Who is Affected by Your Ongoing Tardiness?



So….when is fashionably late a good thing?   Well from someone who claims to have been born 10 minutes late and who typically starts a conversation with “Sorry I’m late”, I may not be the right person to ask. But studies and fact based research emphatically says “No” to the notion that being late is an acceptable behavior. Not only will this problem put you in a perpetual state of chaos and haste, but you may convey a message to friends and coworkers that you do not value their time.    If this description sounds accurate, take note as we begin to explore being tardy…a sign of disrespect!

With the onslaught of cell phones, it has given people some sense of false security that notifying others of your perpetual tardiness is “ok”.


Well it is “ok” if you are detained because of an accident on the highway or a delayed flight…but many feel just by making the effort to call makes lateness ok. Well just because we can doesn’t mean that we should…and what it could mean, is that you don’t get “the job” or “the client”.

So what is the cause?

A study of 225 people with San Francisco State University, giving personality tests to determine what causes chronic lateness. As it turned out, “the late scored higher in several areas, including anxiety and distractibility, while placing somewhat below the timely in the areas of self-esteem and self-discipline.” So being perpetually late ends up becoming a cycle of anxiety and low self-esteem.

And how about the Millennials in the workplace… 60 Minutes and  Forbes Magazine  have done articles and segments and have determined, “They (millennials) have climbed Mount Everest. They’ve been down to Machu Picchu to help excavate it. But they’ve never punched a time clock. They have no idea what it’s like to actually be in an office at nine o’clock, with people handing them work,” “74% of them require a work/life balance”.

So where does punctuality fit in? And what is the effect?

  • Employees who choose to be late are showing blatant disrespect for the manager or administration. This can have damaging effects on the rest of the team.
  • Habitually late person is not only illustrating his own dissatisfaction with his workplace, but also affects the work habits and morale of others… If one or two people are consistently late for no reason other than they seem to think it’s not a problem, then the rest of the staff may start to have a problem.
  • If you are late you end up paying for it…literally! According to Diana DeLonzor, the author of  “Never be Late Again: 7 Cures for the Punctually Challenged,”  tardiness “costs U.S. businesses more than $3 billion each year in lost productivity. The effect on the bottom line of the average business is significant: An employee who is late 10 minutes each day has, by the end of the year, taken the equivalent of a week’s paid vacation.”

ClockBut, interestingly, 44% of the hiring managers surveyed, via Career Builder, said they didn’t care if their employees were late as long as the work was completed on time and with good quality.

The bottom line…

If you have a flexible boss, who values your worth as an employee, then 5 minutes late here and there may not be an issue. It is when it effects other’s ability to get their work done is where employers have to draw the line.

Respectfully… Mother, May I  says make being early, work for you.  By being 10-15 minutes early to a business event or meeting can make a big difference in what you get out of it. It shows to savvy observers that you are prepared, and you may get a chance to make an impression on the key note speaker or the president of the company.

So now a days… I set my clocks fast, set reminders in my phone and use Starbucks locations as my early holding spot before a meeting. These work for me…

Tell us what types of things do you do to get yourself to be on time?


Thanks for reading,

Lisa and Demetria

Co-Founders Mother, May I – Etiquette Experts

How to Get the Most Out of a Networking Event


So….many people today feel that networking is the best way to find business opportunities.

But what is business networking anyway?  Well based on the book, Oxford Dictionary, the word is defined as:

Network (noun) 1 An arrangement of intersecting horizontal and vertical lines… 2 A group or system of interconnected people or things… (verb) 1 Connect or operate with a network… 2 (often as noun networking) Interact with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.

…But it’s more than showing up and shaking hands; it’s about being prepared and proactive. Business networking offers a way to reach decision-makers which might otherwise be very difficult to engage with using conventional advertising methods. In addition, business networking brings with it the added advantage of recommendation and personal introduction, which are always very helpful for developing business opportunities.

So how can you make an impression on an individual at a networking event in a short amount of time?

  • Make a Good First Impression.
  • Do Your Research.
  • Know Their Industry.
  • Know Current News
  • Have Something Interesting to Say About It.
  • Keep the Conversation Going – Instead of making generic statements -keep things interesting and lead from one subject to another -the more you practice this, the better you become at it.

