. 

  • Ride the Polar Express

    Woonsocket, Rhode Island 

    Buy your ticket now for the Black Stone Valley Polar Express! Watch the popular book and film come to life before your eyes as you take a 90-minute train ride with Santa and the Conductor.

    Rides will be available every Friday through Sunday with the final stop on December 23. There will be light refreshments and cookies made available, children are encouraged to wear pajamas.

  •  Take a Nature Walk at Squam Lakes

    Holderness, New Hampshire

    Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness, NH offers a wide arrange of guided tours of live animal trails. A staff naturalist leads and teaches groups how certain animals are adapted to the winter climate in New Hampshire. The guided tours are run on weekends and can be a great way to experience and learn more about nature in New England.

  • Paint and Vino 

    Pawtucket, RI

    Forget about winter by painting a picture of a tropical sunset at Paint and Vino, Rhode Island's first paint and wine studio. Bring children for family paint events and parties, or leave them at home to enjoy complimentary "adult beverages" as you paint.

    Perfect for date night, girls night out or a fun Friday night, Paint and Vino's classes run for 2 1/2 to 3 hours and a spot must be reserved.

    Photo: Yelp Inc./Flickr

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