Questions from Valerie's Weddings

 

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Category: Finances & Budget
Question: I need to know what the groom's parents are responsible for as far as the wedding and the reception.

Answer: Hello, and thank you for visiting my website. "Traditionally" the grooms parents are responsible for the rehearsal dinner and that's about it...way back when they also paid for the honeymoon, but that is no longer really something they are obligated too. Nowadays it really depends on the financial situation of the bride and groom and the relationship with parents. More and more couples are picking up the tab for the entire event. Whatever help you receive should be greatly appreciated. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Ceremony
Question: What percentage of invited guests can I expected to come?

Answer: The standard rule of thumb on number of guests who will not attend is about 10 percent. There are many variables which effect this number...The size of your wedding, the location of your wedding and the number of guests you have invited from out of town. It is not unusual for some of your guests who have responded that they will come not to show up and vise versa... If you are spending a lot of money on the food for your reception it is always a good idea to make phone calls to your guests to confirm that they will be attending. Most caterers and locations will require a guaranteed number from you about a week before the event and you will not be able to lower that number if people decide not to come.



Category: Reception
Question: What are the order of events at the reception, from the arrival of the bride and groom to the ending and who is the master of ceremonies at the reception?

Answer: Hi Debbie and thank you for visiting my site. The "Traditional" order of events is as follows: Grand Entrance (Parents, Bridal Party and Bride and Groom) are introduced in to room and seated. Then the toasts are given, dinner is served, standard 1 hour of dancing beginning with traditional father/daughter dance, bouquet and garter toss and then cake cutting. If you are planning to have a DJ or band they will generally put the schedule together for you and act as an MC for your event.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Who do I invite to the rehearsal dinner?

Answer: Like all aspects of your special day, the rehearsal dinner should include those you want to be there. Traditionally the rehearsal dinner is for family members, the bridal party and any guests who have traveled from out of town to be there for your wedding. If you are looking to cut costs it is perfectly acceptable to have a small dinner for just the parents and your bridal party.



Category: Invitations
Question: How far in advance should wedding invitations be purchased and when should they be sent?

Answer: Hi Theresa and thank you for visiting my site. Wedding invitations take 3-5 weeks to be printed and should be mailed out 4-8 weeks before your wedding. If you have many guests that have to travel, allow the 8 weeks so that they can make plans. If the majority of guests are local 4-6 weeks is adequate.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Hi. I am the mother of the groom for a July evening wedding. Is it permissible for me to wear the same color as the bridesmaids. The wedding will be Silver and Red. I have a really pretty red pants suite that is very dressy and I would like to wear it to the wedding. My husband will be wearing a tux. Is this appropriate.

Answer: Hi Cheryl and thank you for visiting my site. It sounds to me like your outfit is lovely and quite appropriate. It is actually customary for both the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom to wear the wedding colors. If you have concerns about what the bride would like you to wear, perhaps it would just be easiest to ask her if she would be happy with your selection?



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Is it customary for the Groom's Father to wear a tuxedo. The Bride's Father, as well as all Groomsmen and Ushers will be wearing Tuxs.

Answer: Hi Audrey and thank you for visiting my site. It is really up to the bride and groom and the overall attire for the wedding as to what the father of the groom should wear. If your wedding is "black tie" or after 5 attire then it would make sense for the grooms dad to wear a tux as well. If it is a more casual wedding then it would be alright for his dad to wear a suit if he is more comfortable.



Category: Reception
Question: How can I save money on food?

Answer: There are several ways to cut the cost of the food for your reception. The time of day is a key factor in saving money. Lunch prices are generally about 1/3 less than dinner prices. If you plan an early afternoon ceremony you can get away with light hors d'oeuvres or even just cake and punch for your reception. If you have your heart set on a dinner for your reception, consider having your event on an "off" date. It is harder for vendors to book events on Sundays and Holidays, and most often they will give you a bit of a discount if you will select one of these days.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: i am going to my brother's wedding on sept. 17th and it is at 630 pm and i dont know what im supposed to wear . it didnt say casual dress and i have heard that after a cartain time it goes to a formal dress. please help.

Answer: Hi Marie and thank you for visiting my site. It sounds like a cocktail dress would be perfect for your brothers wedding, but if you are uncertain the best thing would be to ask his bride to be.



Category: Invitations
Question: Is it proper to print out the Name and addresses on the invitations or should they be hand written?

Answer: Hi Irene and thank you for visiting my site. Addressing your invitations is a matter of personal preference. There is not set right or wrong way to do so. Like everything in your wedding it should reflect your tastes and personality. If you have all kinds of time to hand pen your invites then great, if not there is nothing at all wrong with printed lables on your invitations. I have seen beautiful invitations with the clear lables and pretty fonts that look extremely nice and professional. Congratulations and best of luck to you!



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: does the father of the bride wears the same attire as the groom and groomsman?

Answer: Hello Denise and thank you for visiting my site. The father can wear the same attire as the bridal party, but it is not traditionally mandatory. Lot's of fathers wear a different tuxedo or even a very nice dark suit.



Category: Etiquette
Question: My son is getting married, I am single, so, I asked my future daughterinlaw if my son could escort me down the isle. I have seen this done at many weddings and find it charming. But, I was told I am not the star and should just go sit down. So what is right and wrong here.

Answer: Hi Cynthia and thank you for visiting my site. Unfortunately this is not really a question of "wrong" or "right". It is a very personal issue. I agree with you, I have seen a number of weddings where the groom walks his mother down the aisle. I have even seen grooms who have their mothers stand up for them in place of the best man. I too find this charming and very touching. It sounds like your daughter in law to be is determined to have the spot light all to herself. Have you spoken with your son about it? Since it is their wedding it is ultimately their decision, but your son should have some input as well. If it does not work out I would suggest just trying to be happy for him and enjoying the day. Best of luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: Does the mother of the bride have to wear the colors of the bridal attendants? Or can I wear any color I want?

Answer: Hello again Debbie. It is not necessary for the Mother of the Bride to wear the attendant colors, however it is traditional to ask the bride what color she would like you to wear and it should compliment the wedding colors.



Category: Etiquette
Question: who rides with the bride to the church?

Answer: Hi Donna and thank you for visiting my site. Generally either the females in the bridal party or the brides father ride to the church with the bride, but this is not set in stone. She can really have whomever she chooses.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Who pays for the rehearsal dinner?

Answer: Traditionally the parents of the groom host the rehearsal dinner. With weddings being so expensive and so many couples paying for most or all of their own weddings these older traditions have begun to fall by the wayside. It is likely you may find yourselves hosting the dinner. There are lots of ways to cut costs on your rehearsal. Consider having something at home or at a family members and do a "pot luck" type of event. If you are out of town for your wedding or just want something a little more upscale, restaurants tend to be less expensive than private banquet halls with catering. Serving a pasta dish is the most cost effective meal and it also takes care of any vegetarian guests you may have.



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: What are the Maid of honor's duties?

Answer: Traditionally your Maid of honor is responsible for hosting your shower or bachelorette party. She is also expected to provide you with the “something old, something new, something borrowed something blue”. Many women don’t know about that tradition, so you may want to remind who ever you select if it is important to you. On the day of the wedding your Maid of honor should focus on keeping the bride calm and happy. She should also know how to bustle the bride’s gown after the ceremony if there is a train on the dress. It is common these days for the Maid of honor to give a toast to the bride and groom at the reception along with the Best Man.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Should I be worried about how my guests will dress?

Answer: Generally people know to dress up for a wedding, particularly if it is an evening event. If you have friends or family that you are concerned may not dress appropriately, there is nothing wrong with specifying attire on your invitation. This can be done by adding a line towards the bottom of the invitation to say, “This is a formal occasion” or something along those lines. Sometimes people will have a more casual reception on the beach or out of doors. It is a good idea to specify that “beach wear” or “casual attire” would be appropriate for such a venue.



Category: Reception
Question: How do you seat people at the reception?

Answer: There are a lot of different options on how to have your guests seated for your wedding. The most simple for you would be to have “open seating” where everyone just seats themselves. If you like you can have a few reserved tables next to the head table for family members. Be sure to let those guests know ahead of time if they are to be seated at a reserved table. Because families are structured so diversely, sometimes it will not work to have open seating. You may not want a step parent to be seated with someone they may feel uncomfortable with or ex-spouses to be near each other. If this is the case then you can have tables numbered and provide place cards for your guests. This gives you the control of where everyone is seated. Your reception facility should be able to provide you with a diagram of tables with numbers and you would then be responsible for providing the place cards and making the seating assignments.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Dear Valerie, The mother of the groom would like to wear the same color as my bridesmaids. would this be considered tacky?

Answer: Hi Liz and thank you for visiting my site. No, not at all tacky for the grooms mom to wear wedding colors. It is actually traditional for both mothers to wear the wedding colors. Congratulations!



Category: Ceremony
Question: Hi Valerie! As far as the ceremony goes, what is the order in which everyone walks down the isle? I want both mothers involved, my step-dad, my father-in-law to be and all of our grand parents. Then how will the wedding party go if i have a Matron of honor and a Maid of honor?

Answer: Hi Annette and thank you for visiting my site. Traditionally the brides family members are escorted down the aisle first and seated, then the grooms immediate family. Parents first with Mothers and current husbands leading then Fathers with second wives. Grandparents follow parents. While this is the traditional manner of seating family many weddings change the pattern around. It is fine to have both a Maid of honor and a Matron of honor. I would suggest the eldest of the two walking just before you or you could also have them walk down together. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: what are the colors for a summer wedding? i just don't know what colors to choose

Answer: Hello Rosie, and thank you for visiting my site. There really are no set colors for a summer wedding. You should pick colors that you like and that make you happy. Traditionally brides will select lighter cooler colors for summer weddings, but jewel tones work nicely as well. It also depends on what time of day your reception is. Normally I would suggest staying away from black or very dark colors, but if you are having a formal evening wedding even dark colors are acceptable.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: I don't see my question answered so far. I am the grandmother of the groom. The wedding is full length, tuxedo attire, even for the mother of the groom and bride. I am 81 years old and have no use for a long dress. I have a black tea length very dressy skirt and top which I can wear with a pink silk jacket. The wedding colors are cafe au lait and shades of green. Am I way off track? Does it even matter what a grandmother wears?

Answer: Hello Barbara and thank you for visiting my sight. I apologize for the delay in getting back to you. Your outfit sounds lovely and perfect for a formal wedding. At 81 years old I think you should be able to wear whatever you want and feel great in it! If the bride has not specifically asked you to wear a particular dress then you are free to wear what you like. Enjoy!



Category: Etiquette
Question: I am the mother of the groom and would like to know if giving my future daughter a card for her bridal shower with a note in it saying that my husband and I will pay for the rehearsal dinner is tacky or just not proper?

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. Traditionally it is the responsibility of the parents of the groom to pay for the rehearsal dinner. If you give your daughter in law a card or certificate for the dinner for her shower gift, in essence you are not really giving her a shower gift. Honestly I do think it would be a little tacky.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: My only brother is getting married. My daughter will be their flower girl and I thought they would ask me to be a brides maid since I am his only sister, but instead I have been asked to be the greeter at the reception. Am I over reacting or do have reason to feel insulted. Also ...What is considered appropriate attire for a reception greeter and sister of the groom. This is an evening wedding with about 250 people.

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. I apologize for the delay in my response but my site has been having some trouble. I understand this is your only brother and that it could be hurtful for you not to be included in the wedding party. The thing to keep in mind is that the female attendants are traditionally the brides siblings and very closest friends. I am certain it is not an intentional over site, but since you are female there is not really a role for you unless you are very close to the bride. My suggestion would be to be happy that you are involved and for your brother and have a wonderful time on their special day.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Valerie, My daughter is getting married August 27th at 2:30 in the afternoon. Her colors are black and red. What am I supposed to wear for a ceremony at this time of day?

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. It is customary for the mother of the bride to wear the wedding colors. It will probably be quite warm so I would suggest something like a red summer suit or maybe of more formal red and black sun dress type outfit. It also depends on the venue. If the wedding is outdoors definitely opt for a sun dress or cocktail type dress in one or a mixture of both of her colors. Enjoy!



Category: Invitations
Question: i am sending out my invitation this weekend and would like to know how would i word on the invitations that we would like for our guest to give us money as a gift. i do not have a website for them to go to. we will have a wishing well .thanks in advance

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. Since you are sending your invitations out this weekend I am assuming they are already printed and you can't include a line indicating your wishes. Perhaps you could have a directional card imprinted to go with them to indicate that "The couple is not registered but will have a wishing well at the reception" or something along those lines. Word of mouth is also a good way to let people know what you want. Your guests will no doubt be talking prior to your wedding and you can make sure people know that you would prefer cash over gifts.



Category: Etiquette
Question: How do you let the guests know that the bride and groom do not want gifts but just donations of money to help pay for the honeymoon and the house they are saving for? Is this okay?

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. Yes it is okay to request cash gifts for your wedding. Many couples get married when they have already established households or lived together for awhile and don't need the traditional towels, dishes, etc...for gifts. My suggesting would be to create a honeymoon registry on line and instruct your guests that is where you are registered. This way you can list items you want such as excursions for your your honeymoon with a cash value and they can purchase gifts through pay pal which will go directly into an account for you. You can see a good example with one of my site sponsors at Registry Palace.com. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: I am a male and i was just asked to be a bridesmaid in a firends wedding. We discussed things and she has stated that she wants me to dress the same as all the other bridesmaids(which is a strappy dress the lingerie and tall heels) i dressed up once as a female for a party when we were in college and now she thinks i can do it again i am very passable as a female and i dont mind dressing for this occasion what should i do.

Answer: Hi Matthew and thank you for visiting my site. I would say do what you want! If you are comfortable wearing a bridesmaid dress and this is what the bride wants as well, then go fo it.



Category: Reception
Question: What is the poem for the camera table tents? There is one that rhymes. I researched it but I keep getting only the one that doesn't rhyme. Thanks.

Answer: Hello Jamie, I am uncertain which poem you are referring to. The only suggestion I have is to look at several cameras until you find the ones you want. You could probably find a website for Kodak or one of the other camera company's and see a wide variety of what is offered.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Hi Valeri, if the bride is wearing a long formal dress, and the maids are wearing tea length. is it OK for the Mother of the bride to wear either a long, a low high, or a tea length dress? ( the guys will all be in black tuxes.) Thanks so much!

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. As long as the bride has not objection to your selection "Mother's of the bride and groom" are generally allowed to wear whatever they like.



Category: Reception
Question: Hi Valerie, The reception for my son's wedding follows immediately after the wedding. He and his bride are getting pictures taken with the family and wedding party before coming to the reception. Until they get to the reception, who should be there to greet people as they come in?

Answer: Hi Linda and thank you for visiting my site. It is actually very common for not only the bridal party but the families as well to be tied up with pictures directly after the ceremony. Depending on where you are having your reception you should have a Captain or banquet coordinator who will instruct your guest as to where to go for the "pre reception" period of time. If you are having the reception at a family members home or a venue that does not have any one in charge of the event, then you should assign someone to greet and direct guests until the bridal party arrives.



Category: Reception
Question: Is it proper for the Bride and groom to walk around with a drink in their hand hugging and greet guests at their tables?

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. If there are drinks being served at the reception I don't see anything wrong with the bride and groom enjoying a cocktail while visiting tables. I see this as more of a personal preference than a matter of proper or not proper and think it is up to the bride and groom.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: If fathers of the bride and groom wear tuxedos, shouldn't the Mothers be in formal attire as well, meaning gowns. What is acceptable as formal for todays ladies. I always feel gowns. Am I correct?

Answer: Hello Maxine and thank you for visiting my site. Formal is "in the eyes of the beholder" Trends and Fashions for formal have changed so much over the past few years that everyone has a different opinion on what is "dressed up" and what is casual. There are very formal pant suits for ladies as well as tea length or cocktail dresses that are considered very dressy but not gowns. I would suggest wearing something you are comfortable in and that makes you feel like you look great! If this means wearing a gown, then by all means wear a gown. Also, a great rule of thumb is when in doubt always refer to the bride...ask her what she would like you to wear.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: HELLO VALERIE. I NEED HELP. I'M 22 AND I'M BEEN INVITED TO MIDDAY WEDDING ON AUGUST 10TH IN NEW YORK. IT'S GONNA BE IN A COUNTRY CLUB. I DONT KNOW WHAT TO WEAR (I NEVER BEEN IN A SUMMER WEDDING BEFORE) CAN THE DRESS BE SHORT? WHAT COLOR? HELP ME PLS. I HAVE ANOTHER CONCERN. I'M TRAVELING TO N.Y. FOR THE WEDDING (I'M OVERSEAS) AND THE ONLY PERSON I KNOW THERE IS THE BRIDE AND HER MOM(I'M GONNA STAY WITH THEM) . WILL IT BE RUDE IF I ASK IF I CAN BRING A MALE FRIEND WITH ME? I DONT WANT TO BE ALL BY MYSELF IN THE RECEPTION AND I DONT WANT THEM TO WORRY ABOUT ME. THEY ARE GOING TO BE VERY BUSY. I'LL APPRECIATE ANY HELP. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. It sounds like a pretty sun dress or a cocktail dress would be appropriate for the wedding you are attending depending on how dressed up you want to be, and short would be fine. I don't think it is rude at all to ask if you may bring a friend. Perhaps you could offer to stay in a near by hotel in case the space is limited at their home. I am sure they will let you know what would work out best for everyone, and it is definitely not rude to ask. Have a great time!



Category: Music & DJ
Question: What other type of music can the bride walk down the aisle to besides "Here comes the Bride" ?

Answer: Hi Aubrey and thank you for visiting my site. You can use pretty much any music you like as you walk down the aisle as long as the church you are married in does not object to it. I have seen a huge variety of music used for services, anything from harpists to a live band performing as the bride enters. It is truly up to your personal preference. I would suggest looking on some of the music sites and the Internet if you don't already have something in mind. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Ceremony
Question: I am under the impression that only the bride walks on the runner at her wedding. Is this correct?

Answer: Hello Ray and thank you for visiting my site. The runner is generally placed before the ceremony. Guests are not supposed to walk on the runner, but the rest of the bridal party usually walks down the aisle with the runner in place.



Category: Food
Question: What type of food do we serve at an outdoor wedding reception around 2:00 in the afternoon? My mom says Hour Dourves because its too late for lunch and too early for dinner, but my fiancée insists that we need to feed our guests a full meal.

Answer: Hi Sandra and thank you for visiting my site. I tend to agree with your mom that Horsdoeuvres are better for a mid afternoon reception. It is very easy to select enough items to make the selections constitute a full meal. Carving stations, pasta stations, and individual hot items will definitely fill up your guests. If your fiancé really wants a meal service I would recommend a "light" luncheon selection for that time of day. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Ceremony
Question: Do I have to have the same number of groomsmen and bridesmaids?

Answer: Always remember, you don't "have" to do anything! Weddings are very personal times and the friends and family you ask to be part of it should always be the most special people in your life. It really doesn't matter how many attendants you have on each side, just keep in mind how the placement will look and if your attendants are not of the same number you may want to vary the traditional formation at the alter. You can also add functions for friends if there are people you want to be part of the wedding but you would prefer to keep the attendants balanced. You can have any number of ushers for male friends and for female friends you can have a guest book attendant, gift table attendant, greeters at the reception or additional flower girls. Your attendants will feel special no matter what you have selected them to do, they just want to be a part of your special day.



Category: Etiquette
Question: How do I inform people of my registry?

Answer: Word of mouth is the most common way to let your guests know where you are registered...people will ask you. It is appropriate and convenient to add a line onto your invitation or directional sheet to state where you are registered, such as: Visit our registry at RegistryPalace.com or Beth and James are registered at Macy's and Target



Category: Reception
Question: How can we save money on the reception?

Answer: There are many ways to save money on your reception. If you are planning on serving a meal you can save a lot of money by having a luncheon as opposed to a dinner. You can save even more money by having your reception in the mid-afternoon and serving something like a “high tea” or light hors d’oeuvres. Many reception sites will offer discounts on what are referred to as off dates. If you can consider a Sunday or a holiday vendors may be willing to come down on the price for you. This applies to many vendors, not just your reception site. Ask your DJ and Florist if they offer discounts for less popular days as well. Another way to cut costs is to have your wedding out of town and keep your guest list down to a minimum. You can still send out announcements to let everyone know you are getting married, but you won’t need to invite them all to the wedding.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Is a black tea length dress appropriate to wear to an outdoor wedding beginning at 6pm? My husband is in the wedding and is very a tux. The wedding is Oct.6 in Arizona. Thanks for your advice.

Answer: Hi Dee and thank you for visiting my site. Black is always appropriate for after 6. Tea length is a good choice with the weather still being warm in Arizona in early October. Have a great time!



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: What are the best man’s duties?

Answer: Traditionally the best man is responsible for hosting the bachelor party, picking up out of town guests, and holding the rings on the day of the ceremony. Of course the most important role of the best man is the wedding toast. Make sure your best man has something prepared in advance so that the toast flows smoothly and is complimentary to both the bride and groom. Remember that the toast is the first thing to set off your reception and if it is muddled it could set a bad tone for the rest of the evening.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: My daughter is having a 7 pm wedding and the MOG and I are wearing long dresses. My mother in law (77 years old, a widow) has bought a strapless tafetta silk dress with ruching from bodice all the way down to the knees. If is very form fitting and has a trumpet skirt. It looks like a prom dress or pageant gown. She was very offended when I told her it was more formal than mine and the MOG dress. I don't think it's appropriate for a woman her age although she normally dresses very stylish for her age. It is going to a topic of contention but I am not sure what I should do, if anything about it. What are thoughts, advice?

Answer: Hello Mary and thank you for visiting my site. This one is easy for me because my personal opinion is that 77 year old women should do whatever they please. If your mother in law is comfortable and feels like she looks good, then more power to her.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: How can I get an inexpensive wedding dress?

Answer: There are many venues that can save you money on your gown. Keep in mind you will probably never wear your dress again after your big day, so do you really need to keep it? Some of the places to get great prices on a gown are thrift stores, ebay or bridal outlet stores. You can also take a picture of a very expensive gown from a magazine to your dry cleaner and most likely get a referral of someone who can make the dress for far less than the magazine price. Wedding gowns are also available for rental and will be fitted to your exact body shape for a small additional cost. Your gown is one of the most important aspects of your wedding and you want to feel perfect! Look around until you find just what you want and then do the research to get the best price.



Category: Reception
Question: My daughter is not having drinking/dancing at her reception.(Wedding 12:00 Sit down dinner reception 1-5) Do you have any ideas of other things to do at the reception besides eat???

Answer: Hi Susan and thank you for visiting my site. There are the usual traditional things that generally take place at a reception even when there is no dancing scheduled. The cake cutting, bouquet and garter toss and traditional toasts will take up some time. Of course just having friends and family together to visit and catch up will be nice for the guests, but if you want to do something additional sometimes people do have entertainment at wedding receptions. Different cultures have dancers or other types of performers to entertain their guests. There are many event companies that can assist you in finding something that would be fun and appropriate for what you are wanting to do.



Category: Ceremony
Question: During the ceremony, as everyone walks down the isle, which side should the bride and bridesmaids walk and which side should the father of the bride and groomsmen walk? And is it true that family of the bride be seated on her side as well as family of the groom on his side? Thank you

Answer: Hi Yamile and thank you for visiting my site. The bride and bridesmaids are generally on the left side. Most people no longer have guests seated on one side or the other, but if you want to carry on this old tradition there is nothing wrong with it.



Category: Honeymoon
Question: How can I save money on the Honeymoon costs?

Answer: The best way to save money on the cost of your honeymoon is to try and get others to help you pay for it. When we recently got married my husband and I created our own honeymoon gift registry. You can see our example at RegistryPalace.com. Instead of being registered at department stores you can create the items you want for your trip and ask your guests to purchase them on your site. We were able to fund 90% of our wonderful cruise through gifts from friends and family. A couple of additional ways to save costs are to wait until just before you leave to book something. Lot's of travel packages are greatly reduced about a month before the trips. You can also book reduced rate vacations on ebay if you keep your eye on who needs to get rid of a trip they have decided not to take.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: My stepdaughter is getting married October 30th, in Philadelphia. I recently bought a torquoise silk dress at an end of summer sale. Would a short sleeve torquoise dress be appropriate for an October wedding? It is an afternoon wedding.

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. My only concern about the dress would be that October 30th in Philadelphia may be very cool. Be sure the wedding and reception are an indoor venue and that you will not be spending a lot of time outdoors. If that is the case, turquoise is a perfectly appropriate color for October, particularly for a guest of the wedding. The only other consideration is if your step daughter has asked you to wear one of her “colors” as a mother of the bride figure. You may want to ask her if she has a preference as to what you wear. Traditionally the mother’s of both the bride and groom are dressed in the wedding accent colors.



Category: Invitations
Question: I have heard that there is some type of formula as to the number of invitations sent and the number of guests that attend. Could you help me here? The chapel holds 300, how do you decide how many you can invite?

Answer: Hi Amy and thank you for visiting my site. There are lots of different opinions about how many guests will come versus how many are invited. Most of the time I recommend using 10% as a guideline. If you have many guests that have to come from out of town this number may increase. If you do not want your wedding to exceed 300 guests I would keep your list down to 330.



Category: Finances & Budget
Question: Who should be included in the rehersal dinner if the Grooms parents are paying for it? Should it include the extended family or just people in the wedding party?

Answer: Hello Cathy and thank you for visiting my site. Traditionally the rehersal dinner is for the bridal party, immediate family and family traveling from out of state who may have to come in early to be there for the wedding and have no where to go.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Hi Valerie: I am getting married in September and there has been some debate over what the groom's father should wear to the wedding. I am having a very traditional wedding and traditionally the only person other then the groom and the groom's men that wear a tux is the father of the bride. The grooms father isn't part of the bridal party. What should he wear the day of our wedding?

Answer: Hi Bethann and thank you for visiting my site. Unless you want the grooms father to be dressed in a specific manner you should leave the decision up to him. He should wear whatever he is comfortable in. A nice black suit would be very appropriate but if he would like to wear a tuxedo there is nothing wrong with that either.



Category: Ceremony
Question: Where in the ceremony do the flower girls and the ring bearer come in?

Answer: Hi Fredericka and thank you for visiting my site. Traditionally the ring bearer comes down the aisle first, followed by the flower girl.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Please tell me what the right amount of cash is to put in my nieces Wedding Card? I don't want to feel that I am not putting in the correct amount. Ffrom my husband, daughter, and myself. We live in the Boston MA. area.

Answer: Hello Paula and thank you for visiting my site. There really is no right or wrong amount to give a bride and groom...it really depends on what you can afford and how close you are to the couple. If you really feel like you need some protocol on this, one way to determine the amount is how much the couple is spending per person on the reception. If the reception is $100 per head and you have 3 guests attending from your family, then a $300.00 gift is appropriate. Again, not carved in stone but one method people use.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Hi Valerie, would it be inappropriate for the mother of the groom to wear an ivory dress?

Answer: Hello, If the bride has no objection to the color choice for your dress you can wear any color you like.



Category: Food
Question: Dear Valerie, I am having issues already about the guest list to our wedding and it is 13 months away. My fiance has a very large family and he is insistent that he invite everyone in his family, which is well over 100 people. Some of these people he only sees once a year or less. My parents are paying for the wedding and have given us a set budget. If we invite all of these people we will need to pay for them. He doesn't think it's fair that I ask him to cut down on the list. Please help.

Answer: Dear Holli, Finances are probably the most problematic part of planning your wedding. It is very stressful for everyone to spend the kind of money a wedding takes these days. You should feel special that your fiancé wants all of his family to see him marry you. It is a special day for both of you and his feelings need to be considered. The two of you need to have some serious discussions about how to make this work. You do have 13 months to save up for it. I would suggest you sit down together and create a realistic budget and see where you can save. Chances are good that if your fiancé does not see these family members they will not come to the wedding. (It is also expensive to attend a wedding)…if you have saved and 50% end up not coming, think of how nice it will be to have that extra money for you honeymoon or your new life together when you return. Another option would be to limit the number of guests to fit in to the budget you have already created and split the number of guests 50/50. You will probably both have to cut your lists, but that would be a fair way to go if you don’t think you can save up the money. Congratulations and I wish you all the best!



Category: Invitations
Question: When addressing the envelopes, should the state be spelled out or is it permissible to abbreviate the state? Is it correct to write the zip code on a line by itself (if there isn't enough room on the third line)?

Answer: Hi Lottie and thank you for visiting my site. If you want the invitations to be addressed to the letter as far as etiquette, you should always spell out the state and have a separate zip code line. Most people don't feel that this is all necessary, but if you want it to be by the book that would be the correct procedure.



Category: Etiquette
Question: I believe the groom's parents are part of the bridal party. If my wedding is a semi-formal event, should the groom's father be fitted for a tuxedo? And, should his parents walk down the aisle??

Answer: Hi Tristine and thank you for visiting my site. I believe it is up to the bride and groom to decide who they wish to be part of the bridal party. If you want the grooms parents included that is just fine. If the parents are not actually standing up for you as Maid of Honor, Best Man or attendant, they generally do not walk down the aisle, however you can plan your processional in any manner you wish. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Invitations
Question: Whose name do you put on the response card envelope when the couple is living together before the wedding. Thanks for your help.

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. It is appropriate to put both names on the invitation and response card "Mr. Joe Smith and Ms. Mary Jones"



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Valerie, I need help making a decision on what to wear to an outdoor wedding, 5pm, in October. Mother of the bride, bridesmaids, are wearing black. Other colors for the wedding are orange and teal. Please Help!

Answer: Hello Anna and thank you for visiting my site....I would so stick with black!



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: My step-son's wedding is in November at 5 p.m. The mother of the bride is wearing a long, strapless dress with a cover. What is appropriate for me to wear? I'm cold natured and the wedding is in PA.

Answer: Hi Lydia and thank you for visiting my site. If the bride has not specified what she would like you to wear then the choice is up to you. It is always nice to stay in the color scheme that she has selected but style should be whatever you feel comfortable and think suits you. For something dressy but still warm a velvet jacket is nice with dressy slacks or a long skirt or dress. They also have lovely sweaters that come out for the holidays in golds and silver that would be appropriate.



Category: Invitations
Question: We have been living together for quite a while and are having a very casual ceremony. We would prefer for our friends to give us cash gifts since there really is nothing we need. My questions is, is there any way to include that on our invitations without sounding so bad? I appreciate your help with this. Thank you, Lori

Answer: Hi Lori and thank you for visiting my site. My husband and I had the exact situation you are facing. We created a honeymoon registry for our guests to purchase things we would like to do on our honeymoon, of course this was cash and we could spend it as we chose to, but it really was intended to pay for the excursions and fun times we wanted to have. We put a line on the invitation to "visit our website at....and the registry was located on the site. If this sounds like something you might like to do you can create your own honeymoon registry at registry palace.com and the cash will come through pay pal. There are several sites available on the INTERNET that can assist you with this, but Registry Palace is free! Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: My Stepdaughter is getting married in April in North Carolina. Her color for bridesmaid dresses is Periwinkle, her mother has chosen purple for her dress. Can you please suggest some colors that would coordinate nicely with these colors. I am concerned with the photos, I don't want to clash with the other colors. Thank you.

Answer: Hi Murlene and thank you for visiting my site. Anything in the blue family would go very nice with Periwinkle. It is also appropriate for the mother of the bride to wear off white if that suits you better or even black if your step daughter does not object to it. Black is formal and generally appropriate and everyone looks good in it! Whatever you decide have a great time!



Category: Ceremony
Question: How much do you spend on someone to preform your wedding ceremony?

Answer: Hi Matt and thank you for visiting my site. There are many factors which determine how much you would spend on an officiant. If it is your Pastor or Priest it can be as low as $150.00, but it can go up as high as $750.00 for a Rabbi or non-denominational officiant.