Knowledge is power – in networking, too! Research the people and companies present at the networking events you attend, read books about subjects you don’t know, and never stop learning –to help strengthen your networking skills, and yourself!

Natl book foundation

Did you know that October is National Book Month? Books are a wealth of information and used to be the only real resource we had to familiarize ourselves with topics and businesses. Now we have Google and other search engines that actually make finding out information about businesses or keynote speakers easy and fast. Well even if you are a bit of a wall flower, it is simple to Google 2 or 3 factoids or create a few soundbites based on what you learned. This will allow you to start a conversation, which could lead to an opportunity that may not have existed if you came in cold.

So with that in mind, here is a short list of efforts you can make to make your networking …work for you!


  • Networking is a contact sport…it is like the lottery, you have to play to win. So target the networking events that will benefit your networking goals and make sure you are mentally there as well.
  • Ask yourself what your goals are in participating in networking meetings as you can’t meet everyone. So be prepared with the short list of people you want to connect with and connect.
  • Keep in mind that networking is about being genuine and authentic, building trust and relationships, and seeing how you can help others.
  • Have an elevator speech prepared describing yourself decisively and positively as you may only have a few minutes in the initial exchange.
  • Ask open-ended questions in networking conversations. This means questions that ask who, what, where, when, and how as opposed to those that can be answered with a simple yes or no. This form of questioning opens up the discussion and shows listeners that you are interested in them.
  • Follow through quickly and efficiently on referrals you are given. When people give you referrals, your actions are a reflection on them. Respect and honor that, and your referrals will grow.
  • Call those you meet who may benefit from what you do and vice versa. Express that you enjoyed meeting them, and ask if you could get together and share ideas.
  • Hold volunteer positions in organizations. This is a great way to stay visible and give back to groups that have helped you.

group of business folk / all networking together / to generate cashSo stop thinking there are perks to being a wallflower and get out there and start building those important relationships today… you never know where they might lead.

Mother, May I works with college students and business executives to make networking a productive experience. Let us know how we can help you get the most out of your next networking opportunity.

“It’s the people we hardly know, and not our closest friends, who will improve our lives most dramatically”
Meg Jay  Clinical Psychologist,  Author of The Defining Decade, and speaker at the acclaimed 2013 TED talk.   


Thanks for reading and joining our network! Follow us on LinkedIn to find out about our next blog.

Lisa and Demetria

Co-Founders Mother, May I – Etiquette Experts

What Do You Wear to Work?

First things first: Transparency belongs in the workplace in your communication skills, not in your clothing choices.

Every morning you spend time (valuable time) dressing yourself.  Some mornings you might find yourself spending way too much time getting ready, which in turn may make you late and unprepared for your day. We want to inspire you to change your work performance by changing your clothes. It’s a challenge that we know you can accomplish.  Knowing how to dress yourself well will give you an advantage over your peers. How to Simplify Dressing Business Casual Daily.

bad-work-clothesYour clothing creates your individual identity. Although you should never judge a book by its cover, if you’re in a big office with a lot of employees, then it’s possible the only impression your boss really has of you is how you present yourself. Business dress has undergone such radical shifts in the past ten years that people simply no longer know what is appropriate anymore. However, some things never change-And the following tips are all you need to make a clothing change which will make a change in your professional success:So, let’s start at the top:

  • Your hair. Spend some time with a hairstylist that can help you with a style that is easy to create, and easy on the eyes. Save your updo’s for a wedding or a date-And the amount of makeup you wear should enhance your beauty, not create it. Going to work looking like an avatar will lessen your credibility.
  • Make sure you are always dressed appropriately for work with clean clothes …clean means clean. Soiled clothes speak more of slovenliness and poor personal habits than of rebellion and “cool”. Forget about finding a “hot spot” and take time to inspect your clothes for spots.
  • Smart clothes…mean that they don’t have a special pocket for your smart phone. It means to wear clothes that are practical and permit you to move comfortably in and out of your chair or cubicle.
  • Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Use your own style, as we suggest above, but match your dress style to your company’s’ level of formality.
  • Dress for the time of day…with the holidays approaching, many of us will be attending parties after work. Bring in your after-work attire and change your outfit after the official workday is done. NO Exceptions.
  • Keep it understated…allowing your clothes to speak without shouting. That is the hallmark of the well-dressed.
  • Reality is that you represent your company. Whenever you deal with people from the outside, your clothes reflect your company. Always be prepared to look your best.
  • Don’t be a fashion victim. Your work clothes are an investment into your success. Don’t let “what’s in or what’s cheap” be your guide. Keep your personal style in check with your company’s culture.
  • Finally, most of our presentations, our client wants us to address the issue on clothes that reveal too much. The smart business dresser knows that transparency belongs in their work communication and projects. Keeping your colleagues, bosses, and clients focus on your work not your body will move you up that corporate ladder without missing a step.

