Dress the part
Sure, some things are easy to figure out: an afternoon BBQ is casual, an evening wedding at a fancy spot is formal, but what about those in-between events? “If the invitation mentions or indicates ‘festive attire’ or ‘dressy chic’ you are welcome to free up your color choice by including less formal and lighter, brighter hues and accessories, says Thomas P. Farley, a New York-based etiquette expert and founder of What Manners Most. And that particularly holds true when the affair is held in the morning or during warm-weather months. When it’s unclear just how dressy or casual an event is, however, you can’t go wrong with a LBD. “A little black dress is a great go-to,” says David Tutera, a Los Angeles-based celebrity wedding and event planner and TV host. “For a less formal daytime affair, accessorize delicately and don’t go too heavy with your makeup. For a more formal evening look, go with bold statement jewelry, an up-do hairstyle, and a smoky look for makeup.” Make sure you are always following these 50 little etiquette rules.
Don’t go broke giving a gift
Be it a wedding or a baby shower, it’s always tough to figure out what to give—and at what cost. “When it comes to weddings, your relationship with the couple and your financial situation should be your guide to figuring out how much is appropriate to spend,” says Tutera. “What may be a suitable gift amount for a distant friend or co-worker will always be different from that of a close relative or friend. And when it comes to budget, everyone’s financial circumstances are different.” The old adage that you should “cover your plate” at a wedding is no longer true. “No guest should have to take out a loan or go into debt to buy a wedding gift. Give what you feel in your heart and what you can afford,” says Farley.