Category: Etiquette
Question: I am the Mother of the Bride. I have a budget of $7,000 for the reception. The GROOM has chosen a venue that costs that amount, just for rental (no flowers, no food, no bar, no DJ, no photographer. He is insisting that we have the wedding there, and is causing friction between my daughter and me. I only have my father and 2 brothers on my side that will attend, and they are from out of state. I feel this is absurd for me to pay such a large amount and not even provide a meal for my family. How do I convince him to allow my daughter and me to plan this ourselves, and to stop interfering with the plans?

Answer: Hi Roseann and thank you for visiting my site. It is very generous of you to extend a budget of $7000.00 to your daughter and her fiancé. If they can not agree on a venue that works in that price range then I think you should let them know you will contribute that amount and they can do what they will. This will give you the opportunity to contribute what you wish to but leave the ball in their court. If the groom wants this venue so badly then he can sport for the food or have a silly reception. I do not suggest trying to force the issue as this will only cause you additional stress at an already stressful time. Simply say here is the $7000.00 I have to give you and I just want you to be happy. You will ultimately feel better.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Valerie, My daughter's wedding is on October 13th at 6:30. Her colors are red and black. Is a black formal pant suit appropriate?

Answer: Hi Kim and thank you for visiting my site. It is customary for the mother of the bride to wear one of the wedding colors, so a black pantsuit would be perfect. Unless the bride selects an outfit specifically for the mothers then the choice is up to you to wear what you feel comfortable in.



Category: Etiquette
Question: My daughter is getting married this October. We are in the process of getting back all of the response cards. The other day we received a response card that was addressed to MR & MRS. X. and only MR. & MRS. X. The card came back stating that not 2, but 4 would be attending the wedding...Their adult daughter and her boyfriend. (They were not on the invitation list). My future son-in-law has a very "Oh well." attitude about it. We are the one's who are paying for the entire wedding....my daughter is appalled at the arrogance...my husband is really mad...and the future in-laws are also of the...well, they responded, there's nothing that can be done...they ARE friends of the family. We, like most families, are on a budget, which was explained to the bride, groom, and his parents! What is the correct way to handle this situation? Please advise.

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. It is very rude for guests to respond for others who were not included on the invitation. This is very common and happens to everyone. Although it may be a little uncomfortable it is absolutey appropriate for you to call Mr. and Mrs. X and let them know the invitation was only for the two of them and you hope they will be able to attend but the guest list is limited. If they decline or are insulted, too bad! They are in breach of the correct etiquette, not you.



Category: Reception
Question: Hi, My fiance and I have planned a small wedding with just our immediate family in the Carribean. However we are having a large reception in our hometown just a few days after we return from the islands. I don't know how to word the invitations to the reception without seeming terribly rude for not inviting everyone to our wedding. I have read it is proper etiquette to wait until you are married and then send out an announcement of the marriage and an invitation to the reception, however our reception is so soon after our wedding there simply isn't time to do that. What would you recommend the proper wording be for our reception invitations? Thank you for your help

Answer: Hello and Thank you for visiting my site. There is nothing wrong with having a romantic wedding at an exotic location and then celebrating with friends and family once you return. Simply word your invitations something like “Join Valerie and John as they celebrate their union at a reception to honor them….” Keep in mind the most important thing is to have the wedding of your dreams and if that means just the two of you on the beach then that is what you should have. Your friends and family should be happy to have the opportunity to celebrate with you once you return. Congratulations and Good Luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hello. Is it proper etiquette to mail the Pastor of the ceremony an invitation to the wedding? Thank you for your time.

Answer: Hi Dana and thank you for visiting my site. If you would like your Pastor to join you for the reception it is appropriate to send an invitation.



Category: Etiquette
Question: How do we write a registry note to ask our guests to contribute to our honeymoon account? What is the proper etiquette?

Answer: Hi Sam and thank you for visiting my site. You can include a line on the invitation or directional card which indicates where you are registered. Many couples also have websites where their guests can be directed to get information on the wedding, registry etc...If you have not yet set up your registry account a great place to look is RegistryPalace.com. This service is free for six months and will allow you to create your registry for anything you want and get cash quickly and easily through pay pal. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Ceremony
Question: What are the duties of the mother of the groom? Am I expected to help host the showers? Or should I just keep my mouth shut and wear beige?Cindy

Answer: Hi Cindy and thank you for visiting my site. Traditionally the grooms family pays for flowers and hosts the rehersal dinner. If the bride does not have a maid of honor or close family females to host her shower it would be a very nice gesture on your part, but it does not fall in your traditional responsibility. Have fun and wear what you want!



Category: Food
Question: We are having a small wedding and reception at a church @ 3:00. Is it ok to have just cake, punch, & coffee?

Answer: Hi Laura and thank you for visiting my site. It is fine to serve cake, punch and coffee at a church reception. This is actually a more traditional way of doing things then the big dinner dance receptions people do now and will save you a ton of money! Congratulations and good luck.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hi Valerie, My 20 year old daughter is getting married in July and in December she asked my neice, her cousin, who is the same age as my daughter, to be her maid of honor. She was very excited and said she thought the dresses that my daughter had picked out for the attendants were beautiful. When the time came to order the right sizes and colors of dresses the other 2 attendants, bidesmaids, did it right away and when my daughter called her cousin to see if she had ordered hers yet she said, she really did not think she should have to pay for a dress that she didn't like the looks of or the color and would never ever wear again. She also said that it was proper etiquette for the brides parents to pay for the dresses. My daughter gave her 3 other options for dresses and 2 more colors to choose from, since she was to be the maid of honor she thought it would be okay for her to wear a different style if she liked it better and would be able to pay for it. Her reply was that she still felt it was the brides parents duty to pay for the dresses. I know my sister can help her out financially if she needs it, but I just found out that my sister (who is my best friend) also thinks we should pay for the dresses. I told my daughter to just let her cousin off the hook and she appointed her best friend, who has already purchased her dress and was suppose to be a bridesmaid, to be the maid of honor. What is the proper etiquette for this situation.

Answer: Hi Dixie and thank you for visiting my site. Traditionally the brides maids and maid of honor do pay for their own attire. I think you made the right decision by releasing the cousin of the responsibility. If she was fussing at this early stage and not cooperating it would have just caused more hassle than it was worth. Now she can buy whatever dress she likes to wear to the wedding and everyone will be happy!



Category: Etiquette
Question: A FRIEND OF MY MINE POSED THIS QUESTION. WHAT DO YOU DO IF TWO MONTHS AFTER YOUR MARRIAGE YOUR HUSBAND LEAVES YOU AND WANTS A DIVORCE? DO YOU STILL SEND OUT THE THANK YOU CARDS, OR DO YOU RETURN ALL THE GIFTS? WHAT IS THE PROPER ETTIQUE FOR THIS SITUATION. (NO THERE IS NO CHANCE OF RECONCILIATION.) DIVORCE IS IN PROGRESS.

Answer: Hi Sandy and thank you for visiting my site. Definitely a no on the thank you cards, but I am uncertain about the gifts. It seems to me it should be the responsibility of the person leaving the relationship to deal with it. If I were the bride I would probably send everyone close to me a brief letter explaining my situation and let my husband deal with the whole gift issue.



Category: Etiquette
Question: What is an appropriate amount to offer to the wedding pastor for his services?

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. Generally the Pastor will have a set fee, usually ranging from about $150-$250 for members of the church and maybe a little higher for non-members. If you Pastor is leaving the amount up to you, I would suggest somewhere within this amount.



Category: Ceremony
Question: Can you tell me when is the appropriate time for the wedding guests to stand during the processional? I was recently at a wedding when they stood as soon as the procession began. I thought they remained seated until the mother of the bride stood, signaling the bride's entrance.

Answer: Hi Barb and thank you for visiting my site. Traditionally you are correct...no one stands until the bride is in place to walk down the aisle. Perhaps there was confusion at the wedding you recently attended. I have seen several times where someone will stand early and others simply follow because they don't know what to do.



Category: Etiquette
Question: I am the mother of the bride. Is it okay for the groom to see the wedding dress just not on the bride until the actual ceremony?

Answer: Hi Penny and thank you for visiting my site. "Traditionally" the groom should not see the dress, but nowadays it is really a personal decision of the bride.



Category: Ceremony
Question: whose grandparents are seated first, the bride or groom

Answer: Hi Debbie and thank you for visiting my site. Traditionally the family of the bride is seated first.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: What advice can you give me about my make-up for my wedding?

Answer: Your makeup on your wedding day is a critical aspect of your whole “look”. Take pictures from magazines with you to cosmetic counters when they are doing free makeovers and see how these looks work for you. I recommend hiring a professional makeup artist. Once you have decided on the type of look you want, have a practice session with them and your hairdresser. Have someone take a picture when you are finished. This is a day when you want to feel like you look your absolute best, so take the time and spend the money to make it happen.



Category: Food
Question: I live in Louisiana, and i want to have a nite time wedding (with lots of candles) during the summer. I would really like to avoid the expenditure of serving a meal (dinner to be exact). How late or early should the wedding be so that I can avoid this, and is it polite to just serve cake at a nite time wedding?

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. Dinner hour is generally between 5:30 pm and 8:pm. If you want to serve just cake I would recommend having your reception after 8:00 pm. It is also a good idea to indicate on the invitation that "cake and punch" will be served. This will trigger your guests to understand there will not be a dinner and they will eat prior to your party. The day is about you getting married, not what you eat so relax and enjoy!



Category: Flowers
Question: I'm having trouble deciding on a song for my father daughter dance on my wedding day. I never met my father until my highschool open house and I still dont know him all that well. I do love him, and he is a great guy and through him I have a wonderful stepmother and 2 adorable brothers. I want a nice song but most songs that sites recommend are songs about growing up with your father and I didn't have that luxury. But on the other hand I dint want to insult him. Any ideas?

Answer: Hi Arika and thank you for visiting my site. It is lovely that you are including your father in your wedding and there are many appropriate choices for the father daughter dance that may not be on the traditional recommended lists. I agree that you don't want one talking about childhood and the growing up years when you were not together at that time. A couple of suggestions would be to ask you dad if he maybe has a favorite song that he would like to dance to at your wedding. Another thing you could do is utilize the internet and search through song lists until you find one that you like and think would be appropriate. I wish you all the best and congratulations on your wedding!



Category: Reception
Question: Hello Valerie, I have some questions about post wedding celebrations. I was married 7 months ago in Italy because my husband is Italian and so are my parents, so it really wasn't a destination wedding it was a regular wedding held in a foreign country. We live in Italy now. Almost all of the family and friends I invited from the US couldn't make it so we want to have a celebration there (in the US). The celebration will be a little short of our 1st year anniversary (we couldn't have it any sooner for various serious reasons). Is it too late? Can I wear my gown again? What is an appropriate invitation?Thanks.

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. Your situation happens to a lot of couples who have to move to across country or to another country for work or personal reasons. It is not at all unusual to have a second celebration in your home country when the time is right. I have had some couples plan their second reception 5 years after they originally got married. It is fine to wear your gown again at this reception and to plan it just like a wedding reception for your friends and family at home. There are a few ways to address the invitation and no set rules. I think "celebration of our marriage" is a nice way to put it. An invitation printer would be able to give you many more options. Congratulations and Good luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: I am single and never get invited to weddings addressed to me "and guest". My friend argues that it's okay to respond with 2 attendees even though the invite did not read "and guest". I was even invited to a couples baby shower without the option of bringing a guest! What is your take with the single peron and "guest" situation? I feel that the invite should extend the invite to me with "and guest" noted.

Answer: Hi Karen and thank you for visiting my site. I agree it is somewhat rude not to include the word "guest" when sending invitations to a single person. It is however understood as far as protocal that you are welcome to bring a guest. Most people use the guidelines listed wherever the invitations are purchased and examples of invitations for single people are shown with the single name. I understand your frustration, but your friend is right, you should feel free to RSVP for yourself and a guest. It is also a good idea to include the name of your guest in the event placecards are being used.



Category: Ceremony
Question: Hi Valerie, I was wondering if the bridesmaids typically walk down the aisle with the groomsmen? Or can the groomsmen walk out by themselves?

Answer: Hi Jill and thank you for visiting my site. The processional is done a variety of different ways. It really depends on the look you want and the size of the bridal party. If you have a very large bridal party it makes more sense to have the bridesmaids and groomsmen walk down the aisle in pairs, if not then it is generally the groomsmen are already at the alter with the groom and the bridesmaids walk down the aisle individually. I hope this helps!



Category: Invitations
Question: My fiance and I are getting married Sept 30 2006 we are trying to save money and are only inviting adults to our wedding with limited seating.How do we construct R.S.V.P. to inform no children and only persons listed are invitation.

Answer: Hi Daniella and thank you for visiting my site. There are a few ways to word the invitation to include only adults, the most common is to have a line on the bottom simply stating "This is an adult occassion". The store or person who does your invitations should be able to give you additional examples of wording. As far as people adding on guests, this is just plain rude! You will know how many are coming when you get the rsvp's, but aside from that there is really no way to tell. You can only assume they will understand it is for them as a couple without additional guests.



Category: Ceremony
Question: Do all my bridesmaids have to wear the same dress?

Answer: The most important thing to remember in planning your wedding is that it is "YOUR" wedding! Everything from the day to the guest list and your vows should be just as you want them to be. While it is "traditional" for all of your attendants to be in the same attire it is most definitely not essential. Many weddings are now done in themes or even a variety of colors based on seasons or favorite shades of the bride. A lot of brides allow their attendants to select the style of dress as long as the color is the same. Women have such varying body types and shapes that all of your girls are not going to look and feel good in the same dress. Lots of bridal magazines and shops now carry two piece brides maid gowns with alternating tops and bottoms...you can go on a shopping trip with your party and have everyone try the style that feels good to them. When picking out your dresses keep in mind how you want everyone to look standing up at the alter. What vision do you have that your guests are going to see? It is also a nice touch to have the Maid of Honor in a different style or color than the other girls.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Is it proper to have an engagement party? And if so, whose family should have it, the bride's or the groom's?

Answer: Hello Jan and thank you for visiting my site. It is great to have an engagement party and in some cultures even part of the wedding celebration. It can be thrown by either side or by the couple themselves.



Category: Food
Question: Valerie, I am having a cocktail reception with appetizers and drinks only. I was wondering if I start the ceremony at 7:00 with the reception immediately following would that be ok for that type of reception? Will people know by "cocktail reception" on the invitation that it will not be a full dinner and they should eat before they come?

Answer: Hi Becky and thank you for visiting my site. The wording of cocktail reception should be sufficient for your guests to know that dinner with not be served. The timing is perfect with a 7:00 pm ceremony as it will give people a chance to have an early dinner prior to going to your wedding. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Can the groom wear something different from the groomsmen?

Answer: Of course! This is a big day for the groom as well, and he should stand out from his groomsmen. The most traditional way to off set the groom is to have him in white and the groomsmen in black. A couple of more modern ways to have the groom look different than his guys is to give him a different neck piece...perhaps an ascot instead of the traditional bow tie. You could also consider having the groom wear a colorful vest or tie and cumber bun. Just like the bride the most important thing is for the groom to feel comfortable and like he looks great.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Is it normal to change from wedding gown to something else more casual like a suit or dinner party dress for the reception, if so when does the outfit change occur? Thanks.

Answer: Hi Kimberly and thank you for visiting my site. It is perfectly fine to change during the reception. You should probably wait until you get all of your picture shots in your gown. After the bouquet and garter toss and the cake cutting. Have a wonderful wedding!



Category: Engagement
Question: Who can host my wedding shower?

Answer: While it is "traditional" for the Maid of Honor to host your shower, really anyone can give you one. If you are fortunate you may end up with more than one! Sometimes your co-workers will host a shower for you and it is also appropriate for your mother or your fiance's mom to give you a family shower. There are no set guidelines but if you are going by the book it should be your Maid of Honor.



Category: Ceremony
Question: I was told by a pastor that if we were to be married at his church we could not play the wedding march "which my grandmother recorded before she died" because it was paganistic, is this true, and if so how did it become part of the wedding ceremony?

Answer: Hi Amanda, and thank you for visiting my site. Wow...I have never heard this one before! You are talking about the "traditional" wedding march??? I don't understand why your pastor has a problem with this. I have been to hundreds of services at many different denominations where the wedding march has been played. The only answer I have is that it sounds like a personal issue for him. I will definitely do some research and if I find a better answer I will let you know.



Category: Etiquette
Question: DOES THE BRIDE AND GROOM LIGHT THE UNITY CANDLE BEFORE THEY ARE PRONOUNCED MAN AND WIFE OR AFTER

Answer: Hi Debbie and thank you for visiting my site. Generally the unity candle is part of the ceremony and is done prior to being pronounced man and wife. Your officiant should guide you through the order of the ceremony. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: I am the maid of honor in a wedding. I threw a great shower, and took her out for a bachelorette party. Between the shoes, hair, dress, etc. I am up over $1000. Am I supposed to get her a gift also? After all this, I don't want to be called cheap!! Thank you

Answer: Hi Kathy and thank you for visiting my site. It sounds like you are a terrific maid of honor! Traditionally you should get the bride and groom a wedding gift. If it is really a financial strain, you could always do a gift certificate for them to redeem a lovely dinner at your home some time in the future. This would be a cost effective, creative and still thoughtful wedding present.



Category: Ceremony
Question: When the parents, and grandparents are being seated during the ceremony, should the music be specific for the mother of the bride, and then the parents of the groom, and for the grandparents. So in other words, does the mother of the bride get a song for her, and then the others get songs for them, all different from each other? Also, Are all they all seated after the prelude, for everyone to see? Or, are they seated during the prelude with no attention given to them?

Answer: Hi Jennifer and thank you for visiting my site. Music selection for the pre-processional is entirely up to the bride and groom. Generally there is not specific music played for the parents and grand parents, but it is a very sweet idea and could easily be incorporated in to your ceremony.



Category: Engagement
Question: Do guests envited to an Engagement Party bring gifts, if so what kind of gift? I will be attending the Engagement Party, Bridal Shower and Wedding.

Answer: Gifts are not traditionally expected at an engagement party...if you should choose to bring a gift something small like flowers or a bottle of wine is appropriate.



Category: Etiquette
Question: If a woman has been married before, should she wear both sets of wedding rings after the ceremony and if so, how should they be displayed on her finger(s)?

Answer: Hi Carol and thank you for visiting my site. It is actually not appropriate for women who remarry to wear both sets of rings. I would suggest having the original wedding set made in to another piece of jewelry. Perhaps a cocktail ring or a pendant.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Hi Valerie, My step son is getting married in Florida this November. Do you think it's appropriate to wear a red gown? I've asked his fiance about the wedding attire and said to wear whatever we want. His mom is wearing a lavender color gown and I'm not sure of the color of her mom - black or plum - I believe. the bridemaids are wearing navy blue. I'm from ny and I'm used to getting pretty dressed up for weddings. It's in a really nice place in Boca Raton and my husband (the groom's father) is wearing a blace tux. The bride is wearing a beautiful lace gown. The red gown is very tasteful and elegant but I'm not sure about red. It's not a bright red, its dull. We will not be in any pictures with the mom.

Answer: Hi Jan and thank you for visiting my site. If the bride said to wear whatever you want, then that is your answer. It would only be an issue if she was trying to coordinate colors for pictures but it does not sound like that is the case, so wear what you feel comfortable in. Have a wonderful time!



Category: Engagement
Question: When should I start planning my wedding?

Answer: The amount of time required to plan your wedding varies from couple to couple. There are several things to consider when making a time frame. How long will you need to save up the money for what you want for your wedding? How much notice would any out of town guests need? Are you having wedding attire made, or buying off the rack? Generally weddings can be planned in as little as three months, but most often people will give themselves a full year. Plan the wedding you would like to have out on paper and then go through and determine how long it will take to accomplish the tasks ahead of you.



Category: Invitations
Question: Is it ok to invite part of a family ie: we would like to invite a family friend (who's single ) and just her daughter (she is friendly with the bride) and not her high school age son, because he is not as close to the bride. We are trying to limit the number of invitees. Is this appropriate or not? We are having other teens, so the age rule does not work.

Answer: Hi Catrina and thank you for visiting my site. My personal feeling is that you should invite only those people you really want to be at your wedding. If you are feeling uncomfortable about not including this womans son, perhaps you should ask her if she would be okay with you only inviting her and her daughter. Most people know the limitations and expenses involved in planning a wedding and will be understanding.



Category: Invitations
Question: I am trying to save money on invitations, so, I would like to put the reception information on the face of the wedding invitation. The wedding and reception are at the same location. Is there specific wording I should use?

Answer: Hi Keri and thank you for visiting my site. The general wording you are looking for is: " Reception immediately following". You can find several variations of this if you look at invitations on the internet and might find something you like better. Ebay is a great place to find nice custom made invitations at great prices.



Category: Invitations
Question: I'm getting married may 1,05 when should i send out my invitations? and on the RSVP card when should i ask for them to be returned to me?

Answer: Hi Ahndrea and thank you for visiting my site. The appropriate time to send your invitations is 6 to 8 weeks prior to the wedding. If everyone is local 6 weeks is fine, but if you have guests who have to travel a long distance 8 weeks gives them time to plan and make arrangements. You should have your RSV P's due back to you at least one week prior as you will have to give your guaranteed guest counts at about that time. Congratulations!



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: What would an outline of a schedule of duties for a master and mistress of ceremonies look like? I am having a hard time defining what the schedule of the wedding for my sister should be and she does not understand what these people would do.

Answer: Hi Brianne and thank you for visiting my site. Generally you DJ or Band leader acts as the MC or Master of Ceremonies. They assist with the time line for the Grand Entrance, champagne toast, first dance, cake cutting and bouquet and garter toss. Once you have put a schedule together with timing and names of the bridal party along with any special personal things you want to make sure happen it should be gone over with your Master/Mistress of ceremony. Their duty is to insure that the schedule flows and assist with getting the guests to follow the schedule.



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: Would you please define "immediate family of the bride and groom" Thanks so much

Answer: Hello Karen and thank you for visiting my site. Immediate family tradtionally refers to parents, siblings and spouses, and Grand parents. Cousins, Aunts and Uncles are not generally considered immediate family.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: what should you wear to a wedding that is taking place in a park in june?(4th) the colors the bride has choosen are hunter green and burgendy.the wedding party is about 14 people in it.not counting the person preforming the service. should i try to somewhat match the colors that they are doing the wedding in or not really be concerned with it? im the step mom of the groom and im not sure of which to do.

Answer: Hello Renee and thank you for visiting my site. It is traditional for moms or "step moms" to wear one of the colors in the wedding. I would think a nice sun dress or lightweight pantsuit would be appropriate for a June outdoor wedding. A little dressy but not too much since the wedding is in a park. It is also appropriate to ask the bride if she has a color preference for you to wear.



Category: Ceremony
Question: I have 2 questions. 1-Who walks down the aisle right before the bride, the ring bearer or the maid of honor. 2-My brother is walking me down the aisle. My sister-in-law (his wife) is one of my bridesmaids. She will be walking down the aisle with a groomsman and another bridesmaid. Is it ok for her to walk back up the aisle with my brother or should she still walk with the other bridesmaid and groomsman.

Answer: Hi Diana and thank you for visiting my site. Traditionally the "maid of honor" walks down the aisle just before the bride. Any other order of things is basically up to you. Don't worry about formalities, just set it up as it feels most comfortable and natural for you.



Category: Finances & Budget
Question: Hi Valerie, My husband's step-neice is getting married on Nov 19th 2005 at 6:30 in the evening. Her father said that the wedding and recepition is going to be formal. Does this mean suit & tie, tux for the men; long formal dresses for ladies? My daughter and I were going to wear a dark colored mid calf dress and my husband and sone were going to were dress shirt and dress pants. They don't own a suite and tie. Also another family member is somewhat over weight and she usually wears a very nice pant suit. She was told that she has to wear a dress that was formal. What is formal?

Answer: Hi Ann and thank you for visiting my site. I think everyone has a different idea of what formal means. If the bride wanted everyone to be in formal long dresses and suits or tuxes she should have probably indicated "Black tie" rather than formal. Formal leaves it open to interpretation. I guess I would suggest directly asking the bride if the outfits you were all planning to wear would be appropriate to her.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Do you get your hair or makeup done first?

Answer: Hello Vette and thank you for visiting my site. Definately Hair first...you don't want sprays and fussing all around your face after you have had your makeup done. Makeup should be the last thing before putting on your gown.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Hi I am wearing an ivory dress. I guess my question is should the guys wear ivory dress shirts or white. I am thing ivory but just not sure. If ivory what color do you think works best for the tie. O and the suits are black. Thanks in advance for your help

Answer: Hello Brittney and thank you for visting my site. I think it would look very nice if you could get the guys shirts in ivory. Usually people still go with the white, but it would look very rich if you did the ivory. Black ties would look the most formal, but you could also go with a jeweled tone like burgundy or very dark blue if you want some contrast in the colors.



Category: Music & DJ
Question: What is an alternate processional?

Answer: Hi Terri and thank you for visiting my site. An alternate processional is something other than the traditional "Here comes the Bride" as the bridal party and bride enter the ceremony. Lot's of people have favorite or special pieces of music they would rather have and that is absolutely fine.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Here's the deal..my boyfriend of 5 yrs and I are getting married next year and we have everything we could possibly need to make our house complete, dishes, coffeemaker ect.Heres my question I have spoken to a travel agent, and they have agreed to set up an acct for people to donate to for our honeymoon. I just can't see doing gift registry when we don't need anything. What do you think about this? And how would you word that?

Answer: Hi and thank you for visiting my website. My husband and I had exactly the same issue...that is why he created our honeymoon registry and where he got the idea for Registry Palace my website host. Click on Registry palace on my home page for all of the directions as to how to set it up. Then you can add a line on your invitation or directional card saying "Visit our wedding registry at ....." or " Michael and Valerie are registered on line at.....". We were able to almost fully pay for our honeymoon through our website and did not end up receiving a bunch of gifts we did not need. Good luck and congratulations!



Category: Reception
Question: Hi Valerie! I am in a very sensitive position as the STEP-Mother of the groom and do not know where I am to be seated at the head table of a semi formal, sit down reception, if I am to be at the head table at all. Please note my step son's biological Mother has been invited and accepted the invitation. Joe feels obligated to have her represent him as Mother of the Groom with none of the traditional obligations. She will be traveling 4,500 kms to attend. In Joe's 25 years, I have been in the picture since he was 4 years old and Mother walked away 24 1/2 years ago and only appears sporadically at her convenience. It has been 4 to 5 years since they have seen each other. Sincerely Denise

Answer: Hi Denise and thank you for visiting my site. This is a sensitive but not at all unusual situation. Most families in these times have multiple parents and potentially awkward situations regarding family issues. As far as the head table or "bridal table", it is generally the bridal party and not the family who is seated there. In most cases the family and very special guests are seated at reserved tables nearest the head table. It would be appropriate for you to be seated at a reserved table with your husband and Joe's biological mother to be seated at a separate reserved table with perhaps Aunts and Uncles or other close family. It is of course always the decision of the bride and groom how they want the family seated.



Category: Etiquette
Question: I have a few questions, I hope that you will be able to answer for me. First, should the fiancée of the best man be invited to the rehearsal dinner? Second, should she ride in the limo to the church, and from the church to the reception? Third, at the reception where should she be seated? Hope you can help. I'm stressed... If you or anyone can tell me the proper etiquette to handle this please email me at rowanprincess@aol.com. Thanks, Laura

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. Your best man is the person included in your wedding party, not his fiancé. She should only be included if the other bridal party members are including their spouses or significant others. It would be nice to invite her to the rehearsal dinner, but traditionally she would not be included in the limo ride from the church and definitely not seated at the head table for the bridal party. I hope this helps.



Category: Engagement
Question: hi i have a question about the ring order i know on the wedding day i put my engagement ring on my right hand ...right ? but does my wedding ring or engagement ring go on top when they are placed together ?

Answer: Hi Melissa and thank you for visiting my site. Traditionally the wedding band goes on your finger first because it is closest to your heart :)



Category: Etiquette
Question: My Fiancé and I are paying for our own wedding, when our parents are introduced at the reception who gets introduced first? The brides parents or the grooms parents?

Answer: Hi Kathy and thank you for visiting my site. Regardless of who is paying it is traditionally correct for the parents of the bride to be introduced first. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Invitations
Question: My parents (of the brides) are planning to pay for our wedding and reception. They have indicated that if the groom's family would like make a contribution in addition to hosting the rehearsal dinner that they could pay for the alcohol at the reception and/or host the brunch. Paying for the alcohol at the reception will mean them footing approximately 10% of the wedding costs. Should the groom's parents then be listed on the invitation as hosts (i.e. Mr. and Mrs. Parents-of-the-Bride and Mr. and Mrs. Parents-of-the-Groom invite you...)? I think that indicates that the wedding is being spilt either 50-50 or close to it and since that would not be the case, I do not think the invitation should be worded as such. My fiance feels differently. Is there a "right" answer or do you have any suggestions about how to handle such a touchy situation?

Answer: Hi Elissa and thank you for visiting my site. Actually the parents names on the invitation do not indicate who is paying, they are listed because they are inviting people to join them in celebrating the wedding of their children. It is a showing of respect to the parents to list them on the invitation. A possible solution would be to print them with your own names. Good luck and Congratulations.



Category: Ceremony
Question: Hi Valerie, I have a really big problem. I pondered for months about who was going to walk me down the isle. My step-father has been part of my life since I was 13 and is always there for me and I love him so much. My birth father who I also love very much lives within 10 miles of us and we don't see him very much but we love him too. My step-father hates my father cause he is not there for me as much as he should be. When I told him my decision to have them both walk me down the isle he said if my "birth father" walks me down the isle he won't be there and won't take part in the wedding. My step-father is paying for most of the reception. What should I do?

Answer: Hello Yvonne and thank you for visiting my site. Your question is of a very personal nature and please understand that my answer is an "opinion" only. It sounds like your paternal father is being very selfish and if he does not wish to go along with the plans you want for your wedding, my advice would be to let him make his own decision and then just not worry about it. You are trying to include both of the men you love in your special day and if one chooses not to participate it is really his problem. Congratulations and I hope you have a wonderful wedding.



Category: Etiquette
Question: We wish to not have Children under 12 years attend the reception. How do we word this on the reception response card?

Answer: Hi Deborah and thank you for visiting my site. "This is an adult occassion" is a good way to word not having children at your reception. You can find other examples at card shops that make invitations also, such as Hallmark or Crown.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Do the parents of the bride and groom give them a wedding gift in addition to paying for the ceremony, reception, rehearsal dinner and honeymoon?

Answer: Hello Cyndi and thank you for visiting my site. If the parents of the bride and groom are hosting the wedding and all othe other events that go with it, that IS the wedding gift!



Category: Invitations
Question: My husband and I got married suddenly in Las Vegas. We are now planning our reception but due to scheduling it won't be held in till several months after the actual wedding. What is the proper wording for our invitations?

Answer: Hi Renee and thank you for visiting my site. There are many options for the wording of your post wedding celebration. Generally people use something like "Join us in celebration of our wedding held January 1, 2005 in Las Vegas" You can see lots of examples on websites for invitations or at stores that carry invitations.



Category: Flowers
Question: Can florist get the flowers I want even if they are out of season?

Answer: Like all things for your special day, any thing can be had for a price...most local florists get their flowers fresh from the flower mart and will try to sell you what is in season for the time of year of your wedding. This is the most cost effective way to purchase your flowers. However...if you have your heart set on a specific flower that may be out of season, florists ship overnight with excellent cooling systems from all over the world. Somewhere out there your special flowers are available and can be there for your wedding. Keep in mind they will be at a higher price.



Category: Reception
Question: I am having my reception at a hotel and one of my family guest just advised me (my wedding is in two weeks) that she can not find a sitter for her three children, so she is bringing the 4,7 and 14 year old with her and she is saying that they will stay in the room and not enter the party. I am very uncomfortable with this, because I have other family members that have children and were told that children are not invited. I know that the kids are not going to want to stay in the room. I told this person basically how I felt and she really didnt seem to care. What should I do? Call her again and tell her directly do not bring the children. Please help.

