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If you have that awareness, it doesn't matter what fork you use."

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Lizzie Post and Daniel Post Senning have launched their new Awesome Etiquette podcast!

In their podcast, the two cover etiquette in their lives, delve into historical and traditional aspects of etiquette and salute individuals and organizations who are shining examples of good etiquette. Tune in to hear what they've got to say!


After we left a store, I discovered that my toddler had pocketed a toy. How should I handle this?  

First, have a talk and explain, without shaming her, what stealing is and that it's wrong. Plan a return to the store with your child, and rehearse what she'll say: "I'm sorry I took this. I'm giving it back." (Prep the manager beforehand, to keep things discreet.) Afterward, praise your kid for doing the right thing. Your loving support can make this a positive life lesson.


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Read more of Peggy's advice each month in Good Housekeeping.  


Read Peggy Post's thoughts on today's most nuanced wedding dilemmas in the archive of her New York Times column.


Lizzie Post and Daniel Post
Senning are monthly guests on
The Dinner Party Download
a weekly culture and arts shows hosted by Rico Gagliano and Brendan Newnam, and produced
by American Public Media.

Episode 291

You can listen to the whole
show, or scroll down to pick and choose segments.

To see previous episodes, check out The Dinner Party Download.

Read Peter Post's blog

This week, Peter focuses on how etiquette is not just a set of rules, but instead is about building relationships.

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Problem with a co-worker?

After starting the month off with football, friends, and tons of food we are ready for February. Since Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and the snow keeps on falling here in Vermont, we are gearing up for another month of winter.


In this month's newsletter, we have some great advice on how to approach Valentine's Day if you've just recently started seeing someone. We tackle The Three Ps of Business Communication to provide some guidelines for the difference between written communication and verbal communication. Looking ahead into the 2015 wedding season, we have some tips for choosing the members of a wedding party.


Lizzie has been working hard on the Awesome Etiquette podcast, creating shows that our listeners will love. She is working with KornhaberBrown Productions to record the second season of Awkward Moments, so be on the lookout for those episodes soon!  


Dan, who is an avid Patriots fan, celebrated the Superbowl win over the Seahawks. He returned from a very enjoyable trip to the Windy City of Chicago where he spent some time teaching business etiquette. He and Lizzie will soon co-hosting the "Modern Wedding" live chat with etiquette expert Steven Petrow - details to come!  


Anna has been going flu-crazy, talking on radio shows, making an appearance on Wake up With Al and doing interviews as a flu season etiquette expert. Check out Anna in action in the Emily Post & Etiquette in the News section.   


Peggy had a busy month with house guests at home in Florida (January in Florida is a popular time for visitors!). She managed to keep up with work deadlines, including her regular column in Good Housekeeping. She attended the monthly meeting of the Naples Press Club where she enjoyed visiting with other members; she reports that they are truly inspiring writers from a wide variety of backgrounds.  



Peter & Tricia are returning from Florida to a wintery wonderland here in Vermont.  Peter is excited to get back to work on Etiquette Bites as well as to wrap up work on his golf etiquette book. Tricia will be tackling book proposals which we are all very excited about. 



We hope you've been well since our last newsletter and remember: We want to hear from you! What are your thoughts? Are there articles you've really enjoyed or topics you'd like us to cover? Let us know at newsletter@emilypost.com.

Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette
for Professionals!

This one-day intensive program will take place on Saturday, May 2, 2015, following the week of Business and Children's Etiquette Train the Trainer courses in Burlington, Vermont. Peggy Post and Anna Post will guide you through the core points of wedding etiquette, as well as discuss how and when to help couples depart from tradition in a meaningful way.

Topics will include engagements and initial planning; tricky family situations; budgets, hosting responsibilities, and guest lists; family and wedding party roles; planning timelines; invitations and pre-wedding parties; gifts and thank-yous; day-of planning and considerations; and working with vendors. Breakfast and lunch are included.

Participants will leave with a PowerPoint presentation to give their own wedding talks, a complete set of Emily Post wedding books, and a certificate of completion (a digital seal is also included).

