Top 10 Tips to Being a Good Guest posted in: Etiquette

When attending an event as a guest, you have two “good” responsibilities – to have a good time and show your appreciation to the host or hostess by being a good guest.

Even the most casual of parties, call for good manners. If you’d like to be among the guests invited back for the next party, these tips will ensure you’re the kind of good guest who is always welcome at anyone’s table.

1. RSVP ASAP. Tell your host whether (or not) you will be attending, and do so immediately. If you delay your reply, you could hinder the host’s planning and it may also seem as if you’re waiting for a better offer to come along. Even if no RSVP has been requested, it’s thoughtful to let your host know if you won’t be able to be there. 

2. Pay attention to whom in which the invitation was extended. If an invitation was extended to you only, do not bring a guest. It is only permissible to bring a guest when the invitation was extended to do so.

3. Be on time. Arrive on time and leave on time. On time means different things to people, and can also be interpreted differently in different locales, but in general guests should arrive at or shortly after (usually only fifteen minutes) the event start time listed in the invitation. However, do not under any circumstances, arrive early. And leave on time. As things begin to wind down wait a short bit, then, politely say your goodbyes. Don’t be the guest lingers.

4. Be prepared. Obtain directions if necessary. Also, take along the host’s phone number. Should you get lost or have an emergency, call the host to keep them abreast of the situation. This is polite for any party, but is especially vital in the case of a dinner party. You don’t want to keep the party waiting without any word from you.

5. Mingle with other guests. Do your part to be friendly and engage in conversation with other guests. Get to know people and introduce other guests to those you know. If you notice someone not talking to anyone, a casual introduction such as “Hi, I’m Sally, a friend of Charlene’s …” will go a long way to make them feel more like part of the party. Remember, you’re part of the chemistry that will make the party a success.  

6. Be a willing participant.  Be prepared to join in whatever good-natured festivities your host has planned for the evening. Should you be asked to participate in a party game or to view Sally’s wedding video or graduation pictures, accept graciously – regardless of how you may really feel.

7. Don’t Be Controversial. Refrain from topics of conversation that could cause dissension among a particular group of guests.

8. Compliment the host. When you have the opportunity during the party and then again when saying your goodbyes, tell the host how much you enjoyed the food or what a great party it has been

9. Don’t overindulge.  Attacking food as if you are famished will not only attract the wrong kind of attention, it will also leave less food for other guests. Also be sure to drink responsibly. Be considerate of your host/hostess. They may be serving alcoholic beverages to complement the meal, but this doesn’t mean he/she wants to have a group of sloppy drunks on his/her hands by the end of the party. Also, if you drive home after having too much to drink, in addition to risking harming yourself and others, the person who provided the alcohol can, in some places, be responsible and even potentially face criminal charges, if you are caught or have an accident.

10. Thank the host – twice. It is polite to thank the host as you are leaving the party – a gesture that’s gracious anywhere.  Within a day or so of the party, send a note of thanks to the host or hostess. You may also send a gift such as flowers or a plant, or a bottle of wine. If the event was very informal among your closest friends, a thank-you telephone call or
e-mail is acceptable. However, a written note is always appropriate and appreciated.

BONUS TIP: Be a gracious guest. When asked what you’d like to drink or which kind of soup you’d prefer, don’t answer, “It doesn’t matter, whatever’s easiest,” The easiest is for you to make up your mind. Make a choice. Do not place the burden of making your choices for you on the shoulders of the host.

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Cupcake Cuties posted in: Entertaining Essentials, Entertainment, Events, Food and Beverage, Great Products, Weddings

Society, now you can take your cupcakes from ordinary to extraordinary in a snap! I give you Cupcake Cuties, an amazingly creative and new way to serve up cupcakes in style!