Answer: Hi Karen and thank you for visiting my site. I would suggest you be honest with your Aunt and let her know you are uncomfortable with the children being in the room by themselves, and concerned that they will "crash" the reception. You have every right to express your concerns since you were very specific about not wanting children at your reception. One suggestion might be to have her contact the hotel concierge about a baby sitting service or if no concierge is available at the hotel, the front desk may be able to assist her. Otherwise the only thing you can really do is stress to her how unfair you think it would be to other guests if her children were to show up. Good Luck!



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: MY husband and I had to move our marriage up by a year, due to his being in the Navy and he received temporary orders to Iraq. Now, we are having our big wedding in March. Because we have already combined two house holds we do not need very many things. Because of this, we have decided that rather than the normal wedding gifts we would like to have financial help for our honeymoon. How do we advise people of this? A friend of mine listed it with her invitations. How do I word it if that is the case?

Answer: Hi Deborah and thank you for visiting my site. My husband and I had the exact same situation which is why he created my sponsor "Registry Palace" for us. Check it out on my home page and see what you think. Using an on line registry paid for our honeymoon in full as well as some additional wedding expenses. We put a line on the directions to the reception saying "visit our website at Registry Palace.com". You could also include it on the invitation if you are not using a directional card. The other way to get the information to your guests is by simple word of mouth. People we ask you where you are registered and you can direct them. There are lots of sites that can help you with this as it has become fairly common practice. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: What should a bride wear for a third wedding

Answer: Anything she wants! Hi Sarah and thank you for visiting my site. I am a true believer that couples should plan their weddings exactly as they want them to be whether they have been married before or not. If you look great in white and want to wear white, I say go for it. The most important thing is that you feel beautiful and comfortable in whatever you choose to wear on your special day. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Hi Valerie, I'm getting married in June and my father will be attending, but due to all the treatments for cancer he lost all of his hair. He's really having a problem showing up without hair. I know he's now wearing hats and I want to make him more comfortable by myself and the best man wearing hats. I know he likes wearing a Fedora, but is it appropiate to wear a hat (not top hat) with me being the groom?

Answer: Hi Rob and thank you for visiting my site. As the groom you are able to allow you dad to wear anything that makes him feel comfortable.



Category: Invitations
Question: I would like to see examples of invitations to a Christian wedding 2nd marriage

Answer: Hi Cathy Ann and thank you for visiting my site. I do not have any samples of invitations, but would suggest using the INTERNET. Search "Google" under wedding invitations and you will find numerous sites with examples. You can even order invitations on line at a much reduced cost. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Invitations
Question: on the response card who do you know what date to place as the response date. Like when it says response by

Answer: Hi Natalie and thank you for visiting my site. If you have many guests traveling from out of town the response date should be one month prior. If your guests are all local two weeks is adequate.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Is it appropriate for the Mother of the Bride or Groom to wear a White Dress to the Wedding?

Answer: This is a decision that should be up to the bride…if you are having a “white” wedding and you do not mind other guests wearing white then there is absolutely nothing wrong with the mothers wearing white. Traditionally you will have accent colors for your weddings to be incorporated in the attendant gowns, centerpieces, favors and cake. Usually the mother’s are asked to wear this color as well. Bottom line it is appropriate for the bride to ask the mother’s to wear the color she wants them to be in.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Who do I have to invite to the wedding?

Answer: There really isn’t anyone you have to invite to your wedding…I always tell my brides that it is your wedding and should be just as you want it. The only people that truly matter are you and your fiancée, as long as you are in agreement on the guest list you will be fine.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Do i have to ask my fiancé's only sister to be in the bridal party? We are not close, but all the other siblings in the family are in the bridal party. I dont want to do the wrong thing by not asking, but i already have 3 sisters and 3 close friends in the bridal party? Is there another position of honor i can give to her, or do i need to include her in the bridal party?

Answer: Hi Tara and thank you for visiting my site. I don't think couples should include people in the bridal party unless they really want them there. There are several other duties you could give to your sister in law to be. Guest book attendant, have her make place cards and seat guests or even have her assist as an usher. The most important thing is that the people you select to stand up for you make you feel comfortable and happy.



Category: Invitations
Question: I sent out save the date cards in January, my wedding is in September. My fiancé nor I have spoken to a few people on that list since January. Do we still have to send them invitations to the actual wedding?

Answer: Hi Melissa and thank you for visiting my site. It is appropriate to send all invited guests a wedding invitation even if you have already verbally invited them. Wedding invitations are often kept as reminders or mementos and you would also not want to take the chance of making any of your guests feel slighted. Traditionally even parents and the bridal party are sent invitations.



Category: Invitations
Question: dear valerie, when addressing the invitations is it correct to write aunt and uncle on the outside or on the inside of the second card. Thank you

Answer: Hi Liz and thanks for visiting my site. The outside envelope should be addressed with the proper Mr. and Mrs. The inside envelope can say Aunt and Uncle.



Category: Finances & Budget
Question: If the parents of the bride are divored, does the father of the bride pay or are the expenses split?

Answer: Hi Cathy and thank you for visiting my site. This decision varies among families. It is nice if everyone can chip in, but it usually depends on the ability to come up with the money as well as how families get along. Traditionally it is up to the parents of the bride, so in that sense the Mother would also help with the expenses. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: My son was married two months ago. I invited my friend (of 40 plus years ) and her husband to the wedding. They sent their regrets and did not attend. My friend has known my son since the day he was born, and I have always attended their children's weddings and have given birthday gifts to her grandchildren. my friend did not send a shower gift or a wedding card nor a gift to my son and his wife. I am offended and I want to confront her about this and end our "friendship". I believe ENVY is at the root of her actions. Let me know your thoughts on this. Thanks PD

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. My personal philosophy is that everything should be confronted with honesty. I think it's a good idea for you to ask your friend why she has not been there for your children and you. She may have financial issues or another good reason and if not at least you will know that too. It seems like things always work out if they are approached truthfully and confronting her will keep you from carrying a resentment. Good Luck!



Category: Invitations
Question: At what age does a child of close friends receive their own invitation?

Answer: Hi Cynthia and thank you for visiting my site. To my knowledge there is no set age for a child to receive their own invitation. My advise would be 16 or older.



Category: Invitations
Question: What is the proper way to send invitations to guests when you have 2 lists? One for the ceremony and one for the reception only? This is due to limited seating at the chapel?

Answer: Hi Sue and thank you for visiting my site. The easiest and most cost effective way to have some guests invited to the reception only is to have a separate card made up for the ceremony only that can be included with the reception invitation for those closest to you. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Reception
Question: Hi there Valerie, my questions for you is this. Is it proper to have a cash bar at our reception? We are renting a reception hall/ restaurant and we are having it catered by the restaurant, can we bring our own liquor?

Answer: Hello Vicky and thank you for visiting my site. Lots of weddings have cash bars and it really just depends on your budget. Liquor is a very expensive aspect of a reception and most places will not allow you to bring your own. If you do choose to go with a cash bar I recommend you indicate it on the invitation in some manner. Something like "reception immediately to follow, cash bar". This gives your guests a heads up that they should have some money with them.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: hello valerie im attending a wedding in november can you please tell me what i can wear or what color im a fullfigured woman and the wedding is in newyork and its cold here now. can you please help thank you

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. If the wedding is in the evening you can't go wrong with black. We all look good in it and it is the most flattering color figure wise. If it is a daytime wedding perhaps something in navy. Darker colors are more figure flattering and also warmer since it is most definately cold in New York in November.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Is it proper for the Bride to wear a long dress and maid of honor and bridesmaids to wear tea length dresses. It's an outdoor wedding. The groom and groomsen have selected a jacket type Tux with vest.

Answer: Hello Carolin and thank you for visiting my site. Tea length dresses for your bridal party are great! Especially for an outdoor wedding. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: Do I need a host and hostess? What are the duties of the host and hostess?

Answer: Hi Karen and thank you for visiting my site. Having a host and/or hostess is up to you. If there is someone who really wants to be part of your wedding that is not included in the bridal party this would be a nice job for them. Usually the hostess will be in charge of the guest book, see to place cards and favors and greeting the guests as they arrive at the reception. They can also be made responsible to retrieve your personal items when the reception is over such as toasting goblets, cake knife and cake topper.



Category: Finances & Budget
Question: With a destination wedding, we as the bride's parents are paying for the bride and groom's packages. who is responsible for the cost of the groom's parents' and sister's package? this is a first wedding for both. thank you!

Answer: Hi Mary and thank you for visiting my site. Rule of thumb on destination weddings is everyone pays for themselves. The bride and groom often pay for the maid of honor and best man, but it actually goes along with the privilege of being asked to stand up for them to pay themselves. Have a wonderful time!



Category: Etiquette
Question: My daughter is planning a July 7th wedding and has found out she is five weeks pregnant. What is a mother to do? The plans are in place. Is there any etiquette that covers this unexpected situtation. I need some help?

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. Oh my... she will be very pregnant on 7/7/07. I really think this is a personal decision and have no suggestions. I mean seriously, she will be ready to pop! Best of luck to you.



Category: Flowers
Question: .what flowers is the groom responsiblity to pay for, I was informed by my son's future mother-in law that he needed to pay for the bridesbouquet, his groommens buttoners, and my(the grooms mother) corsage as this is tradtion.She informed that since the kids can't afford this I need to pay. I'm already paying for the rehearsal dinner, a $5000 + honeymoon and several decorations for the wedding service

Answer: Hi Sue and thank you for visiting my site. Every wedding is different these days as far as who pays for what, however old school tradition indicates the grooms side pays for bridal party flowers and family flowers. The brides side pays for the flowers and the church and reception site.



Category: Reception
Question: Hi Valerie, I'm a Christian and so is my Fiance'. We are not having liquor (or dancing) at our reception. There will be a live band instead. Do you have any suggestions on what we could do in order to entertain our guests?

Answer: Hi Tabatha and thank you for visiting my site. There are lot's of options other than having liquor at a reception. You could tray pass sparkling cider for your toast or have a punch fountain. You could also do some things to keep your guests busy instead of dancing after your meal. Sundae Bars and Chocolate Fountains with dipping goodies are always fun. You could also have an international coffee station set up where your guests could make their own flavored coffee drinks after dinner. As far as entertainment you could have a live singer do a short show or even a magician or comedian depending on what you and your fiance enjoy. There are lots of options and I have seen all of these things done at various weddings. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hi Valerie, My wedding is in 5 weeks. All the bridesmaids dresses, shoes, undergarments have been purchased & paid in full by my attendants. I had a bridesmaid call me today to inform me that since her husband & her don't care for one set of my fiancé's friends, that she would rather not be in the wedding instead of possibly ruining my wedding day in case of a scene at the reception. As dumbfounded as I am by this, I need to know if I should offer to reimburse her for the expenses that she has already paid for.

Answer: Hi Laurie and thank you for visiting my site. Since your bridesmaid to be made a personal choice to opt out of being in your wedding after she had committed to you, I don't think you are responsible for any of her purchases. She is making her decision based on a personal feeling, not an act of god or something she can not control. I would just tell her you appreciate her feelings and move on to selecting another friend to replace her at your wedding. Good Luck!



Category: Reception
Question: We have already had our guest list grow larger than expected (which is fine) and we decided to include people that both of us work with. Many people had pretty much made comments about being invited so we went ahead and agreed to do this. Both of us are happy about this deciesion because I am going back to college right after the wedding, so our reception is really our honeymoon also. There are two things I am really conderned about. I have two children 9 and 13 who are in the wedding party and of course will be seated at the head table. We have alot of family coming from out of state who are mostly on the grooms side and no-one has small children. My children have not meant most of these people and this is the chance for to socialize with them. I am trying to teach my children proper social skills for life. We do not want any other childdren at the reception due to price per person and of course we plan to have a bit of drinking, this is our party and we have a band. I have had a couple comments about couples bringing their child (children). I will not accomodate them. We are having arranged seating and I do not deisre other chidren there. My children will not have time to "play", which is some of the comments I have been hearing. What is the best way to address this. If someone shows up with a child I will have another person in charge of telling them that they do not have a seat. This seems crude maybe but I did not include children on the invitation and I am quite tired of people assuming things when it comes to my wedding. I am shocked at the lack of ettique I have encountered lately. The ohter issue is we have to pay per person and if they bail at the last moment, we still pay for the food ordred and the table setting, the chair and the alcohol count. . We have arranged a very nice sit down dinner and I will be very upset if I recieve an RSVP and then they do not come. How can I make this clear without sonding like a witch. Please adivse.

Answer: Hi Cammy and thank you for visiting my site. It sounds to me like you have made all the right decisions and you are certainly entitled to have only those you want at your wedding. I think it is smart to have someone assigned to letting a guest know if there is not a seat for any unexpected children. My advise would be to ignore comments from people questioning your decisions and move forward with your plans. Try not to worry about any one who might be rude enough to rsvp and then not show up, you have already budgeted for them, so why spend time stressing over what might not happen. You should just try to relax and plan the wedding you and your fiance want and not be concerned with the opinion of others. It sounds like you are paying for your own reception, so the decisions are yours to make. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Reception
Question: I think that place card holders are very expensive. As pretty as they make things look, I just cannot afford them. I was wondering if there is any other way to put the place cards and still have them look neat and easy to get to. Please help!

Answer: Hi Jamie and thank you for visiting my site. You can find very inexpensive and cute paper place cards without holders and hallmark and wedding stores. I plan weddings every week and very seldom do any of my brides use the actual holders, just the place cards themselves. Many brides even make their own place cards on the computer at home.



Category: Ceremony
Question: How many wedding attendants do I need?

Answer: You can have any number of attendants that you wish. Sometimes it simplifies things (and keeps the cost down) to just have the best friends of the bride and groom stand up for you. This also eliminates the hassle of siblings or friends that you may feel obligated too, but may not really want in your wedding. There is no set number of attendants nor do they need to be the same number on each side. Select the people that you really want to stand up with you and that will make you comfortable and happy on your special day.



Category: Food
Question: Valerie: what would be the proper food to serve at a Friday evening wedding - ceremony starts at 8:30 p.m. - cocktail hour 9-10 p.m. - then dinner. Wedding date June 10, 2005 thanks

Answer: Hi Millie and thank you for visiting my site. There really is no special type of food for a Friday night reception. My only thought is that due to the timing and rather late dinner hour you might consider simply doing heavy hors d'oeuvre instead of a full dinner. This way you could offer a wide variety of food selections and your guests would not have to wait until so late for dinner. It would also get you to the fun and dancing sooner. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: I am getting married for the second time. We are going to get married on the beach in Flordia with just our families being there. We want this to be very informal what should we wear for a 4PM ceremony on the beach?

Answer: Hi Gail and thank you for visiting my site. For a beach wedding you have a lot of flexibility as far as attire...anything from a simple white sun dress to bathing suits would be appropriate. Many brides still choose a wedding dress for beach weddings, so basically the sky is the limit. I would suggest wearing whatever you are comfortable in and that makes you feel beautiful on your special day!



Category: Finances & Budget
Question: How can I save money on the cake?

Answer: Hello, and thank you for visiting my site. The easiest way I know of to save money on cake costs is to have a family member or friend make it for you. Cake pricing is generally very competitive and if you want to cut costs the best way is "home made".



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: Dear Valarie, My son is getting married in June. He has one sister that is 23 and a brother who is 21 and they have not asked them to stand up in their wedding. He asked two of his good friends and she has asked her sister and one of his friends wives. Do you think they should have included his brother and sister? There are some really hurt feelings here. I thought they should have. Should I mention something to my future daughter-in-law and son?

Answer: Hi Cindy and thank you for visiting my site. It is really up to the bride and groom who they want to stand up for them on their special day. It is a shame that there are hurt feelings, but I really don't think it would be appropriate to question the wishes of the bride and groom. Best of luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: What do I do with the gifts I receive before the wedding?

Answer: Most of the gifts you receive before the wedding will come from out of town or guests who are unable to attend. It is appropriate to open them when you get them and send a thank you at that time. It is also fine to wait until after the wedding and send all of your thank you notes together.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: My son is getting married in Dec. in the very late afternoon in a church amid potted pine trees. They have chosen colors of burgundy, brown and green, earthy autumn colors. What is appropriate for me to wear? I'm very attractive to these colors myself. Every dress I've been attracted to so far has been one of these colors. Help!

Answer: Hi Becky and thank you for visiting my site. These are all great colors for a winter wedding and lucky you, everyone looks good in these darker shades! Depending on what you are most comfortable in and how formal the wedding is your options are unlimited. If it is more on the casual side a great pant suit is always practical because it can be worn often. If it is a more formal wedding than perhaps a gown that can also work for any holiday parties you have coming up.



Category: Etiquette
Question: I am getting married and it will be a small wedding in my home, dad and mom are divorced and I want them both to be there, but the problem is dad's fiance was also his mistress when he was married to mom. I don't want to hurt anyone. What do I do?

Answer: Hello Jessica and thank you for visiting my site. The only option I can see is for you to talk to your father and let him know how important it is to you that your mother is comfortable at your wedding. I would ask him to come alone.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Hi Valerie- I am having a fall wedding and my bridesmaids are all plus size woman and top heavy. My question is what colors would look good on them? I originally had brown and pumpkin for my colors. Please advise

Answer: Hi Natasha and thank you for visiting my site. Dark colors are always good on plus size women. I think browns and pumkins would look great. More importantly than the color is the cut of the dresses, as long as they are not designed for smaller built women they should look great.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: I am a divorced mother getting remarried in May,Would the traditional white be OK to wear or do I need to wear a cream color dress. My first marriage I never had a wedding so this is all new to me?

Answer: Hi Leslie, Congratulations! and thank you for visiting my site. There are varying opinions on the wearing of white for a second marriage, but my personal belief is do whatever you want and what will make you happy. It is your wedding and should be exactly as you dream it. I would suggest wearing the color that you feel the best and prettiest in. Look through bridal magazines and you will be amazed at the varying colors and styles that brides choose, truly the sky is the limit. If you have always wanted a traditional white gown, then my advice is to go for it!



Category: Etiquette
Question: My son is getting married in the Catholic church and says that only his father and I are to sit in the "Parents" row. We are divorced and I am remarried. This is not a friendly divorce. Is there another option I can present to him, as I do not want to sit by his father.

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. There are several options for seating arrangement of the parents. If your son has siblings that are not in the wedding party or you and your ex have siblings they could also be seated between the two of you. There are no hard fast "rules" saying the parents need to be seated next to each other, so I would just explain to your son how uncomfortable it makes you and ask him to come up with another option.



Category: Invitations
Question: When we registered, they gave us these little slips of paper that lets everyone know where we are registered. They said to include them in our wedding invitations but I feel that is tacky. What do you think?

Answer: Hello Jaylene and thank you for visiting my site. It actually helps your guests to know where you are registered and will save you dozens of phone calls asking you this question if you include the slips in your invitations. It is not considered at all tacky to do so.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hi Valerie, My son and his fiancée were given a large sum of money from the bride’s father to spend on there wedding however they see fit. They decided to have a destination wedding in Cancun to save money so they could use the rest on a down payment for a house. The resort where they are staying is all inclusive and covers all the expenses and is quite expensive. Now they are telling my ex wife that we are responsible for the flowers and the photographer which she does not have a problem with but l do. Not only is this an expensive destination which means that no one from my side of the family will be able to attend, l am not even sure if l can afford to go much less pay for half of the flowers and the photographer. I’m at a loss here because l want to see my son get married but l think there being unreasonable and thoughtless of others with in the family. What is the protocol for these types of situations? I am leaning towards just telling them l can not afford to go and just stay home. Thank you, George

Answer: Hello George and thank you for visiting my site. If you can not afford to do this then I think you should just share that with your kids. Most weddings over the past several years are not funded solely by the parents. Generally speaking everyone pitches in when and where they can. It is unreasonable to expect people to put out a large amount of money if it will present a hardship on them. Good luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: My Mother and Father are divorced, My Mother has remarried, where does my Father set after giving me away, he has not remarried.

Answer: Hi Cynthia and thank you for visiting my site. There is no "set" place for your Father to be seated under these circumstances. It is quite common for one or both of the bride or grooms parents to be remarried and it is up to the family as to where is comfortable for everyone to be seated. If the relationship between your parents is cordial there is no reason your father can't be seated with the rest of the family. If it is not, perhaps the front row of the grooms side could work. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Music & DJ
Question: 1 more question. I plan to walk in, to the song Can't help falling in love by Elvis Preasley. Instead of here comes the bride. Is that alright. I figure it is my wedding, do it the way I want. I am a real romatic.

Answer: Hello again...like you said, it's your day and you are right it should be just as you want it to be. Traditional weddings are wonderful if that is what suits you, but more and more couples are becoming super creative in planning their ceremonies and receptions. When I meet with couples I always encourage them to picture the dream wedding they have always wanted and to make their plans accordingly. Since so many things surrounding your big day are expensive it is always a good idea to jump on the ones that are not and that will make you happy. Your music will cost the same regardless of what you select, so have what is going to make you happy, feel good and mean something to the two of you.



Category: Etiquette
Question: My daughter is about to be engaged. There is one recurring issue that she and her soon-to-be fiancée discuss. My daughter has a cousin (my husband's niece) that is extremely rude to her. This past Christmas, my daughter hosted my husband's family at her house. It is a tradition with this celebration that names are drawn and gifts are exchanged. My daughter and her boyfriend drew the name of this cousin and her new husband. When the cousin arrived at the house, she brought with her a bottle of champaign for the hosts (which she gave to my husband, not my daughter). She never said hello to my daughter and her boyfriend (the hosts) at all. She never thanked them for their gifts - and - when she left, she never said goodbye - AND - she had the nerve to retrieve her champagne and take it home with her. My daughter and her boyfriend have expressed several times that when they get married, they are not inviting her to the wedding. I know that this day is very special for them - and they should be surrounded by people that sincerely love them and appreciate them. How do you handle a situation like this? The mother of the cousin is my husband's sister.

Answer: Hi Anne and thank you for visiting my site. I am in complete agreement that your daughter should be surrounded by the people she loves and that love her on her wedding day. I also think it is always best to be totally honest and if they do not want to have this person at their wedding I don't think they should invite her. If this offends your husbands sister then she of course has the option not to attend. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hi Valerie, could you please tell me how the tapered candles for the unity candles get lit, who lights them?

Answer: Hello, and thank you for visiting my site. Usually the officiant lights the tapers for the bride and groom. If this is not going to work you could have the best man come up to light them as well.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: I was asked to be a bridesmaid I agreed and paid for my dress. The ceremony is getting closer the bride got upset with a bridesmaid and basically told her she was not going to be in the wedding. At the last minute a relative was asked to take her place. At the dress fitting my dress needed to be altered without my consent my dress was given to the cousin and I was placed with the other dress. Am I responsible for price of the alterations?

Answer: Hi Amanda and thank you for visiting my site. It seems to me that if your dress has been changed and now requires alterations, it should be up to the bride to pay for them. It does not seem reasonable to ask you to pay for a change you did not create. Good Luck!



Category: Music & DJ
Question: I am getting married in a hall, and having the reception there to. After my new husband and I have our first dance and maybe 2 more songs. Would it be alright for me to go change fast in to something more comfortable. I am 52 and he will be 38 on our wedding day. I am still a pretty wild dance. And like to move. LOL What do you think Mary

Answer: Hi Mary, Your wedding should be all about YOU and what you and your fiance would like to experience on your special day. If you are going to enjoy moving in to fast music sooner than what would be "traditional" that is entirely up to the two of you. Weddings have become so diverse and should reflect the two of you and your personalities. My advise to all the brides I work with is to do what is going to make you and your fiance happy and remember your day just as you hoped it would be.



Category: Etiquette
Question: We are getting married in vegas, when we get back to our hometown we're having a dinner party in a first class restaurant. Is it good etiquette to have our guests pay their own way?

Answer: Hi Regina and thank you for visiting my site. When asking friends and family to celebrate your marriage it is proper etiquette to pay for your guests. If you are on a budget perhaps a potluck party would be just as fun? Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Reception
Question: We had a small wedding with only a few family members (my parents and kids) in LV. I am now considering holding a reception for the rest of our family and friends. When is it too late to hold something of this nature? What should it be called? Do we register? We were married on 7/4/07

Answer: Hello Tanya and thank you for visiting my site. Many couples have large receptions after they marry and sometimes not until years later when they can afford a big lavish event. So it is really never too late to invite friends and family to celebrate your union. If you plan to host a traditional reception, then it should be caled a wedding reception and it is acceptable to register for gifts. The event is still to celebrate your marriage regardless that it is after the fact. Congratulations and take care.



Category: Ceremony
Question: who is responsible for paying the church and pastor

Answer: Hello Tom and thank you for visiting my site. If you are going by "old school" tradition then the grooms side is responsible for the church and Pastor.



Category: Finances & Budget
Question: I have a wedding in the family, and between the bride and one bridesmaid a color has been chosen which they want the whole family, (girls) to wear. Unfortunately this color is not suitable for some, and others don't have the funds to purchase a new dress. We will all be in the wedding photos and such. The men are wearing black. Would that be an acceptable substitute for the women as well? Is there any rules for family attire? The color she picked is cream, Odd with the bride's white?

Answer: Hi Heidi and thank you for visiting my site. I would suggest asking the bride if black would be appropriate. Everyone looks good in black and since the men are dressed in black it won't throw off her color scheme. Otherwise you might look for something that has a cream pattern or trim which could also work. Good luck!



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Good Evening Valerie, I am not sure if you got my first question I posted 6/5/05. I was wondering if I could use a steamer to take wrinkles out of my wedding dress if I get some (wedding is in 7 weeks) and is it ok for me to keep the dress in the plastic bag that was put in at the Bridal Store till the wedding (kind of like a Dry Cleaner's type of bag) Thanks for your help

Answer: Hi Lisa and thank you for visiting my site. Keeping your dress in a cleaners bag until your wedding should be just fine and a steamer works well on most fabrics. My only hesitation would be if the dress is a very thin silk material. I have seen steamers leave stains on this type of material. I would suggest taking the dress to any cleaners and asking them if the fabric is alright to steam. If not you could always use the old hot running shower method which actually works pretty well. Wrinkles will fall out in about 30 minutes in a bathroom filled with hot steam from a running shower. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: We are getting married in a very small ceremony, however we want to "announce" or marriage to all family and friends. What is the proper way to do this and where can I find some wording examples?

Answer: Hi Rochelle and thank you for visiting my site. You can find samples of wedding announcements at any shop that sells invitations or check "google" on the internet and you should be able to pull up a lot of examples. Announcements are sent out just like invitations 6-8 weeks prior to your wedding. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: Dear Valerie, I am actually writing to you on behalf of my niece. She is getting married in a small ceremony (approx. 20 people). She has lived with my sister and her step dad for many years. Her biological father was involved with drugs and was abusive to my sister during their marriage. During that time and since, she and her father have had a distant relationship. The courts had to ensure that he would pay child support by garnishing his wages. He called and asked my niece if he would get to walk her down the aisle. She's been in turmoil since then. Her step dad has been there for her in every way. He is paying for the entire wedding, etc. Okay... you probably get the idea. Here's the question: Who should walk her down the aisle? She decided to invite her dad, but won't have him walk her down the aisle. She doesn't want to hurt his feelings by having her step dad do it. She has a brother who could do it. What do you recommend. This is emotionally difficult for all of them. I want to help. Thank you for your expertise and service, Gina

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. Your niece has a pretty common problem a lot of brides face when getting married. It's hard to give advice on such a personal matter, but I always tell my brides that for their weddings they should have things just as they want them and do what is going to make them feel most comfortable and happy on that special day. It sounds like your niece's stepfather has earned the honor of walking her down the aisle and this is also what would make her the most happy. I would suggest she write a letter to her biological father explaining that she is very pleased he will be at her wedding and hopes that he can understand that she wants the man she grew up with to stand beside her. Good Luck and Best Wishes.



Category: Invitations
Question: My Father recently passed away, how do I use his and my Mothers name in the invitations?

Answer: Hi Karen and thank you for visiting my site. I would say to just address the invitation to your mother to Mrs. John Doe...this will acknowledge your father, but it is still addressed to your mother. If you do not feel like this is enough you can always include a line in your program like "In memory of..."



Category: Reception
Question: What are the duties of the Mistress and Master of Ceremony. We have two for each side of the family?

Answer: The traditional responsibilities of Mistress/Master of Ceremonies are to make all of the major announcements from the “Grand Entrance” through the end of the reception. Some of the things to be announced during the evening are the Father-Daughter dance, Couples first dance, Toast, Cake Cutting, Bouquet and Garter Toss and Last Dance. To be honest there are really not enough announcements to split between 4 people. Perhaps you could consider having one or two of them make announcements and find other duties to include the others. Assisting with seating arrangements, passing of favors or giving additional toasts might be some things to consider.



Category: Vendors
Question: My fiancé and I are planning a sit down dinner for the reception. I know we are supposed to invite all of the paid professionals (florist, harpist, director, etc ) to the wedding but are they also supposed to attend/be invited for the dinner reception and do i need to include their families? Thanks

Answer: Hi Catherine and thank you for visiting my site. The only vendors you need to serve at your reception are the ones who actually provide a service at the reception. For example the florist and baker need not be invited since their work is complete before the reception begins. Vendors like the DJ and coordinator should get an invitation, but you do not need to include a guest or their families unless they are personal friends and you wish to do so. It is also perfectly acceptable to serve the vendors a different less expensive meal during a time when they may take a break at the reception. Lot's of times brides will order a separate sandwich display for the band members instead of having them eat with the guests. It is really a matter of personal preference on your part, but you are not obligated to your vendors, they are there to provide a service for you that you are paying for.



Category: Reception
Question: Because of availability the reception is not following immediately after the ceremony. Is this ok?

Answer: Hi Catherine and thank you for visiting my site. Having the reception delayed is okay, and happens quite often. I have to be honest and tell you I do not reccomend this to my brides. What happens a lot of times when there is 2 or more hours between wedding and reception is that A) you lose guests from the wedding who simply go home because they do not want to wait around or B) you have guests who do not go to the ceremony at all and just show up for the reception. If you are fine with those two situations then there is no reason not to proceed as you have planned.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: I’m thinking of renting my wedding gown, since I don’t see the point of owning a dress I’m only going to wear once. How does renting work? Does it affect the quality and quantity of gown choices I will have? Do most gown stores rent?

Answer: Hi Heather and thank you for visiting my site. Great idea!!! I too am of the mind that it is insane to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for a dress you will wear once. Gown Rentals are a great way to go and another option would be consignment shops or on line used gowns. Many used gowns can be purchased for as little as a shop will rent on for you. You should be able to find a gorgeous dress for a fraction of the cost by shopping this way. Let someone else shell out the huge bucks for your perfect dress!



Category: Etiquette
Question: Dear Valerie, I am the maid of honor in my friends wedding in three weeks. There are six girls in her wedding. We gave her a shower for around 80 guests and also bought her a gift. Some of the girls in the wedding party are not sure as to whether or not we are supposed to give the bride and groom a monetary gift at their wedding also. Any advice you can give would help us. Thanks

Answer: Hello Marisa and thank you for visiting my site. It is appropriate for the bridal party to give the bride and groom wedding presents. It is an expensive time for close friends of the bride, but a shower gift and wedding present should not be combined.



Category: Invitations
Question: When a bride registers at stores for gifts, can the little cards be placed in the wedding invitations when mailed?

Answer: Hello Cindy and thank you for visiting my site. My apologies for the delay in response, the alert from my website that tells me when I have questions has not worked for serveral weeks and I was unaware the questions were building up. Registry cards included in the invitation is fine and a good way to let guests know where the couple is registrered.



Category: Reception
Question: dear valerie, we have been planning a wedding for only a few months and my fiance's mother has driven up the costs over double what we could afford. we are paying for everything ourselves because either family can afford this at the time and his family believes that we are old enough (23) to take care of the expenses. His family wants to invite everyone they know and think it should be an impressive event. How do we cut down the cost without the family getting upset?

