TODAY   |  May 17, 2013

6 etiquette tips for summer weddings, reunions

TODAY contributor and etiquette expert Harriette Cole and Faye de Muyshondt, founder of Socialsklz, offer their advice about the correct etiquette for summer weddings, dates and family reunions.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> summer is just around the corner, which means family reunions, june weddings and maybe a little summer romance .

>> and with all the social gatherings, you may find yourself in a few sticky situations, here with a few tips is "today" contributor and etiquette expert and president of her company, harriet cole.

>> and say du marchand, the expert on social skills .

>> the summer is for lovin' and a lot of times people are meeting new romances in the summertime. it's that kind of vibe. is it one of those things that when you meet someone, you should go dutch? or is it one of those things that you should just play it like you usually play and wait for the guy to pay?

>> i love for the idea of a man paying for the first date. i know it's old school, but-day love it. i think it's not all summer that he has to pay. date one is a nice thing for him to pay. if you invite him, though. if you make the overture and you pay, that sort of sets up an interesting conversation.

>> but you see -- i still to this day, when a man says let's --

>> i'm out.

>> i'm out.

>> i think she should pay for the first date.

>> and after that as well.

>> i think you just brought up a great point if a man invites you, absolutely.

>> if he says, why don't you come to my apartment and i'll cook for you.

>> you meet a guy at a pool party , do you think it's okay to reach out to him, or should you always wait until he calls?

>> i'm old school. i'm very old school. i met my husband, with modern technology.

>> and actually we, it was very old world. we dating during the summertime. fortunately it wasn't in a pool scenario. but yeah, i mean it's --

>> what is the point?

>> summer romance --

>> what was the point?

>> let's move on.

>> let's move on to wedding etiquette. you get an invite for a wedding . and you're not sure if you should or shouldn't bring a plus one. what's the rule?

>> well if you weren't invited with a plus one, then you weren't.

>> there's a reason.

>> they were trying to keep it to a number.

>> it's weddings are so expensive. people invite who they intend to invite. if you are engaged, the rule is, that your fianc? should be invited. perhaps the people don't know. then you ask. then you ask, is it okay for me to bring me fianc?. if you're married, your spouse should be invited. but not if you're just dating.

>> they may not be aware of your current status.

>> check it on facebook.

>> what should be the average cost of a wedding gift, do you think?

>> that depends --

>> i think it depends on the city. if you're talking about a new york city wedding , versus somewhere else , it could be an entirely different price range. bottom line is you want to make sure that you're covering your cost, plus giving a gift.

>> and that bothers me, actually. i think, i know that that's what people say, weddings are very expensive. i don't like thinking, i want to buy a gift that costs as much as my plate. but i think you should go on the registry, look to see what they --

>> what you can afford. and a smart couple has a range of prices.

>> don't go into debt because you're trying to impress someone who has invited you to the wedding . i know certain people because they could not afford a wedding gift, declined to go to the wedding , they felt so badly.

>> you're going because you love the people, you give the best that you can. and if you go from their registry, at least you're giving something that you know that they want.

>> what about if somebody has been married and this is their second or third wedding ? do you still have to bring a gift?

>> it's a wedding .

>> the one from the last wedding , let's be honest.

>> if you were to go to a dinner party for the third time at someone's house, you would bring a bottle of wine, right?

>> i would bring a bottle of wine to the bathroom, you know what i'm saying? i'm talking about a wedding , they don't need anything else.

>> but a lot of times when people are getting married and it's not the first time, they will say, you know, in lieu of gift --

>> right, right.

>> that's the take-away.

>> but don't count on it.