Following the above tips is simple – If you value your job, and yourself, taking some time to clear out your closet, and ask Mother, May I for advice is what will help you succeed in dressing well for your career. These days, it’s easy for us to get complacent about our appearance. However, some things will never change; People judge you by your clothes; dressing appropriately at your company is a vital ingredient in making a good impression and maintaining that good image every day.

We want you to put your best foot forward every day!

Demetria and Lisa

Co-Founders Mother, May I – Etiquette Experts

Pardon the Interruptions-The Pope is Talking

PopeWell, these past few days had many interruptions due to the Papal Visit. And, those interruptions might have been worthwhile-such as, a break from your regular traffic route because you decided to watch the Pope a little longer. That type of interruption was welcoming-We have had our  days  and routines interrupted time to time. But, is it just me, or do I feel like conversations are being interrupted more often these days?

Did you know?

  • We can comprehend and listen at the rate of 600 words per minute?
  • On the average, we speak at the rate of 125-150 words per minute. (No wonder, at an auction all we have to do to respond is raise our hand-did I just interrupt my blog?)

The fact that our society has encouraged a lifestyle that not only makes our minds work at a faster rate, but makes other things happening around us work as fast. This means that our minds are working faster when listening to others. (www.lauraleerose.com) No wonder it’s a struggle to keep on topic.

Have interruptions become such a trend that they are now a natural part of conversation? There are times  we don’t realize we are interrupting.  Let’s take a step back and name the reasons why we interrupt:

  1. We need help.
  2. We need attention.
  3. We are bored with the current conversation.
  4. We are wasting our time.
  5. We want to change the topic, for some other reason.
  6. We are arrogant.( Trump – are you reading this?)

Mother, May I wants to help you improve yourself professionally and personally, we believe that interruptions  whether intentional or not can be controlled.

If you don’t want someone to interrupt you, then practice the following in conversation:

  1. Spell out your intentions up front – For example, “Thanks for meeting with me this morning. I’m not sure how to handle this sticky situation at work. Here is what happened-and I value your opinion/advice.”
  2. Your time is valuable – Find what works for you in regards to answering the phone and replying to emails. Interruptions happen while other interruptions are ongoing. Communicating with others about your available time will help others respect your time, and not interrupt you.
  3. Give advice when asked – Unsolicited advice is rarely appreciated. If there is something you want to discuss and it is off-topic, do not interrupt, wait and find a better time to offer advice.

Watching and listening to pieces of  the Popes recent visit was enticing. It was refreshing to stop, pause, listen and reflect on the media coverage, and mainly, listen to the Pope. Did you notice his deliberate moments of silence?  Thousands upon thousands experienced the bliss of silence and reflection during the Pope’s visit. Regular conversation with a person like the Pope will likely never happen. And, if you or I ever had the chance to talk with him, the idea of interrupting him is unfathomable.

So, chances are we won’t have the pleasure of talking with the Pope, yet we can all improve our communication.

Next time you have a conversation with anyone, your parent, a friend, a colleague, try to slow it down a bit. Pay attention to what they say, and don’t be afraid to ponder your answer and pause, before developing a response. You may be able to improve your response and answer the question better. Also, listening  more closely will  make the conversation more enjoyable and enriching for both parties involved.

If you would like to learn more about communication, and take a look at how it reflects on yourself  in the your profession, listen to our latest podcast. We will be sharing it on our social media platforms on Monday, next week on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Listen to Mother, May I with Emery Mulling of Mulling At Work, a segment on Talk of the Town 1160 Radio, and listen to us chat about How to Improve Professionalism in the Modern (often interrupted) Workplace.

