Newport Manners & Etiquette: Saying “Sorry” Isn’t Enough + Weddings + Parties

Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Didi Lorillard, GoLocalWorcester Manners + Etiquette Expert

What to do when she's not satisfied with "I'm sorry." Getting an accurate accepted wedding guest list, and entertaining tips in the time of Uber and serving nuts. All questions to Didi Lorillard at NewportManners this week.

Saying sorry

Q. I made a terrible mistake and apologized, but I know that merely saying "I'm sorry" wasn't enough. My boyfriend is barely talking to me, he is so mad at what happened. It was a silly mistake, which I made worse by trying to cover it up while over-explaining, but I got caught in an untruth. 

I keep telling him I'm sorry, but he so doesn't seem to believe me! How do I convince my boyfriend that I am truly sorry.  Name Withheld

A.  Either we're someone who annoyingly says 'sorry' way too often, or we have difficulty ever saying "I'm sorry"- even when we know we've done something wrong and hurt someone. Could it be that apologizing to someone, for many, is a sign of weakness?

For much of the population, saying sorry hasn't made its way into their interpersonal skills set. 

There are those who simply cannot recognize apology-worthy situations.

Others simply do not feel the value of the apology.

Making a genuine apology helps to restore the relationship as well as the reputation of the person who did something that warrants a more authentic apology.

  • Accept responsibility for your wrong-doing action.
  • When appropriate reenforce that apology by saying it won't happen again.
  • Be sure to make it clear that you understand and acknowledge the ramifications of the wrong-doing. 
  • So don't be vague, look for clarity in what went wrong.


The purpose of saying sorry is that you want to regain the trust and respect from the person you've offended. 

Find a time when neither of you are stressed out, uptight, angry or tired and say that you want to have a serious talk. Go over what you did wrong and why you think you made the mistake. Then acknowledge that you panicked and tried to coverup, which only made things worse. 

Then, end by saying you won't do whatever it was - and be specific - ever again. 

Wedding guest list

Q. My friend had a lot of no-shows at her wedding. It took place on a holiday weekend, when she mistakenly thought people would be able to get away, but apparently they had better plans. In sending out invitations to our wedding in Newport how many do we need to send out to ensure that there will be at least a 100 guests at our wedding?

We have to give a deposit to the caterer on the number of guests and if we have last minute no-shows, we will have to pay for the food and beverages they weren't there to consume and waitstaff will still have to be paid.  SG, Worcester, MA


A. The immutable social law used to be that you could count on 100 guests accepting and then attending, when you sent out invitations to 130 people. Take into account that invitations are being sent to single people as well as couples, and single guests may want to bring a date.  

We're finding that 30 will regret, but up to another 30 accepted-and-expected guests may not show up. To ensure that you have a minimum of 100, you may need to invite 160 guests in anticipation of 30 regretting and 30 not showing up. Especially during the months of June, September and December, which are the big no-show months.

Entertaining in the time of Uber

Q. My girlfriend and I love to entertain. We divide the chores in pulling the dinner together. I usually do the meat or fish along with the beverages. Rosie does the cheese and crackers, side dishes, and dessert and sets the table. We both clean up while talking about who said what.

Recently I've also had to order an Uber ride for a drunken guest. Usually they say they can't access their Uber account, for whatever reason, and I'm asked to order one for them. Then I get stuck paying for it. It seems petty to go after someone for a cab fare, but they add up. Aside from driving the guest home, what would you do?  Name withheld Providence


A. As long as there are still local cab companies that will come to your door on call, you're in luck. Have the number of your local cab company on hand. Simply tell the guest that you've ordered him a cab, but it isn't an Uber. If the local cab company doesn't take credit cards, the driver can always stop at a cash machine so the guest can pay the fare in cash.

Going nuts over nuts

Q.  My family loves nuts. When we entertain we always serve nuts along with cutup veggies and a cheese canapé, but what guests really love are the nuts. The problem is that when I see someone's hand clawing at the nut bowl I get apoplectic wondering when the guest washed his hands last, especially if he came by subway! Forget double-dipping, what about initial dipping?  CK, Manhattan


A.  Fill a small glass vase that has a narrow neck with whole cashews and discreetly show guests how to get at those cashews by pouring a handful into your own hand. Often you'll see Gold Fish in a small carafe, so you get the idea. Its like a decanter without a stopper that is often used for filling one glass with wine.

Didi Lorillard researches manners and etiquette and NewportManners.

  • Cliff Walk

    Newport, RI

    The Cliff Walk is one of Newport’s most famous attractions is its gilded age mansions lining the coast. Entry to the mansions will cost a fee, but with the Cliff Walk, you can enjoy views of the mansions with amazing views of the water all for free.

    The 3.5 mile long path runs behind the mansions on the eastern shore of Newport. It is a National Recreation Trail – the first in New England! The majority of the walk is easy, but be sure to wear good shoes; the sand can make the path slippery. 

  • Anheuser-Busch Brewery and the Clydesdale Hamlet 

    Merrimack, New Hampshire 

    The Budweiser Clydesdales are the most recognizable mascots in the beverage industry and a visit to the Clydesdale Hamlet at the Anheuser-Bush Brewery will get you a free meeting with them. 

    For this 21 and over, you can take a tour of the brewery and see it result in free beer at the end. 

    PHOTO: Billy Zoom/flickr

  • Take a Tour of Yale University 

    New Haven, Connecticut 

    Take a free tour of Yale University and while you are there be sure to walk through the Yale Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art. 

    If you time it correctly, you might even get to attend one of the Yale School of Music’s nearly 300 annual performances. 

