Etiquette  

These notes are based on the code of behaviour adopted at functions in the City of London, but represent normal standards of courtesy and consideration for others.

The Masons’ Company has three main events each year: The Master’s Banquet at the Mansion House; the Livery Dinner with the Associated Companies at Mercers’ Hall and the Gallets’ Lunch/Dinner at various venues.

The Master’s Banquet

This is held at the Mansion House, normally in early March, where the Company is the guest of The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress (and therefore extremely formal). Male Members of the Court wear evening dress (white tie and tails).     Male Liverymen and their male guests may wear black dinner jacket (white dress shirt, plain black bow tie, black cummerbund or waistcoat and black shoes) but are very welcome and indeed encouraged to wear evening dress (white tie).

Livery Badges of Office are worn.  Decorations (miniatures) are normally worn and this is normally specified on the invitation.   Formal national dress or uniform may be worn.

Lady Liverymen and Lady Guests should wear long dresses, evening skirts or evening trousers and it is usual for shoulders to be covered.

The Mansion House reserves the right to refuse entry to anyone not conforming to the above.

Please ask your host on the protocol to be observed with the loyal toasts and make sure you pass the port decanter to your neighbour.

Briefly key factors to note are:

  • Timing – note the times on the invitation as they are strictly adhered to.
  • Moving about during the meal is not permitted.  If a comfort break is required leave and return as discreetly as possible by the shortest route. Neither should happen during speeches, unless it is a medical emergency.
  • Photography of any sort is forbidden at the Mansion House.
  • Mobile phones and other devices must be switched off, not silent, once guests arrive at the Reception.
  • Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the premises.

 

The Livery Dinner with the Associated Companies

Usually held in early November when the Company entertains and celebrates its historical relationship with the Mercers’, Cooks’& Broderers’ Companies. It is limited to Liverymen and their guests (not partners). Normal dress is black dinner jacket with white dress shirt, plain black bow tie, black cummerbund or waistcoat and black shoes. No other colours are normally seen in the City.   Livery Badges of Office are worn.  Decorations (miniatures) may be worn and this is normally specified on the invitation.

Lady Liverymen and Lady Guests should dress as at the Mansion House but cocktail dresses are not usually worn unless the event is specified as a Reception and not a formal meal.

Please note the key factors mentioned above apply as at the Banquet.

For further guidance please ask your host who has more detailed information. Alternatively contact the Clerk see  (link)