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What is proper dinner etiquette for family holidays, and…

What is proper dinner etiquette...
What is proper dinner etiquette for family holidays, and then for business casual, and formal dinners?What do I wear, order, talk about? How to use my silverware, how to sit? When do I arrive, when is too early/too late? Who do I sit next to if choice is given?I always feel awkward at dinners (on business or a date) and I'd like to teach my family the proper way to act at the dinner table before I find my future husband to introduce them to.
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Answered in 23 minutes by:
9/27/2017
Rev Dr August Abbott
Rev Dr August Abbott, Adult Etiquette Pro
Category: Etiquette
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Experience: 40 yrs: Etiquette teacher,Formal event officiate, announcement author, minister
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I am August Abbott, formally trained x12 yrs private school:international protocols, etiquette. Please allow a few mins. to compose your response.

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There are multiple different questions here and I'm not supposed to answer more than one per post, but I'll give you an overview that should work - then if you need more specifics we can go from there

Dinners (in/family) - dress like everyone else. Casual, Sunday/holiday, etc..

One should never arrive more than 15 minutes early unless asked to; one must never arrive late (shows disrespect)

Sit next to whomever the host(ess) suggests; who you arrived with; whoever first invites you to sit next to them; someone special to you

A winning conversation is usually about the other person. Steer clear of politics and religion unless you are strong enough to stay neutral. These are not 'debate' events.

Silverware is used from the outside to the inside. The first fork on your left is the first fork to use (usually salad or appetizers), the next course means the next fork, etc.. When in doubt, watch someone else

Never begin eating until everyone is seated and the host(ess) either begins eating or invites everyone to begin

When done you place your silverware across the top portion of the plate

By the way, one should never 'shake' a folded napkin out in order to place it on a lap; the napkin should be unfolded while holding it just over the side of the table more toward your lap. This is a faux pas I see done a lot, even by people who should know better.

This should get you through most common circumstances with regard to both family and restaurant dining

Rev Dr August Abbott
Rev Dr August Abbott, Adult Etiquette Pro
Category: Etiquette
Satisfied Customers: 7,876
Experience: 40 yrs: Etiquette teacher,Formal event officiate, announcement author, minister
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