DEAR HARRIETTE: My granddaughter, whom we seldom see because she lives in Iowa, is a bridesmaid in her college friend's wedding. The wedding will take place in a large chapel located two hours from where we live.
We intended to see our granddaughter in the wedding ceremony. Our plan was to sit inconspicuously in the back of the church and leave immediately after the ceremony, hoping only to briefly see her afterward. When I told my granddaughter that we would see her at the wedding, she said that etiquette frowns on attending a wedding ceremony if not invited.
I always thought the ceremony, especially one in a large church or chapel, was open to interested people. My husband and I, of course, will not attend now because we do not want to make her uncomfortable, but I'm wondering what proper etiquette is in this case. -- Disappointed, Chicago
DEAR DISAPPOINTED: Your granddaughter happens to be right this time. While I understand your interest in seeing her in this wedding, I would not recommend crashing the event for that purpose.
Instead, why not invite your granddaughter to visit you, since she will be so close, or ask if you can visit her while she's nearby for the wedding? That could mean that you pay for her to stay one more night at a hotel or that you figure out another creative way of getting together.
Your main point is that you want to see your granddaughter. Make sure she knows how much you miss and love her, and how much you want to see her face and give her a hug.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My pastor asked the women in all of the ministry departments to dress conservatively this summer. The reason for the request is that our pastor does not want men in church to become distracted from their duties, and he wants them to focus on the needs of the people.
I'm one for compliance; however, we attend an old but beautiful church that has no air conditioning. During the summertime, the church services can become unbearable due to the heat.
I would like to wear my cute dresses and stay cool at the same time. I need some help to find a happy medium. I want to dress comfortably without causing an uproar at church. Help me. -- Cool and Cute, Memphis, Tenn.
DEAR COOL AND CUTE: It is traditional in many churches for men and women to dress conservatively. I imagine that if the women leaders of your church are asked to dress modestly, the men are required to do the same. Is that so?
It would be helpful to get further guidelines on what "conservative" means. You may want to point out that although it is too hot to wear pantyhose, skirts below the knee and dresses that cover the shoulders would work well. These styles are common in houses of worship.
Get clarification and then work with the leadership to figure out what will be comfortable in the heat and appropriate for your roles.