Answer: Hi Liz and thank you for visiting my site. If the families are not financially supporting your wedding and reception, they have no business trying to dictate the costs or type of reception you should have. You could be very cost effective by doing an early ceremony with the reception serving only punch and cake immediately following. My advice to all couples is to plan your reception for yourselves and not for others. Do what is going to make you happy and if you are paying for everything yourselves do what is within an reasonable financial budget for the two of you. The most important thing is that this is your day and you should feel nothing but happy and excited about starting your new life together.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Is it proper for the father of the groom to function as a groomsman?

Answer: Absolutely!!! It is both appropriate and special to have the father participate in the wedding.



Category: Ceremony
Question: What can we do to make sure everything goes on schedule?

Answer: The best advice I can offer you regarding keeping things on schedule for your wedding day is DON’T STRESS! There are so many variables and so many people involved that your timing is bound to be off a few minutes either way. The biggest problem I have run across with timing is the photographers. There is usually a set amount of time set aside for pictures and this almost always runs over. If timing is very important to you be sure you make this clear to all of your vendors so they can assist you. It is also a good idea to assign a family member or friend to assist in this area. All of the people who work with weddings on a regular basis are very used to timing being off by a bit, so there is no need to worry excessively if you are running a few minutes behind. Try to relax and enjoy your day.



Category: Invitations
Question: I have an aunt who has six children and 4 in-laws. I invited aunt, 5 children and 4 in-laws. I excluded one child for no other reason than I limited invitations per family. This child is 42 and single. It would have meant one more invitation. Was I wrong to exclude 1 child from the wedding. He is neither oldest or youngest child. Now my aunt and her children are not coming to the wedding. All of the children live locally. Please advise me what I should have done.

Answer: Hi Ellie and thank you for visiting my site. Most weddings are restricted to number of guests based on budget or other factors. I think the people most important to the bride and groom should be invited first regardless of family status. I also believe that weddings are very personal and input from Aunt's, Uncles, Cousins and even parents should be limited. No, I don't believe you were wrong not to invite this person, in fact you might want to reconsider if you have others you would rather have at your wedding then this huge extended family. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Finances & Budget
Question: I've read that sponsor weddings are not a bad way to go when money is tight. How do you go about finding sponsors?

Answer: Hi Lissa and thank you for visiting my site. I am not sure what you mean by "sponsors". The only weddings I know of that have sponsors are Filipino weddings where close family and elders actually sponsor the couples wedding by tradition and custom. This is generally just done automatically through the family. If you are looking to have vendors sponsor your wedding such as florists, musicians etc...the only way I have ever heard of that happening is through contests. I would recommend attending as many bridal fairs as you can find and entering every type of drawing they have. Other than that I am not sure why anyone would just randomly sponsor a wedding for someone. I hope that helps and good luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hi Valerie, my daughter is engaged to be married a year from now and she is planning who to be in wedding. Because she waited until she's 29 to get engaged and will be 30 when she marries all her friends/relatives who she would like to be in the wedding are now married. My question is can she have all matron on honors instead of bridesmaids or is that not proper etiquette??? Or what to call the married ladies in the wedding party?? Please HELP a confused "mother of the bride"!!!

Answer: Hello Marcy and thank you for visiting my site. Bridal parties have become very diversified and are now generally referred to as "attendants". It is fine if all of the women are married in the bridal party. If your daughter does not want to single out one special "Matron of Honor", then all of the girls should just be referred to as attendants.



Category: Reception
Question: My daughter-in-law and son were married privately due to an unplanned but welcome pregnancy. Now they want to have a combination wedding celebration (reception) and baby shower all in one. How do you word the invite so people can come and not feel they have to buy gifts for both or either?

Answer: Hello Shelley and thank you for visiting my site. There are several ways the invitation could be worded. Something like "Join us in celebration of our marriage and the birth of our new child". The easiest way to make people understand that gifts are not required is by noting "no gifts please" on the invitation. I would suggest looking at some invitation websites where you will find many examples of the verbiage for various invitations. Congratulations on both big events!



Category: Invitations
Question: Regarding Save the Date cards, is there any etiquette involved? More specifically, is it ok to handwrite the envelopes? Should they be written as formal as the actual invitations?

Answer: Hi Brenna and thank you for visiting my site. Save the date cards can be informal and even fun! Handwritten is just fine.



Category: Invitations
Question: Hi Valerie! I'm getting married in less than 3 weeks. When I sent out invitations to the wedding party, I included a letter giving a tentative schedule for the day of and the day before the wedding. I am huge on organization. My fiance received a call from his best man whose wife is a bride's maid, and she claimed that she felt like I was bossing her around, and she did not appreciate being told what to do. Was I wrong in sending the letter? Also, I was just preparing tonight to type out tentative duties for each person in the wedding (with the exception of her), is this too overbearing?

Answer: Hello Beth, I don't think you did anything wrong or out of the ordinary for an organized bride. It is your wedding and you are entitled to have things go the way you want them to in an orderly fashion. When friends and family accept the invitation to be part of a bridal party the also accept the responsibilities that go along with that. It makes a lot of sense to give them direction as to what you want them to do. This will make your event go much more smoothly. I always try to encourage my brides to have very clear time lines as well as a clear schedule of duties for all of the attendants. In my opinion there is nothing overbearing in your requests. Congratulations and enjoy your special day!



Category: Finances & Budget
Question: For a mid afternoon church wedding in February 2005 in snowy Pa.....are goacho pants with a shorter jacket appropriate for a mother of the groom?

Answer: Hi Karen and thank you for visiting my site. If the bride is happy with your choice and your are comfortable with it I would say yes.



Category: Invitations
Question: I have a tough one for you Valery. My daughter is mentally challenged and planning a December wedding. She insists on posting fliers around places where vagrants and recovering alcohlics hang out, inviting them all to her wedding. This is in addition to the family and freinds who will recieve formal invitaions. She does not understand that you need to know about how many people are coming to your wedding. She can't see why she needs to send out special invitations, dispite my repeated attempts to reason with her. She and her fiance have NO money, yet they are planning this big wedding. I am not helping with expenses for various reasons. Her fiance is a good man, and want them to be happily married. We are just worried that she will embarass herself, or become too overwhelmed as the wedding day approaches. She also says she will have no cake or flowers, and will not be providing food. Food will come in the form of a pot luck. Some family members will not take this well. And what will the grooms family think? She seems completely unable to plan any part of the event, yet she insists on having things her way, thwarting any advice or suggestions. Her dad and I feel that she would do best to have a small wedding with just family, as that is about all she can handle mentally and financially. We are so worried that her happy day will be ruined if she proceeds with this open invatation idea. She is literally "The Other Sister" in this matter. I feel I can do nothing but back off at this point -- and pray. Any suggestions on getting her to realize how important a guest list and by invitation only is? What will people think when she has no cake and expects them to bring food? What will happen if she think 100 people are coming and another 100 vagrants pack the church and reception hall?

Answer: Hi Gail and Thank you for visiting my site. I have to be honest in telling you I have no idea what you should do in this situation. I guess if it were me I would let your daughter proceed how she want to and hope for the best. This is indeed an unusual question and challenge.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hi Valerie, I am in a bit of an unexpected dilemma. I have already sent out save the date cards for my wedding which is to take place on July 25, 2009. We have found out that we are pregnant, (totally unplanned) and have thought over our "big wedding". We have decided that having 200 people and paying so much is not a smart thing to do with a new baby in the picture. We still want to get married on this day but want to scale down the list of guests. Is there any way to un-invite some of the guests due to the situation? I was thinking maybe sending pregnancy announcements stating that we are having a more intimate wedding due to the unexpected arrival of our baby?? Please help!!

Answer: Hi Melissa and thank you for visiting my website. Congratulations to you on both accounts! I think your idea about sending a pregnancy announcement is a good one and in this tough economy it makes a lot of sense to cut back on your wedding expenses and be prepared for the new baby. Good Luck!



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Hi Valerie, I'm getting married next November in an outdoor morning wedding (10:30am). The ceremony and reception are to be on the grounds of a beautiful waterfront historic mansion. The kind of address that makes people say WOW when you mention the location. Although I've already chosen the color for the girls to wear (chocolate brown) I'm in discussions as to the length of thier gowns. My MOH & FMIL and a few others thinks tea length dresses are appropiate for a morning wedding. My Finance and several of the other bridesmaids are saying that floor length is appropiate. Which is correct? And also if tea length is correct do the guys still wear tuxes, or suits? I'm so confused. Don't get me started on the flowers. I'm totally stuck on what colors to use there. UGH! HELP ME!!!

Answer: Hello Johanna and thank you for visiting my site. Your wedding sounds like it is going to be lovely! Tea length is appropriate for a day time wedding, however if your wedding is very formal it is also appropriate to go with floor length. The time of day does not really dictate the dress, it's more the location and how formal the event is. It sounds like you could really go either way, so I would select the length of dress that you like better and the type of suit or tuxedo that you would like to see the guys in. You can do gorgeous fall flowers in yellows, oranges and deep reds or jewel tones that will compliment the chocolate brown. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: Desitnation Weddings. What is the proper etiquette as far as gift giving? If I'm flying to Mexico to go to the wedding am I expected to give a gift as well? What would Emily Post say?

Answer: Hi Kim and thank you for visiting my site. If the trip to Mexico is a financial hardship for you, then a card would be appropriate. Have a great time!



Category: Etiquette
Question: Please help soon!! My stepmother just called and gave me a HUGE guilt trip because my fiancé' and I had not planned on asking my father to help pay for our wedding--we are planning to get married in Jamaica, with all the family included. Being 35 and my fiancé' being 38, we just assumed we were on our own for financing the wedding. This is my first wedding (but his second). I have learned from my stepmother that my father is crushed because I didn't ask him to help pay for our wedding. He has apparently been wanting to give me a wedding since I was a little girl. (Which I just found out) However, we are financially able to do this ourselves, and I didn't want to ask my father for the money, although he can afford to help. I was trying to be helpful, but it seems to have hurt some feelings. Was this out of line for me, or was my stepmother wrong? I certainly would never want to hurt my fathers feelings.

Answer: Hi Susan and thank you for visiting my site. Since you are planning a "destination" wedding, it is actually the proper etiquette for you and your fiancé to pay for it your selves. I would suggest explaining to your father that since you were not having a traditional wedding and reception that you understood you were to pay for it. As you are reading this answer it would now be truthful to say you "read somewhere" that it was appropriate for you to pay.



Category: Etiquette
Question: This is my and my fiance's second marriage. I am getting ask if we have registered any where and I didn't think it would be proper to register? What is the proper ediquett for the second time around?

Answer: Hi Paula and thank you for visiting my site. If you are hosting a traditional wedding and reception there is nothing wrong with registering for gifts even if it is a second wedding. If you were planning to run off and elope it would be a little tacky to ask for gifts, but no worries if you are planning a wedding. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Ceremony
Question: Dear Valerie, I am getting married next October, 2005. My fiancé and I have decided to get married and have the reception on the same site. Neither one of us is very religious and we were trying to figure out who would actually preform the ceremony. I know that you can hire and officiant, but we were thinking of asking my uncle to do it. We are both very close with him and would love to have him marry us. However, I wasn't sure if this was legal. I was told that he can get ordained on line, and really it's just the marriage certificate that counts. So as long as we sign the legal certificate it won't matter who marries us. Is this true? And do you think this is a good idea? Any advice would be great! Thanks.

Answer: Hi Courtney and thank you for visiting my site. You can not be legally married by anyone who does not possess a license to marry people. Perhaps you could have an officiant marry you in a very brief ceremony and then have your uncle speak and do the ceremony you want directly after? Another option would be to have a civil ceremony prior to your wedding and then you would already be legally married and could have any kind of ceremony you want with your uncle presiding. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Ceremony
Question: What is the purpose of the prelude. Is anyone seated during this?

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my set. The prelude is simply a time prior to the actual ceremony and guests are generally seated during this time.



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: I am the mother of the groom. I would like to know what are traditional shower gifts for the bride from the grooms mother. I gave her money for a day of beauty the day of the wedding before I knew about the shower.

Answer: Hi Jackie and thank you for visiting my site. There really are no set gifts for wedding showers unless it is themed like for Kitchen items, lingerie or something specifically indicated on the invitation. Since you have already given her a lovely pre-wedding gift I think something small and thoughtful would be appropriate. Maybe a nice nightie or if she doesn't have one yet her garter or something else for the wedding itself.



Category: Reception
Question: Hello Valerie, My friend is getting married in Las Vegas. She is inviting about 30 people. Everyone should pay for there own expenses right? There is no reception planned back home. So the bride would like to have a meal after the wedding, they are paying for the wedding themselves. Can they ask guest to pay for their own meal? How do they word it on the invitation? She is really stressed that she is asking too much of her guest, and also her own cost. She doesn't want to offend anyone but also needs to be tight with budget. Thank you, Shelley

Answer: Hello Shelley and thank you for visiting my site. Anyone planning to attend the wedding should plan on paying their own travel and accomodations. These things would not be the responsibility of the Bride and Groom. I have to say it would be tacky to ask guests to pay for their own meal, it would be better to keep in simple and just serve cake and punch to keep expenses down than to ask guests to pay.



Category: Vendors
Question: Do I have to tip the vendors and if so how much?

Answer: Tipping is a very personal issue. It is customary and polite to tip certain vendors when they do a good job. Your reception Captains and servers are automatically tipped when you are charged a service charge, but if they are exceptional it is always nice to give your Captain an extra gratuity. Vendors such as your florist, photographer, and baker are not traditionally tipped. Your limo driver and DJ should always be given a tip, somewhere between $50.00 and $100.00 is standard depending on the size of your group and the number of hours they provide service for you. There is nothing wrong with asking a vendor what normal tipping standards are if you are unsure of what to do.



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: My daughter is to be married in an outdoor wedding in a few months. My problem is that her father has been dating a woman for 5 years but has stated he does not intend to marry her or live with her. My daughter seems to think that the girlfriend should sit up front with her dad and I. Her dad and I have been close friends throught her life and have shared every occasion with her side by side. My question is should she be allowed to sit up front with her dad and myself? I feel that she should not be sitting up front with us. I have asked several people regarding this and they feel she should be seated like everyone else as a guest. I get along with her, but she is jealous and cannot understand how a divorced couple could still remain friends and how he could still be close to my family. Granted it is strange but we put our daughter above everything else and she is the one who has benefitted from it.Please respond as soon as possible because we have to straighten this out. I feel I am the mother of the bride and should rightfully have the honor all to myself. Her dad will be sitting with the girlfriend at the reception.

Answer: Hi Sandy and thank you for visiting my site. It sounds like everyone involved is pretty reasonable and that this could be talked through with your daughter, ex husband and yourself. I do think your first sentence is very telling, that your daughter thinks she should sit up front. I always tell my brides that since it is their wedding they should make the decisions that will make them the most comfortable and happy. Of course you want to have the special "mother of the bride" honor of being seated in the front row alone, but with today's diversified families these traditions tend to fall by the wayside. If it is important to you daughter to have Dad's girlfriend up front I think you should just roll with it. Express your concerns, but if this is really what she wants then just let it go and have a great time!



Category: Etiquette
Question: I want to be sure I have the correct number of wedding favors. I think you should have one per couple or single people you invite or an easier way to say this is one per invitation you send out. Is this correct? Thanks for your help.

Answer: Hi Deb and thank you for visiting my site. Generally it depends on what you are having as favors to determine how many you order. If you are doing something simple like matches or Jordon almonds traditionally it is one per person at each placesetting on the tables. If you are doing something more expensive like picture frames or candles then one per couple or single individual is acceptable. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: My mom who is a widow, is dating a man who is also a widow. Since my dad has died, is it proper for my mom's boyfriend to sit next to my mom at the wedding? My friends tell me that the space next to my mom should be left empty, to honor my "late" dad. What do you think? Please help me out!

Answer: Hi Katie and thank you for visiting my site. I understand this is a sensitive subject, but it is perfectly acceptable to have your mothers new boyfriend sit next to her at your wedding. The only way I would say you should leave the space empty in honor of your late father is if that is what you truly want to do. Honestly in all my years of experience with weddings I have never had a bride do that, so it is completely up to you.



Category: Finances & Budget
Question: I (groom) am 31 and my fiance (bride) 30. We want to pay for at least some of our wedding, since we are somewhat established career persons. However, we also don't necessarily feel that its fair that we should be "punished" for waiting till later in life to marry. My fiances parents don't have a lot of money but are the type that they would spend their last dime on the wedding if we let them. We don't want them to sacrifice any future goals to make us happy. My parents have the money, but haven't offered anything yet. Perhaps because typically, in my family, we have followed "traditional" rules as far as who pays for what. Which means that in this case the ones with money don't have much to pay for. We are very much against the idea of asking either parents for money because we are thinking they will offer money if they want to. Help! How do we approach this situation without flat out asking my parents for money.

Answer: Hello Ryan and thank you for visiting my site. Also congratulations on waiting until you were a "grown up" to make this huge step, I am personally a huge proponent of waiting until you are in your 30's to get married! Honestly your question is of a very personal nature and it really depends on what you and your fiance want to do. I was actually faced with a similar situation when I married a few years ago and made the decision to just move forward with what my husband and I could afford on our own. This way we had no stress regarding what family might want or might be able to contribute. As it turned out we had a beautiful wedding and extra money for the honeymoon after because the family did come through with some funds.



Category: Ceremony
Question: Hi Valerie! Is there an alternative to "clinking" glasses to get the bride and groom to kiss?I find this very annoying.

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. The tradition of clinking glasses for the bride and groom to kiss generally comes from your guests. Once it gets started it is difficult to get them to stop. I think if you make it known to your friends and family that you are annoyed by this you could stop it from happening. The only thing I can think of to insure it doesn't happen is to have you DJ make an announcement to your guests to please not clink the glasses. Good Luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: I went away to get married Can I come home and have a reeption and renewal of vows? Also I didn't have a bridal shower Can I have a post one even if I already got married I feel as if I missed out.

Answer: Hello. Thank you for visiting my site. Absolutely yes to both of your questions! You can plan another ceremony and reception or just reception since you are already married, to invite your friends and family now that you are back home. This is actually pretty common for people who attend college far from home or when they have had long distance relationships. The shower can be set up just prior to your reception or if you end up not having the reception you can just send invitations to say “Michele got married” join us in giving her a belated shower now that she is home” or something along those lines. Good luck and Congratulations!



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hi Valerie! I asked my sister to be my maid of honor because I do love her very much and we are usually very close. But I've been engaged for a year now and I'm getting married in 9 months and she hasn't really done anything at all to help me. My best friend is also a maid of honor I would like to have her first because of my sister not even being interested but I don't want to hurt her... is this wrong of me? And how would I tell my sister? And also, is it wrong to have two maid of honors?

Answer: Hi Gene and thank you for visiting my site. No it is not wrong to have to primary attendants, it's your wedding and should be set up as you wish. The only thing I can suggest regarding your sister's lack of urgency is to sit down with her and discuss what your expectations are from your maid of honor. Perhaps you could approach it by saying you were wondering what responsibilities she would like your best friend to take? I hope everything works out and congratulations.



Category: Etiquette
Question: I don't want kids to be at my Bridal shower. ( I have nothing against kids) I want it to be for adults only. How do I word it properly without hurting feelings or sounding rude on the invitations??

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. I don't believe it is at all rude not to want children at your bridal shower. The best wording for your invitation is "This is an adult occasion". This is also appropriate for your wedding invitations.



Category: Invitations
Question: I am trying to help a friend with the wording of her invitation. This is her first marriage but her fiance's second marriage. I am wondering if the invitations should say, Angie and Jeremy request your presence or the parents of Mr. and Mrs. Day and Mr. and Mrs. Hill request your presence... Another twist is that the groom was raised totally by his grandparents. Any advise would help.

Answer: Hi Krys and thank you for visiting my site. I would suggest the bride and groom word the invitation in whatever way makes them most comfortable. The fact that it is her second marriage does not make a difference in the wording of the invitation. If the parents are paying for the majority of the wedding costs it is appropriate out of respect to use their names on the invitations. If the couple is paying for everything it should definitely be addressed from them.



Category: Food
Question: hi have question. Son getting married at 5:00pm reception at 5:30 they are having a semi-formal wedding, but they want to serve either sub sandwiches or pasta and tacos..we suggested prime rib or someother kind of dish they said they dont want to have big fancy dinner and just want to socialize. It is a big controversy for us..and a huge embarasment we said we would pay for the food. but bride says her mom and 8 other people are vegans and dont want meat, but I say what about the other 100 who like to actually sit down and eat meat. or even a nice meal in their $200 or $300 dollar dress. and suit. I am sure grandpa doesnt want to stand there and eat a taco...am I wrong in this..> I kept my mouth shut about the kungfu fighters on cake and the hotwheels racing that they are going to do,...

Answer: Hi Darla and thank you for visiting my site. While this may not be the type of reception you would choose, it sounds like your son and his wife to be are trying to have the style of reception that reflects them and what they like and there is nothing wrong with that. Since the reception is at the dinner hour the only requirement is that there is enough food for people to put a meal together and it sounds like there is. I would have to say you need to bite the bullet on this one and let them have what they want, I'm sure grandpa will be fine with a nice dish of pasta.



Category: Invitations
Question: My son is getting married and I want to invite his friends but not a guest with them, is this allowed? Can the invitation read Mr. John Hillman or does it have to be Mr. John Hillman and guest

Answer: Hello, and thank you for visiting my site. My apologies for the delay in response, the alert from my website that tells me when I have questions has not worked for serveral weeks and I was unaware the questions were building up. I am a strong believer that the host of a wedding should only invite the guests they truly want to be there. There is no need to include "and guest" if this is not what you want.



Category: Etiquette
Question: I want to write a check as a wedding gift, would I put both names on the check or either the bride or grooms name thank you corinne meade

Answer: Hi Corninne and thank you for visiting my site. It is appropriate to make the check out to Mr. and Mrs. ....if you know that the bride is taking her new husbands name. Otherwise you might want to consider buying an American Express gift card. It will serve the same purpose as a check but eliminate any uncertainty as to who to make it out to.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hi Valerie I have a brother who is getting married and I am his only sister who is the closest in age and whom I've helped out and stood beside my whole life. His fiancé has one sister and I have 2 other brothers. Am I wrong for being very hurt and upset that I was not asked to be in their wedding and all other siblings are? She has chosen her sister and 2 friends and told my brother I could stand up for him. I am not used to this untraditional situation and do not even want to attend their wedding now under these circumstances.

Answer: Hi Michelle and thank you for visiting my site. While I understand why you are uncomfortable with the non-traditional position of standing up for your brother, it is actually very common these days. With families now being so diverse the traditional rolls have changed and it is not at all uncommon to see females in what used to be strictly male rolls and vice versa. If you are truly uncomfortable I would suggest sitting down with your brother and his fiancé and having a discussion of how you might participate in the wedding and still feel good about it. It is your brothers special day and I am sure he wants you to be part of it and be happy to be there for him. As far as if you should have hurt feelings over it, consider the fact that brides get very caught up in the way they want things to be and may not always think about the effect on other people. Try to be magnanimous and understand that this is a very stressful and exciting time in a woman's life and just enjoy yourself and be happy for your brother. He will love you all the more for it.



Category: Invitations
Question: We have a limited amount of invitations we can send out due to finances for the reception. We want to send out acknowledgements to all others. Do we send them out the same time as the invitations or after the wedding takes place?

Answer: Hi Pam and thank you for visiting my site. Wedding announcements are an entirely different thing than actual invitations and can be sent out at any time prior to the wedding. They are designed to announce your engagement, so they should be sent before the actual event. You can see lots of different examples on line or at any shop that sells invitations. An announcement of your upcoming wedding does not mean that an invitation will follow. Congratulations and best wishes!



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hi Valerie My future mother-in-law is complaining about everything we've done. She doesn't like the invitations because we did not include parent's names on them. We are paying for our own wedding, and there are divorces and remarriages so we'd thought the way we did it would be best. Now I am really dreading everything about my own wedding because I feel she's going to try to ruin it for us. Any advice on how to deal with a nightmare like this?

Answer: Hi Jen and thank you for visiting my site. Honestly...my advice would be to just ignore anyones issues with how you are planning your wedding. First of all it is your day and should be just as you want it to be and secondly, since you are paying for everything no one has any right to have input into how you are planning it. I understand it can be difficult, but just try to remember it is all about you and your fiancé on that very special day! Congratulations and good luck.



Category: Vendors
Question: Do I have to feed the wedding vendors?

Answer: It is traditional to feed the wedding vendors who will be around for most or all of your wedding day. These vendors include your photographer and DJ and sometimes the florist and officiate. Any vendor who will be spending more than 4 hours with you and your guests should have something to eat. If you are spending a lot of money per person on food you can always arrange for a separate less expensive meal to feed your vendors. This can be arranged with your caterer and you just need to let your vendors know where and when they will have the opportunity to get something to eat.



Category: Invitations
Question: On the printed invitation we have one set of (bride) parents and another (groom) who are divorced. Does the groom's parents say only both names (father and mother) or mother and then father & step-mother? Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Answer: Hi Mary and thank you for visiting my site. Generally Step parents on not listed on the invitations. In the case of divorced parents both parents names are listed individually. This is not however carved in stone. If you are particularly close to a step parent and they are contributing to the wedding I see nothing wrong with including their name next to the person they are married to.



Category: Engagement
Question: My daughter just got engaged and I would like to send a card of congrats to her future in-laws. I have not met them yet. What is the proper language?

Answer: Hi Tammy and thank you for visiting my site. I guess it depends on the message you want to convey to them. I would suggest something light and friendly. Perhaps a blank card with a handwritten note expressing your excitement and that you look forward to meeting them soon.



Category: Reception
Question: Hello Valerie, My name is April. My wedding is set for September 2009. The reception is going to be right afterwards. I have a huge family, and most of them have young children. I have to pay per plate. How can write on the reception card that I do not want children at the reception? Except if they are in the wedding party, as I have 2 daughters' in it, my sister has 3 kids in it, and my fiance has his neices and nephews' in it. Please help me sound as polite as possible.

Answer: Hello April and thank you for visiting my site. You can get lots and lots of ways to state that you do not want children at your wedding from the wedding invitation venus. My personal favorite is "This is an adult occassion" at the bottom of the invite, but there are many ways to indicate this. If it just turns out that you can not avoid having kids there, most venues will offer a kids meal at a much reduced rate.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: I am 43 and getty ready to marry for the third time. We plan to be married by the justice of the peace, but then have a huge blow out wedding dance. Is it ok to wear a traditional wedding dress for the dance?

Answer: Hi Terri and thank you for visiting my website. Congratulations! and yes, absolutely you can wear anything you like to celebrate your reception.



Category: Ceremony
Question: Dear Valerie HI i am a little confused is it possible to go throught a justice of the peace to get married adn have the ceremony a few months later as in really get married or is it against the law

Answer: Hi Jeannie and thank you for visiting my site. I actually did not know the answer to this question, but in researching it I can find nothing to indicate it is against the law.



Category: Reception
Question: my fiancé and I are getting married in a private ceremony in Florida on July Th with just our kids ( this is both of our second marriages) and our close family. We are then retuning home to have a formal reception a couple weeks later. We are both very excited, but what is the rule on gifts ,etc. I have had some people ask, because they want to throw wedding showers and they are asking were we are going to be registering at. I assumed with a second marriage that we would not have a bridal shower or gifts at our reception. Is this common to have bridal showers on a second marriage and gifts at the reception. We were just wanting friends and family to join in our celebration. What is proper etiquette on this subject. thanks in advance for your help.

Answer: Hi Rebecca and thank you for visiting my site. I think it is great that your friends and family want to honor you with showers and more traditional gifts. There is nothing wrong with having the celebrations that go along with a marriage just because it is not your first. You might consider doing a registry on line to perhaps offset costs of the wedding or honeymoon if you do not wish to receive household items you probably have. Check out my sponsor at RegistryPalace.com for some examples. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Finances & Budget
Question: I am newly divorced and am the mother of the groom. The wedding is a formal evening church wedding and I will be dressed in a formal evening gown. I am going to be escorted by a gentleman that is a life-long family friend. My question is: Would it be appropriate for my escort to wear a tuxedo? (My former husband and his new wife will be in attendance and he will be in a tuxedo and she will also be dressed in a formal evening gown as well as the brides parents.) Thank you for your help!

Answer: Hi Catherine and thank you for visiting my site. Yes it is absolutely appropriate for your escort to wear a tuxedo. Not only is the wedding a formal evening affair, but as the mother of the bride you are also very special and deserved to be escorted in style!



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Hi, I'm going to a morning wedding this November in PA. I've been asked to assist with the guest book. The colors of the wedding will be brown and purple. Would it be ok to wear a black & white knee lenght skirt with a black sweater, or would something in mauve be more apropriate, since it is a morning wedding? Thank you for your help.

Answer: Hello Tammy and thank you for visiting my site. The outfit you selected sounds just fine for a morning wedding. It's cold in November back east, so dark winter colors are perfectly acceptable.



Category: Etiquette
Question: What is the time frame for thank yous for wedding gifts?

Answer: Thank you cards should be sent out no later than 3 months after the wedding. Some sources say up to a year is appropriate, my personal feeling is that is kind of rude.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: I am a 44 yr. old widow of 4 years and have been dating a wonderful man for a few months, there are no wedding plans yet but I am wondering if a widow can wear white or a cream color dress or what color should be wore, my favorite color is blue and what type of dress, i am only 4 ft, 11 in. and my boyfriens is 6 ft, 2 in.. I hope you can advise me, also I dont like a lot of lace or frills, so any dress I pick out would have to be something kind of ordinary but stand out for the big day if it happens. Also if I do get married, can I keep my last name and hypen with my new last name, as I have a mentally handicapped son and dont wish to lose the name his father gave to me when I married him 20 years ago. Thank you

Answer: Hi Elaine and thank you for visiting my site. Congratulations on your new relationship. Very simply, my personal feeling is that 44 year old women can do whatever they want! I would suggest finding a dress that makes you feel gorgeous and wonderful and who cares what color it is if you love it...Keeping your last name or changing to hyphenated name is very common these days for numerous reasons.



Category: Vendors
Question: I'm planning on asking my girlfriend to marry me after a year and a half of loving each other to death, but by the luck of the draw I've only been to two weddings in my life. Once when I was 16 years old and one when I was 16 months old. Do to this I know little to nothing on how some of the traditions that go on during a wedding and my first problem is rings. I know that there are engagement rings and wedding rings, but that about all I know about rings. Which one is traditionally the more expensive? Who gets the engagement ring and who gets the wedding ring? When the couple actually gets married to the just take off the engagement rings and replace it with the wedding ring?

Answer: Hi Mike and thank you for visiting my site. Traditionally the engagement ring is the one that holds the diamond and the more expensive of the two. It is given when you propose and the band is added later on your actual wedding day. On the wedding day the bride should place her engagement ring on her right hand until after the wedding band is put on. The wedding band should be closest to the heart according to tradition, which is why is goes first. These are very old traditions and many couples choose to modify them. It is also acceptable to only use one ring for both engagement and wedding ceremony. It generally depends on the brides style preference. I hope this helps and congratulations!



Category: Etiquette
Question: Is the bride's sister usually in the wedding party (either the maid of honor or one of the bride's maids)? My very close cousin is going to to be my maid of honor and I was thinking about asking my sister to be one of my bride's maids. However, she has very little money. I am not paying for my bride's maids dresses, etc, because I'm on a budget as well. I will not be able to pay for her dress, and besides, it would be rude for me to pay for hers and not the other bride's maids. Since she is a very young 22 year old, she may ask my mother for financial help, but my mother has very little money also and I don't want them to feel burdened by this extra money they will have to dish out, money that they both don't really have. So should I even bother to ask my sister, or should I just not? I don't want people at the wedding to wonder why I didn't include my sister in the wedding party and think it's rude.... And I don't want my sister to feel insulted either. Then again, I don't think she's even expecting me to ask her about being part of the wedding party, she knows absolutely nothing about weddings and has no clue as to what is included in one. (like I said, she is a very young 22 year old....) How should I handle this?

