Here are answers to 10 problems every bride has to deal with:
1. Picky eaters
Q: How do I accommodate all the vegans, diabetics, Kosher-keepers, people with food allergies or who are on Atkins or South Beach diets, and the just-don’t-like-exotic-food types?
A: It’s impossible to foresee every wedding guest’s dietary needs and preferences. Your best bet is to choose one or two basic meat entrees and one meat-free entree, which will make vegetarians, dieters and picky eaters alike happy. Or consider having a buffet- or family-style meal that includes a variety of foods that will please everyone’s palate, and let guests choose what they would like to and are able to eat. And remember that most people with specific food requirements don’t expect special treatment when they attend a wedding.
2. Invitation equality
Q: If I went to someone’s wedding, am I obligated to invite them to mine?
A: It’s your party — if you don’t want them there, don’t feel guilted into sending an invite. Simply explain that your wedding is going to be very small, and with two families to accommodate, it’s impossible to invite everyone you want to. This might be a difficult conversation, but if they like and respect you enough to have invited you to their wedding, they should understand where you’re coming from.
3. Tradition trade-off
Q: My parents want us to have a traditional wedding, but we definitely don’t. What should we do?
A: It’s your wedding, and you should do it the way you want — but keep in mind that it’s a big day for your parents, too. Take their opinions into consideration, especially if they’re paying for — or helping to pay for — the wedding. If you’re set on a city hall wedding and dinner, maybe you can do that and then have a church ceremony and reception with the works the next day. Or maybe you’re willing to nix the judge and have a minister marry you, as long as you get the intimate reception. Sit down together and try to decide what’s most important to everyone, then come up with a game plan that everyone can live with.
4. Budgeting bridesmaids
Q: A couple of my bridesmaids have complained about how expensive their dresses and other costs are adding up to be. How should I deal?
A: Be considerate. It’s likely that your maids will only wear this dress for a few hours, so don’t make them hock their car to be a part of your wedding. Choose a dress that’s reasonably priced — have them tell you what reasonable is — or work together with your party to find a dress that’s within both their style and budget. Brides aren’t required to pay for the dresses, but if you want to spring for something pricey, consider adding it on to your own budget or paying for half. Try to mitigate expenses elsewhere, too — if they’re buying the dresses, don’t make them also buy jewelry and shoes.
5. Giftless guests
Q: Should we send thank-you cards to guests who came to our wedding but didn’t give us cards or gifts?
A: All attendees deserve a handwritten thank-you — regardless of whether they gave you a gift. Now before you roll your eyes and ignore this advice, remember: Guests may have taken time off from work to be there. Keep it simple and say something like, “Thanks for coming! It meant so much that you could be there to celebrate with us.” Try to include something personal, too, like how you loved their dance moves or the joke they told in the receiving line. Just resist the temptation to throw in a “P.S.: We’re registered at Macy’s.”
6. RSVP radio silence
Q: If some guests don’t RSVP, should we call them to find out if they’ll come? Or can we assume that they’re not coming?