Since we all attend so many weddings, that means there are numerous social situations that are unique. Join our very own etiquette expert Sharon Schweitzer, J.D. as she helps us navigate the nuances for this special time in your life when you are in the spotlight.

Dear Ms. Etiquette Expert,

We’ve decided not to invite kids to the wedding, but my fiancé’s mother really wants us to invite her grandchildren. Can we bend the rule or is that playing favorites?   

         Plays By The Rules

Dear Rule Requester,

Deciding whether to invite children is one of the most difficult guest list questions. Once a decision is made, it’s best to stick with it. Graciously coordinate with both families. Respectfully state that although this is your wedding, you plan to honor what is important to both families during the wedding. Summon up your best diplomacy skills, compromise and remember, you can’t please everyone all of the time. Your fiancé’s mother and her grandchildren will be your new family and you may want to respect their wishes. Consider the following to avoid playing favorites:

Due to space limitations, we are hosting an adults-only wedding. The only children attending are immediate family or our wedding party. If anyone needs help with making arrangements for childcare, please let us know and we will do our best to assist.


Dear Ms. Etiquette Expert,

My family has set our wedding budget based on our initial guest list, but now my future mother-in-law wants to invite 30 more people. What should we do?

Best Guest List

Dear Guest Handler,

Marriage is about bringing two people together to create a new family. Creating and encouraging open communication with both sides of the family early in the engagement and wedding planning will set the stage for excellent communication during your marriage. Discuss the invitation, location, catering and budget; are there certain people from each family that must be invited? What does your fiancé think? If finances are an issue, will your fiancé’s family contribute? Having an awareness of family customs and showing parental respect goes a long way, especially when this family will become your new extended family.


Dear Ms. Etiquette Expert,

Recently, we had a falling out with a friendly couple during our engagement. Can we dis-invite them?

Friend Indeed


Dear Friendly Persuasion, 

Etiquette experts agree that this must never occur. However, life happens. Friendships dissolve, crimes are committed, and indiscretions are discovered. Predicaments the bride and groom cannot fathom surface that can cause anguish on both sides. Yes, it’s true that it’s your wedding and you can invite anyone you wish. However, inviting someone and then rescinding that invitation requires contemplation and diplomacy.

If you have the fortitude to rescind a wedding invitation, then you have the courage to do so in person or by phone. Sending an informal text, email, or instant message is insensitive. Words on a screen cannot convey the compassion necessary to deliver the message. When it’s an indiscretion or something criminal, it’s difficult and there are two sides to a story. Yes, there are times when a person can be asked not to attend a wedding as the best solution.

Dear Ms. Etiquette Expert,

We don’t want guests to take pictures during the ceremony. How do we stop them from doing it without confiscating their phones?

Social Media-Free

Dear Social Studies,

While there are several steps that can be taken to reduce photos, no one can guarantee that Aunt Gertrude won’t snap a photo for your grandmother. So, consider the following steps to reduce the paparazzi in your circle:

1.     Host an electronics free wedding

2.     Post an announcement on your wedding website

  1. Include a note with the written invitation
  2. Decide against a wedding #hashtag
  3. Print a notice in the program
  4. Post a sign in your style similar to the following:

Welcome to our unplugged wedding. We invite you to be fully present during our ceremony. Please turn off all gadgets and enjoy the ceremony with us.



Fall into more fun, we say. Our editors Lesa Rossick in Austin, Cynthia Smoot in Dallas, Jennifer Roosth in Houston, and Eleanora Morrison in San Antonio share their stellar statewide recommendations that are must-dines as the weather cools down.



La Corsha Hospitality Group has exceeded all expectations with the East Austin Hotel. Sixth and Waller, a counter style restaurant headed by Chef Jason Stude, offers a poolside bar and The Upside rooftop bar that are all perfect spots to relax with a cocktail and delicious eats. At EastAustinHotel.com


Kyoten Sushiko, the beloved sushi spot, has been reopened into a more intimate, omakase-only restaurant. Enjoy a front-row experience as you watch your meal being prepared by the chef, down to the most intricate, delicious detail. At KyotenSushiko.com


Sugar Pine is the new, cheerful eatery that has arrived in North Austin with homemade ice cream, pastries, Onigiri, and so many appetizers. The delicious Bento Boxes are a great option…ranging from grilled salmon to Chicken Karaage. At SugarPineATX.com



Cannon’s Corner Irish Pub is located inside one of Oak Cliff’s oldest and most historic buildings and offers diners a traditional Irish pub experience. Their menu features a wide range of items from hardy starters, sandwiches, and salads and a must-try traditional Irish stew. You can also enjoy a large selection of Irish beers with more than 25 on tap, 200 Irish whiskies and scotches. At CannonsIrishPub.com Photo by Kathy Tran