Answer: Hi Kristy and thank you for visiting my site. It is actually pretty common for brides to select best friends or others over siblings to be their Maids of honor. You should really have the person who is going to make you the most comfortable and who you think will accept the responsibilities of Maid of honor the way you want them to. I would suggest having an open and honest conversation with your sister and letting her know you are aware it would be financial hardship for her to come up with money for her dress as well as try to put together your shower and such. Don't worry about what other people may think as it is not at all uncommon. Remember it's your wedding and it should be as you want it.



Category: Food
Question: Hi Valerie, I'm trying to find an officiant to marry us and am wondering what a reasonable pricing would be. We are not members of a church, and would like a non-denominational officiant to do our wedding at the restaurant where were are having the reception as well. The person I spoke to today quoted me $585 which includes coordinating the ceremony, travel, the rehearsal, and a portable sound system (since the ceremony will be outside). That price seems high to me...am I way off-base? Thank you for your help! How great of you to offer free wedding advice! Kristie

Answer: Hi Kristie and thank you for visiting my site. You are correct. The price you were quoted seems excessive to me. I know of several officiants who my brides use and the price ranges anywhere from $60.00 to $300.00 depending on how many appointments are involved. I would suggest searching the INTERNET and getting some additional quotes. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Ceremony
Question: My sister is getting married in a few months. She can invite 150 guests to the wedding and reception due to the size of the building that was rented and also due to her budget. There are other people she would like invite but just can't. Is there any way to let these people in on her special time without making them feel like they're not as important because they weren't invited to the actual wedding ceremony? Or should she just leave them out entirely and not mention anything that's going on relating to the wedding? Please help!!

Answer: Hi Jaime and thank you for visiting my site. It is perfectly acceptable to send out wedding announcements to let all friends and family know about the exciting news. These are not invitations, just simple note cards that a couple is planning to get married. You can find examples any where that carries wedding invitations. Many people can not invite all friends and family due to budget restraints and this is a good way to share the good news with all.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: My daughter is getting married 6pm Oct 8, in Texas. The weather will still be in the 90's. She has chosen a solid Wine/Burgundy formal length for her bridesmaids color. I have narrowed it down to 3 formal dresses, 1st a solid Wine dress and solid jacket, 2nd is solid Wine dress and flower print jacket, and then the 3rd (her Dad's choice) a scarf type material, formal length small Burgandy flowers on light pink background for both dress and jacket. I told him I think I would stick out amongst all the solid colors. My daughter is Active Military and can't see the three to choose. Honestly I'm a 3X size and all three are very becoming, I lean toward the solid dress, and flowered Jacket, as to be a little different from the Bridemaids but still match. Please give me your opinion.

Answer: Hi Cathryn and thank you for visiting my site. Since you are the mother of the bride you are entitled to be a little different if you choose to do so. It is very sweet of you to be so very accommodating and my recommendation would be to choose the dress that you feel the most flattered and pretty in. Your daughter would want this for you. Congratulations and have a wonderful time!



Category: Invitations
Question: my mom and i have lived with my stepfather since i was about 10 years old. my step father has always treated me like his daughter he helped with homework, spent time with me, paid for college etc. My father and i not real close he paid minimum child support and i saw him couple times a year. now i am getting married (i am 21) and my mother and stepfather are paying for the wedding and reception. how should the invitations be worded?

Answer: Hi Sue and thank you for visiting my site. Since your mom and stepfather are paying for the wedding it is traditional to have them only listed on the invitation. Your biological father is simply a guest and should not be listed on the invitation. If you decide to do a program listing your bridal party and special people, you could include him on that, otherwise I would just say don't worry about it. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Ceremony
Question: My son is getting married. Iam divorced from his father. His dad had gotten remarried. And I am engaged to be married this fall. His dad & I do not talk. Who walks down the isle with who. Also the the brides mother is divorced and engaged, does she walk down isle with who? I am very confused HELP!

Answer: Hi Mary and thank you for visiting my site. Most families nowadays are very diversified and this is not an uncommon question at all. The bride should have the man she wishes to give her away walk her down the aisle and all other parties should walk with their significant others. There is no reason for divorced couples to be paired up at a wedding, it is more important that everyone feels comfortable to enjoy the special day. The only exception is if the couple really wants their parents to walk together for some reason.



Category: Etiquette
Question: I was just wondering what the proper etiquette is for the wording of the couples names on favors and other wedding related items? Does the brides name go first, or does the grooms?

Answer: Hi Michelle and thank you for visiting my site. Traditionally the brides name appears first on everything. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Ceremony
Question: Hi Valerie! I HOPE you can help me with my problem. First off this is my 3rd marriage and my fiancé's 2nd marriage. With y first 2 marriages I never had a wedding, the ST one we got married in our apartment with a preacher that lived across the hall from us and the 2nd one we were married at out local courthouse by a judge. His 1st marriage was an outdoor one at his Father & step Mother's home. My questions: Would it be appropriate first off for us to be married in a church and 2nd of all for me to wear a white wedding dress? My sister would really like for me to wear her dress but it is white and I just don't know if that is appropriate or not. I was thinking of an off white or cream colored dress. What do you think? Also my Father passed away in 2003 so I am asking my brother-in-law to walk me down the aisle and give me away. My fiance's Mother died when he was 11 and he was mostly raised by his older sister. Since there will obviously not be a Father/Daughter or Mother/Son dance we are wanting to do both at the same time with my brother-in-law and his sister. Do you have any song recommendations for us to use for that dance with the 2 of them since we will do them at the same time? Thanks so much for any and all help that you can give to us, it would be of much appreciation.

Answer: Hi Jessica and thank you for visiting my site. I personally think that brides should wear whatever they feel comfortable and beautiful in for their wedding regardless of color. With families being so diverse these days, many weddings veer from "traditional" wedding structure. It is absolutely appropriate to have your brother-in-law and his sister stand up for you in the wedding party and participate in the first dances.



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: Hi Valerie, My question is about my little cousin who is turning 11 I want her in my bridal party but I know she can only be a junior bridesmaid however, it alright that I allow her to walk with the children such as the flower girl and ring bearer or perhaps allow her to walk beside the maid of honor? As I do not want her to walk alone she is very shy. Thanks

Answer: Hi Cassie and thank you for visiting my site. It is perfectly fine to have your cousin walk down with another member of the Bridal party or with the children. I would suggest seeing what would make her the most comfortable and setting it up that way.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Is it appropriate for the Bride or Grooms Mother to wear a White Dress to the Wedding?

Answer: This is a decision that should be up to the bride…if you are having a “white” wedding and you do not mind other guests wearing white then there is absolutely nothing wrong with the mothers wearing white. Traditionally you will have accent colors for your weddings to be incorporated in the attendant gowns, centerpieces, favors and cake. Usually the mother’s are asked to wear this color as well. Bottom line it is appropriate for the bride to ask the mother’s to wear the color she wants them to be in.



Category: Ceremony
Question: I have about 300 guest that have RSVP'D, however the ceremony is out-of-state, I expect around 200-250 how many wedding programs would you suggest?

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my website. I would suggest you have 200 programs printed. You will probably have some no show factor and many of your guests will be couples. It is appropriate to place your programs at every other setting and with 200 this will still leave you with several extras that can be available for singles or additional guests. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Reception
Question: We are getting married in Maui and will be there for about two weeks. When we return, my parents are having a reception for us at the home of one of their friends. We are sending the invitations out with the wedding announcements. We are wanting the reception to be "Adults Only" but my husband to be has sisters who live out of state and have teenage children. My future parent in-laws feel that would be rude to not include their children because it will not be easy for them to attend without their kids. They feel like since we are getting married in Maui and not locally where the whole family can be present, this is their time to celebrate with us. What do you think is proper?

Answer: Hi Arlene and thank you for visiting my site. This is a tough situation...my personal feeling is that your wedding reception should be as you and your fiancé wish it to be without influence of family members. This is difficult when you are trying to make everyone happy. It is not at all rude to have an "adult occasion" reception as far as etiquette goes. Perhaps you could sit down with your fiancé's parents and explain the reasons you do not wish to have children or young people attend. Whatever you decide have a great trip and congratulations!



Category: Etiquette
Question: Valerie I was recently asked to be Best Man at my friends wedding, as a women I am not sure what the proper etiquette would be as far as dress, what I should be calling myself, how to handle the bachelor party. Could you maybe help me out in these areas. Thanks...

Answer: Hi Laurie and thank you for visiting my site. How cool that your friend asked you to stand up as best man. I would assume the responsibilities would be the same, but I would simply ask him/her what they would like you to wear. My feeling is that everyone should design and execute their own wedding day in the manner that will make them the most happy. You can refer to yourself as "standing up for" this person rather than the best man. As far as the bachelor party, again I would ask what would be the most fun for your friend to celebrate the last days of bachelor hood.



Category: Reception
Question: Hi Valerie, We decided to assign seats for our guests but the problem is I don't know the name of some of the guests that are bringing a guest or date (i.e. Mr. John Smith and Guest). The rsvp didn't indicate a guest and I've been working over 40 hours a week lately to get the money to pay the small balances left over for the wedding, so I haven't had the time to call anyone. How would I write out the card to be placed at that seat? Should I write Mr. John Smith's Guest, or Guest of John Smith, or maybe should I write on that card Mr. John Smith and guest and leave the seat next to it without a place card? Any advise you can provide would be so helpful. Thanks

Answer: Hello Jenn and thank you for visiting my site. Any of the samples of guest placecards you have indicated would be appropriate. I think the one that flows the nicest is "Guest of Mr. John Smith, but any will work.



Category: Ceremony
Question: I am the mother of the Bride and my daughter has a girlfriend whom she loves dearly, but she is a quadriplegic and is bedridden, she can sit up in her wheelchair just not for an extended period of time. She also has her own language with my daughter, but she is unable to actually speak. My daughter really wants her to be in the wedding party. She would like her to be like a bridesmaid, however with her situation we are not sure how to do this. I thought maybe we could have her sit up front near the bridesmaids as like an honorary. Is this proper or not?? Do you have any other suggestions?? Please help us with this. Thanks so much, Vicki

Answer: Hi Vicki and thank you for visiting my site. Your daughter sounds like a lovely woman and if she wants this dear friend in her wedding I think that is great. While weddings are still steeped in tradition there are many modifications and personalizations in most weddings to suit the individual bride and groom. It sounds like the options are somewhat limited due to the circumstances of your daughters friend, but having her sit up front in her chair seems like it would work. There is no question or proper or not proper in this situation, it's just a matter of what is important to your daughter on her very special day. I always advise my clients to plan their weddings as close to the way they have always dreamed about them as possible and have the people who love them around them. Congratulations and good luck to you!



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: My fiancé and I are going to Cancun for a private wedding ceremony and we are having a reception we we get back home. Is it appropriate for me to wear my dress, have a caterer, flowers, etc.? Thank you.

Answer: Hi Tammy and thank you for visiting my site. YES! It is appropriate for you to do whatever makes you happy. Many people have receptions after the fact to celebrate with loved ones in different parts of the country or for a variety of reasons. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Ceremony
Question: My step-daughter is getting married. My husband and his ex-wife do not get along at all. Are we supposed to pay for 1/2 of the wedding and she pay for the other 1/2? My husband does not want to dance with his ex-wife on the "father/mother" dance. Is that appropriate? Should there be a "father/step-mom" "mother/step-father" dance?

Answer: Hi Dawn and thank you for visiting my site. It would seem fair for the Mother and Father of the bride to split the costs of the wedding if both parties can afford to do so. With all the diversity in families these days it is pretty common to have these situations. Unless the bride has some huge objection to it I would suggest skipping the parents dance all together. It does not make sense to make anyone uncomfortable and these traditions are all flexible since weddings have become so personalized. Good Luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hi. Valerie: Where do the bride and groom put the envelopes that are collected at the wedding these days?

Answer: Hi Irene and thank you for visiting my site. You can either buy or make a "card box" for your wedding that is generally placed on the gift table at the reception. Once your guests have arrived have someone assigned to take the box to your bridal suite or someones car for safekeeping. If you are having your reception at a venue that offers a "gift attendant" that person will be responsible for logging and keeping track of your gifts and envelopes until the end of the evening.



Category: Etiquette
Question: My fiancee and I are going to get married on St. Thomas in the USVI. It will be a private ceremony with just the two of us. We would like to send an announcement to our friends and family members about our marriage. We plan on having a reception at a later date that is yet to be determined. Should we include a registry with the announcement or wait until we determine the date of the reception which will probably be about two months after the wedding?

Answer: Hi Jessica and thank you for visiting my site. It is more appropriate to send a registry with the invitation for guests to come to a reception. Just the announcement is best for your destination wedding. Congratulations!



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: This is my fiancé's second wedding and he would very much like to have his son who is 13 to be his best man. I think its adorable- but is this appropriate for a wedding?

Answer: Hi Becky and thank you for visiting my site. Not only is this appropriate, but you are right, adorable :)



Category: Invitations
Question: Dear Valerie, My fiancé's mother passed away 2 years ago and his father and step-mother are hosting our wedding and reception. I asked my future in-laws about the wording on the invitations but she feels there may be a more proper way to address a step-mother other than saying 'their son' or his parents. I love them both dearly and want them recognized in our invitations. Any suggestions?

Answer: Hi Jane and thank you for visiting my site. I have always liked invitations that say "Together with our parents", but if your fiancé's step mother is not comfortable with that it is also appropriate to say "John Smith together with his wife Mary"...You can find tons of samples of wording at any Hallmark store or place that sells invitations. Perhaps you and your future mother in law could go out looking together and find something that suits both of you.



Category: Invitations
Question: Dear Valerie, I'm writing to ask about how to word my invitations properly. My fiance's name is Tyrone Garcia Jr. However, he goes by and everyone knows him by Joey. The wedding is semi- formal, outside and fall/autumn inspired. It is at 4:00pm, the bridesmaids dresses are floor length. Thanks for your help. Natalie

Answer: Hi Natalie and thank you for visiting my site. As far as being "appropriate", The grooms full name should be indicated on the invitation, you could follow it with (Joey) and that would be fine. It is a way to honor the name his parents gave him by listing the full name. This is traditional, but I always recommend that you personalize your wedding and do things the way that make you most comfortable. If you both feel better using "Joey", then go for it!



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: Hey I'm having a wedding in nov, 05. it will be outside and at night. I need help picking which flowers to use.my colors are champagne and rose pink. I know as table decor I will have lily's with gold wedding bands on the flower itself. they will be pink. But for my bouquet and bridesmaids, i have no idea what flowers to use, i love daisies, but just don't know please help.

Answer: Hi Cassie and thank you for visiting my site. Actually a florist would probably be better able to advise you, but I think daisy's would be great! They are very sturdy flowers and can also be died to any color you like. I am particularly fond of "Gerber" Daisy's which are a little larger and hold up better than standard Daisy's. Whatever you select I wish you all the best!



Category: Etiquette
Question: My best friend and the groom don't get along. I want my best friend to be a groomsman but I don't think my fiance will allow it. How can I ask him and get him to say yes?

Answer: Hello, Thank you for visiting my site. I take it your best friend is a male? What you need to do in this case is determine how much discomfort your fiancé will have with him being in the wedding. The other thing to consider is that traditionally the groomsmen stand up for the groom, not the bride. It might be a good idea to think of another way to have your best friend be part of your wedding. Perhaps an usher only. When making these kinds of decisions it is so important that both you and your fiancé are comfortable and happy with your choices, sit down and talk it out to see what you can come up with that works for both of you.



Category: Etiquette
Question: For the something old how old does old have to be is 10 years old enough Thanks for any help

Answer: Hi and thank you for checking out my website. The tradition of something old is more ceremony than any thing else...I would say yes for a lot of items 10 years is old. The main thing about the sentimental traditions is that they are important to you. If the item is special and has been around for 10 years and is what you would like to have then I say go for it!



Category: Invitations
Question: valerie, my fiance and I are getting married (2nd time for both of us) in a very private wedding in Mexico. I want to have a big formal reception afterwards. I would like to send invations,which would have the date that we did get married, save this date magnets and other things as if we had a "regular church" wedding, would this be proper for the type of wedding we are having?

Answer: Hi Bobbie and thank you for visiting my site. Congratulations and yes absolutely it is appropriate to have a reception after you return from your private ceremony in Mexico. This is actually pretty common for a number of reasons. Your invitations can read something like "Bobbie and ....would like you to join in the celebration of their marriage which took place on January 25th..." Hallmark and other shops where you can purchase invitations should have lots of examples for you to select from, or you can word and design your invitation yourselves. As far as the planning of your reception all of the normal traditional things are just fine to include in your special event. Good luck to you and have a great time!



Category: Engagement
Question: Can a wedding shower be co-ed?

Answer: Absolutely! Co-ed showers can be a blast...you can come up with a lot more games and be very creative if you include the men. If you want to do a co-ed shower but have a very traditional family and feel they may not approve or be happy with that, then consider having two. One for family and one for your friends.



Category: Finances & Budget
Question: Hi, My son and daughter in law want to have their Pastor and his family fly in from Virginia to Indiana where they are getting married to officiate their wedding. Who pays for the cost to fly them in. We are paying for the motel accommodations for the Pastor and his family but do we also pay to fly them in? Thank you, Vickie

Answer: Hi Vicki and thank you for visiting my site. You have a pretty unusual situation and I am not certain as far as protocol who should pay. My gut says if it is the decision of the bride and groom to fly him in, it is an added expense that they should pay for. Good Luck!



Category: Ceremony
Question: Valerie - My son married his fiancé in Hawaii one year ago in May. Apparently she just had to get married all by themselves, barefoot in the sand. When I asked my son please wait and have a big wedding they promised me they would. Of course to this date they have not and keep saying they will. My dilemma is when they got engaged, I bought her a $1300 wedding dress, assuming they were having a big wedding. When this last week I asked them for my money back because there has been no wedding that they promised (and she said she would pay me back the amount did they did not have a wedding), she said someday they will have a wedding. What are the guidelines for the length of time a couple should have a formal wedding after having their own civil ceremony wedding? I think over a year is way past.

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. There really are no set guidelines as to when a couple who has had a civil ceremony can follow it with a big wedding and reception. I have had clients who waited 15 or 20 years to have the big wedding of their dreams. It is however very inconsiderate not to pay you back your money if you were told they would pay it back. Perhaps you could get your daughter in law to at least start paying in installments over time?



Category: Etiquette
Question: We are planning a somewhat large wedding for our daughter to take place next year. Everything has been booked, location, caterer, band, etc. We have found out that our daughter and fiancee have secretly gotten married at a court house due to his being in the military and the need for them to get "paperwork" done in case he is deployed. They are still wanting to have the ceremony next year with all the guest, etc. At first I said "no" and that I would support having the reception only. But as friends and family are finding out, they are all saying to let them have the religious ceremony. If we do this, I do not want to deceive the guests. Should we allow this (and pay for it)? And if so, how should the invitations read? Thank you for your help.

Answer: Hello "the mom" and thank you for visiting my site. This is of course a very personal decision for you and your family, but keep in mind many many couples have wedding ceremonies and receptions 20 or 30 years after they have already been married. If circumstances prevent someone from having the wedding of their dreams including the ceremony at the right time for them to wed, I don't see anything wrong with having friends and loved ones celebrate both ceremony and reception at a later date.



Category: Etiquette
Question: is it appropriate to give everyone in the reception a wedding favor? Example vendors, or only couples.

Answer: Hello Diana and thank you for visiting my site. If you have a special relationship with a vendor and want to thank them by giving them a favour that is very nice, but not expected from vendors in general. Depending on the type of favour you are giving a lot of people do one per couple as opposed to one per person.



Category: Finances & Budget
Question: My fiance and I want to get married in November of 2007. With our income, I want to know would it be impossible? My fiance seems to think so, but I want to make it happen. Our combined annual income is 36k. Would we be able to make this wedding happen then, or should we set a later date?

Answer: Hello Shauntay and thank you for visiting my site. There is no way I can answer your question because weddings can cost anywhere from $500.00 to $500,000.00 depending on what the two of you want. The only thing I can suggest is to put a budget together first of what you will be able to come up with one year from now and then see if you are able to pay for the things you want for your wedding within that budget.



Category: Etiquette
Question: I have been with my boyfriend for one month and we are engaged, I know it happened fast but we are getting married in just under 7 months, next may. I'm not sure what to get for my bridesmaids and my maid of honor. please help because I have no idea what is okay and what is going overboard (i'm a big giftgiver) so I tend to spend alot, but the wedding is already very expensive and I dont make alot. I will still be in high school when we get married so I only work part time at a little over minimum wage.

Answer: Hello Heather and thank you for visiting my site. Gifts for the bridal party can be anything you feel they would like. Since you don't have a ton of money to spend, something hand made would be very thoughtful. Most brides give their bridal party something to wear on the day of the wedding, such as jewelry to match the dresses or gift certificates to pay for hair and makeup that day. I don't think you should go overboard on your spending since you are so young and just starting out. These girls are the people who are closest to you and anything you give them will be appreciated.



Category: Etiquette
Question: I am the Maid of Honor.. this is the 2nd wedding for the bride and the 3rd for the groom. the groom had a medium size wedding already. What is the proper etiquette for a Bridal shower? they have been living together for 3 yrs.

Answer: Hi Amy and thank you for visiting my site. Well, a girl can never have too many parties in her honor in my opinion. Perhaps you could theme the shower for everyone to give lingerie or something fun that she doesn't reallly need but would like. The other option would be to plan an outing instead of a traditional shower. Spa days are great for second or third showers.



Category: Invitations
Question: I'm the maid of honor for my best friend since 3rd grade's wedding who is getting married at the end of May. Another bridesmaid, who has been friends with her since 7th grade, and I were surprised and insulted when she did not invite any of our parents to her wedding. The bride was practically a second daughter to my family and has spent countless hours and nights at our house. My mom and I even took her on our vacation to disney world when we were 15. The bride spent much time with the other bridesmaid's family as well, and went on two vacations with them - to Canada skiing and Florida. We haven't said anything to her about this and have tried to overlook it, remembering that guest lists are limited and she cannot invite everyone. However, we recently found out that she invited the other bridesmaid's ex-boyfriend. The bride has only met the ex-boyfriend twice and knows that him and her friend have not been on good terms since the break-up. This inconsideration seems only more insulting considering that she invited him over our parents who she has known for years and spent much time with. What should we do about this? Should we talk to the bride about we feel, or should we try to ignore it?

Answer: Hi Kelly and thank you for visiting my site. I think since you are such good friends with the bride you should sit down and talk to her about this. Let her know that your feelings are hurt and that you don't understand. She may have a good reason for not including the parents of her long time friends. It could be budget constraints or something else. My general philosophy with brides is that they are entitled to do whatever they want with their special day, but in this situation there is nothing wrong with you letting her know what your feelings are and allowing her to respond. Whatever her decision or reasons are, just try to be the good friend you have always been, let her enjoy her day and have a great time yourself!



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Hi Valerie, I have been married for almost 13 years, but on September 10, 2005 my husband and I are going to renew our vows in the Catholic Church. What is appropriate attire for me as the "bride"?

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. A renewal of your vows can be anything from a quiet simple ceremony to a full blown second wedding. Depending on what you are doing for your ceremony and reception you can wear whatever you like and feel comfortable in. If you are having a large event a formal wedding gown is appropriate. If you do not want to wear a wedding dress, there are beautiful suits for brides that would also work for you. This is your special day and you should choose something that makes you feel beautiful. Congratulations!



Category: Etiquette
Question: I am getting married in 12 days, I was adopted when I was 6 weeks old and have recently found my biological parents. They seperated after putting me up for adoption but will both be attending the wedding with their dates. I was going to have them seated but then changed my mind, I was going to have them introduced at the ceremony, but changed my mind. I think I am going to do a speech after the maid of honor and the best man. I feel like announcing them as my biological parents is some-what cold and announcing them as my birth parents just doesn't sound sophisticated. Do you have any advice on how to approach the subject?

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. I am not really sure what the best way to handle this would be. What about something like if you introduced your parents who raised you and then saying something like "I am also so pleased to have (Mother's name and Father's name who have just recently become a part of my life again". This is such a sensitive and personal issue that I hesitate to give advice on it. I wish you all the best.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Hi Valerie- I am getting married in September and my father is paying for the entire wedding. My mom refusses to help in any way. Now my mom has a boyfriend who has been in my life for 9 years now, does he wear a tux or just a nice black suit? I dont want to offend him or my dad so I dont know what proper etiquette would be. Please help!

Answer: Hello Meagan and thank you for visiting my site. There is no set standard for dress for the boyfriend of your mother. If you are having an evening "black tie" wedding it would make sense for him to wear a tuxedo, otherwise the suit would be fine. I would suggest having him wear what he would be most comfortable in.



Category: Ceremony
Question: What is the appropriate way to ask people for money gifts instead of physical gifts? We have all we need, but need money to help pay for honeymoon.

Answer: There are wonderful sights now to create your own registry that will actually just give you the money to buy what you want. I suggest you check out "Registry Palace" it will allow you to make your own honeymoon excursions, dinners, hotel nights, etc...and ask your guest to contribute via pay-pal. It is an awesome way to allow your guests to feel that they are getting you something you really want!



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hi Valerie. I got married on 1/11/09 and asked you a question awhile ago (before I got married) and I appreciated your answer, so I decided to come to you with a post-wedding question. Our wedding was very small, we only invited about 50 people, 40 of which RSVPed that they would be attending. My husband invited about 10 of the guys that he works with and they all RSVPed that they would come. Come wedding day, even after my husband reminded these men over and over, 7 of them did not show up (a few of them were also bringing guests which had been added to the final count). I was using a very expensive caterer (one of the reasons it was a small wedding) but I had to have a minimum amount of people attending, which was 35 people. Because these guys from work did not show up, I not only had to pay for thier food and drinks (we also had an open bar, charged by the person prior to the wedding) but I had an additional fee added on because I did not meet the minimum person requirement the day of the wedding. These guys cost us about an extra $1500 by not showing. Not to mention we had a table where only 2 guests ended up seated which was embarrassing. My husband was not involved in the planning (well, not the financial end of it) so he doesn't really understand how big a deal it was, he mainly blames the caterers and their policy. He is still friendly with these guys from work who never said more than "sorry man, I forgot". I on the other hand, am furious. I have to see these guys when I go to see my husband at work or at work related functions. Should I say something to them or just try to let it go? I don't want to make my husband uncomfortable at work, but part of me is just incredulous at their rude behavior. It has also been awhile since the wedding, so maybe too much time has passed to worry about it any longer. It just irks me when I am still paying off he wedding and have to see that extra money on our credit card bills. Please advise me what I should do here! Thanks!

Answer: Hello Jennifer and congratulations to you! I am sorry to hear you had some very rude people cause you to spend so much extra money. Unfortunately this is not that unusual and happens to quite a few people. There is really no recourse that would not cause your husband to be uncomfortable at his workplace and that probably is not a good idea. I can understand your frustration and wish I had some better advice, but there is really nothing you can do about this rude behavior.



Category: Invitations
Question: Hi Valerie, My daughter is having a small wedding (60 people), I have two questions for you, is a combination "bride & groom" wedding shower proper to have at "mom and dad's house" and can we invite people not invited to the wedding to the shower? Thank you for your help.

Answer: Hello Roxanne and thank you for visiting my site. "couples showers" are actually pretty common and can be set up in any way the person hosting the shower sees fit. When a couple is having a smaller wedding I think it is appropriate to invite additional freinds to the other wedding related events. Most people understand that weddings are expensive and very personal and it's not always possible to invite everyone you know.



Category: Etiquette
Question: my future parents-in-law have given us several gifts since we have gotten engaged, including gifts at a shower as well as other gifts designated as "wedding gifts." they are also paying for our reception and honeymoon. how does etiquette pronounce that we should thank them for their generosity? if i send them thank-you notes, they will receive many! please advise? thanks!

Answer: Hello Erin and thank you for visiting my site. It sounds like you have wonderful in-laws to be! Rather than sending multiple individual thank you notes, my suggestion would be to sit down with your fiancé and draft a heart felt letter thanking them for all of the things they are doing for the two of you. You could even get very creative and tape yourselves on video telling them how grateful you are and how very much you appreciate them. This would give them a "pre-wedding" keep sake to keep forever.



Category: Reception
Question: Valerie, I was married on July 31, 2004 after 9 years of living together in a small ceremony in Santa Barbara. I never wanted a large wedding only a small intimate wedding for many reasons however, my now husband had always wanted a large wedding. So as our life together played out - as I said we ended up going away and getting married in a small ceremony with our 9 month old son. So, we got engaged in September 2002 (we had been together for 7 years), my now husband quit his job (2002), went back to school (2003) and within two months of this we were pregnant with our son - a true blessing. So in my mind having a reception this September, 2005 is out of the question - however, he is graduating from college and his plan is to have a dual party to celebrate both recent (not so recent) events in our lives. I have read that delayed wedding receptions these days are quite common but this delayed???

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. You are correct celebrations of marriages that happened a long time ago are very common. Many cultures marry quickly in civil services when they make the decision to spend there lives together and actually have the celebration or reception several years later. This is not at all uncommon and perfectly acceptable. You are simply inviting your Friends and family to celebrate special things in your lives at a more convenient time for you and your husband. Relax and enjoy your planning and your special day!



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hi Valerie, we are having our wedding in Hawaii and I was wondering if it was proper to invite everyone that we would of invited if we were having it in our hometown. I know some people can't afford a trip to Hawaii so I don't want them to think I'm just inviting them for a presant.

Answer: Hello Jaime and thank you for visiting my site. My apologies for the delay in response, the alert from my website that tells me when I have questions has not worked for serveral weeks and I was unaware the questions were building up. I don't think it would make sense to invite everyone to Hawaii, you are correct in that most people will not be able to afford it. I would suggest you send announcements rather than invitations, this way if someone wants to send a gift they can but they are not obligated. Congratulations!



Category: Reception
Question: Is it OK to ask for an RSVP for a reception when it's not a sit down dinner, only heavy hors d'oeuvres? I've not seen this done but would like to have a general idea of how many people to plan food and drinks for as I'm being charged per person by the caterer.

Answer: Hi Cindy and thank you for visiting my site. Even weddings without food at the reception should always have an RSVP. There are a lot of reasons you will need an accurate guest count for your receptions, so yes definately ask for RSVP's.



Category: Ceremony
Question: MY MOTHER IS WALKING ME DOWN THE ISLE WHAT COLOR DRESS SHOULD SHE WEAR? MY COLORS ARE RED AND WHITE. SHE BOUGHT A RED DRESS AND A BONE-ITS LIKE A CREAMISH WHITE COLOR DRESS, WHICH ONE DO YOU THINK IS BETTER PLEASE EMAIL ME ASAP MY WEDDING OCT. 21

Answer: Hello Ariell and thank you for visiting my site. I think if you like both dresses your mom should wear whichever one she feels best in. The most important thing is for her to be comfortable and feel like she looks great. Congratulations and best wishes.



Category: Finances & Budget
Question: Valerie, i am going to be a bridesmaid in February and we are wearing long gowns and were told we could wear whatever type of shoe that we wanted as long as it was dyed to match the dress. Well me and my sister found these cute ballet slipper shoes from a bridal store that we bought. I'm am 5'6 and really didn't want to wear heels due to the fact i would be taller then the rest of the bridal party plus they were adorable....now we are being told we can not where them that she wants us in heels for the pictures.. who would see our shoes in the picture the dress is long. are we being Petty by putting up a stink

Answer: Hi Lea and thank you for visiting my site. Well, since the bride indicated you could wear whatever shoes you like and you are wearing a long dress I don't see what difference it could make, however...brides are very sensitive and can become fussy closer to the wedding and if it doesn't put you out to much it would be nice to just make her happy. I understand your frustration but at the same time know that brides need a little special consideration for all of the aspects of their big day. Good luck and I'm sure you will lovely whatever you decide.



