Diamond Dilemmas : Can I wear a diamond on my left hand before I am married?

Q. I have a large solitaire family diamond, of great sentimental value, which I plan to continue to wear after my upcoming marriage. I will wear it on my right hand as I always have, and I have decided I want a diamond band/eternity ring only for my left hand as my engagement/wedding ring…

Since it is not an ‘engagement ring’ per se, should I wear it only after we’re married, or can I wear it now prior to my marriage?

A.Since the diamond eternity ring would be intended as your wedding band, it would make sense to wear it only after your wedding ceremony has taken place. However, there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to these individual situations, so it is really a personal choice that you should make based on what you really want to do. Best wishes!

Giving Gratitude: What is an appropriate gift for my supervisor that helped me get an internship?

Q. I work in a hospital, and my immediate supervisor as well as the director of my department have just spent a great deal of time and effort helping me get into an internship program. I would like to give them each something as a thank you, but I am not sure what is appropriate. Do you have any suggestions?

A. The nicest thing you can give them is a heart-felt thank you note. However, if you wish to give them a gift as well, then two areas of choice would be something in support of a pastime you know they enjoy (golf, gardening, cooking, etc.) or something for their desks or offices at work. If you don’t have a retailer near you that sells business/office accessories, you might look online at places like Levengers (www.levengers.com). We are not endorsing this company – just trying to provide a start to a route for searching for the perfect gift.

Wedding Wages: Is it proper for the bride and groom to pay for the lodging for the wedding party?

Q. We are having a wedding in a resort location that is out of town for most of the guests. The save the date cards included a variety of lodging options and price ranges. One of the pricier lodging options is an inn where the reception will also be held. Given the location is it proper for the bride and groom to pay for the lodging for the wedding party? And if so should we pay for both the night of the rehearsal dinner as well as the night of the reception?

A. Traditionally speaking, it is the responsibility of the bride and/or her family to cover the lodging expenses for her attendants, and for the groom and/or his family to cover the lodging expenses for his attendants for an out-of-town wedding. The answer to what you should pay for and where the reservations should be made lies in your own budget — it is truly a personal decision based on what you (or your parents) are able to afford. Best wishes!

Hat Habits: Why is it considered rude for a person to wear a hat inside a building?

Q. Why is it considered rude for a person to wear a hat inside a building? Does that apply only to men or both men and woman?

A. Basically, hats are removed when going indoors as a measure of respect. Therefore, caps and hats should be removed when entering a home

(which includes while eating at the table), when entering a place of religion, or when going to a restaurant (a sign of respect toward the other

diners at the restaurant. When entering a store or other “public area like a train station, the hat or cap may remain on. This applies to baseball caps worn by men or by women. Hats and caps are always removed for the Pledge of Allegiance or the National Anthem.

Women’s hats that are part of their ensembles and therefore fashion accessories may be worn indoors, including at a restaurant table, etc. If

they are large-brimmed, they should be removed in a theater or other place where they block the vision of the person behind. Aside from garden parties and formal teas where hats are often left on, women generally remove their hats when dining in someone’s home. The guidelines for the wearing of hats by men and women is still an important part of our manners today. Hat

traditions and manners may have originated in medieval times when knights lifted their face guard to show who they were, or in the days of the cowboys when a hat was lifted and removed to show there was no weapon hidden underneath. It became a sign of respect to others that has always remained.

Goodbye Gifts: What is an appropriate gift to give a retiring co-worker?

Q. Our Data Processing Manager is retiring after 21 years of employment here. He’s a great guy and I like him. What would be an appropriate gift? I don’t want to spend a lot of money, but don’t want to just give cash. The company already has a gift for him.

A. Depending on his interests and hobbies, you might give him a book, DVD, or CD that he might enjoy. If he enjoys gardening, you might consider gardening gloves. If he plays golf, a sleeve of balls. The possibilities are endless. However, you are not obligated to give him a gift. A card with your congratulations would also be appropriate.

Second Time Around: Do I wear a wedding dress if this is my second time getting married?

Q. I am getting married for the second time and it will be the third for my fiancé. He wants me to wear a wedding dress and I think it is inappropriate. He read a quote from a Dear Abby column which said that ‘Emily Post’ says it is acceptable. I think he must be confused. I am 45, have 2 kids, age 18 and 20 and he is 49 with a 14 year old. We have both been divorced for 14 years.

A. For a second or third wedding, the bride generally does not wear a face veil, carry orange blossoms or have a long train, but otherwise may wear a traditional wedding gown – or anything else that makes her feel beautiful. The choice is yours as to what you will wear for your wedding! Best wishes!

Tipping Tips: Are you supposed to tip a personal shopper?

Q. I very recently called Nordstrom’s to ask for help selecting an evening gown for a special event, I have never had a personal shopping/buyer before and I was very impressed by the buyer; the items she selected for me to try and the personal attention she gave me was excellent. Is it proper or expected to give some kind of gratuity or gift to her?

A. No, just as you wouldn’t tip a sales clerk who was especially helpful, you wouldn’t tip a personal shopper.