Beto & Son is the chef-inspired new generation of Mexican restaurant in Trinity Groves that has become quite a popular destination. With tableside-crated liquid Nitrogen margaritas, the fresh farm-to-table ingredients and the warm environment, it’s a spot to which you’ll want to return often. At BetoAndSon.com


Recently opened in the Plaza at Preston Center, il Bracco offers a fresh take on classic Italian dishes with everything made from scratch including breads, pastas, and sauces. The fresh fish is delivered daily and all proteins are butchered on-site and offered on an impressively high quality, crave-able and everyday accessible menu. The chic, but comfortable environment with excellent service and hospitality is a core emphasis At IlBraccoRestaurant.com



Located in the heart of River Oaks District, Loch Bar is Atlas Restaurant Group’s classic seafood tavern with a speakeasy twist. It serves oceanic dishes synonymous with Houston’s cuisine and curates one of the city’s largest raw bars. In addition to offering a wide selection of local craft beers and handcrafted cocktails, the beverage program centers around one of the city’s largest whiskey lists. At LochBar.com


Houston insiders know what a gem Nancy’s Hustle is. Burgers with English muffins instead of a bun? Yes, please. It’s a modern bistro and wine bar on Houston’s east side. With simple fare in mind, they like butter, natural wine, cider, and cocktails that pair well with food. At NancysHustle.com


Located inside the beloved Yellow House at the southwest corner of Evelyn’s Park in the Bellaire neighborhood, Betsy’s offers not only fast casual dining, but also features outdoor grill nights, movies on the lawn, pop up events, and unique workshops.  At BetsysBellaire.com



Founded by Chef Elizabeth Johnson, Pharm Table is the mastermind behind what is arguably the only anti-inflammatory restaurant of its kind. Pharm Table embodies its anti-inflammatory menu with the amazing ability to traverse the nuances of today’s fad diets but also deliver the staying power of centuries-old cultural diets like Ayurvedic and Blue Zones. At PharmTable.com


Brothers José and David Cáceres’ passion for baking at La Panadería began when they were young boys selling their mother, Doña Josefina’s fresh baked bread on the streets of Mexico City. Eventually they took over their mother’s homegrown business and started baking on a larger scale, supplying bread and pan dulce for businesses throughout Mexico. After finding success in Mexico, the brothers realized they wanted to get back to the basics, and decided to bring their passion for bread culture to Texas. At LaPanaderia.com


Located in both Olmos Park and on San Antonio’s North Side, Pesto Ristorante was recently opened by Chef Alejandro Santoyo, who mastered his craft for 18 years in the kitchen of local favorite, Paesano’s restaurant. The restaurant, aptly named for Chef Alex Santoyo’s love of European cuisines, is primarily focused on  Italian cuisine. The perfected recipes crafted with pesto have infused native Mexican flavors with tastes that evoke his own authentic flare. At Pesto-Ristorante.com



Homeware,  clothing designer and entrepreneur Kate Hersh of August Morgan has a fanciful sense of humor that’s made her designs a colossal hit. She sat down as our guest on the Success With Style podcast series with co-hosts Rob Giardinelli and Lance Avery Morgan to discuss entertaining in style.

Photography courtesy of August Morgan

Preppie godmother of the 1960s and mad-for-paisley designer Lilly Pulitzer would be proud of her post millennium spirit animal Kate Hersch. What started as an obsession with vintage needle point pillows has evolved into a budding enterprise for Hersch, a busy mother of two, and founder of Austin-based August Morgan, and is thoughtfully turning into well, a potential lifestyle empire.

It seemed simple in the early 2000s when Hersch confidently charged ahead to make the world a more beautiful place. It started out with repurposing grandmother’s embroideries and placing them onto pillows, ottomans and room divider screens. Then, ever the consummate hostess, Hersch mastered the duality of irreverence, intermixed with elegance, by producing a delightful line of hand-embroidered linen cocktail napkins, perfect for any and every occasion.

Double entendre bon mots like No Straw Needed, On A Long Leash, Owl Have Another, and dozens more, started the craze so that every stylish home might be seemingly incomplete without a set­–or eight. Luxe stores like Neiman Marcus, Barney’s, The Breakers, and The Menagerie came knocking to stock her quirky point of view of the 50 different styles and sales have been climbing. “Not everyone is comfortable at a cocktail party, so the napkins are designed to be a conversation starter, as well as a hostess gift,” shares Kate Hersch. Then, creative vision intact, she added a line of stemless cocktail glasses with similar clever sayings.