Category: Etiquette
Question: My daughter is having a little girl carry the rings instead of a little boy, is there some other term rather than ring bearer?

Answer: Hi Judy and thank you for visiting my site. A female can also be called ring bearer, but ring attendant or just bridal attendant is also suitable.



Category: Ceremony
Question: can i still get married in a church even though i never did my communions or confirmations?

Answer: It depends on what kind of church you wish to get married in. I know the Catholic church will not accept you if you are not a member and have not been through communion and confirmation. You could possibly still marry in say a Lutheran or Presbyterian church, but they will most likely want you to take pre-marital classes with their church and probably want you to join as well.



Category: Invitations
Question: Hi Valerie: My fiancé' and I are getting married in October in Jamaica. How should the invitations be worded? Should it be worded as a normal invitation with the location and time, but just that we are announcing the marriage instead of actually asking for their asking people to come?

Answer: Hi Geri and thank you for visiting my site. The wording on the invitation depends on what your expectation is. If you are thinking people would come to Jamaica and that is what you want you should use traditional wording for the invite. Generally destination weddings are for just a few people closest to the bride and groom. If that is the case then your invitation should read more like an announcement than an invitation. You can see tons of different examples of wording on the Internet for suggestions. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: Valerie, My Fiance asked her cousin to be one of her brides maids. At first her cousin was excited and honored that she was chosen to be in the wedding party. A day later my fiance recieved an email from her cousin asking if her husband was going to be one of my best men, which we was not as I had already asked the people I felt were the most important in my life to be my best men. her cousin went on to say that in her wedding the people she had in her wedding party were paired up w/ their husbands/wifes and those who didn't have any were paired w/ other who didn't! In addition she stated that she didn't want her husband to feel uncomfortable and hoped that he would be included. "on a side note my fiance has chosen her sister and I have included her husband my fiance's brother in law to be a grooms man out of respect for what they have done for my fiance as she was growing up. "My fiance replied to her stating that I had already chosen my best men and that he would not be included, in addition he shouldn't feel uncomfortable and that we have nothing again him! long story short her cousin turn it all around as though my fiance was disrespecting them and that she thought they were family and didn't appreciate the tone of her "Email" My question to you is " Is it writen or said anywhere that if you have one part of a married couple or significatant other in the wedding that the other should be included?" My contention is "NO" and think that her cousin is acting childish that her own marital issue that she needs to work out! Please advise! Michael Murphy/California

Answer: Hello, and thank you for visiting my site. In my opinion your fiance's cousin is being selfish and ridiculous! The bride and groom choose the people who stand up for them based on the people they feel most close to and want surrounding them on their most special day. It has nothing to do with spouses or significant others and never has. I think it is very rude that this young lady is trying to impose her wishes on your wedding. Do not worry that you are breaking etiquette here, she is the one who is out of line. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: I just got back from my daughter's wedding, it was very small but very nice and personal. But I notice the groom's father wasn't wearing a suit jacket at all, just a shirt and tie. I was wearing a suit. Do you think the groom's father was trying to insult me. He also wanted a picture of me and the groom and himself taking out are inside liner of our pockets, what does this mean! I been out of work for over a year and told my daughter that I would not be able to help with the wedding. I'm deeply hurt in the matter that I couldn't help pay for the wedding. But my daughter told me not to worry about it. Do you think the groom's father made a bad judgement.

Answer: Hello Dave and thank you for visiting my site. It sounds like this man is just kind of a very casual jokester type of guy with bad manners. My advice would be to not take it personally and consider the source. It appears he just has bad taste and bad manners. Your daughters happiness is what is important, so my suggestion is to let this go.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hi Valerie, My nephew is getting married for the second time, but this is the first wedding for the bride. They are planning a back yard wedding. My sister-in-law realizes she has to host the Rehearsal Dinner. The problem is they have told her that the bridal party and their husbands and children are included as well as out of town guests. My sister-in-law has a very limited income and is very concerned that the bride will want the dinner to be at an expensive restaurant. Is it OK for her to plan a buffet for the dinner in the back yard and should the children be included if they are not in the wedding? Who should be included at the Rehearsal Dinner?

Answer: Hi Dot and thank you for visiting my site. Traditionally the party hosting the rehersal dinner makes the decision on the venue for the dinner. This is one of the few choices that the bride does not get to make. There is nothing wrong with a back yard barbecue, it is comfortable and friendly and everyone will probably have a really good time. As far as who is invited it is customary to have the entire bridal party, immediate family (parents, siblings) and any guests who are traveling far from out of town. Of course lots of families make variations on the guest list.



Category: Engagement
Question: I've been asked if it is appropriate for guests invited to our engagement party to bring a gift?

Answer: Hi Mary and thank you for visiting my site. It is up to your guests to decide if they wish to bring an engagement gift. If they inquire to you directly the appropriate response would be no gifts. Some people will bring something anyway, but traditionally gifts are not given at the engagement party.



Category: Reception
Question: My friend is gettin married in a couple of months.She wants the tables at the reception to each have a theme.For example:silver hearts,white clouds,white pearls,sterling silver rose etc...Is it possible for you to give me a couple of ideas?These will be set on the table.Nothing big.I really need your help!

Answer: Hi Christina, what a cute fun idea! I have seen themed tables for many events and it looks very nice. Usually people use the centerpieces, table favors and or linens to set the theme for each table. Some ideas that might work well for a wedding are hearts, doves, bells, cherubs or angels, rings, mini champagne bottles or champagne flutes, candles, individual tiny cakes, bows, ring pillows, lace, kissing dolphins, top hats, white slippers. I think you could get a lot of ideas by looking through bridal magazines and the ads in the back of them as well. Have fun decorating!



Category: Vendors
Question: My fiance and I have been looking forward to our wedding for over two years and can't wait for our July 2nd date. But his sister just got engaged and set her date for five weeks after ours. I feel like this is stealing our glory and that we won't get the attention we REALLy deserve. Not to mention that out-of-town guests now have to choose to come South for two weddings in a month or choose to come only to one. I feel cheated and think this is tacky of her. Am I wrong? How should I handle this? What if they want to have double bridal showers or something, I can't stand that thought.

Answer: Wow! I have to agree with you that setting a date 5 weeks after yours is very inconsiderate. This is really a very personal matter, but since you asked for my opinioin I will share it with you. I would suggest having a family meeting with your fiance's parents, the two of you and his sister and her fiance. You concerns are quite valid and should be addressed. Not only will many out of town guests be forced in to making a choice due to financial restraints, but quite possibly local guests will not be able to afford both. The strongest argument in your favor is that you have been engaged for two years and the two of them just became engaged. If they have their hearts set on a July date,then they should wait until July of the following year. Two family weddings within weeks of each other is bound to cause emotional and financial stress on everyone. This is not the environment you want surrounding your wedding and your sister in law to be should think about that for herself as well. I agree with you whole heartedly that this is not a nice thing for them to do. I hope you are able to resolve the situation and have a wonderful wedding to look forward to. Good Luck!



Category: Vendors
Question: Do I need a wedding coordinator?

Answer: Oh dear...this is a touchy subject! Wedding coordinators can be any thing from wonderful to totally useless. Think about how much time and energy you have to put in to your wedding and if you want to be very hands on through the process. Wedding coordinators are generally for people who have no time and don't want to make all the decisions. Most locations for your wedding and reception have built in staff to help you with most of the essential functions of your big day. Catering facilities, hotels and other reception sites will generally have a large list of vendors that they can refer you to for everything you need. If you have an unlimited budget and really want an experts advice and assistance I would say a wedding coordinator is for you...otherwise use the people you are already paying to advise you and help you with your plans. Weddings are a relatively small industry and we all know someone who does whatever it is you may desire for your big day.



Category: Finances & Budget
Question: Hi Valerie, I'm going to get married for the second time next Feb 12 at 5:00 pm in San Francisco, Ca, It would be a very intimate ceremony in a restaurant and I wonder if I should wear a bridal gown and the groom a tuxedo or if I should wear a formal dress and the groom a dark suit, since I will not be walking down the aile. I'd appreciate also if you could help me define what would it be appropriate because of the hour of the event: the formal or the etiquette attire. Thanks

Answer: Hi Lupita and thank you for visiting my site. My advice is to wear what makes you feel beautiful! It doesn't matter that you have been married before, people remarry all the time and have the whole white wedding gown and formal affair. It's your special day and you should feel gorgeous, happy and comfortable. Wear whatever you want!



Category: Engagement
Question: What are some fun ideas for a bachelor and bachelorette party that doesn’t involve drinking and strippers? I’m thinking a spa trip for the bridal party, but what about the groom?

Answer: Hello Heather, Perhaps the guys could do something like go bowling or to one of those video arcade places like a "Dave and Busters"? I guess it would depend on what your fiancé enjoys doing. I have known grooms that spent the bachelor weekend on camping or fishing trips with their buddies as well. One additional option would be to do a co-ed bachelor/bachelorette party and just invite all of your friends for a dinner party. Have a great time whatever you decide!



Category: Reception
Question: Was it wrong for guests of one family to ignore the placecards , which stated which table they were to sit at during the meal, and proceed to sit elsewhere?

Answer: ummmm, yes this is rude...



Category: Finances & Budget
Question: Hi Valerie ~ My 21 yr old step-daughter is planning to get married in June 2009. I've been married to her father for 18 yrs and she is like my own daughter. She grew up in her Moms home. Here is my dilema: Amanda has been with Jake since she was 15 yrs old and has never dated anyone else. We paid the entire bill for her biological brothers college and planned on paying for hers too, which we did the first year only to find out after the fact that she moved in with her boyfriend the first month and all of our dorm and food expenses where needlessly wasted (approx. $4.5K). She knew how we felt about "living together" unmarried, but she chose to do it secretly anyway. Her mother knew but never told us (we also found out that her mother has let them sleep together starting at a young age). We explained how disappointed we were and told her that we would now only pay for her college expenses which we have done. She believes we have been very unfair. She also graduates in June of 2009 from the University. We really do not care for this young man as he is very controlling, but since she is now an adult we feel we must support her decisions as our daughter. He is uneducated and makes around $35k a year. She just got an apprentice job and will be making approx. $45k upon graduation. My husband and I have been paying for two home mortgages for 1.5 years now as one of the homes has been on the market that long. We have dropped the sale price of that home by $80k and it still hasn't sold. We are trying to rent it too. Our retirement has diminished about 30% with the recent market decline. We also have two biological children of our own in middle school. We have told Amanda that we wish she would wait at least one more year, but she refuses. She is very upset that we have told her that we can only give her $5k for her wedding (we will have to take this out of our retirement), but if she waits a year we could probably help with more. Both her and her boyfriend feel we should pay at least $15k . She has not asked her mom for any money, nor her future inlaws, of whom we have never met. Amanda lives very close to us and 5 hours from her mom. She wants to have the wedding here in town. Because of my contacts she wants my help for all decisions. My husband and I will be inviting about 60 people on our side, her moms list is 100 people, the grooms family is 75 people, and their list is 25 people. Are we being unreasonable on our amount? Do you feel she is too young also? Please help!

Answer: Hello, and thank you for visiting my site. Since this is not a technical question but more of a personal one, I can only offer my own opinion. There are no right or wrong answers for these situations, so you should just follow your heart. In my personal opinion, yes your step-daughter is too young and seems to be rushing in to this during what are very difficult times for everyone. Based on the economy and current issues I think five thousand dollars is very generous. Particularly to help with a wedding to someone you don't necessarily think it a great catch. Good luck to you!



Category: Finances & Budget
Question: Hi Valerie. My son and future daughter in law have approximately 300 hundred dear friends who they would love to invite to their wedding. However, their fianances and budget requires them to keep the number of guests at the reception to 150 only. Is there a solution to this at all? Thank you for your wise counsel.

Answer: Hello…and thank you for visiting my site. There are a lot of ways to cut the cost of a wedding reception but generally mean changing the type of reception you wish to have dramatically. For example doing a less expensive lunch reception as opposed to a nice dinner. My suggestion would be to send out announcements so that everyone knows of the marriage and just keep the reception to the number of guests that make sense for the budget.



Category: Ceremony
Question: What do we do if we have an outdoors wedding and it rains?

Answer: No matter where you live an outdoor venue for your ceremony or reception is taking a risk. You can not predict what may happen with the weather or other outside elements. If you have your heart set on an outdoor venue, my advice would be to secure a backup plan at the same location. This may cost you additional money, but is well worth not having your special day ruined. If the facility you select does not have an indoor alternative in case of bad weather, consider having a tent rental as backup.



Category: Ceremony
Question: My daughter is getting married in the Spring and I have a question I hope you can answer. I remarried 18 years ago and she is very close to her step-father and her father. She is planning on having both of them walk her down the aisle at the same time. My question is what is the correct etiquette on how this should be done? Is there a certain side they should be on? How does this work? Thank you.

Answer: Hello Jeannie and thank you for visiting my site. It is fine for your daughter to have her father and step father walk her down the aisle. This is actually pretty common. Each father can take one arm and then take their appropriate seats at the front of the ceremony site.



Category: Ceremony
Question: I want to have both my dads involved in my wedding. My stepfather is the dad I consider "daddy". But I also want my father involved in giving me away?! Should they both walk me down the aisle? Both are paying for the wedding also.

Answer: Hi Treva and thank you for visiting my site. Having both fathers walk you down the aisle is just fine. It is a great way to honor both of them and have them be a part of your big day. You are lucky to have two special men in your life. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: I am having a New Years Wedding (2005) and I wanted to ask my bridesmaids and groomsmen a unique way to be a part of our special day! Do you have any neat ideas for me?

Answer: Hi Tiffany and thank you for visiting my site. Wow...there are so many special cool things you can do with a wedding on New Years! One thing that comes to mind is to have each member of the bridal party make a toast instead of just the best man, New Years is all about bringing in the new, and a new life together is a perfect example. You and your husband could also make a toast to each of them which would be special and fun. No matter what you decide it is a wonderful time to have a wedding and I'm sure they will all feel special by just being a part of it. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: Hi Valerie, I have two questions. First, while I do have close female friends I would like to ask my brother to be my "man or honor". Is this tacky? As siblings we have been through alot together and are very close. My second question is that I am not close to my fiances sister, in fact we rarely speak or see one another. She is his only sibling and I'm not sure if I should as her to be a bridesmaid. He has left the decision up to me because they don't have the best relationship either. Should I include her out of respect for his family even if we don't really get along?

Answer: Hello Lauren and thank you for visiting my site. Your question does not have a "right or wrong" answer, so I can only give you my opinion. I think a couple should have their wedding be just what they want and not worry about what other people think. I would not suggest having someone you don't feel close to stand up for you under any circumstances. I also think it would be lovely to have your brother stand up for you in place of a maid of honor.



Category: Invitations
Question: Our niece is getting married in 6 months. We suspect it will be a large formal wedding. We received an email from the brides father giving us "A heads up" as he calls it. The email simply gave the date and stated that we would all be receiving invitations shortly. This does not seem appropriate to give guests a "Heads up". I would think that the bride would not approve of such a thing. First ,he doesnt know who will be invited as this side of the family is totally disfunctional and his email extended invitations to everyone with a request to pass the word along. I just think that sending such an email or informing people ahead of the brides invitation is a bit uncouthed. It this an appropriate thing to do? We are guessing the bride knows nothing about this email nor does the mother of the bride.

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. I would guess that family dynamics have a role in the Father of the Bride sending the email that he did. Every family goes through these issues during the planning of a wedding, it's just one of those things. If you think the bride should know what's going on, but don't want to get overly involved, perhaps you could forward the email to her and just say "wow! great news, we look forward to your big day!" This would inform her what has been done without involving you directly.



Category: Ceremony
Question: Valerie, I have a very good friend is getting married in November. She has asked me to be one of 2 bridesmaids in her wedding. The reception is planned at one of the most out of the way expensive halls in town, where the rooms are $170 a night. Most of us can't afford this. What are the responsibilities to their guests as far as accommodations ? Thanks

Answer: Hi Mari and thank you for visiting my site. If guests choose to stay at a location selected by the bride and groom it is generally their own responsibility to pay for their accommodations. If the bride is insisting her bridesmaids stay that is a little different and you should feel fine telling her that you simply can not afford it and leave it to her to decide if she wants to pay for a room for you. If you don't want to drive the distance to the location after the wedding, perhaps you could find a more reasonably priced hotel/motel in the same area and stay there? I hope it all works out for you.



Category: Food
Question: Hi Valerie, I'm trying to decide on whether to hire a wedding coordinator or not. I'm having a destination wedding (in a place I know well) and have already picked the venue, made inquiries as to price and menus. The Banqueting manager seems very helpful and suggested I contact a wedding coordinator that she knew to be reliable. I am only having about 25 guests, all close friends and family, no DJ or band etc and I have already started researching vendors on the web. Do I need a coordinator? The quote I was given for just basic coordination and researching of vendors (cake, flowers, photographer, marriage officer, decor) plus attendance on the day was around equivalent $1200! That doesn't include any of the services. For such a small number I think that is very high. What do you think? Thought they were meant to save you money! Any advice gratefully received.

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. In all honesty I really don't think you need a coordinator for such a small party. I rarely recommend my brides hire coordinators since the staff at the facility should be able to help you in finding the vendors you need. My personal feeling is that coordinators are needed for very large events or when a bride is trying to plan a wedding from another state. The price you were quoted is not unusual, the coordinators are expensive. If I were you I would spend my $1200 shopping for my honeymoon! Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Ceremony
Question: I WANT TO HAVE MY DOG IN THE WEDDING BUT I'M HAVING TROUBLE FINDING A PLACE THAT ALLOWS DOG ANY SUGGESTIONS?

Answer: Hello, and thank you for visiting my website. I have had clients who had dogs in their weddings before at a couple of different hotels, so I am not sure why you are finding resistance. It is probably not possible for you to have animals at the reception site near food due to health reasons, but involved in the ceremony should not be a big deal. Be sure to let the facility manager know that you just want your dog to be part of the ceremony and then he/she will be taken home or put in a carrier for the reception portion of your day.



Category: Etiquette
Question: I need some help in writing a note to my future daughter in law I am not good with words and want to express how i feel without being to corny or wrong Can you help me

Answer: Hello Linda and thank you for visiting my site. My apologies for the delay in response, the alert from my website that tells me when I have questions has not worked for serveral weeks and I was unaware the questions were building up. Honesty is always best!



Category: Invitations
Question: Hi, My name is Amanda and I recently became engaged. I am very excited and would like to send announcements. I however am having a pretty small wedding consisting of less than 50 people including the bridal party. I would love to tell more people about our engagement without having to invite them to the wedding. Is this rude, if you recieve an announcement should you assume you will later be invited?

Answer: Hello Amanda and thank you for visiting my site. Announcing your marriage is entirely separate from a wedding invitation. Weddings have gotten so complex and expensive that it is very common for couples to have a smaller wedding to keep costs down. There is nothing wrong with announcing to all those you know that you are getting married regardless if they are acutally invited to the wedding.



Category: Ceremony
Question: Hi Valerie Im getting married nov 3 2007. My Father passed a few years ago and we were very close, I have a half brother but we are not very close,but for the sake of "looks" I asked him to walk me down the Isle. Now I;ve had a change of heart. I dont Have any other male or female relatives that I feel are up to the job, and I rather walk myself down the isle, is this acceptable?

Answer: Hello Teresa and thank you for visiting my site. It is absolutely fine for you to walk by yourself, it even makes the walk down the aisle more dramatic! The most important thing is that you are happy and feeling good, so having someone next to you that does not inspire those feelings does not make sense. Walk alone with your head high!



Category: Invitations
Question: Hello Valerie, I want to do my own invitations and I am have a problem with with the wording for my wedding. See both my parents(the bride) and his ( the groom) parents are paying for the wedding... He parents are still married but my parents are not and my mom is remarried. My Father is not. I want them to all be included but I am not sure how to do it. Do you have any ideas to help me out. thank you Nicole

Answer: Hi Nicole and thank you for visiting my site. There should be lot's of examples of different types of wording where you are purchasing your invitations. I would suggest going through their sample books and seeing if there is something you like. One example that works is: " Bob Smith and Mary Jones together with their parents invite you...." Congratulations and Good Luck!



Category: Invitations
Question: Hi Valerie, thanks for taking my question. In today's society, people do not understand that if your children's/babies name is not on the envelope they are not invited. Is it really rude to put at the bottom of the reception insert, this sentence: "The wedding ceremony and reception are intended to be adult events, unless otherwise addressed on the invitation envelope. Thank you for honoring the bride and groom's wishes." Thank you for your help, Valerie.

Answer: Hello Lauren and thank you for visiting my site. It is not the least bit rude to leave off children from your invitations, but I don’t think you have to say so much on the reception card. The most common and simple way to get this message across it to put “This is an adult occasion” at the bottom of the invitation. Good luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: What is the appropriate way to sign a shower gift card for your husbands adult niece? This is a second marriage for both me & my husband. I do not know his brother, sister-in-law and niece well although I have been with my husband for 7 years. My dilemma is whether to sign the card "Aunt" or just my given name. I don't want it to appear that I don't want to be referred to as "Aunt". The situation is a bit convoluted as my husbands ex-wife is still part of the family and is considered the "aunt" and is actually hosting the shower. She has known the bride to be since birth, whereas I have only been around for 7 years and have not been an inetgral part of the brides life. Actually I have only met her a handful of times. The bride is the daughter of my husbands brother. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Answer: Hi Charlie and thank you for visiting my site. I guess I would say do what you feel more comfortable doing. Since your niece is an adult just signing with your given name is completely appropriate, but at the same time if you would like her to refer to you as an Aunt it is a very friendly gesture to sign the card "Aunt Charlie".



Category: Ceremony
Question: This is my 2nd wedding, and my soon to be hubby's 1st.. He wants the traditional wedding (150 people wedding & reception in the same place, me in the white dress) there has been people talking saying I am WRONG, that our wedding should be small & I should NOT be wearing white... honestly it hurts to hear.. I am I wrong?

Answer: Hello Lalania and thank you for visiting my site. It is nobody's business or decision how you conduct your wedding other than you and your fiance. Do what you want and what makes you happy, that is what getting married is all about.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Dear Valerie: We are having a semi-formal reception in the afternoon. My wife's daughter thinks I should not wear a tuxedo and my wife is not sure. we got married earlier in the year.. what is the best way to get dressed// I always wante dot wear a tuxedo, this my our fouth marriage for both. Please advice. thank you Franco

Answer: Hello Franco and thank you for visiting my site. For your wedding I think you should wear what you feel great and most comfortable in. If you want to wear a tux then go for it! It does not make any difference if this is a first or fourth wedding, it is still your day.



Category: Ceremony
Question: Hi Valerie! I am full of questions, but I will try to limit myself! I'm trying to limit my stress the day of the wedding, so I have a church host and hostess and a reception host and hostess. However, I cannot seem to find anything anywhere saying what the exact duties of the church host and hostess are. I thought it was traditional to have them at least at the church. Can you help me with what their duties might entail?

Answer: Hello Beth and thank you for visiting my site. Generally the people you ask to assist with hosting at the church would help the ushers get the guests seated and hand out any programs you may have to your guests. If they are also acting as coordinators they would help get the bridal party lined up and tell them when to walk. If you have children in your bridal party they would also assist with them.



Category: Reception
Question: my fiancé has a big family and most of them have kids,will it be appropriate to have a jumper? the hall where we are getting married has a fenced patio. what is your advice, i just dint want all the kids running around, and i can't say no children.

Answer: Hi Eliza and thank you for visiting my site. It is very sweet that you want to accommodate the children who will be attending your reception. If you are comfortable having a "bounce house" at your reception then there is not problem at all, it's your day and it would be a wonderful distraction for the children. If you would like to have something a little less intrusive I would suggest setting up an area on the patio with color books and crayons, puzzles and if possible a TV/VCR with a stack of Disney movies. This would keep the children occupied but a little less lively during your event. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Ceremony
Question: I am a 44 yr. old widow. This will be the third time around for both of us. I found a cute Ivory colored wedding gown (a Sotello). My sister says it's not appropiate. What do I wear? I am getting married in a Chapel on Oct 28th.

Answer: Hello Debra and thank you for visiting my site. Of course it's appropriate! Wear whatever you like. Just make sure you are comfortable and feel gorgeous, that is the only important factor.



Category: Etiquette
Question: At the bridal shower are the brides attendants responsible for purchasing things for the wedding? Cake cutters, etc?????

Answer: Hello Cindy and thank you for visiting my site. My apologies for the delay in response, the alert from my website that tells me when I have questions has not worked for serveral weeks and I was unaware the questions were building up. The bridal party is not responsible to purchase the items for the wedding. Generally showers are themed in some way...lingerie shower, kitchen shower etc...if the bride wants items for the wedding you could theme it towards that.



Category: Invitations
Question: Valerie, My future daughter-in-law is somewhat estranged from her parents (who are divorced). We do not think her parents are going to contribute financially to the wedding, but the bride and groom (our son) will contribute approximately 1/3 of all costs, which includes reception, rehersal dinner, etc. My question is, if the groom's parents contribute most of the funds for the wedding costs, and her parents will not be involved, what should the invitation say? Who shall the invitation say is inviting the guests? Thank you

Answer: Hello Joani and thank you for visiting my site. These situations are touchy. A simple solution would be to word the invitation with the Bride and Grooms names "together with their parents" invite you to attend....this will eliminate hurt feelings for anyone.



Category: Reception
Question: My best friend is getting married in a small/family wedding where she has recently moved. She has no family to speak of, I am wanting to do a celebration in our home town (where I currently live). Where do I start? Wording for the invites, Is at my home/outside okay? Wedding cake? Light food and beer and wine? Any thoughts or Suggestions... Thanks, Marlene

Answer: Hi Marlene and thank you for visiting my site. How nice that you want to put something together for your friend. It sounds like a fun casual affair, so as far as invitations something like "help us celebrate...." always works well. I think anything you want to do for a reception would be great. Your home, outdoors, whatever works well for you and within your budget. If you are going to keep the food light then it would be better to schedule the reception at a time other than and expected meal time. Noon or 6 pm would probably not work well as people will be expecting a lunch or dinner. It sounds like either an afternoon event or later in the evening after the dinner hour would be ideal.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hi Valerie, My fiancé was married briefly once before. I was wondering if it might be considered "tacky" or strange in some way if one of his groomsmen was also a groomsman in his previous wedding? Are there any other no-no's that you know of regarding second weddings? It's only a second marriage for him; I've never been married before. Thanks for your advice.

Answer: Hi Karin and thank you for visiting my site. Second weddings are so very common now that there really are no particular "rules". Generally people will have numerous friends and family at a second wedding that may have also attended the first. This is really no big deal, so I would say don't worry about it at all and enjoy your day!



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hi Valerie, I am planning a small wedding with only a maid of honor and best man for the bridal party. I do have a younger cousin that is special to me and I would like to involve her. Any suggestions?

Answer: Hi Stephanie and thank you for visiting my site. There are several things you could have your younger cousin do for you. If she is under 10 a flower girl would of course be appropriate. If she is an adult or young adult you could ask her to be your guest book attendant or gift table attendant and perhaps assist with the seating of your guests as a hostess.



Category: Ceremony
Question: Hi, Valerie. My boyfriend and I will be engaged next summer, but I've already been thinking about one big aspect of the wedding: location. We live in Minnesota, but I'm from New York. Almost his entire family is in Minnesota whereas a lot of my family is spread out around the country; however, my parents and friends are in New York. I'm wondering where the wedding should be. I don't think it's fair to ask his family to travel to New York, and I'm not sure how many of my friends and family would come out to Minnesota. I've heard it's tradition to have the ceremony in the bride's hometown, but that doesn't seem to be the easiest option. I've also heard about destination weddings, but that means all guests would have to pay to travel, which I want to avoid. I just want it to be simple for everyone, although it doesn't seem as though that will happen. Any suggestions?

Answer: Hi Caroline and congratulations! Well you do have a predicament as far as location...you are correct that traditionally the wedding and reception are held in the Brides hometown. Sometimes couples will have two receptions to accomodate family across the country. It really depends on what is most important to you as a couple. If having your family and friends present is very important to you than you may want to consider having two receptions. If you would be happy with just those closest to you being in attendance then a destination wedding would be great. I am a huge advocat of destination weddings for many reasons. You will save a ton of money on all aspects and have a wonderful time usually with a built in honeymoon depending on where you choose to hold your ceremony. Anyone you do invite to attend will be delighted to have a vacation as well. I wish I could give you more alternative suggestions, but this is really a personal decision based on what you want for your special day. Whatever you decide good luck and enjoy!



Category: Finances & Budget
Question: I am mother of the bride. My question is when the photographer shows us the proofs to order from, who is responsible for photos ordered by the parents of the groom?

Answer: Hello Frances and thank you for visiting my site. Unless the bride and groom are gifting a special "parents album" or pictures for the parents, it is traditionally the responsibility of both sets of parents to pay for their own picture selections.



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: My stepson is getting married soon. My husband's ex wife's husband died and she has yet to remarry, and don't know if she ever will again. I have had many difficulties in the past with the ex wife. During my husband's son's graduations from HS and college, the ex wife insisted that pictures be taken of the 3 of them together. They totally excluded me from all family pictures. I do not think this is approprite since I have been married for 11 years to my husband! I was deeply hurt and I refuse to allow the same thing to happen at my stepson's wedding! The pictures were taken as if 'they' were "still a family" , even though she left my husband for another man over 13 years ago! My husband adopted my youngest son...We are a family! I do not think my husband should be taking pictures with his ex wife as if they are still married. I also am concerned over the ceremony as well as the wedding reception. I do not think I will be able to tolerate my husband dancing with his ex wife or any other traditional activity at weddings that might involve the parents of the bride and groom. Please tell me, what is appropriate in a wedding when the parents of the person getting married is divorced and remarried? I wonder if his ex would be taking pictures like that if she had a husband! My husband tells me that it is really 'nothing' and my mother in law stated that "I get to go home with my husband". Both tell me that it is really just to make his son happy and that it means nothing to go along with tradtional ceremony even though spouses are no longer married to each other.Tell me please, what is the appropriate thing to do? Should I just allow my husband to go along with whatever plans are made for his son's wedding? Would it be Ok to inform my stepson how uncomfortable I would be if I am excluded in pictures or wedding ceremony in favor of my husband and his ex in pictures or other wedding activities?

Answer: Hello Debbie and thank you for visiting my site. I agree that it is completely inappropriate for you husband and his ex-wife to be in "family" photos together. I think it is perfectly within your rights as a wife and stepmother to insist this not take place at the wedding. Good luck and best wishes.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Hi. I'm getting married on May 16th and I really want a rose red color for my bridesmaid dresses. Is that color okay for a May wedding or should I pick lighter colors? Also, what colors would go well with rose red for my other color? Thanks

Answer: Hello Lyndsey and thank you for visiting my site. Any color really works for a May wedding, it should just be a color that works well with your reception venue. Ivory or Champagne is always an easy color to match with almost anything. Brown tones and Gold also look great with red, especially if there is dark wood or darker colors in the church or reception venue. Congratulations and good luck to you!



Category: Ceremony
Question: The way our church is for a wedding is somewhat strange. There is no center isle. The front has steps with an u shape stage. The bride has asked if her dad gives her away at the bottom of the steps and her groom escorts her up the 2 steps and they get on the u shaped stage would it be in poor taste for the bride to be on the right side instead of the left when they get on the u shape. The reasoning is the dress the bride has chosen has a beautiful side on the right. What do you think. Groom on left and the Bride on Right. Just during the cermony.. Walking up the isle and down would be the corrrect sides.

Answer: Hi Angie and thank you for visiting my site. Traditions like the bride and groom's sides are changed all the time now days. I don't see this as being a problem at all. The most important thing is that it looks pretty and that the bride and groom are getting what they want.



Category: Ceremony
Question: How can I incorporate a catholic and christian wedding together? I've spoken to one priest already and he says that the other priest is more then welcome to sit in on the ceremony, but not able to say a word. I would love it if I could possibly find a way to accomodate both parties. Any suggestions?