Demetria and Lisa

Co-Founders Mother, May I


Mindful Manners for the Workplace


So….now that Labor Day has come and gone, the festiveness of summer seems like a distant memory. Most folks are back from vacation and the fall intensity is revving up. Not to say we totally slack in the summer, but in many industries, summertime is a bit more of a relaxed workplace. Many companies in Manhattan actually offer ½ day Fridays so that employees can get out of town for the weekend early. Hewitt Associates research over the years has found that compressing workweeks is a way to keep employees happy without spending a lot of money.

workplace reallyI’m not sure why workplace etiquette seems to still be on vacation too. Is office etiquette sadly fading away? Well Mother, May I is here to help correct that trend. To some people, manners seem to be an old-fashioned concept — some stuffy idea from when people were not allowed to wear flip flops to work. If you spend most of your week in an office environment, you probably know that working closely with colleagues can be a productive, rewarding experience. You also know that their quirks, bad habits, and thoughtlessness can slowly drive you insane.

So with that in mind, here is a short list of office pet peeves and reminders of the civil and professional behavior that you can practice in the workplace…

Cubicle clausterphobia

  • Cubicle claustrophobia: Too many people feel like their space is not their space. But even though a person works in an open area, it does not follow that they don’t deserve some privacy and respect.
    • Leave other’s belongings alone
    • Knock before entering another’s cubicle and don’t peer over cubicle walls
    • Use your indoor voice and don’t use your speaker phone unless you are alone or in a closed office space
  • Kitchen confidential: It is funny, as we canvas different employees, shared space maintenance is a common issue. If you put something in the refrigerator, you need to eat it or remove it before it goes bad. Leaving it there afterwards (and sometime long afterwards) is not only wrong, but frankly, gross.

Workplace refrig

    • Respect other people’s food
    • Clean up after yourself
    • Be responsibility for what you use in common spaces
  • Communication: Getting 10 emails when a brief face –to –face or phone call would suffice and solve any confusion
    • Not responding to emails in a timely manner is unprofessional
  •  “People not taking ownership for their actions” continues to be one of the most common pet peeve globally, chosen by 78 percent of total respondents.
    • No one is perfect so being authentic and transparent about an issue at work will save everyone’s time and improve productivity in the end.
  •  Showing up late for meetings: This is the office pet peeve that bothered hiring managers (65 percent) in the U.S. the most according to a LinkedIn survey.
    • Showing up late or ill-prepared gives the impression that your time is more important than others, even your bosses.   
  • Passive-aggressive feuding. This happens when a coworker has a problem, but instead of solving it through open communication, punishes you with a range of undermining tactics. This can include eye rolling, the silent treatment, or excluding you from lunch or happy hour.
    • It’s best to get the issue on the table and discuss it calmly, working together to find an agreeable solution. 

Henry Ford was quoted as saying that “Being likable was more important than the knowledge of the job.” He said, “You can teach someone the job, but teaching them how to work with others is much more difficult.”

Being civil and mindful of others in the workplace is a best practice.

Let us know how turning on the right manners benefited you at work!


Lisa and Demetria

Co-Founders Mother, May I – Etiquette Experts

3 Manners to Leave a Great Impression

What makes a great impression? Today, making a good impression is easy. Saying hello and making eye contact and extending your hand are all simple ways that create a good impression. However, in today’s competitive world, Making and leaving a great impression is a challenge.

Believe Mother, May I when we tell you that people do want to hear about you. When you meet someone, they want to hear about what you do and who you are. Be prepared to have that short “elevator” speech that engages the people you are with. Make yourself present by lighting up your social crowd.

Being an engaging and fun person to be around goes hand-in-hand with having good manners and leaving a good impression. Speaking of which, Pittsburgh will be making an impression this Friday by hosting an amazing event.

I have to share that this weekend Pittsburgh will be on stage for hosting our first Diner En Blanc. Visit the White en Blanc – Pittsburgh website to learn about this amazing social movement that encourages dining with strangers. We will all be dressed in white, and conducting ourselves with the best decorum, elegance , and etiquette, all meeting for a massive “Chic Picnic” in a public space.