Now, she’s designing casual clothing because, as she states, ”I knew there was a better and stylish answer to the athleisurewear you see everywhere now.” Whew. The line of easy breezy tops, scarves, pajamas, caftans, and sleek shift dresses have been a Palm Beach-meets-Palm Springs hit and if you see a Texas lass sporting newly chic and bright attire, it might likely be an August Morgan creation. “Essentially, they are for the women who would understand my napkins.”

Hersch spent her early career years working for Sotheby’s Auction House after graduating from The University of Texas and shares, “It was like going to graduate school because I sat through all the auctions, so I learned so much about silver, African art, you name it.” When we ask her if it’s aided her design sensibility, she says, “It did. And, I also think that people who sort of get me, get my stuff I create. Those crazy, crazy people.”

Tongue planted firmly in chic, she likes to say that August Morgan was born in New York City, but was raised in Austin, where she now lives in a Gatsby-eque West Austin home that she’s re-done from top to bottom. At work, from a downtown atelier in the heart of the city, it’s all business. Hersch and her team always seem to be filling the endless orders from web commerce and retailers, as well as attending design gift market shows across the country. From word of mouth to a robust social media presence where consumers can click and buy something that they love immediately has been, as Hersch states, “a game changer to the business.”

Her goal for the brand as it grows is to be in more retail markets like New Orleans, Charleston, and other like-minded cities known for gracious entertaining. That is likely the secret to Kate Hersch’s vision for long term success with August Morgan, “It’s a thoughtfulness and also, you know, it’s the aesthetic that is pretty, southern, and colorful. I like fun energy and I always believe in not taking yourself too seriously.”



Everywhere we look there’s something new to love. Join our inveterate cool hunter Jake Gaines as he scopes the world near and far for the most unique new opportunities you can experience, too.


The upcoming Illustration Art Signature Auction will be one of the best in the world for those who want to own a piece of fine illustrated art. The cool mid-century ones will likely go quickly at the Dallas-based Heritage Auction. Bidding begins Sept. 24. through Oct. 15. At Heritage Auctions.


The 3rd Annual Park Place Luxury & Supercar Showcase, Dallas and Fort Worth’s premier luxury lifestyle and automotive event, returns this fall to the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas. This sleek one-day event features three distinct areas of phenomenal cars including a juried Collectors’ Concours, featuring a diverse selection of rare supercars, luxury, sports, vintage and classic cars from private collectors. The Car Club Expo will feature some of the best car clubs in Texas, plus fashion, food, and entertainment offerings. September 28. At LuxurySupercarShowcase.com.


Sure, there are plenty of premium tequilas in the world these days. We love that Casa Dragones is an independent, small batch producer with a passion for crafting exceptional sipping tequila, one gorgeous bottle at a time. Add it to your cocktail cart soon. At CasaDragones.com


Want to relax and tune out? Try Spa in the City, Dallas’ new med spa location on Lovers Lane, where they can also help you create a custom skincare plan just in time for the fall galas. In fact, they specialize in just about every cutting edge aesthetic treatment. At SpaInTheCityDallas.com


Texas Contemporary, Houston’s leading contemporary and modern art fair, will bring top galleries to the area’s contemporary art collector base. Texas Contemporary 2019 will feature 75 exhibitors and an innovative program of special projects and public installations as a continuation and expansion of Texas Contemporary’s notable partnerships with the region’s finest institutions and museums. October 10-13. At TxContemporary.com


The best place for a cocktail these days is near downtown Austin. Think of Nightcap as your extended living room for a cozy dinner, or for a large group. We can’t get enough of this space that has such a welcoming vibe, innovative cocktails and healthy cuisine. At NightcapAustin.com



As our social obligations increase this time of year, it may seem like we have less time for the niceties of life. However, according to our ETIQUETTE EXPERT Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., here are some ways to be more thoughtful about those around us.  


Dear Ms. Etiquette Expert,

Our upcoming travels are taking us on a European river cruise where we will delight in culture and devour goodies while wandering through the regions’ markets. What is the best way to politely barter while attending these markets?

Packed With Passport

Dear Packed & Ready,

Ensure you do your research on the specific cultural norms in each of the countries that you will be visiting on your cruise. Learn if bartering is indeed culturally appropriate in particular provinces. If so, incorporate the three P’s into your bartering strategy: personable, polite and private. Don’t reveal how much you are willing to spend, be friendly and always utilize kindness. Respect is universally understood.


Dear Ms. Etiquette Expert,                                                                                                               
I work in a small office and I adore my colleagues. My wedding has been a major topic of conversation between them, it seems. Do I have to invite everyone?                                                                    

Marrying Soon

Dear Married In The Future,

In the U.S., at the heart of every guest list is a congenial, compatible group of people. If you are friends with your coworkers and are social together, then it is appropriate to extend an invitation. If you are only inviting select coworkers to your wedding, you may discreetly ask them to keep it quiet at the office or workplace. You are in the best position to know whether this will remain quiet. Avoid being surprised when word of the guest list leaks out as it usually does. 