Answer: Hi Christina and thank you for visiting my site. In my experience the Catholic Church is not very flexible in it's traditions. I would be very surprised if you could find a Catholic priest to accomodate you. Christian churches tend to be much more open to new traditions. I wish you the best of luck but I don't really have any suggestions on this one.



Category: Etiquette
Question: My daughter would like her father to walk her down the aisle, but he is the officiating pastor. What is the proper way to do this?

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. I have seen weddings where the father is the officiant before. In my experience the bride and her father walk down together, the father hands the bride over to her husband to be and takes his place to marry them. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hi Valerie, My boyfriend's (soon to be fiance's) daughter is engaged and planning her wedding. He has two questions; 1) Both he and his ex are paying for the wedding, what is the correct wording for the invitations? 2) What is the appropriate seating at the reception, do we all sit at the same table, or should he and I sit at one table with his family and his ex and her boyfriend sit at another table with her family? Any information you can give would be appreciated. Thank you.

Answer: Hello, and thank you for visiting my site. Your questions are really determined by the relationship between the father and his ex-wife. As far as the wording the invitations can use the full names of each parent. For example: Mr. John Smith and Ms. Mary Johnson ask you to share the joy of their daughter...Since this is so common these days there are lots of examples at invitation stores or on line that you can look at. As far as seating it really depends on the relationship between the parties. It is always best to make sure everyone is comfortable with who they are seated with. If everyone gets along well then one family table is great. If this is not the case then it is better to separate the two family tables. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: Can you help me with the wording for the easel needed for the guests, so they know that we are not meaning to be rude having them stand however this is however this is all there is room for, or something is that manner....

Answer: Hello again...I would suggest keeping the wording simple, something like "due to limited space this is a stand up ceremony, seating is available for those with special needs. A stand up reception is not rude at all, just try to keep the ceremony to 20 minutes or less. Take care.



Category: Vendors
Question: my boyfriend and I have been discussing getting married. I believe he will propose soon. the problem is i always dreamed of having an engagement party, bridal shower, baby shower, and bachelorette party, but i have no one close enough to me we would be nice enough to throw me any of these events. Is it tacky for the bride and groom to throw their own party (the ones listed above). I feel those will be special moments in my life. should i miss out on what I've always dreamed of because no one would throw one for us? i wouldn't mind spending the money, b/c i feel I'll get something greater and laster longer in return-----memories.

Answer: Hi Monique and thank you for visiting my site. While there is nothing wrong with planning your own Pre wedding events, it would be really nice to have someone help you with these. Perhaps you and your fiancé could throw your own engagement party and then speak to family or friends about assisting you with your shower and bachelorette party. If you are planning on having a Maid of Honor, these duties would fall to her. I am sure your friends and family would be more than willing to assist in the planning and may just require some financial assistance from you. Good luck and congratulations!



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: My son is getting married in December on a cruise ship. What is appropriate for the Mother to wear as far as colors and style?

Answer: Hello Shirley and thank you for visiting my site. My apologies for the delay in response, the alert from my website that tells me when I have questions has not worked for serveral weeks and I was unaware the questions were building up. It depends on how formal the wedding is going to be as far as the style of your outfit. Darker colors and Jewel tones are traditional for winter weddings. If the couple is having a color theme for accents the mothers usually dress in these colors. Congratulations and have a wonderful time on your cruise!



Category: Invitations
Question: When responding to an invitation and if sending a cheque as a gift do you make the cheque payable to the future groom or do you postdate it and make it payable to Mr. & Mrs.?

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. Most couples have set up their bank accounts prior to the wedding. I think it is nicer to make the check our to Mr. and Mrs. The bank will take the check regardless, even if the bride has not taken her husbands name.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hi Valerie! For our wedding, my finace would like our guests in lieu of gifts to donate a dollar amount to go towards the down pymt of our first home. I think it is a good idea but would also like to register as we need simple things in addition i do not want our guest to feel pressured with deciding a dollar amount to give. They could use the gift registry. Is it bad etiquette to do this and/or both and how does one word this?

Answer: Hi Lanee and thank you for visiting my site. My suggestion would be to go with an online registry that you create yourself. The gifts are all money that goes through paypal and is put in an account for you. That way you could list the items you would like to receive along with the dollar amount and buy them. You can create scenarios for cash gifts as well to go towards the purchase of your home. Check out "Registrypalace.com" to see what I am talking about.



Category: Etiquette
Question: another question, me and my fh have been living together for over three years now, needless to say we have everything a married couple would need, toaster, pots, pans etc. etc. etc. So we will not be registering anywhere, is word of mouth the best way to let my guest know that IF they wanted to bring a gift, to just give money? Nothing should be placed in the invitation about it correct?

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. I would suggest you inform your guest of your on line registry which allows them to contribute cash to items you want through pay pal. You can set it up any way you like, but ultimately what you will end up with is cash. You can see an example I recommend at registrypalace.com



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: hello and thanks for this website. Im getting married september 12 at 5 pm....im having my bridesmaid dresses in watermelon almost fusicha color, my question is would putting the guys in a tangerine look bad at all?

Answer: Hello Amanda and thank you for visiting my site. I really think the bride should have whatever colors she wants. Colors are a very personal opinion and everyone likes different things. Since you ask, my personal opinion is that the pink and orange colors would clash...but if you like it then go for it!



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: My wedding was normally planned for an October wedding until an issue with my grad father arrived. so i had to change it to a June wedding. see, i had already picked out my gown and i thought that with it being ivory with wine in it (i wanted to be different) it would look perfect. so my question is will it look OK for a June wedding. ( it has flowers that are wine in color with the background of ivory on it) HELP

Answer: Hi Brandi and thank you for visiting my site. Your gown sounds absolutely beautiful and should be fine for a June wedding. My feeling is that all brides should wear what makes them feel the most lovely on their special day. I really don't buy in to certain colors for certain seasons etc...do what makes you feel pretty and special and you will enjoy your day more! Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Engagement
Question: Not sure what category this would fall in a few things. After 6 years of living together we've decided to do the right thing and get married. We would like to get married in May by ourselves with my kids from a previous marriage. Then we are planning a big old bbq in our new house. My questions are 1) should I send out announcements of the engagement? 2) my mother-in-law to be does not want me to invite her brothers but this would upset my grandmother-in-law deeply how do I handle this? 3) she also mentioned that she would like to be at the justice of the peace when we get married but it 1) can't be during the week her husband can't take off and wants her other son and his wife there..My finance wanted his dad (his parents are divorced) to be our witness and just have him and the kids. I don't get along with her daughter in law and it would not be fair to not invite my brother and sister if I have to invite all of them. How do I handle this? Desperate for an answer cause I feel like I'm running out of time...thank you

Answer: Hello Donna and thank you for visiting my site. It sounds like you have a lot of people trying to tell you what to do for YOUR wedding. I am a firm believer that the bride and groom should plan all aspects of their wedding according to what they want and what makes them feel the most comfortable. I understand family drama can be disconcerting, but my honest advice would be to tell everyone you appreciate their input but will be making the plans as you and your fiance wish them to be.



Category: Engagement
Question: I am going to ask the man that I have been with for three years to marry me, and I went to Things and Remembered and got a photo album and a key chain had a verse wrote on the front of the album and then the fey chain has an envelope and a card that slides in there I put his name on the envelope and will you marry me on the card I am asking him on his birthday I need help on how to give it to him and when, we are going to Mexico for his birthday so I will do it there just don't know how to.

Answer: Hi Deanna and Congratulations to you on your big decision! Proposing is a very personal thing so I would just go with what feels natural for you. Perhaps you could give your boyfriend the gift over a romantic dinner in your hotel room and have room service deliver it on a covered plate? Whatever you decide I hope it turns out wonderful!



Category: Reception
Question: im getting married in july of this year, and i would like to include my mother and his mother in lighting the unity candle. how do we do this? and another question, im going to have children at my reception and im wondering for the place card how do you write these out for the kids? do they get their own place card or do you include with the parents placecards?

Answer: Hi Michelle, You can include your mothers in the ceremony in several different ways...I would suggest letting your officiant know this is what you want and have him or her explain the options to you. The unity candle is really designed to unite the bride and groom as one on your wedding day, but you could also use it as a ceremony to unite the families and include your mothers. One of my officiants does a beautiful rose ceremony where the groom gives your mother a rose and you give the grooms mother a rose as they are called up to the alter. It is very touching. Regarding the children it is appropriate fo them to have their own placecard whether they are sitting with their parents or seated at a childrens table.



Category: Reception
Question: . I am the Mother-of-the-Bride. My daughter is getting married in September 2006. I am divorced, and my daughter's father has not been in her life since he left over 6 years ago. My daughter wants to do her "the father/daughte" dance with me ... doing a mother-daughter dance with me. NOW HERE IS MY QUESTION ... She would also wants to do a dance with my boyfriend/fiance who has been a pivitol part of her life for the past 5 years. How does that get announced to the reception audience? Also what song would be appropriate for playing while they are dancing?

Answer: Hi Mary and Thank you for visiting my site. I think your daughter should be able to dance with whomever she chooses on her special day. Weddings are very personalized these days and it is very common for people to alter some of the more traditional aspects. Perhaps you and your daughter have a special song that would work for you. I would suggest announcing your fiance by name only and not putting a "title" on it. Perhaps something like "and now the bride will be having a special dance with John Doe".



Category: Ceremony
Question: I would like to have a Saturday wedding, but the location I prefer is already booked for the year. I am left with a Friday wedding. What is the etiquette concerning the start time of a Catholic ceremony? I'd like the reception to be a sit-down dinner as well. Also, what is the general opinion on Friday weddings?

Answer: Hi Jennifer and thank you for visiting my site. Friday weddings can be good for many reasons, the best being you can usually get a better deal with sites and vendors. You might also consider a Sunday on a holiday weekend and most people have Mondays off after Labor Day or Fourth of July for example. As far as the Catholic ceremony, many Catholic churches do not marry people later than 2:30 pm. I do not recommend leaving a long period of time between your ceremony and reception. When people do this they tend to either lose guests after the ceremony or have people skip the ceremony all together and just show up to the reception.



Category: Vendors
Question: What do I need to know when hiring a photographer?

Answer: When you are ready to select a photographer make sure you have an idea of what you want your pictures to be like. Do you want black and whites, natural looking and candid shots or more traditional wedding pictures? Spend some time talking with the photographers and make sure you are comfortable with this person. You will be spending a lot of time with them on a day when you are much more nervous than usual, so don’t select someone who gets on your nerves in any way. Photographers have a tendency to try and manipulate the timing on your wedding day, so be sure they understand that you have a schedule you want to keep to. Lastly, pricing varies a great deal with photographers, so be sure and check out several.



Category: Invitations
Question: Hello Valerie, How do I address an reply envelope. Do I use both the Bride ande Groom name or just the bride? Maenotes

Answer: Hello Mae and thank you for visiting my site. Your response reply should be addressed the the sender of the invitation. Usually that is the bride or the parents of the bride.



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: My fiancee and I decided that we would rather have a kid free wedding than run the risk of something happening (kid-related disaster). It would also be cheaper and we are on a very very tight budget (less than $7000) My fiancee's mother insisted on us having a ringbearer and flower girl since my fiancee's cousins are the perfect age. My first mistake was conceding to this and not sticking to my preferences. We agreed to the flower girl and ring bearer but I made clear to her that there would be no other children invited to the wedding. This was about 6 months ago. She is the main contact to his side of the family and never mentioned this to any of my fiancee's family. I did try to call and explain this to a few of the guests on his side, but my messages were not returned. Now, 2 weeks after the invites have been sent, his entire side of the family (including his mother!) has decided that they will not be attending because the children were not invited. Members of the family without children are also staying home to "support" the others. My fiancee and I are furious that something so small is keeping them all from attending the most important event of our lives. I am torn between inviting the kids and not sticking to what we wanted, or not inviting them and risk splitting ties with his family for a potentially long time. At this point, neither of us really want people with such a bad attitude there. It is also completely out of our budget to add these kids. Both our mothers are single parents and we just don't have the money. I really don't know what to do, and the wedding is in less than 2 months. I also have no idea how to handle a very controlling and angry (future) mother-in-law at my wedding. Please help!

Answer: Hello Jennifer and thank you for visiting my site. I am so sorry you have to deal with this kind of drama surrounding what is the most special time of your life. This is truly a personal decision for you and your fiance, there is not set answer it would vary between individuals. Because of that the only thing I can offer you is my personal opinion. If it were me I would stick to my guns. When you get married your spouse becomes the most important person in your life and decisions have to be made that make him or her the most happy and comfortable. It seems to me that you made your wishes clear and that it is not your fault if friends and family choose to ignore your wishes. Good luck!



Category: Reception
Question: Hi Valerie. My wife and I got married 3 years ago. We went to the court house because we did not want a big wedding but wanted to just have a nice reception. Her parents were to pay for the reception even though I said that I would. 3 months passed and for whatever reason, we never had the reception. I know that this really upset my wife. I also know its too late to do the reception now. My question is, If we were to renew our vows this year, would it be morally wrong to have the reception we never had? Thanks

Answer: Hello Jason and thank you for visiting my site. Questions of morality are a very personal issue, so please understand my answer is from a personal point of view. I think it is perfectly fine to celebrate your union at any time. Many couples get married before they can afford to put on an elaborate wedding and reception and wish to do something bigger later down the road. My personal feeling is that this is fabulous. If the two of you want to throw a big reception to celebrate your love then I say go for it!



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hi Valerie, I am not sure if this question falls under family or etiquette. My fiancé's parents are divorced and his step-mother has a very large family. His father and step mother also live an hour and a half away. Recently she asked if her whole family and herself could be invited to my shower. I am not throwing my shower, and my maid of honor cannot afford to pay for that many more guests to eat and drink. My cousin got married a year ago and her mother in law was invited to the shower that the maid of honor threw and then she had her own shower for their own friends and family. Is this wrong? Should my maid of honor have to rent a banquet hall just for the bridal shower, if not how do I tell my future step-mother-inlaw that she has to have her own shower?

Answer: Hi Courtney and thank you for visiting my site. You and your maid of honor should plan your shower together, and one that will be fun and affordable. If you step-mother wants to host a shower on her own that is lovely, but you should not feel obligated to invite her or her family to your bridal shower hosted by your maid of honor. It would be kind to let your stepmother know that your attendant is on a budget and must keep the guest list limited. It is very nice that they want to be included but a bit of bad form to invite themselves. Congratulations and good luck to you!



Category: Invitations
Question: We had to postpone my daughters wedding a couple of days before because of a family emergency, we are now in the process of trying to re-do everything to have it in about six weeks. I am not sure about invitations????? and wording???? HELP, THANK YOU

Answer: Hi Stephanie, and thank you for visiting my site. Invitations can be printed very quickly and cost effectively at your local print shops like "Kinko's"...they have a few samples in the display books that can help you. They also have software that you can download on your computer and print lovely invitations yourself that can be personalized. 6 weeks is enough notice to give your guests, but for out of town guests you may want to make a phone call as well to let them know the invitation is on it's way. Congratulations to your daughter and have a wonderful celebration.



Category: Honeymoon
Question: what would be a proper honeymoon of the wedding couple that is getting married in june but they will be having a bay in march? what type of honeymoon could we plan for them if we thought about paying for it? i thought maybe something local or a few hours away.since im sure they arent gonna want to be to far away from the baby.since i was gonna suggest we keep the baby while they went on the honeymoon so that theyd have time together.or would we send the baby too?thanks

Answer: Hello Renee and thank you for visiting my site. It seems to me the best thing would be to talk with the bride and groom and see how they would feel about being away from a 3 month old baby. Either way it seems like a relatively close location for a few days of honeymoon would be best.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hi, this is Amanda. My dad has two sisters and I was wondering if it was rude to only invite one of them. I am not close to one at all and haven't spoken to her or my uncle in years. However my other aunt and her still speak, so she will find out that the other one was invited. What do I do?

Answer: Hi Amanda and thank you for visiting my site. Of course this is a personal decision, but my feeling is that you should only have people you really want to be at your wedding to celebrate with you. Overall in life honesty is always the best way to go.



Category: Etiquette
Question: i am wondering, i have a few girls that i am inviting just to the reception. (not to the cermony or dinner), can i still invite them to the bachlorette party, and bridal shower? or is it only "proper ettiquette" to invite the guests that are invited to everything?

Answer: Hi Lindsey and thank you for visiting my site. "Technically" it would be poor ettiquette to only invite these friends to the shower and bachlorette party, however I think if they are good friends just explaining your reasons to them would a good idea. Everyone understands that budget restrictions or space restrictions make it so that a lot of couples can not have everyone attend the wedding and dinner. I am sure if you ask them they would love to be included in the fun for the shower and other parties. Being straight forward and up front is always going to leave you feeling best.



Category: Ceremony
Question: I would like to know who i invite to my bridal shower. Right now i have about 60 guests invited and some are my 2nd cousins, who i dont know but my mom wants me to invite. Do i invite them?? Who do i invite?? I dont really have any ediqutte help from anyone and im not sure what to do or who to invite. PLEASE HELP!!

Answer: Hi Kristyn and thank you for visiting my site. The person who is hosting your bridal shower is the one who makes the guest list. Traditionally it is not up to the bride. Usually your family or bridesmaids will inquire who you would really want to have at your shower, but the actual guest list and invitations are prepared by the hostess. If your mom is throwing your shower then she should be able to invite your cousins if that is what she wants. I would suggest leaving it to them and just having a great time at your party!



Category: Invitations
Question: On a wedding invitation when both the mother and the father of the bride are hosting the event but they are divorced, whose name is mentioned first? Should it be "Susan Brown (on one line) and (on it's own line) Robert Brown (on the third line) request the honour......?

Answer: Hi Leslie and thank you for visiting my site. Generally the woman's name appears first on the invitation. It is also still appropriate to say "Mr. and Mrs. Susan Brown request the honor of your presence..." even if a couple is divorced unless the woman has gone back to her maiden name. I would suggest looking at samples of wording on line and selecting something everyone is satisfied with.



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: Hi Valerie, I am getting married for the second time and it is my husband-to-be's first wedding. Where do my two children (age 9 and 5) stand... and can I wear white? Also, who pays for the maid of honor/bridesmaid dresses and the groomsmen/best man's tuxes? Thanks for your help on this! Tracy

Answer: Hello Tracy and thank you for visiting my site. If your children are in the bridal party then they would stand up with the rest of your attendants, otherwise they are just seated in the row with your parents, siblings, etc...I think brides should wear whatever they are most comfortable in, so if you like white, go for it! Adult attendants generally pay for their own attire. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: Hi Valerie, I am the father of the bride. I am in a tough spot with my daughter and future son in law. I was told on the day that we were sending out the save the date cards that that they were having an adult only wedding. And to be frank it was done in a very rude way. now they do have 4 children in there wedding party so they will be attending the reception. It is an out of town wedding even for us. My brother has a ten year old son and they will have to travel about 5 hours to get to the wedding. they do not have any one that they can leave the him with for the weekend. so they wont be able to come, and if they cant make it my mother of 80 years wont be able to make the wedding either. Its killing me that they did not come to me sooner so we could have talked about this with love and compassion. I am paying for 80% of the wedding but I don't want to make that the issue. I know the day is theirs but why would they want me to be so unhappy on the day I give her away to him. I am very close to my family. They define me!. And to top it all off they have not spoken to my wife and I for 4 weeks now. It huts so much to be dismissed in this way. Please tell me am I wrong to want my whole family at their wedding. Any advice would be welcome. Steve

Answer: Hello Steve and thank you for visiting my site. Your email makes me sad and I'm sorry you have to deal with this situation. Your question is of a personal nature so I can only offer my opinion and not real advice. If I were you I would bring this up right away and let your daughter know how unhappy it is making you. She may well be so caught up in her plans and excitement that it never occurred to her this was causing a problem. If you explain it the way you did in your email it would be very selfish of her not to make an exception for your brother's son. Good luck, I hope it all works out for you.



Category: Invitations
Question: My daughter is getting married at night. It is a formal wedding. What is the proper way to remind her guests that it is formal and that they are expected to dress accordingly.

Answer: Hello Pat and thank you for visiting my site. My apologies for the delay in response, the alert from my website that tells me when I have questions has not worked for serveral weeks and I was unaware the questions were building up. The easiest way to indicate the event is formal is to have it printed at the bottom of the invitation. You can put several different things, but the most common are "Black Tie Affair" or "This is a formal occassion".



Category: Etiquette
Question: If Iwas a bridesmaid or maid of honor in someone's wedding, is it proper etiquette to ask them to be in my wedding?

Answer: Hello Laura and thank you for visiting my site. My apologies for the delay in response, the alert from my website that tells me when I have questions has not worked for serveral weeks and I was unaware the questions were building up. It is not necessary for you to have someone in your wedding just because you were in their wedding. Everyone has a different circle of friends and family members and you are entitled to have those closest to you stand up for you at your wedding.



Category: Ceremony
Question: Hi, Valerie. I just got engaged in Feb of 06. We are thinking about having a civil ceremony in May or June and then a semi-formal church ceremony in December. Is this ok? Our reasoning is because both of us lead very busy schedules and I don't think I would really have time to plan a church wedding before June. Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated.

Answer: Hi Jennifer and thank you for visiting my site. I think it is fine to have your civil ceremony first and allow yourself the time to plan a larger formal wedding at a later date. It's actually a pretty common practice for several reasons. A lot of my couples are actually already married but wanted to allow themselves time to save up for the wedding they always wanted, sometimes up to 4 or 5 years later. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: Hi Valerie , My cousin is giving me a way he is like a second father to me however I am worried about him giving me away because I am a roman catholic, and having a roman catholic ceremony , I have heard the father of the bride or the person gives you away in the ceremony kisses you on the cheek and lifts your veil instead of the bridegroom is this true or do you know? I would really hate to mess this up, thanks for any help here.

Answer: Hi Cassandra and thank you for visiting my site. The kiss and the lifting of the veil is a personal choice in the ceremony. Generally the father will give the bride a kiss, but it is most often the groom who lifts the veil before the bride and groom kiss for the first time. I would suggest setting this up however makes you the most comfortable as the rules are not set in stone. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Reception
Question: I am having a fall wedding, October 8th. My wedding is not going to incorporate a fall theme, but is it okay to have a fall themed reception?

Answer: Hi Tiffany and thank you for visiting my site. It is just fine to theme your reception and not the ceremony itself. Most ceremonies are simple and traditional and do not incorporate a theme.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Brides parents are paying for everything, from posting the engagement announcement in the newspaper, to paying for all vendors at the entire wedding. Groom's family is paying for rehersal dinner and flowers. If the 12 bridesmaids ask mother of bride for help with the bridal shower, could she decline?

Answer: Hello…and thank you for visiting my site. It is traditionally the responsibility of the Maid of honor to arrange and pay for the bridal shower. Technically if she is unable to do so, she should not have accepted the invitation to be Maid of honor. It is perfectly acceptable for you to bow out of the shower plans and just explain that you have enough on your plate.



Category: Etiquette
Question: I want to invite some of my friends to my future D-I-L's shower but I can't invite them to the wedding because we work weekends and the wedding is on their weekend to work . Is it okay to invite them to the shower but not the wedding? MIL

Answer: Dear MIL, invite them to both...if they can't come, they can't come...



Category: Etiquette
Question: We are having a fairly large wedding (200) and are having a real problem with who to invite. I am close to my aunt and 2 of my cousins but not the other 2 cousins can I just invite the 2 I am close too? What about just inviting some people to the church and the dance and not the meal part is this ok??

Answer: Hello Lacey and thank you for visiting my site. I believe you should invite only those guests that you really want to be at your wedding. There is no set etiquette for this, it is a personal decision. A lot of my brides have dozens of guests at their weddings that they don't even know. I personally think this is silly. It is really not cool to invite people to a portion of the wedding and most caterers will not allow you to add on guests beyond the guaranteed dinner guest count. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: Should you buy the host of your bridal shower a thank you gift? Thank you!

Answer: Hello Dawn, thank you for visiting my site. It is not necessary to give a gift to your bridal shower host. This is traditionally an event for the bride and a thank you gift is not required. A card would be a nice touch. Congratulations and good luck.



Category: Ceremony
Question: Is it all right if my son who is 12 and my dad were to both give me away at my wedding? My other question is where can I find a long-sleeve lilac wedding dress? I have been married before so I don't want this one to be very traditional. Thank you...

Answer: Hello Shelly and thank you for visiting my site. It is absolutely fine to have your son and father walk you down the aisle. I have seen this many times at various weddings. I would suggest looking on the web for the specific dress you want. E-bay is great and also offers good prices. If you are unable to find anything you like, perhaps you could consider having a dress made to your specifications. If you purchase the fabric your dry cleaner can probably reccomend a seamstress for you. Take care and good luck!



Category: Ceremony
Question: I am having an outside wedding and there is only going to be to rows of 5 chairs for the handi-capped/elderly the rest is for standing. Is there a way that I should put up a nice poster-board sign stating that this is a wedding that is a stand up event?

Answer: Hello, and thank you for visiting my site. Having a sign on an easel during your ceremony would be fine. The only suggestion I would make is that it would be nice for your guests to know prior so they can wear comfortable shoes and know they will be standing for a bit. If you have not yet had your invitations printed I would suggest adding a line stating you are having a stand up ceremony. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Reception
Question: Hi Valerie!! Ive recently asked you about the place card holders and you've helped out a lot! Now I was wondering if you could tell me about camera table tents. I am doing my wedding in precious moments and I have searched and searched for just the table tent. But I got one thing to come up and it was with the camera already and asking $14 for one!!! Thats crazy! I was wondering if you had any idea where I can get just the table tents, without the camera too. Please help! Thanks!

Answer: Hi Jamie, I would suggest your local card stores, Hallmark carries lots of place cards. The other great place to shop for wedding items such as favors, cameras and things like that is on Ebay. I even ordered my wedding invitations on Ebay for about a fourth of the regular price. Good luck!



Category: Invitations
Question: Valerie, How do I word my invitation for the reception, sense we are not sure of the location yet? My wedding is on June 25, 2005. I have the church confirmed for the ceremony, but not for the reception, which we will have at a different location after the ceremony. Can I put "reception to follow" but not list where it is and just make an announcement at the end of the ceremony where the reception will take place?

Answer: Hello Mo and thank you for visiting my site. Reception immediately following is the perfect way to word your invitation in this case. In addition to making an announcement at the church you could also print up some flyer's with maps/directions to be handed out by ushers at your ceremony. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Reception
Question: Hi Valerie! It is okay to have everyone go to dinner after the wedding and then have like a cocktail reception. My fiance and I are having our wedding at a location specific for the wedding, and then we have a suite that we are planning on having the reception in. In an effort to cut down costs and because of the timing of the wedding (2:30 to 3:30) we were planning on having the people go to dinner and then come back to the suite for drinks and cake. Is this okay?

Answer: Hello Jimmy and thank you for visiting my site. Weddings are all over the map these days and pretty much anything goes! Your plan sounds like a lovely evening. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Ceremony
Question: Hello Valerie! I am so glad I found your site. I am having a huge dilemma with my wedding ceremony. Here is a bit of background to help you understand the problem. My biological father was not a huge part of my life growing up, but my parents stayed married until I was 14 years old. They divorced and my mother remarried. My Step-father has been a huge part of my life now for 8 years and raised me through what I think was the most important time of my life. Since my parents divorce, I now have a relationship with my biological father, but it is definately not as strong and close as with my Step-father. I would like to have my step-father walk me down the aisle and have the father/daughter dance with him, but I do not want to hurt my bio-father's feelings. So, I have decided to include him also but I just don't know how. Do I have them both walk me down the aisle and have a father/daughter dance with both? This is the one thing that I have been stressing the most with throughout the planning. I just don't know how or what to do so things are awkward. Do they both walk and me and I split the daughter/father dance in half? If so, who do I dance with first? I need some serious help. I don't know what to do, but I would like to include both. Any advice would be AMAZING! Thanks for your time! I also have a question about the wording on the invitation, but I will post that in the appropriate thread.

Answer: Hello Jana and thank you for visiting my site. I truly feel for your dilema as I had the same issue with fathers and step fathers at my own wedding. I really think you need to follow your heart with this one. There are a lot of different ways you could do it, but what I felt worked best in my situation was to have my Stepfather who I was honestly closer to walk me down the aisle and then have the first dance with my biological father. This way they were both included. I think it would also be a good idea for you to have a conversation with each of them explaining how you feel and make sure everyone is comfortable with your solution. I wish you all the best!



Category: Invitations
Question: Hi Valerie, I have a friend and she has a home, she lives with her boyfriend , How should the invatation be addressed or should each get a invatation?

Answer: Hi Brenda and thank you for visiting my site. If your friend and her boyfriend live together as a couple and are invited as a couple then one invitation with both names is appropriate. Such as: Miss Julie Brown and Mr. Joe Smith.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Hi Valerie, Please help! This is my son and future daughter inlaws 2nd wedding, on the 1st October at 10am. I was told it is informal I can wear anything. My future daughter inlaw is wearing a slack suit I dont know what her mom is wearing as she has'nt decided yet, I am wearing a olive green slack suit with a stone colour top with bag and shoes to match, please help what can my husband wear? surely not a suit.My future daughter inlaw told me guests are even wearing denim ! sounds weired to me many thanks Liz

Answer: Hi Liz and thank you for visiting my site. Your suit sounds lovely and like it will be perfect for the day. I think your husband should wear what he would be most comfortable in, perhaps just simple black slacks and a button down shirt. It sounds like this is the type of wedding that you will see everyone wearing different types of clothing, so go with what makes you and your husband feel comfortable and that make you feel like you look great!



Category: Ceremony
Question: My step-daughter is getting married at the end of next month. My husband found out this week that she has chosen her mother to walk her down the aisle. My husband is crushed. My step daughter told him that even though he was there for her, her mother was there for her more. My step daughter is now 29. When she was two, her mother sent my husband packing when she liked her new boyfriend better. My husband always visited his daughter at the appointed times and called her often. He paid more than was normally required for support. He always thought he was there for her. He has been invited to the wedding and the reception but now really doesn't know whether he should go or not because he feels that his ex-wife may choose that time to even embarass him more. What do you suggest?

Answer: Hello Amy and thank you for visiting my site. I am sorry to hear that your husbands feelings are hurt over his daughters choice. Honestly I do think the bride should have things the way she wants them but I do understand this can be painful for others. Is there any way you could all have a family discussion and perhaps have both parents walk the bride down the aisle? Weddings are truly a time for estranged family members to set their differences aside and be there for the bride and groom. Good luck to you!



Category: Ceremony
Question: Hi, My question pertains to the wedding ceremony. I am going on vacation to the beach next summer and I hav always dreamed of being married on the beach, but I also want a church wedding. Can I have a small civil ceremony on the beach with just my immediate family and then the following spring have a church wedding with normal wedding vows? Or would it have to be a renewal of the vows? The ceremony on the beach would not be a religious ceremony.

Answer: Hello, and thank you for visiting my site. There is no reason at all that you may not have two ceremony's. Many couples do this when they grew up in different parts of the country or perhaps have family overseas or far away. Some couples also marry before they can save enough for the large ceremony and reception and remarry up to several years later when they can afford the wedding they desire. Good luck to you and congratulations!



Category: Ceremony
Question: The Location I picked for my wedding is a dream. I found it on a naval base and booked the site. The place gave us two week before a deposit was due nine days after booking the place we tried to pay the deposit and they told me the date had already been booked and taken. What am I supposed do now? They do not have anymore Saturdays avaliable and it was the perfect date not to mention my announcements have already been ordered. now I have to have the date changed. Any advice?

