Got this in my work email today and thought I’d share.. take notes in case YOU ever attend a ball of your own, if you do then you’ll be one step ahead of everyone else!
ETIQUETTE GUIDANCE FOR THE MESS
These guidelines are provided so all will be informed of what’s expected at a formal mess:
– No beverages in the receiving line.
– Receiving line is a time for greeting, not work or other related conversations. Please be brief in order to allow all other attendees the same privilege and keep the line moving.
– Ladies go through the receiving line first (except for White House or diplomatic visits).
– Do not shake the Adjutant’s hand. The Adjutant will be the first person in the receiving line, and their job is to introduce the members of the mess to the official party. Provide title and name to the Adjutant (i.e., SPC John Doe, Ms Jane Doe).
– Remain standing in the mess (dining) area until the colors are posted.
– The youngest member of each table is responsible for charging glasses for the toasts. This is best done well in advance of beginning the toasts.
– Distinctive unit insignia is not worn on shoulder boards of Class A/ASU when wearing the uniform to a formal function. White shirt and black bow tie will be worn with the formal uniform. For all of the formal uniforms, females must wear skirts. Only color guard may wear pants.
– The traditional toasts can be with any beverage, but:
– The Toast for the Fallen should always be done with water.
– This is not the time to propose a toast to one’s significant other.
Remember to always be courteous to the speakers (narrators, guest speaker, etc.). Keep private conversations to a minimum and low level while speakers are addressing the mess.