If you do wish to invite colleagues, consider the option of having a standby list or a “B” list. If you have a limited number of guest spots, send the “Save The Date” communication several months or a year in advance to the priority or “A” list Then, send the “official invitation” (by mail, website, or email). When the RSVP deadline arrives, have a friend or family member designated to begin the process of contacting and following-up with all guests who haven’t RSVP’d. Today, guests often fail to RSVP.

After the “A” list has been confirmed, extend invitations to colleagues on the “B” list if space is available. Be sure to wait until all “A” list guests have been contacted or confirmed. In some cultures, like much of Latin AmericaAsia, and specifically India, the social obligation is much stronger to include colleagues, leadership and supervisors, and business associates―including those of the bride and grooms’ parents. Depending on the culture and customs, social ramifications for failing to invite coworkers may cause a loss of face for both parties, and or personal offense. 


Dear Ms. Etiquette Expert,

Just when I think I’ve figured out modern dating, all these new terms surface. I think I know what “ghosting” is, but how do I know if I’ve been “uncuffed” or if I’ve “benched” someone?

Dating Awkwardly

Dear Awkwardly Seeking,

Modern dating is complicated enough without all of these new words for how a date may conceivably disappear from the scene. Let’s define a few terms that indicate that you just aren’t that into him. Keep in mind that from an etiquette standpoint doing any of these things demonstrates a lack of maturity and poor communication skills. Hopefully you aren’t dating anyone who does this…

Benching is when you like your date well enough to keep seeing them, but not so much that you want to “lock it down with them.” So, you keep your options open with them while continuing to date around.

Cuffing is short for handcuffing someone you have been seeing. Winter is viewed as “cuffing” season when the romantic holidays occur and cooler weather encourages couples to stay indoors binge-watching shows and cuddling together. Being “uncuffed” means you are now single.

Ghosting occurs when your friend or the person you’re dating suddenly cuts off all communication with you, with zero warning or notice before hand, hoping they will get the hint that they’re no longer interested. A ghoster will avoid one in public while simultaneously ignoring their phone calls, texts and on social media. It’s extremely confusing for the recipient.

Breadcrumbing is the brutal act of send flirtatious, but non-committal text messages aka “breadcrumbs” with the goal of luring an intimate partner without expending much effort. It’s also called “leading someone on.”




With cooler weather ahead, autumn and the changes it brings, are always welcome. Our luxe style arbiter Rank & Style CEO Jamie Chandlee has a few recommendations that make the Top 10 list of your must-have trends to try. For more information, visit Rank & Style.


This emerald green double-breasted wool blazer is one that means business…and pleasure. From dawn to beyond dusk, this sharp shoulder trend from Balmain jacket will keep you in step. $2,295. At Net-A-Porter.


The high shine trend this season is Capture a futuristic edge of Christopher Kane with this dynamic metallic silver midi skirt. Crafted in Italy with a metallic black and silver geometric print that catches the light with sparkly lustre. $740. At MyTheresa.  


This new fragrance, Carven by Dans Ma Bulle, offers freshness, fantasy and sensuality all in one scent. It’s for curious and daring women who know how to mix Parisian chic and effortless style. $120. Photo and availability courtesy of Bloomingdales.


Hop on the large hoop trend with these Kenneth Jay Lane threaded ball hoop earrings with subtle gold-tone accents in dark pink. The highlighter hue trend will perfectly accent any outfit. $75. At Intermix.


The Iris lace-trimmed silk charmeuse and stretch-jersey thong bodysuit by Cami NYC means both comfort and glamour in the satin trend wave. $180. At Net-A-Porter.


The big color trend that’s purple? Yes, please. Gucci’s leather lapel-free jacket can be casual with pants and dressy with a skirt, either long or short. $5500. At Net-A-Porter.


The big trend that represents classic chic is feathers…everywhere. These Salsa feather-embellished suede sandals are beyond fun. $531. At Charlotte Olympia.


Want the look of leather without the bother in one of fall’s biggest trends? Try these faux leather leggings by Spanx to get the look. $98. At Nordstrom.


Flowers and wild patterns are very on trend again. This satin floral midi tress by Topshop is fall friendly for work, luncheons or after six drinks $95. At Nordstrom.


The 70s-inspired gauze, feather and crystal hair clip by Ranjana Khan shows that hair accessories are a timeless trend to enhance any outfit. $135.00. At Net-A-Porter.