Invitation to a Garden Party

A friend recently asked if I would like to attend a garden party at Earnscliffe, the British High Commission residence here in Ottawa. It was a fundraiser for Cornerstone. You don’t have to ask an Etiquette Consultant twice to don a hat, sip something cool, and stroll amongst the flowers, all for a good cause, well, at least not this one. My response was an immediate YES PLEASE.

If you’re invited to a garden party this summer here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Find out the dress code. If hats are the norm have fun with one. Wear it with confidence.

  • Arrive and depart at the stated time on the invitation. Lingering amongst the flowers after the requested departure time is poor manners.

  • Find your hosts and let them know how happy you are to be attending their garden party.

  • If cocktails are served remember that you still have to navigate the cobblestone paths in your strappy heels. Watch your alcohol consumption.

  • As trays of nibbles are offered take a napkin and one item of food. They’ll come your way again.

  • If entertainment is provided watch and listen. Resume your private conversation later.

  • Most likely the garden will be at its peak. Refrain from picking flowers or slipping cuttings into your clutch.

  • Meet new people. Introduce yourself to others. You’re all there for the same reason so you already have something in common.

  • After the garden party send your host a hand-written thank you note. Yes, a thank you email is OK, but you, with your fabulous fascinator, are more than OK.

If you don’t see an invitation arriving in your mail box this summer consider hosting your own garden party. I’d love to come.

Ready to celebrate 60 years.

About etiquetteottawa

Founder and Owner of the Protocol School Of Ottawa
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