  • Browse Yankee Candle Village 

    South Deerfield, Massachusetts 

    Yankee Candle Village headquarters are located in South Deerfield, Massachusetts, where they call themselves “Scenter of the Universe.” 

    Walk around the store for hours, exploring all the different showrooms with varying scents. The complex is something to see. 

    Be warned though, you may be tempted to buy a candle or two. 

  • Eartha at DeLorme Mapping Company 

    Yarmouth, Maine 

    Eartha is the worlds largest rotating globe taking up three stories and is entirely computer controlled and rotates. 

    It is about as life-size a replica of the earth as you will find anywhere. 

    PHOTO: DeLorme Map Company

  • Royalston Falls

    Royalston, MA

    If you want a little bit of an outdoor adventure, hike to Royalston Falls in Royalston, MA. The hike itself isn’t too long, but it can be challenging. It leads you to a remote gorge created by prehistoric glacial meltwater and 45 foot plunging waterfall within a half-hidden ravine. If you’re up for the adventure, the destination is far worth the trek. 

  • Free Tour of Lake Champlain Chocolates 

    Burlington, Vermont

    Chocolate lovers this is for you. 

    Take a free tour of Lake Champlain Chocolates and even get some free samples. What is better than that? 

    The tour takes approximately 30 minutes and is seated. There is no walking involved. 

    Tours run Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.but are limited to 35 people. 

  • U.S. Navy Submarine Force Museum and USS Nautilus 

    Groten, Connecticut 

    See a replica of the world's first submarine and learn about it through films before stepping aboard the USS Nautilus for a free audio tour. 

    Nautilus was the first nuclear powered submarine and the first vessel to travel 20,000 leagues under the sea.

    The ship is now open to the public year round and is free.  

    PHOTO: Facebook

  • Independence Trail

    Providence, RI

    Rhode Island’s own version of Boston’s Freedom Trail, follow the painted green line for the Independence Trail. The 2.5 mile tour of historic Providence “takes you over four centuries of history, architecture, culture, and folklore.”

    Don’t worry about where to begin, the route is circular so you can start anywhere! Along the painted green trail on the sidewalks you’ll find red emblems with a phone number and a location number.


  • The Sprinkler Factory

    Worcester, MA

    The Sprinkler Factory is not actually factory, but rather a gallery. Though, its namesake does come from the real-life sprinkler factory started by Howard Freeman in WWII. Why? Because he embodies “the spirit of innovation.” With the aim of providing the public with a place to display and enjoy the visual arts, the Sprinkler Factory hosts exhibitions once a month, and they’re always free.

  • Boston Fire Museum 

    Boston, Massachusetts 

    Since 1983, the Boston Fire Museum has operated in the old fire house on Congress street showing off the history of the Boston Fire Department. The Museum shows off antique fire equipment, fire alarm displays, photo displays and artifacts. 

    Admission to the Museum is FREE. 

  • WaterFire

    Providence, RI

    Providence WaterFire has grown to be an iconic Rhode Island event. Starting out in 1994 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of First Night Providence, it has grown to run continuously, once a month, from May-November and boasts over 80 blazing fires in the middle of the Providence River. WaterFire is a not-for-profit organization that aims to creatively transform Providence – and they do! Each event is accompanied with music by artists from around the world, varies food stands and art stands to browse as you stroll along the river. 

  • Explore the Site of Paul Revere's Midnight Ride 

    Boston, Massachusetts

    Old North Church, located on Salem Street, is Boston's oldest surviving church, and it's also the place where Paul Revere gave the signal that the "British were coming," on April 18,1775.

    Once he gave the signal, two lanterns were raised high, meaning that they were coming by sea to Lexington and Concord, not land. 

    This event began the American Revolution. 

  • Visit Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

    Concord, MA

    Head to Concord, Massachusetts and then to the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery where you will find "Author's Ridge."

    Author's Ridge marks the final resting place of legendary writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Louisa May Alcott. 

  • Allagash Brewing Company

    Portland, Maine

    Allagash Brewing Company offers FREE beer tasting every day that they are open. Participants receive four, 3 oz samples of beer during the tasting.

    The tastings do change every few days.

    Photo courtesy of Allagash Brewing Company

  • The Haffenreffer Museum at Brown


    The Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology is Brown University’s teaching museum. It aims to inspire creative and critical thinking about culture by "fostering interdisciplinary understanding of the material world."

    Admission is FREE. 

  • Purgatory Chasm

    Sutton, MA

    Take a hike at Purgatory Chasm and see the unique landmark that formed naturally approximately 14,000 years ago. Theory has it that the chasm was formed near the end of the last Ice Age with the sudden release of glacial meltwater that had been dammed up. Pretty neat! The chasm is ¼ mile long and runs between giant granite rock, sometimes standing at 70 feet high! You do have to pay to park ($5 MA residents, $6 for you out-of-staters), but exploring the reservation is completely free. 

    Photo: MHarvey/Flickr

  • Blackstone River Bikeway

    Runs from Worcester to Providence

    The idea behind the Blackstone River Bikeway was to create a bike path running 48 miles, from Worcester to Providence along the National Heritage Corridor. It links the Blackstone River and the Blackstone Canal and will eventually connect with the East Bay Bike Path in Rhode Island. The path isn’t completed yet, but riders can enjoy the segment that is, free of charge.

  • Tour Sam Adams Brewery

    Boston, MA

    Take a FREE tour of Sam Adams Brewery and see where some of the best beer is made. Learn about the history of Sam Adams beer, how it's made, experience the entire craft brew process and of course try some samples.

    The tour departs every 45 minutes and lasts about an hour.

    Photo courtesy of Sam Adams Brewery



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