Manners and etiquette it seems are making a comeback. Whilst they never disappeared in ‘polite society’, there is a quiet rebellion taking place. In this age of mindfulness, we are at last remembering to say ‘thank you’.
So, manners and etiquette are at the forefront of conversation in the office here at Ananya. The wedding season is starting up, and the great British ‘season’ is just around the corner. Not a day passes without someone receiving an invite to a big seasonal event. So, statement hats and striped blazers aside, it’s essential to respond to an invite in style. And, once you’re at your event, know what to expect. Be the perfect guest, from meeting and greeting, through to dining and dancing!
Making a distinction between manners and etiquette:
“…Manners as the principles, which are eternal and universal, etiquette as the particular rules which are arbitrary and different in different times, different situations, different cultures.”
Accepting the invite
It goes without saying that one should always RSVP to an invite of any kind. And, whilst it is tempting to reply by text or e-mail, don't do it!
Elegant stationery goes a long way towards creating the right impression. And that's before you even arrive at your event. If you are lucky you will receive an RSVP card with your invite, with which to reply. If not, reply with a simple handwritten note on good quality notepaper. In these days of e-mail and text, your writing skills may not be as good as you would like, but don't worry. At Ananya we love to receive handwritten cards and letters!
Saying thank you
Saying thank you for being entertained should be something that you do personally. After all, your host has taken the time and effort to organise and invite you to special event. Taking ten minutes to write a thank you note yourself isn't a lot to ask. And it might just put you at the top of the invite list for the next event.
You don't have to write a small novel when you're saying thank you. Just express your gratitude, and how much you enjoyed meeting everyone. Perhaps mention what was most memorable for you about the event. A note card is perfect for saying thank you. And, a monogrammed set made just for you is incredibly chic. It will certainly make you stand out from the crowd.
Planning your own event
It may be that you’re lucky enough to be planning your own summer soirée or event. Perhaps you’re hosting guests at the opera with pre-opera champagne and canapés. Or, maybe you’re entertaining guests aboard a classic yacht at Cowes Week. Whatever the occasion, make your stationery something that guests will love to receive.
Bespoke stationery reflecting the nature of your event is perfect. Stuck for ideas? At Ananya we love to design something that’s truly unique to you. For example, if it is a Cowes week event, excitement, glamour and colour come to mind. For colour it could be hues of blue against a white background. The design could be something that brings to mind the elegance of sailing. Your guests will be clamouring to accept your invite. And of course, they’ll reply to you on one of your beautiful RSVP cards! Carry everything through with complementary place settings and menus for such a special event.
And finally, a few interesting points on perfecting good manners. They may make you smile, but do try them. We checked our knowledge with the masters of etiquette, Debrett’s. Meet, greet and eat with confidence!
- When someone enters the room for the first time, do stand. It’s considered polite to do so. Traditionally, men stood when their ladies entered the room. At Ananya HQ, one of our team remembers almost swooning the first time someone stood for her. We think it helped that he was in army dress uniform, and very handsome. Ultimately though, it’s considerate to stand, regardless of age and gender.
- And if you are the host, you should always stand to greet your guests. It's considered impolite to offer your hand to someone whilst you are sitting down.
- Don’t know how to eat certain foods? Here are our favourite ‘rules’:
o Asparagus season is almost here. So, remember to eat asparagus with your fingers, darling! Dip the asparagus tip into the sauce accompaniment and enjoy. Leave the woody part of the stem neatly to one side of your plate when finished.
o Eat soup by pushing the soup spoon away from you to collect it on the spoon. Use the side of spoon to funnel the soup into your mouth. No slurping, and use the right spoon! One of our team remembers a friend of hers getting quite vexed at being given a soup spoon in the wrong setting. Her calming skills resolved the issue before any ‘soup spoon rage’ incidents occurred.
o Scones are not cut with a knife. Use your hands to break them. Use a spoon to put cream and jam onto the plate first before putting onto the scone. Taking afternoon tea in Devon? Apply the jam before the cream. But if you’re taking tea at the Tate in Cornwall, apply the cream first. Either way, enjoy this most delicious of summer treats!
So there you have it, our mini guide to modern manners and etiquette. For more information on personalised and bespoke stationery do contact the team at Ananya to discuss your ideas. We’d love to be part of your manners revolution. Contact us on +44 (0)20 7242 1877 or e-mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org