Cost: $1,000

To register or for more information, please contact Steven Puettner at 802-860-1814 or steven@emilypost.com. We hope you will join us!


Choosing the members of your wedding party can be a great way to honor those most important in both of your lives as well as a fun way to combine friends and family into a cohesive, helpful unit. How you do this is entirely up to you and your intended. There are no rules here, just guidelines, and it's important to keep in mind that each couple is different, as is each wedding.


There Are No "Requirements"

There is no rule that says a couple has to have a wedding party. Some couples would rather keep the day intimate and personal and opt to skip this tradition. Likewise, there are no rules regarding the number of attendants, that there must be an equal number of bridesmaids and groomsmen, or that you can't have two best men. It's all up to you!


If bridesmaids and groomsmen match up perfectly, that's great, but having an unequal number is okay. Bridesmaids can always double up with groomsmen, or a few members of the wedding party can process alone. However, try to avoid numbers so lopsided that guests are paying more attention to the ten bridesmaids and two groomsmen, than to the bride and groom.


Consider how many guests will be in attendance when putting together your wedding party. For instance, having a guest list with fifty people and a wedding party with fifteen seems a little unbalanced-but again, there is nothing wrong with having just one or two each, or no wedding party at all.


Whom to Choose?

People often struggle with, "How do I decide on bridesmaids or groomsmen without hurting any of my friends' feelings?" Some choices have an obvious logic: choosing siblings over friends should need no explanation. If the size of your wedding party means that some good friends may be left out, try involving them in another aspect of the wedding. Many couples ask these friends to do a reading during the ceremony that would be meaningful to them or to help with special tasks during the wedding. 


If you're really faced with a dilemma between siblings or friends, try something "out of your control," like flipping a coin. This leaves the decision up to fate and avoids doubts of favoritism.


The members of your wedding party will likely be those that you spend the most time with during the events that surround your wedding. Ask members of your wedding party with enough time to receive help with planning and decision-making, but don't rush into it. Choose those close to you who are reliable, considerate and courteous, and who can also kick off their shoes at the end and have a good laugh with you on your special day.



There are several universal truths that apply to all communications, both written and verbal. Follow these three tips on the importance of privacy, proofreading and patience when it comes to messages in the business world. "Whether it is public or private, always proofread your work and be patient."


1. Public or Private?

Forms of communications that are public include email, voicemail, phone calls, text messages, and written letters. While emails and phone calls often feel private, don't forget that anyone can record a phone call or trace back an email if need be. The only communications that are truly private are personal, face-to-face communications, with the door shut and no one eavesdropping. Be conscious of what is being put in writing. While sometimes you want the paper trail, it's important to remember that it can be traced back to you.


When thinking about the security of communication, think about the Bulletin Board Rule. How would you feel and what would people think if what you are communicating in an email was printed out, blown up and put on a bulletin board for the whole company to see? This is a quick and easy way to determine the appropriate form of communication for a particular message.


2. Proofread & Pronunciation

When there are no mistakes, people focus on what you have to say. When there is a mistake, people focus on the mistake. Be especially careful when it comes to mistakes on rsums, proposals and personal letters. Keep in mind that once you've made a mistake, recovering is much harder than if you hadn't made the mistake in the first place. When time is taken to proofread, people will take the message more seriously, versus being distracted by errors.


Spelling is extremely important, particularly when it comes to a client's or company's name. Take the time to double check the "to" field and opening line of an email for proper spelling. Getting a company name wrong puts your credibility in question. The same can be said about pronouncing a new client's name. Not sure of the proper pronunciation? Call the receptionist, ask the administrative assistant or call the human resources department and ask them. If you are able to pronounce a difficult name the first time, you will make a good impression.


3. Patience

Have you ever pressed the "send" button only to realize you attached the wrong document or sent an email to the wrong person? Once it's out there, it is impossible to retrieve. Take the time to read over the email once, and then consider marking it "draft" or "send later," to give yourself time to reflect on what you are saying and how you are saying it. Look at the email later in the day, double check your tone in your message, and then click send.


