MS. BEHAVING’s readers have weddings on their mind this week. Toujours amour! And keep the questions coming.
A READER WRITES: We’re going to a wedding in Italy. Anything we should know re: customs?
MS. BEHAVING REPLIES: Brush up on your tarantella! Surely you know how to do it? If not, the Web or stateside Italian friends will no doubt help you, as this is the first dance with all participating at the reception. Whee! Then bring cash: it is customary at the second receiving line – if this is a formal wedding – or at some point during the festivities, to present the couple with a financial token in a lovely envelope (certemente, a lovely note should be enclosed wishing their happiness). Depending on the formality of the occasion, this can happen at any time when you shake hands. Observe what others do, then get your tarantella on and have fun!
A READER WRITES: At a recent wedding in Budapest, all was well until the dancing. Then strange things seemed to happen on the dance floor…
MS. BEHAVING REPLIES: It’s custom, darling! No, you don’t have to learn the local version of the tarantella. Dancing at Hungarian weddings is fraught with adorable customs perfectly understandable to the locals, if not to us. So here’s what happens: Tradition says that if a guest wants to dance with the bride at the reception, a few coins are required. In return, the bride kisses the guest. But wait – there’s more! Guests in the know bring edible gifts in exchange for a turn on the floor with the bride as well. Although the traditional offerings may be – yes - pigeons and chickens, you needn’t raid the local coop. A piece of fruit, chocolates or anything small and edible will win you a dance … and the respect of the Hungarian guests who see that you’ve done your homework.
Have questions about etiquette, local or global travel customs or awkward moments on the road? Fear not! Ms. Behaving is ready to answer. Send your queries (putting "Ms. Behaving" in the subject line) .
Photo above: Ms. Behaving at Royal Ascot.