So, for those of you attending the White en Blanc event, and also those of you that are constantly meeting new people, professionally and socially…Here are 3 Steps to Help you Succeed in Leaving a good Great Impression:

  1. Looking good and well groomed wherever you may be…I know that in some places, yoga pants have crossed into the workplace for appropriate attire-However, your everyday appearance should always send a strong message about you. You don’t get a second chance…We make a judgement in the first 2 seconds we lay our eyes on you. At the White En Blanc event, dress in all white -for ladies, I would include the shoes as well, while for men, white shoes may be harder to come by and therefore less of a no-no.
  1. Be prepared to talk about yourself in a positive manner. Nobody wants to hear the doom and gloom of your day. Give off a positive energy and find a positive talking piece about yourself that you know makes you smile when you talk about it. Lean forward into the conversation. Know that your body language sends out 65% of what you are really saying. Keep your comments short and clear in communication.
  1. Walk away from that social group with a thank you, and it was nice meeting you. Be sincere. Make people feel good by giving them approval. Make them feel good about themselves. Also, if you can, try to use their names if you remember them, as people like to hear their own name.

Leaving a Great Impression is a wonderful way to kick-start your Fall season. Challenge yourself with some new social setting goals.

For example, you could….

  • Go for a walk just to smile at a stranger.
  • Make a point to help someone at the grocery store.
  • Do something nice for someone at work.

– You will feel good about this small changes that you are making to your daily routine-and will be leaving behind a great impression on someone.

Let us know how someone left you with a great impression. And think about why that person was able to leave that impression on you…

Manners…Pools, Parks and Parties…Oh My!



So… summer is official apon us, hooray! What to do now? Getting out for a little summer fun perhaps? Well there are manners involved with sharing public spaces like a pool, park or even at a neighborhood party. Knowing how to act and react this summer while out and about will make for a more pleasant time! You remember the “Lions and Tigers and Bears…oh my” in the movie Wizard of Oz? Well they can all co-exist, and so can we if we are mindful of our manners…check out these unlikely friends at the zoo.

Can't we just all get along

I guess you are asking is how?   Well Mother, May I can toss you a lifepreserver of mannerly tips that will keep your summer cool and enjoyable!



So for the pool…

  1. Mind your manners! Unless you are at an all inclusive in the islands, leave food and drink poolside. The last thing anyone wants is a taco floating in the public pool.
  2. Don’t stare! It is impolite to stare anywhere, but a pool where people are in bathing suits, the temptation to look longer at a swimsuit faux pax is greater. Use your indoor/ outdoor voice…though it is understandable have excitement levels high about being outdoors, there is no need to rachet the decible levels up on your voice or your music.
  3. Be mindful of your space and others: This goes for laying out your towel or when you are leaving and shaking off your towel. Take a look at those around you to make certain you are not going to disturb. Splashing in the pool is fun, but when it continuous and reckless that is rude…so no cannonballs when lots of people are in your splash zone.
  4. Don’t bring things to the pool that you may not be willing to share. This is for you parents, if your child has a favorite toy that you decide to take to the pool, understand that other kids may like it too. To avoid any hardfeelings or a meltdown, I would leave those important toys at home.

So for the park… the suggestions for the pool apply to heading out to the parks this summer, but there are a few others that are park specific.

  1. Leave No Trace Ethic. It is very simple: leave the place you visit the same or better than you found it; leave no trace of your having been there, so that others – both human and animal – can enjoy the place the rest of the year. With 75% of Americans admitting to littering, well cutting that in half would make a huge impact on the ecology and the economy!
  2. Respect Mother, Nature and the rules of the park! If there is a sidewalk or trail that will get you to your destination, use it vs. trampling through the grass or forest. Practice this with your kids by suggesting they use the sidewalk vs bolting across the grass at your next neighborhood party.

So speaking of parties… again the suggestions for the pool and the parks apply to heading out to parties this summer, but there are a few extras to be mindful of.

  1. RSVP! Just take the extra 5 minutes to check your calendar and respond. There have been huge gaffs when people don’t…take the client party for the Blue Ribbon Bag Company for instance. Why put your gracious host under pressure by having to handle your showing or no-showing.
  2. Kids will be kids… but at someone else’s home it is your responsibility as parents or guardians to keep your children under control. The best way to do this is decide with your children the ground rules and the penalties before you step out of the car.


Mindful manners is what can make a good time great! So get out there and share some sunshine!

 posh picnic

As the Beetles sang so sweetly “Here comes the sun…and I say, it’s all right.”