For more information on business etiquette, check out Emily Post's The Etiquette Advantage in Business, 3rd Edition or visit www.emilypost.com.

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, it may feel like the pressure is on to up your game in the chivalry and romance department. Whether you prefer to have a cozy night in with a long-term partner, or are going out with someone you've just started seeing, there are a number of ways to celebrate Valentine's Day for every lovebird out there. Valentine's Day - with all its hyped-up expectations - can feel overwhelming, especially if you are in the early stages of a relationship. So what is an appropriate way to celebrate without disappointing or pushing the relationship further than you are ready to go?


The most important first step is to talk to one another and get a feel for what each of your expectations may be. Some couples love Valentine's Day, while others would rather treat it like any other Saturday. "Hey Mark, I know Valentine's Day is coming up. Do you want to pretend the day doesn't exist or should we catch a movie or go out to dinner together?" An open-ended question, gives your partner the opportunity to express his or her feelings.


If you are going back and forth in your mind wondering "Do I get a gift? Do I not get a gift?" remember that there is nothing wrong with giving a gift. However, if you are hesitant, go with the less is more approach. At the very least, give your sweetie a card. Flowers and chocolates are traditional pleasers, a nice, home-cooked dinner, which shows your thoughtfulness and time, is almost always a winner - and saves the stress of trying to book a table on one of the busiest restaurant nights of the year. Taking the time to think about a gift your partner would genuinely enjoy often means more than the numbers on the price tag.


If you've only been on a few dates together, it is probably not the most appropriate time to splurge on a significant piece of jewelry, lingerie, or something equally intimate. When it comes to gift buying, think of something personal but not over the top. Does your love bug like to cook? Buy them a nice cookbook that focuses on a new type of cuisine to try. Are they an outdoor fanatic? Plan a date to go on a hike to a new spot together. Use this opportunity to show you care without hinting towards anything too serious. The idea is to choose something thoughtful that doesn't imply a sense of obligation on the part of the recipient.


If you are still learning about your partner, introduce them to something you love in the form of a gift, like one of your favorite books with a letter about why you love it, or a specialty food item from a place that is important to you. Intertwining yourself in a small gift like this can allow your partner to learn more about you and reap the benefits of a kind gift.


Many couples choose not to celebrate Valentine's Day in any special way, and that's okay, too! After all, the day is intended to focus on love and caring for one another - it does not have to be governed by the giving and receiving of gifts. You can show you care by being particularly attentive to each other: holding doors and chairs, being complimentary, listening actively, and doing all those little things that say, "You are special to me."  


For more information on dating and gift giving etiquette, check out Emily Post's Etiquette 18th Edition or visit www.emilypost.com. 
ETIQUETTE BITES |Tone of Voice  

Peter Post discusses the importance of your tone of voice and how it can impact your image in the business world. 

The Awesome Etiquette podcast, hosted by Dan and Lizzie is looking to hear from you! So don't be shy. Send in your etiquette questions, awesome etiquette salutes, etiquette confessions, or any suggested topics you'd like to hear about on the podcast to awesomeetiquette@emilypost.com. You can also post questions to our Facebook or Twitter page using #AwesomeEtiquette so we know you want your question answered on the show!

And don't forget to subscribe via iTunes - IT'S FREE!

Awesome Etiquette is a part of The Infinite Guest Network from American Public Media.


IDEAS ON PINTEREST | Get Inspired. Visit our boards.
Looking for some last minute Valentine's Day ideas? Check out our Pinterest boards to get inspired! 

Anna Post
To see more news stories with Post advice, visit our newsroom.


Please visit our contact page to reach us, or you can find us on Facebook and Twitter. We love hearing from you, so please feel free to post to our social media and join in the conversation. We may not always be able to respond, but we read every question and comment. From our family to yours we hope you have a wonderful February! As always, thank you for your continued interest in etiquette and The Emily Post Institute.      


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