The most important thing to keep in mind: There is no blanket rule. No one wants to be that so-early-it’s-super-uncomfortable guest at an open-house party (à la Michael Scott on The Office). But what friends with restaurant reservations would like to be left waiting at the dinner table?

Here’s a quick guide to some key arrival etiquette.


Dear Rue: Fashionably Late

Continue reading “How Do I Know If I’m Fashionably Late or Just Late?” »

October 17, 2013

In a word, no. And you cannot try to squeeze in an exception with that seriously weak they’ll-barely-eat-or-do-anything excuse.

Why is it pretty much always unacceptable to bring someone who wasn’t on the invitation? Let me count the ways.

Dear Rue: Uninvited Guest

Continue reading “Can I Bring an Uninvited Guest to a Formal Event?” »

September 19, 2013


Shaina has spent years helping friends, family, and coworkers with thorny social issues (graciously and gently, of course). Starting today, she’ll bring Rue’s manners-with-style voice to your etiquette questions.

First, take a deep breath and don’t panic. It’s of course a great honor to be selected for the wedding party. And no one would deny that you care for the bride and groom.

However, none of this means that you automatically have to do it.

Dear Rue: Wedding Party

Continue reading “Dear Rue: Can I Say No to Being in the Wedding Party?” »

August 22, 2013