By Sharon Schweitzer
Easter is this Sunday, and from egg hunts to Sunday brunch it’s a time when families and friends come together to celebrate a season of renewal and rebirth. Whether you are hosting an Easter get-together or have been invited into someone’s home, here are some tips from our Ms. Modern Manners Sharon Schweitzer, an internationally renowned etiquette and modern manners expert, a bestselling author…and the founder of Access to Culture.
Master the Menu: Whether you’ve hired a caterer or are cooking for the whole crew, inquire about any food intolerances or allergies before planning the menu. While it may be tricky to accommodate everyone, consider ingredient swapping or allergen-friendly recipes that let everyone enjoy a delicious Easter celebration. Guests, when replying to the invitation, specify any allergies or intolerances immediately-well in advance, so that your host isn’t scrambling to accommodate at the last minute.
Flexible Schedule: Ask guests about and plan brunch around religious or spiritual celebrations on Easter morning. Consider a midday or an afternoon luncheon that lets everyone come together and celebrate. Guests, let your host know in your RSVP if you may be running late. Between 10-15 minutes is acceptable. If you’ll be more than 30 minutes late then ask the host whether your arrival will disrupt brunch.
Best Dressed: Whether you’re planning a formal affair, or a casual family kick-back, specify dress code so that guests can arrive looking their best. Guests, make sure that your attire is event-appropriate, i.e. clean, neatly pressed and polished, and suited to the holiday. Avoid dark tones like black, brown or grey, and opt for fresh colors in spring or pastel tones.
Get Crafty: Easter brunch is a family affair, so let the kiddos join in the fun with seasonal crafts like these adorable eggs or this colorful wreath. Set up an arts-and-crafts table where the kids can get creative. Cover the surface with crayon-friendly butcher paper, and keep wet wipes handy to clean any messes before the meal. Not only does this offer something for every age, but lets you focus on hosting a fun, family-friendly brunch.
Interfaith Easter: If you have an interfaith guest list, be respectful of everyone’s beliefs and thank them for joining you on this special occasion. Welcome any questions they might have about your traditions. If you know that certain guests may try to initiate a religious debate then keep the spotlight off one another’s religious differences by having conversation starters ready.
Easter Keepsakes: Whether you set the table with tulips, or decorate with candy-filled eggs, consider decorations that you can offer guests as a small thank-you for joining your celebration. Not only does this give them a lovely memento of the meal, but makes clean-up easier by reducing clutter in the closet. Guests, don’t forget to bring a hostess gift, such as a potted plant, champagne or fine chocolates, and to send a thank you card within 24 hours.
For more information on Access To Culture and Sharon Schweitzer, visit www.protocolww.com