Miss SOS (Save Our Sanity)


Planning my wedding is driving me crazy.

Never fear – Miss SOS is here. Miss SOS (Save Our Sanity) specializes in saving sanities especially for Brides, Grooms, mothers and mothers-in-law. Plus, Miss SOS is a noted expert on etiquette and can sort out a vast array of knotty and uncomfortable issues from family dynamics to “I can’t believe I got this gift.” And, to see what other topics Miss SOS has addressed, check out the Miss SOS Archives!

Miss SOS is also available to speak at your company or business on “Manners Around the Water Cooler”. Business etiquette is paramount in order to achieve success. In a world where our coworkers and clients are as likely to come from the other side of the globe as the other side of town, changes both subtle and radical are necessary in our manners. Miss SOS’ fun interactive presentation provides advice and guidelines relevant to our business lives today including office decorum, business calls and introductions, entertaining and networking, cyberspace courtesies, and conducting business out of your home.

To learn more, contact Miss SOS at hazel@hazellbowman.com.


Dear Miss SOS:

My parents are divorced. Whom should I tell first?

Miss SOS presumes you’re referring to your engagement. If so, this is one area where Miss SOS can’t help you. You know your family better than anyone else. Do what you feel most comfortable with.

Dear Miss SOS:

It’s true that you can choose your friends but not your family. I come from a very respectable household and each of my brothers has married well. However my sister is engaged to a man whose family members are, how should I phrase this, money-grubbers and crude. My parents are hosting a very fashionable, elegant wedding. How should I treat my future brother-in-law’s family? I trust you understand what it is I am asking.

Miss SOS understands your question very well. Re-worded, you are trying to ask how to treat a guest with disdain that could pass for politeness. You are in luck, because the best way to be condescending is to be extremely polite. You are to be gracious, courteous, and enthusiastically introduce them to the other guests present. If you choose to ignore these people, you will justifiably be considered rude and probably worst in your mind, very unfashionable.

Dear Miss SOS:

Though I am engaged to be married, I don’t know if I wish, or am ready, to have that sort of long-term commitment with my fiancé. I told him this and though a bit hurt, he’s OK with my decision. He and I are now talking about having a baby and, to be candid, I would like to have his baby. What do you think?

Miss SOS is uncertain what you want her to comment upon. If it’s not marrying when you’re unsure of your feelings, then by all means hold off. However, if it’s because you don’t want a long-term commitment but still want a baby, all Miss SOS can ask is “What are you thinking? Having a child is one of the longest-term commitments that you can enter into with a partner. By Miss SOS calculations, it’s 18 years minimum and up.

Dear Miss SOS:

Since my divorce, I have remained good friends with my former brother-in-law. I’m getting remarried and it’s OK with my fiancée and ex to invite him to the wedding. How do I introduce him to my other guests?

You are to introduce a former in-law as a “friend” rather than as an ex-brother-in-law. If you and your ex-wife have children together, then you would introduce your ex-brother-in-law as “Laurie and Ander’s uncle.”

Dear Miss SOS:

One of the employees where I work is getting married. She’s been dropping hints regarding the presents she would like – from saying she wouldn’t mind if someone gave her cash to informing me of the big sale going on for her china pattern. I still haven’t received an invitation, verbal or written, so I don’t even know if I’m invited to the wedding. What response, if any, should I give the next time she brings up the subject?

Miss SOS advises you not to say anything. The nice thing about dropped hints is that you don’t have to pick them up. You can let them lie there, right where they fell flat.

Dear Miss SOS:

I want you to settle a dispute between a work colleague and me. She says that weddings gifts are to be brought to the church. I say that gifts are to be brought to the reception. Who’s right? There’s a $5 bet on this.

Please immediately abandon this concept that bringing a wedding gift to either event is the price of admission for your attendance. Neither of you are correct. It is considered extremely rude and discourteous to force the happy couple, on the busiest day of their lives, to take full responsibility in making arrangements in securing and transporting all gifts without breaking them, losing them, or misplacing gift cards. Gifts are to be sent to the Bride or Groom’s home prior to or after the wedding, but never on the day itself…

Dear Miss SOS:

A group of people we know went in on our wedding gift. How and to whom do I write my thank you note?

When you have received a single gift resulting from a collaborative endeavor from friends, relatives, or business colleagues, you should write a separate thank you note to each individual involved. Should the gift be received from an organization, company, or church you belong to, then the thank you note addressed to the group is considered sufficient.


PrescottWeddings.com FREE e-zine series “Making It Happen” is one of the best tools Miss SOS can recommend. It helps you plan your timeline, provides valuable hints on how to cut the cost and not the dream, lets you know what questions you should be asking, and gives other great information. Subscribe online here. 

Have a question? Write Miss SOS at hazel@hazellbowman.com