Photos courtesy of Jen O'Sullivan

These cupcake design kits make your cupcakes as special as your occasion, and are as yummy to look at as they are to eat. Using the cutie kits is a cakewalk:

1. Begin with a frosted cupcake

2. Wrap a Cupcake Cutie sleeve around the base of your cupcake

3. Garnish with Cupcake Cutie Toppings

Just bake, wrap and garnish. It’s truly that simple! Each design takes less than 3 minutes to put together!

They are available in a wide range of holiday, occasion and fun themes suitable for any celebration. One my favorite designs – the martini cupcake, comes complete with the best olive (chocolate covered almond) I’ve ever had 😉

Cupcake Cuties

Each Cupcake Cuties kit comes with self-adhesive cupcake sleeves, custom toppings to complete the chosen cupcake design, and directions to ensure you know how to put your cuties together so that they can look fabulous. All items come adorably packaged in a container that could double as a gift box. Plus the sleeves are printed with Food Safe inks. Another great thing is that the packaging is made of recyclable PET Material, so they are eco-friendly as well. Bonus – they are made right here in the USA. Each set provides supplies to decorate 24 cupcakes and sells for around $23.99.

Can’t get enough of these cuties? Join the Cutie of the Month club, and receive special offers. Visit Cupcake Cuties online to order yours today!

So what do you think Society, do Cupcake Cuties take the cake or what?!


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  • Tweets that mention Cupcake Cuties « Tanja & Co. -- [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tanja Lynn, Cupcake Cuties, Cupcake Cuties, Tanja Lynn, Tanja Lynn and others. Tanja Lynn said: @CupcakeCuties take the cake! - Create extraordinary designs in a snap! #fb [...]
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It’s a Nice Day for a White Wedding posted in: Weddings

Maybe it’s the sunshine and warm weather
Maybe it’s the spring fashions in the magazines
Maybe it’s Billy Idol’s 80’s tune
Maybe it’s all of the above…

Whatever the source of the inspiration, I’ve totally been dreamin’ and schemin’ in all white today. White is such a fresh, full of promise color and quite the chameleon. It can be dressed up all chic and modern, it can gracefully take a step back in time and show off it’s vintage appeal, is always effortlessly classic and cool, and can join black and a bright vivid such as fuchsia or yellow  color palette in a polka dot or stripe pattern to reveal its playful side. One thing is for sure – this color is white hot!

Here’s a litttle something compiled of beautful and inspiring white wedding designs.




A Nice Day for a White Wedding

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  • BravoBride - Susan: Beautiful ideas! I love the feather bouquet! We are adding you as a featured vendor to our newsletter this month :)
  • Tanja: Thank you and thank you!!! I am delighted you enjoyed our inspiration and am honored to be a featured vendor. Many thanks! Tanja
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The Ultimate Royal Wedding and Once-in-a Lifetime Experience posted in: Entertainment, Events, Society News, Travel, Weddings

We all remember watching the royal wedding of Diana and Charles on TV, setting our alarms at the oddest of midnight hours to ensure that we did not miss this once-in-a-lifetime royal affair. Well as you know (unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for months now), HRH Prince William of Wales is engaged to be married to Ms. Catherine Middleton come spring. How would you like to take a trip across the pond to feel the royal love that will be in the air in April?

Society, I have learned that my friend and fellow event planner Nicole Matthews has organized the trip of a lifetime and I wanted to pass on the information to you in case you would be interested in being a part of what is sure to be a spectacular experience! The skinny….

You are cordially invited to join The Henley Company

for a once-in-a-lifetime, exclusive trip for 25 guests to experience

“A Celebration of the Royal Wedding”

April 24 – May 4, 2011

London, England


“A Celebration of the Royal Wedding” is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to celebrate the Royal Wedding of HRH Prince William of Wales and Ms. Catherine Middleton. For most American’s to enjoy a Royal Wedding they must get up in the middle of the night and watch the coverage on TV. It is how an entire generation of young women recount the wedding of HRH Prince Charles and Ms. Diana Spencer. Forget setting your alarm this time around! Grab your girlfriends, your sisters and your fellow Royal followers and hop a plane to London so you can enjoy all of the pomp and circumstance first hand for the Royal Wedding of Wills & Kate! You can be witness to the dawn of the modern monarchy and personally celebrate the love story of a dynamic young couple.