Thank you for reading and enjoy your summer!

Lisa and Demetria…

Co-Founders Mother, May I – Etiquette Experts

Are you Proud of You?

Pride logo So…with all the news swirling around about inequality and inequities shown to our fellow man (or woman), I want you to ask yourself…Are you proud of you? Think about that question before you jump in, because being proud of yourself is an important thing today, but many think it has to deal with some major accomplishment. It doesn’t. It can be something as simple as being proud of yourself for treating all people with kindness, understanding and respect. The lesson in that idea, is life changing, and a life skill that can be handed down to your next generation. Some times it’s hard to change your views, especially if those views have been very important to you or you’ve had them for a very long time. But you have made the decision to open your heart and understand people that are different than you, and that is commendable. Good job!

Well…Gay Pride month has kicked off in cities around the country. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally. This wonderful celebration is chock full of parades, costumes, great food and great fun! It celebrates the liberation of people, some who have lived in the shadows for decades, whose major goal has been the right to love.


Now what in the world is wrong with that?

 In the United States, same-sex marriage is recognized by the federal government and has been legalized in 36 U.S. states. More than 70% of the population live in states that recognize same sex unions. Well we’ve come a long way from Brokeback Mountain, and it is heartwarming to see older, loving couples, who have had to hide their relationships for decades in fear of public retribution. Times are a changing!

While many of us are embracing the evolution, there are still folks that don’t mind their manners on the matter…Iggy Azalea cancelled her Pittsburgh Pride concert, just last night, based on the uproar against her recent percieved homophobic and racists tweets.

But with major sports figures like Michael Sam and Bruce Jenner or power people like Ellen DeGeneres or Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO revealing their true selves, it helps to offer strength to the rest of LBGT community.

So we wanted to offer some ways to show your manners in the midst of diversity.

  1. Don’t make assumptions… Forget about stereotypes; they almost always do not apply. Not all gay men know how to cook, wear tight clothes, and love to shop or sing along with old show tunes. Not every lesbian has short hair and drive a Subaru. People present in all kinds of way so asking open ended questions can help ease awkward moments.
  2. People are forgetful by nature, so once again, don’t assume malice or disinterest if something is forgotten. Help out by reminding people who you are.
  3. If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all… my mother brought me up with this mantra. So many people in the 4G world have forgotten this simple kindness.
  4. Learn that gay men and lesbians are no different from any other group of people. They have dreams and goals, and want to be happy and lead productive lives. The more time you spend around gay and lesbian people, the more you realize that they’re just people, the same as you.
  5. Do not out your gay friends to others, respecting their privacy at all times. Outing them may put them in harms way, or make them vulnerable to discrimination from others whether it be in the workplace or for housing or other basic services
  6. Maintain and open mind and open heart! Attend a Pride parade. My dear friend and I happened on the Pride parade in New York City a few years ago…it was festive, irreverent, educational, loving, peaceful and really fun!

 Miami_PrideTake pride in doing the mannerly things that will make this week a memorable one!

Come together for the better!

Lisa and Demetria

Co-Founders Mother, May I… Etiquette Experts


Make Wedding Planning Easier with Etiquette

Wedding Etiquette

Todays’ wedding events are more than they used to be. There was a time when the proposal was popped, a date was picked, a registry was selected, the dress was bought, the invite list was put together. Once the invites were sent, the bride and groom would then wait for the hopefully, on time RSVPs to make their final plans.

Well, times have changed, and wedding planning has gone from a simple place to a grand destination, from Mom and Aunt Edna making the plans and a mountain of cookies to the launching of butterflies and swans. Wedding Etiquette topics range from fashion, money, bridal party, reception, venue, gifts, dining, invitations…the list goes on. Since we don’t have the space to hit every subject, here are some real questions that Mother, May I is asked frequently:

Do I have to wear a veil? Of course not. Traditionally, wedding veils were worn to ward off evil spirits, or to prevent any sneak peaks from the  groom. Well, veils have gone in and out of bridal fashion so its really your day…wear what you want.

We know are about 8-10% of our invitees are vegan. Do I have to provide a vegan entrée? Yes, you should prearrange with your caterer what can be served. And be sure to double check that list so your vegan guest does not feel uncomfortable waiting for their food.

Do I treat our out-of-town guests with preference? Out of courtesy, there should be something specail to indicate your happiness that they made such an effort. A small token in their room accommodations or a nice note for them at the dinner, perhaps on their place setting.

Can I hand-deliver my invites to close friends? Yes, of course…BUT you must deliver them from your hands into theirs.

What about the “Plus One”? Generally, when invited to a wedding, you are given a plus one. Usually the plus one represents a significant other, or a good friend that is appropriate for the wedding. However, budgets and other important factors do not include the plus one. This can be disturbing to you. If it is important to you to attend with a companion, then call the couple, and politely explain your situation and request their inclusion.

Do I pay for my flower girls’ dress? It would be nice to offer it as a gift, especially if the parents of the flower girl are not in a financial position to buy the dress. Be sure to think about this and inquire about their involvement at the same time you ask for their daughter to be the flower girl.

Can I safely assume that guests are not coming if I have not heard from them at the time of RSVP? No, go ahead and give them a ring. Who knows, Maybe they thought they sent the card in, but didn’t. Or maybe it got lost in the mail. Nothing is more cringe-worthy than having invited guests show up with nowhere to sit and nothing to eat.

Are E-vites tacky for a wedding invitation? In todays’s technology-based world, where your guests receive hundreds of emails every day, a physical invite has become that more special. Your invitiation is the first thing your guests see and read about your wedding. It sets the stage. If you are having a casual pre and post wedding event, then you can use email. But your wedding ceremony is a ceremony to celebrate with a physical invitation.

Getting married is more than just spending this important commitment with family and friends. It sends a message to your guests about your expectations for each other. It creates a memory that everyone should be able to sit back and smile upon. Using the right manners and etiquette will keep any mis-steps to a minimum. Be sure to ask MMI for guidance on this event. Lisa and I are the experts in creating that special day the right way. For more wedding information of all kinds, visit The Knot.


Demetria and Lisa

Interview Tips for Summer Jobs and Internships


So… school is out for summer, hooray! What to do now? Getting a job sounds like a good thing to do this summer, but with the competitive environment for those coveted summer internships or higher paying summer vocations, how can you make the right impression to get that “Dream Job”? Summer is a chance to pad one’s resume with important, or at least important-sounding, work. Whether it is an unpaid internship which may offer an “In” later in life or waiting tables at a local restaurant, or becoming an entrepreneur, cultivating your own ideas, leaving the right impression…a thought through impression, can make your summer job experience more worthy and profitable in the longer term.

I guess the question you are asking is how? Well  Mother, May I can offer you the mannerly road map to improving your chances of getting that Dream Job!


    1. Do your homework! “What?” you are saying…”I am out of school so I don’t have to do homework!” Well face it folks…a successful life is all about the homework. Investigate the industry or company or specific job description you want. With Google, the task is much less daunting. Being prepared is the mannerly thing to do.
    2. Show Enthusiasm: Show this during the interview because only the top 10 – 20% of candidates do. Make sure the interviewer knows you are excited to be there, and are pleased to discuss your background, your skills and abilities, and how you can help the company succeed with your skill set.
    3. Active Listening: Paying attention and being present in a conversation, an interview or a meeting will show that you are interested and engaged. Everyone wins when you take the time to put down your electronic devices and just listen.
    4. Dress the Part: Appropriate dressing “Your personal comfort ends where professionalism begins,” says Vinda Rao, marketing manager at online recruiting software company Bullhorn.  “[When] you are trying to make a great impression, being casual because it’s hot outside is an indication that you don’t take the opportunity seriously.” Career experts say dressing inappropriately is hard to recover from during the interview process.
    5. Become an Entrepreneur:  If you are having trouble finding work or just want to launch your own paid pastime, summer is the time to do it.  Mow lawns, walk dogs, paint houses…do whatever you’re interested in, and learn lessons in startups while you’re at it.

As Malcolm Gladwell said “Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.”   – Malcolm Gladwell Outliers

Good manners is what takes people from Good to Great! Practicing professional protocol and mindful manners through the interviewing process is the key to measurable success, whether you are applying at Starbucks or the Whitehouse.


Share with us some of your successes in finding a summer job that moved you! We want to hear!

Thank you,

Lisa and Demetria

Co-Founders Mother, May I – Etiquette Experts