Enjoy 10 days/9 nights in London, England for a unique

Royal themed tour and celebration of the Royal Wedding!

Photo by Mario Testino

Tour Package Includes:

Non-stop, round-trip service from LAX to London via Virgin Atlantic

4-star luxury hotel accommodation in central London with daily breakfast

Private coach service & transfers

Private visit of the Crown Jewels

Panoramic tour of the old City of London and City of Westminster

Private tour with expert guide of luxury boutiques and retailers with the Royal Warrant

Private tour and lunch at Chavenage House, the earliest Royal residence

Private tour of Eton College (school of HRH Prince William of Wales)

Visit to Runnymede & Windsor Castle

Private visit to the Judith Blacklock Flower School for a demonstration of Royal Wedding flowers

Join the public celebration of the Royal Wedding

Special dinner in honor of the Royal couple

Guided Tour of Westminster Abbey

Private tour of the Royal Garden with Royal Historian

Private lesson in the history and etiquette of High Tea

And more activities to come…

This exclusive trip will be limited to 25 guests.

To secure your place, Book Today!  

Price range is $6500-$7000 per person, with an ‘early-bird-special’ to those who book early. Deposit is due by February 33th, so contact Nicole,, to obtain a more detailed itinerary and additional tour information.

If you book a reservation please let me know. I would be happy to post your review of this once-in-a-lifetime experience that everyone will be dying to know about.



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The Art of Tipping posted in: Etiquette

Tipping is an art form that when mastered, makes your life easier and I find even more enjoyable. The key to getting good service is to reward good service. If it is simply expected, one might find themselves disappointed. You need to show appreciation for that extra bit of kindness these people offer every day as part of their job. Sometimes giving the slightest tip might help you from getting the average, usual treatment to the extra-special, VIP one. Make them happy, and you’ll be well taken care of.

Top 10 things to remember when tipping:

  1. 1. A tip is to be earned. Reward good service generously.
  2. 2. Leaving no tip does not correct a problem of indifferent or rude service, rather reduce the tip proportionately. This way, you help to raise the standard of service. A good rule of thumb is to leave 10% for mediocre service and 8% if the service was poor.
  3. 3. Be discreet – tipping is a private matter. Giving a tip is an act of kindness to show appreciation to someone, not an opportunity to act like a big spender flashing your cash.    Being a smooth tipper is impressive.
  4. 4. Be prepared. Build tips into your budget. Be sure to travel with singles and other smaller bills on hand and easily accessible when needed.
  5. 5. When giving a tip – don’t ask for change. Reference #4
  6. 6. Remember to fold your cash in half or thirds, and pass the tip discreetly with your palm facing down. Tipping with the cash up and your hands can be seen as rude.
  7. 7. Treat those who provide you a service with respect. Leaving a generous tip doesn’t make up for ordering someone around or treating them dismissively. While tipping augments the incomes of those in a service industry and rewards them for a job well done, treating them with kindness and respect is just as important.
  8. 8. Tip on the pre-tax amount of the bill, not on the total
  9. 9. When in doubt about whether to tip, ask in advance. Call ahead to the resort where you will be staying and inquire of resort fees and amenities. At your hair salon, ask the receptionist what is customary. Taking the time to find out what’s expected can spare you an embarrassing moment.
  10. 10. Though money is the tip of choice. Sometimes a small gift (usually given during the holidays) can be substituted for cash. In the case of a hair stylist or puppy sitter, for example, this gift can “top off” the cash tips you’ve given throughout the year.
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  • C Finley: I enjoy reading a post that makes people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!
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Ballerina Girl posted in: Weddings

Wedding storyboard inspired by the Swan Princess and her elegant swan ballerina company…

The White Swan Princess Wedding Inspiration

Color Story: Blush, Palomino, Venetian Gold

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