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. I am very sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately unless you have a signed contract and have already given a deposit, you have very little recourse. This actually happens quite frequently in our industry. The facility may have gotten a higher dollar piece of business and decided to take it, or they may have just made an error and booked over your date as it was still tentative because there was not deposit. My advice is to make a big fuss! You probably can not get the date you wanted now because they have booked over you, but if this is really the site of your dreams consider changing your date and making them make it up to you. They know that they made a mistake. If you have copies and can prove you printed your announcements they should pay to have them redone with a new date. Since they have inconvenienced you so greatly they should also be willing to give you a discount if you can select a new date. I would try for a minimum of 10%. This is definitely a case of “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”. Ask to speak with upper management if necessary and let them know how unhappy you are. They do not want bad word of mouth and they also still want your business. Good luck to you, I hope you get your dream location and that they compensate you for your trouble.



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: Hi Valerie, My fiance's cousin asked him to be in his wedding as a groomsmen, however, my fiance's cousins bride to be didn't ask me to be a bridesmaid. is this disrespectful to me and he's dancing with other bridesmaids. please help me this is affecting our relationship because we don't see eye to eye. Thanks, Concerned

Answer: Hello Catrina and thank you for visiting my site. If your fiance is close to his cousin but you are not close to the bride to be, then it is not at all unusual for half of a couple to be in the wedding party. It is not at all disrespectful to you as far as I am concerned. A wedding is all about the bride and groom, not the guests. Dancing is nothing that should interfere with a couples relationship, especially at an event such as a wedding, it's not the same as if he was out clubbing without you.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hello Valerie, My parents are paying for a significant portion of my wedding. My fiance's parents may or may not chip in, and my finace and I are covering the rest of the costs. Recently my fiance had a disagreement with my parents about the guest list. My parents feel that guests should be invited that may be related to either the bride or the groom, but that may not have a personal relationship with us. My fiance feels that these guests should not be invited, and that the guests that are invited should know one of us personally. He told my parents that the bride's side could do this, but he personally would not allow his parents to invite anyone that he didn't know well enough to have a conversation with. First of all, I tend to agree with my parents that the our wedding is a celebration for them as well, and that they should be able to share this day with others. I tend to disagree that they get involved with my fiance's decision to only include people he knows very well. What are your suggestions? I really want everyone to get along and for the process to go as smoothly as possible. I don't want there to be any problems between my parents and my faince, especially since I currently have a very strong relationship with both.

Answer: Hello Amanda and thank you for visiting my site. Yikes, sorry about your situation. Lot's of couples go through things like this with family in planning a wedding. Since your parents are contributing a large portion of money to the wedding they do have a right to have a say about the guest list. I also agree that your fiance should be able to deal with his own parents as he sees fit. I think the most important thing would be to keep communication open and let your fiance know how important it is to you that no bad feelings are created.



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: Hi Valerie, My son is getting married in October. My problem is that his mother & I are seperated and not talking to each other. What would the etiquette regarding keeping us away from each other be? Or should I just make a token appearence or not attend at all? I want this to be as enjoyable & stress free as possible to all. Thanks much for your input.

Answer: Hello Bob and thank you for visiting my site. I am sure your son wants both you and his mother to attend the very special event. This is not at all an unusual situation and my recommendation is that both you and his mother just make the best of it. There is no reason you have to spend time together at the wedding, but I think your son would be hurt if you did not go. My opinion is that the parents should set their personal feelings for each other aside for this day and just be there for the son. Good luck!



Category: Music & DJ
Question: I need a song for the father daughter dance, problem my father had been out of my life for 30 years and has since returned. we are trying to work things out, he is giving me away and i need a song for the reception, something that is not sentimental but yet appropriate. any suggestions

Answer: Hi Rita and thank you for visiting my site. I would suggest going through some song lists on the Internet and finding a song about a special woman making her way through life or something that touches you personally but does not necessarily go into the relationship with your father. Perhaps something from the "Sinatra" era would be appropriate, easy to dance to but not getting to personal about the father/daughter relationship.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Valerie, my husband and I eloped Sep 2005, we didn't tell anyone and were just going to have our ceremony be a vow renewal (with only the close family members knowing is was a renewal) I'am realizing this is hard to keep from my friends and the rest of my family.....we are planning on having our ceremony/reception Aug 2007.....Would it be wrong to tell people that we eloped here in Hawaii. These are things we should have thought about before, but now we are in this mess. My family was already very hurt that we did not include them in the ceremony and I don't want to hurt anyone else by telling them that we were hitched a year ago. It just seems like it would be smoother and easier to send out announcements that we eloped now, and that we will be having a vow renewal later. Is any of this wrong??? I almost don't even want to plan a wedding, but my husband and I have always wanted a wedding, and we know we will regret it if we don't.

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. Congratulations on your union! I don't see anything wrong with your plans or the way you have done things thus far. It seems no matter how a couple plans their wedding someone is going to be miffed over something. My advice is to proceed with your plans as the two of you wish and not be overly concerned about the opinions of friends and family. A couples wedding is a very personal and special occassion and is not about what other people think or want. Take care and best of luck to you!



Category: Ceremony
Question: hi valerie, i'm having a little problem in the siting of the reception my fiancee and i want to seat by ourself but his mother says that it doen't look right, that the groom's man and the brieds maids have to seat with us i don't have a problem with it but I know that there parners have to seat with them and i realy don't like the best mans girldfriend and i don't want her in the main table, but the best man is my boyfriends brother. what can I do if I don't want her to seating with us and not make my boyfriends mom mad as well.

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. Actually it is very popular now for the wedding couple to have what is called a "Sweetheart Table" for just the two of them. The bridal party is then seated at a special table close to them. If you really want to have a table just for the bridal party, then my suggestion would be to not include any spouses or signifcant others and only have the bridal party seated at the head table. This is a very traditional way of seating them. You are only at the head table for a brief period of time during dinner, and then everyone can join their respective partners.



Category: Vendors
Question: What do I need to know when hiring a DJ?

Answer: When looking for a DJ I recommend that you visit several before making your decision. There are many types of DJ’s and this is one of the vendors that the personality really matters. It is important that you like and are comfortable with this person. Make sure that they are listening to what you want for your music and not going off with their own ideas of what would make a fun party. Prepare of list of special songs ahead of time to make sure they can acquire them for you. Traditionally your DJ will act as kind of an MC for your reception, so you want this person to be charismatic and have a good sense of humor. DJ’s also vary a great deal in price structure, so check a few out before making a decision.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hi Valerie, I'm getting married in August and I'm trying to figure out the correct etiquette for wording on my invitations. My mother passed away 7 years ago and my dad got remarried 4 years ago. My stepmom is wonderful and has contributed immensely to my wedding, but I want to include my mom's name on the invitations as well. Can you help me with how I could mention both of them properly? Thank you!

Answer: Hi Aimee and thank you for visiting my site. Usually when a parent is gone they are mentioned in a program or as part of a memorial toast at the wedding. If you want your mom's name to be in the invitation, the only thing I can think of is to have it printed after your name. So an example would be "Aimee Jones, Daughter of Mary jones and Joe Smith along with their parents or of course listing the two sets of parents. I hope this helps and best wishes.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hello Valerie, What is the etiquette on wearing your wedding gown at a post wedding reception? Thanks

Answer: Hello Elsa and thank you for visiting my site. Lot's of couples have multiple events attached to their weddings and there is nothing wrong with wearing your gown more than once for a post wedding function.



Category: Ceremony
Question: My mother and father are deceased. My fiance is basically related to the lower half of Florida. Needless to say we are doing away with the traditional bride side/groom side. But, would it be in bad taste to drape two chairs and "dress" them, and place a picture of my mother and father on them? They would have been so happy to have been a part of this day. My fiance asked my son to be his best man and my daughter wants to by a bridesmaid so I will only have my sister sitting in the crowd. Also, my fiance does not want to invite his mother (ok by me) but his father and his wife will be there on "the grooms" side so I was wondering if this would be wrong to do, my parents pictures, because I know they will be there in spirit. Also, who could I ask to walk me down the aisle? I truely have no one. Could I ask his father?, or would it be more appropriate to walk alone (this could be a problem as I am blind and would need my cane). HELP!

Answer: Hello Sandra and thank you for visiting my site. I have had many couples over the years who have lost one or both parents and done exactly as you are thinking about for their wedding receptions. You could either have a special placesetting for them at the table with your sister or I have had a lot of clients set up a special memorabilia table with photos and items that either belonged to or were special to their parents. I think this is a lovely sentiment. If you have a close relationship to your fiances father it would be very sweet to ask him to walk with you down the aisle, if not...you would probably be more comfortable asking a close friend or perhaps having your daughter escort you. Best wishes and good luck!



Category: Ceremony
Question: I am having a private ceromony and reception. I plan on having a big party afetr ther honeymoon. How do i go about justifing my actions so i dont upset others? and how to word invations to the party?

Answer: Hello Jessica and thank you for visiting my site. This is pretty easy, your invitations should indicate that you are inviting your guests to celebrate your marriage of 00/00/00 (whatever date you got married) and go about it as a normal wedding reception. Congratulations!



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: HI VALERIE! My stepdaughter is getting married and does not sound so far like she is having my two children in her wedding. They are old enough, in college, actually,my son and daughter. I have been married to her father for over a year and been together six years. The kids have nto done much together over the years, however, now they are stepbrother and stepsister to the bride-to-be. Do you think she should have my children IN the wedding party? I was thinking she would ask them, but it sounds like she is nto thinking about that end of it and only having them IN it, and asking my sonto do the pictures.(he does some wedding photos on the side, however, I don't think he wants to do FAMILY photos as he did not pursue doing her engagement picture. )Help! What do I do? Do I butt in and tell her she should have my kids in the wedding, or keep my mouth shut as it is after all, her wedding, not mine! help again!

Answer: Hello Debbie and thank you for visiting my website. I have to say my feeling is you should not tell your stepdaughter who to have in her bridal party. Even siblings who grow up together with the same mom and dad don't always select one another to be in the bridal party. I think the couple should select the people they most want to stand up with them and not be pressured by traditional do's and don't's about weddings. I also would not ask your son to take pictures, if he wants to he will offer. I think you should just let her move forward with her plans and try to have a wonderful time at the event.



Category: Food
Question: Hi Valerie, I am the bride-to-be and first off I just wanted to ask if I wear an ivory dress, should my isle runner be ivory or white? Secondly, I'd like to give some depth to my reception area and was wondering if it would be okay to have ivory tableclothes and napkins with white china? Or possibly Ivory table clothes with white napkins? Is this okay, or just silly?

Answer: Hello, and thank you for visiting my site. Color questions are always kind of a personal preference kind of thing, but I personally think white and ivory make a nice contrast together. I say go with what you think looks good, there are no rules about color.



Category: Vendors
Question: How do I make sure my vendors do a good job?

Answer: When looking for the people to help you with your special day, always see 2 or 3 of each before making a decision. I have found that couples who are comfortable with the people they have hired and like them are usually happier with the results. Sometimes you may have a vendor who was referred to you or perhaps a family friend...but make sure the people you hire are accommodating to your needs and what you want for your wedding. So often the pressure from family or friends or other outside influences leads couples to make selections that are not really right for them. It is most important that you are comfortable and happy with your decisions so that you can relax and feel confident on your big day.



Category: Etiquette
Question: I live in a small town where everyone knows everyone else. If I want a small private wedding, do I have to invite everyone who gave me a party or can I have a large engagement party or a party some time after the wedding to include these folks?

Answer: Hello, and thank you for visiting my site. My feeling is that your wedding should be just as you want it and there are no specific rules. Budget is always a great reason to give people as to why you are keeping your wedding small. If you are able to include them in a party of some sort prior or after that is just an added bonus! Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Reception
Question: is it tacky to have my moms fiance and my father be presented at the reception? how would you announce them when they walk in? i would like them all to be announced and walk together, they all get along well. how would i present them?????

Answer: Hello Michelle and thank you for visiting my site. It is not the least bit tacky to announce your mom's fiance at your reception. You are lucky they get along well and this should not cause any drama for anyone. I would suggest having the DJ or MC announce them into the room as "Michelle's mother ______ and her fiance ______. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Ceremony
Question: Hi Valerie! I'm getting married in 12 days and I have a bit of dilemma. The person who was going to be playing the music at my ceremony fell through. I am ok with and actually prefer using music from a disk at the ceremony. However, my mom is convinced that this is tacky and will "look bad." Now she has my paranoid because I want my big day to be as perfect as possible. Any advice?

Answer: Hi Tiffany and thank you for visiting my site. There is nothing at all wrong with having your music on a CD, lot's of people use them. Sometimes it's even better because a live musician can mess up or have sound system problems and that won't happen with recorded music. Enjoy your day!



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: my son, and future daughter in-law, are soon to be wed. I just recently learned that she has invited by ex-husbands wife to join us on the wedding day with the wedding day to join the brides mother along with the bridesmaids, and me to be at the church earlier so we can all get ready for the wedding together. this makes me a little uncomfortable being that she has not really been close to my son, and that when he went to stay with her and his dad she was always very mean a manipulative to him. He says he doesn't see her much now and that when he does see his dad it's usually when she isn't around. She did not even attend his highschool graduation. I also have a problem with the fact that she is going to be escorted down the aisle along with me the grooms mother and the brides mother. Is this usually the practice for stepparents or should she already be seated and only the true parents be escorted down the isle. I could understand if they were close, and if she treated him fairly, but that has never been the case. She has always tried to be controlling and anytime his dad tries to help him with money or finance he has to hide it from her or she complains, even though the are always helping out her children or grandchildren. I just feel a little jilted that I raised him from the time he was 3 until he was 15, and now he is getting married and I'm suppose to share the limelite with her. Neverminding that the brides biological father and his wife is coming to the wedding but they are not being reconized at all because she says that she doesn't talk to them. I think that kind of sounds like a double standard. Please help! Am I being oversensative?

Answer: Hi Trudy, and thank you for visiting my site. It does not sound like you are being over sensitive and I am wondering if you have voiced your concerns to the bride and groom? It seems like she should come from a place of understanding about this situation and if you talk to her it may be easily solved. I would guess she is trying to be polite and do the right thing and may not know how you feel about it. I think you should talk to her and your son together and since your son is not close to his stepmother they may actually be relieved. Good Luck!



Category: Ceremony
Question: My fiance and I are in our 30's. We are planning a nice reception of about 75 people, however our ceremony is an issue. My fiance is very shy and would like the two of us to marry in a private ceremony before the reception. How do I announce and invite people to the reception? Can I still wear a wedding dress? Please advise when you, this has turned into a huge family issue. Thank you!

Answer: Hello…and thank you for visiting my site. It is quite acceptable to invite guests to a reception only. You would invite them to celebrate your marriage and it is also perfectly acceptable to wear a wedding dress if this is your choice. You invitation specialist can be very helpful with different choices on the wording for the invitations. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: My daughter has just gotten engaged. They would like to get married in Febuary of 08. My niece is also getting married , but in May of 08. Is it wrong for my daughter to set her date before my niece has her wedding? My niece had to wait until they could get the Church for the wedding, because of a waiting list, we have no problem getting the date for my daughter's wedding. Should my in-laws be upset?

Answer: Hello Lisa and thank you for visiting my site. My apologies for the delay in response, the alert from my website that tells me when I have questions has not worked for serveral weeks and I was unaware the questions were building up. I see nothing wrong with your daughter selecting the date she wants. Why would two weddings in one year be an issue? I can't understand why this should upset anyone.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Hi Valerie, My dress is ivory, can the ring pillow, flower girl basket etc. be white. The wedding party colors are red and black. Thanks for your time.

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. White and Ivory compliment each other nicely. If you like the combination there is nothing wrong with mixing the two colors. Congratulations and Good Luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: My daughter is having a very small wedding, 20 people in all. She has asked me to be her matron of honor. I am touched and honored. I would not stand up with her during the ceremony, but will sit next to my husband as she & her husband-to-be say their vows. Is this ok to do?

Answer: Hello Lynn and thank you for visiting my site. It is lovely that you are going to be part of your daughters wedding. I'm not sure I understand your question...would you rather not stand during the ceremony? Is that what you are asking? Either way is fine as long as you are both comfortable with it.



Category: Vendors
Question: How do you address an invitation to a pastor and his wife if I am not getting married in a church but he is officiating our ceremony?

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. The correct way to address the invitation is to: Pastor and Mrs. (last name). It is also appropriate to give your pastor a verbal invitation to join you at the reception since he will be performing the ceremony.



Category: Invitations
Question: My fiance and I are getting married April '06 and we know that we want to have the wedding in Las Vegas. Or dilemma is that we want everyone to go that can afford to in leau of any gifts. The question I have is, When should we send out invitations that will provide enough time for our guests to save money to go to Vegas as well? Do we just spread the word as to when we're going then send out invitations a few months before as normal?

Answer: Hi Tori and thank you for visiting my site. I would say you should allow some extra time for your invitations, perhaps 3 months rather than the traditional 6-8 weeks. Definitely spread the word in the meantime and let your friends and family know that their presence is their present :)



Category: Ceremony
Question: Is it ok to have 2 maid/matrons of honor? I have a dear friend whom I have not seen in years, but still chat with online. I have been married once before, but she was my hostess in that wedding. Long complicated story... so, is it ok?

Answer: Hi Katherine and thank you for visiting my site. Sure it's okay to have two maids/matrons of honor. I always tell my brides to have their weddings just the way the want them. With all the diversity in families these days bridal parties have changed a lot. Old traditions just simply don't apply in a lot of cases. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: Is is in bad taste to have guests stand outside gazebo for the ceremony? The parents will be seated inside.

Answer: Hi Janie and thank you for visiting my site. No, it's not in bad taste if only the parents are inside the gazebo. It would be wrong to have some guests inside and some guests outside, but not if it is just the parents and bridal party. Sometimes that is all space permits.



Category: Ceremony
Question: Hello Valerie. I'm having a beach wedding on Sept. 4th. My wedding dress is ivory and the bridesmaid dresses are peridot. If the groomsmen wear white shirts will this make my ivory dress look dirty? I'm also stumped about another accent color, flowers, and if my linens should match my ivory dress or just stay white? HELP ME!!! Thanks Valerie, this website is so helpful!!

Answer: Hi Alison and thank you for visiting my site. Your ivory dress will not appear dirty if the groomsman are in white. I am always a big fan of ivory flowers and linens, white makes everything look very stark and too bright whereas ivory tends to soften everything. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hello Valerie, My daugher and her fiancé decided to marry (5/5/06) in Hawaii, because he was to deploy less than 3 weeks for six months. They had a ceremony on the beach with a few friends (no family) in attendance followed by a small, informal reception. Now that deployments are behind them for a few years, we would like to have their marriage blessed in front of family and friends here on the East Coast. Is this acceptable? Can she wear the wedding dress of her dreams and have her father escort her down the aisle? Can we have a reception? How would we word the Save the Date and invitation so as not to confuse?

Answer: Hello Janet and thank you for visiting my site. My apologies for the delay in response, the alert from my website that tells me when I have questions has not worked for serveral weeks and I was unaware the questions were building up. I think it would be just lovely for your family to have a wedding celebration and this is perfectly acceptable. The wording is simple, "join us to celebrate the marriage of..." or some variation of that.



Category: Ceremony
Question: My younger sister is getting married in May. She is 13 years younger than me and 15 years younger than my brother. Our mother died over 20 years ago and I have been a surrogate mom to her. Our dad is 82 years old and walks very slow with a walker. Originally we were thinking of having my brother and I walk her down the aisle and have my dad up front. But now my brother is going to be a groomsmen and my sister wants dad to be with her going down the aisle. What is your thought about my sister holds hands with my dad who would be in a wheel chair and I push dad down the aisle. Or should Dad be up front and I walk her alone down the aisle. We want it to be tasteful but yet included important people in her life. Thank you

Answer: Hi Pat and thank you for visiting my site. I really think the most important thing in this situation is to include the people your sister loves and wants in her wedding. The idea of having you push your dad in the wheelchair is perfect! This is totally tasteful and will include him and yourself in a very special way. I'm sure it will be beautiful!



Category: Reception
Question: Valerie, My mother is getting remarried to her boyfriend of seven years. They have both been married two times before. I am having a surprise reception with friends and colleagues for them. I have been asked by two different people what they can get her and her fiancé? I have trouble with this because they both own homes and have just about everything they need. Someone suggested a wishing well; is this proper etiquette for their third marriage? They are to marry in three weeks and I as everyone else didn't get alot of notice to set this reception up but have fared quite well in location and amount of people coming. Please let me know as soon as you can because to me this is a delicate question and I want to be able to answer it respectfully and should I put this in the invitations? Thanks for your site it looks great. Amber Falck

Answer: Hi Amber and thank you for visiting my site. I think a wishing well for envelopes would be very appropriate in this situation. I doubt your mom and her fiancé would really expect gifts at all, especially since the reception is a surprise. I would just let your guests know that gifts are not expected but a card box will be available.



Category: Ceremony
Question: How do we choose a location for our wedding?

Answer: The two most important things to consider when selecting your site are budget and the kind of ambience and environment you envision for your big day. The internet is an excellent source of wedding venues, so spend some time looking around on sites to see what you like. Before you begin making any of your selections have your budget in mind. Keep in mind you may be able to save a few dollars if you select a Friday or Sunday as opposed to a Saturday night. Lunch time receptions can also save you. Have a picture in your mind of what you want the place to look like and check out several locations. It is also important that you like and are comfortable with the facility manager or coordinator. You will be depending on this person for a lot, so make sure you trust them and feel they will do a good job for you.



Category: Reception
Question: I am filming a friend's wedding ceremony and the following reception. I was wondering if you could help me out with the questions that I could ask guests of the reception.

Answer: Hi Jay and thank you for visiting my site. Usually when a friend or family member is video taping guest remarks for a wedding the guests just start talking and giving well wishes to the bride and groom. The comments are generally kept short and don't go in to a lot of detail. Things like "Hi Michael and Mary, wishing you all the best, love you guys..." If you want to make the tape more elaborate I would suggest general questions such as: How long have you known the bride and groom? What is your relationship? What would you like to say to them on their special day? Things like that. Good luck to you and I'm sure it will be a great video!



Category: Ceremony
Question: My fiance is a USMC quadriplegic veteran, age 38. His first wedding, my second. We met when we were 13. He desires a intimate beach wedding (Florida). His injury is non service related but he would like to wear his dress blues. We only plan on about 40 people. We need ideas for the attire (beach) ceremony and rception. (funds are very tight) We have written our own vows as well as personalized the ring ceremony. Any ideas will be helpful.

Answer: Hi Cindi and thank you for visiting my site. Are you looking for attire ideas for your attendants? If so with an informal beach wedding your could dress the groomsmen in white or ivory slacks with casual button down shirts and the girls in simple sun dresses. This would be pretty and cost effective. There are so few restrictions on attire, you can really do whatever you think would look nice. If you want to be sure and keep it informal I would suggest indicating this on your invitations as well. You can put something like "This is an informal occassion" at the bottom of the invites. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: hi valerie, my son is getting married soon. he is 28 and is having his brother who is 18 as his best man. since is brother is young he has also asked his lifelong friend to be his best man also so he can plan the bachelor party. how can we announce them his brother would be best man and as of now we are saying his friend is the honorary best man. i'm not sure if that is the proper way to say it. can you think of anything else? we are having an engagement party and will be introducing the wedding party and i just don't know what to call them. thanks

Answer: Hi Nancy and thank you for visiting my site. I think you have come up with a creative and effective way of introducing both "best men" and it sounds just fine. Another option would be to simply state there are two best men.



Category: Ceremony
Question: My daughter and her fiance are in their late 30's; she is doing Post Doctoral work(earning 45K and soon to be over 100K) and he has a job in the corporate world with a resonable income (75-90 K).His mom expects the brides family to pay for wedding. I am 64, a realtor earning no money. I personally believe that after having paid for a goodly portion of my daughters' living expenses without the help of her mom (we are divorced) and given their age and income potential, it is just not right to expect me to pay for their wedding. What do you think?

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. Honestly, in this day and age and particularly with this economy very few of my couples have their entire wedding paid for by either set of parents. The majority of couples have help from both sets of parents and put forth a good portion of the money if not all of the money themselves. I think it is perfectly reasonable to give your daughter a set amount of what you can contribute and let she and her fiance decide how they want to proceed. Good luck!



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Hi Val I am getting married in Sept 09 garden style event, after pictures and dinning I would like to change out of my dress and put on beautiful linen pants suit is this ok??

Answer: Hi Again Tracy, it is just fine to change during the reception. Lot's of my brides I work with do this either for cultural reasons or to set a different mode after the formal reception details are done.



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: Dear Valerie, I am a first time bride and I face a tough issue. My father passed away in 2003, and more recently my Grandfather passed away in late 2008. I was wondering how I could go about setting a memorial of sorts for both of them at my wedding without seeming to morbid. Please, if you have any ideas on this, let me know. Thank you, Bria

Answer: Hello Brianna and thank you for visiting my site. Lot’s of my brides face this dilemma when they want to honor someone at their wedding who is no longer with us. A simple way to do this would be to have photographs of them perhaps at your placecard table with a brief note honoring their memory. You could also have your DJ or MC have a moment of prayer if that is appropriate within your religious beliefs. This is not morbid in any way and should not bring down the mood of your reception while at the same time allowing for everyone to remember loved ones who have passed.



Category: Reception
Question: how could a friend handle this situation. two days or so after her engagement their daughter started planning a wedding for next year. within a week or two she had mother and he siblings running to look at dresses, venues and caterers. The bridesmaids sister are from out of town and came in to go shopping for dresses. They chose a dress a neutral color because the bride had picked such vibrant colors. The groom or someone evidently commented on the color and that's when the fight began. they were told to go and pick out another neutral color. They declined to oblige and told the bride to pick it out but not before much anguish. then the back biting began. one thing after another. the couple has no funds to sponsor this wedding so the brides parents offered to sponsor up to a certain amount. If it went under that amount they'd get the extra cash. Well it was like hell broke loose. within one week a hall and deposit was made. the bride wanted to order the dress which had to be paid in full over !000.00 and the caterer was visited. The parents were expected to foot all of this in one month. Mind you the parents are retired on a fixed income. Next delimna. The bride makes a remark that she's afraid her parents are taking control of the guest list. MInd you there are no invited of the parents. Now there's a big tadoo because the parents requested that a few of biological relative be invited and 3 close friends. There were only 3 friends of ours that were one the list, yet the groom has uncles and cousins coming. The bride also wanted the mother to pay for her gown a year in advance. however she declined. Then the bride went to another shop and found yet another dress that she preferred. The bride got snotty when my friend commented to her "I'm glad we did't order the other dress". The bride retorted well had you , I wouldn't have gone to look for more! How does one end all of this nightmare? Everyone is fed up with her bridzilla antics. She's even threatened to cancel the wedding and elope to escape the drama. she refuses to see that she's the problem!

Answer: Hello Maven and thank you for visiting my site. Too much drama for me :) I would suggest to anyone to just stay out of it!



Category: Invitations
Question: The groom's mother died when he was young and his father remarried. His step mother raised him from a young age together with his father. The father died, before the groom was out of high school. So, both parents are dead, and the step-mother never remarried. He calls her "mom", as she was the one who raised him. He does not want to disrespect the step mom, but wants to include the late mother and father in the engagement announcement and the verbage of the wedding invitation. Please help with the correct wording for this unusual situation. Thanks much.

Answer: Hello…and thank you for visiting my site. I have seen this type of family dynamic on several invitations. There are different ways it can be set up and the invitation specialist can give you many suggestions. Something along the lines of: Bob Jones together with his parents, Bill Jones, Mary Jones and Stepmother Mary Smith…this will acknowledge that all 3 are considered parents.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Hi Valerie, so glad to know your service is here. Thank you in advance. I am wearing an ivory gown. We want the wedding party to wear red and black which are our old high school colors. Big question is - can the flower girl basket, ring pillow, favor organza bags etcetera be white? I already have a few white things that were given to me. or Do you think I need to get a white dress? Thanks for your time.

Answer: Hello again, one more thing....ivory looks better on almost everyone than white, I would stick with your ivory gown, but again mixing the whites in is no problem. Take care.



Category: Reception
Question: 2 of my children are planning to marry in separate ceremonies and would like to combine their receptions. Could you provide any guidelines on how this should be done? 1 couple plan to marry in May the other a few weeks later in June. Thank you

Answer: Hi Wendy and thank you for visiting my site. Wow! What a terrific idea...It makes so much sense. I would suggest having the reception on a different weekend than either of the ceremonies. The wording on the invitations should indicate the date of the reception and perhaps an additional line indicating "in conjunction with the reception of my sister/brother and his or her fiancé who will marry on 1/1/1" I might also be a good idea to have a separate simple invitation made for the reception for both couples to have the guests keep as a reminder. The reception itself could be just as any other traditional reception with the exception of having two head tables, two toasts from the best men etc...even the wedding cake could be combined if the couples agree on the style. Congratulations and good luck with your plans.



Category: Ceremony
Question: Hi Valerie! I have just become engaged. This will be the third time for us both. We are in our 50's, have grown kids, but want to have something small and memorable. What do you suggest?

Answer: Hi Cecilia and Congratulations! I think no matter how many times you marry, what your age is or if you have grown kids or not you should have the wedding the two of you want to share together. If you are keeping it small you might consider doing one of the package Vegas weddings. These are very cost effective and still beautiful and it will give your guests a fun weekend away as well as attending your wedding. I highly reccomend "Victorias Chapel" and it is truly a one stop shop. Whatever you decide I wish you all the best!



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: my fiancé is in the service, and he doesn't get sent overseas right after his AIT graduation, then we're planning on getting married. The trouble with that is that we probably won't know if he's granted a leave until about a month in advance. Is there anywhere i can get invitations ordered without the dates printed so my bridesmaids and i can handwrite them as soon as we're notified of his leave? I mean, i could get them rush-printed, but we're on a tight budget and i was wondering if there was anything cheaper to do, like that kind of invitation.

Answer: Hi Kristen and thank you for visiting my site. I think the perfect answer for you is to order your invitations online on ebay. You can design them yourself or the seller will assist you and they have some of the best prices I have seen. I personally ordered almost all of my wedding accessories including my invitations on ebay and had great luck with all aspects of the transactions. Congratulations to you and good luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: My boyfriend and I decided to get married at the courthouse - I am not interested in having a big ceremony and reception. He is from Australia and getting married will help him get reesidency and help us a great deal. In a couple years we'd like to go to Australia and celebrate. But in the meantime, what do I tell friends and relatives? Will they want to give gifts? Should we announce getting married? How? What advice can you offer?

Answer: Hi Laurie, Thank you for visiting my site. Nothing wrong at all with getting married at the courthouse, you are saving yourself a ton of money and stress! You can order wedding announcements the same way you oder wedding invitations through many resources. Hallmark, Wedding Shops, the internet, etc..You should send the announcements out stating the date you and your fiance were married. They will have examples for you to look at for the wording. Some people will probably send you gifts on their own as a matter of choice, but it is also okay to register somewhere and include that on the annoucement. If you do that you will recieve a higher percentage of friends and family sending you a gift. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: My mother-inlaw and father-inlaw to be do not get along. He is remarried and wants to help us financially with the wedding, but he has a limit. She says she cannot afford to help us that much, but is constantly volunteering his money. I feel like I am caught in the middle. My parents are helping us the most. Although my fiancé and I are paying for the majority of the wedding. It seems to have become a contest with my future inlaws. His mother has been really mean to me lately and it is causing so much stress for everyone. How can I get things back on track so the wedding doesn't end up in Vegas like my fiancé wants?

Answer: Hi Cece and thank you for visiting my site. Family issues tend to come up a lot when planning weddings. It is a very emotional time for a lot of reasons. The only suggestion I really have is to be honest with everyone involved and let them know their behavior is making you uncomfortable and unhappy. I am sure that no one wants to spoil your wedding and if you let them know that's what they are doing perhaps they will stop. Good Luck to you!



Category: Ceremony
Question: I'm Presbyterian and my fiance is Lutheran... who's church do we get married in?

Answer: Hi Wendy and thank you for visiting my site. This is a very personal question and I think depends on how you and your fiance feel about your churches. If both churches will marry you then does one or the other of you have stronger feelings about being married in a church of your religion? If you can not decide that way, you might consider getting married in a non-denominational venue by a non-denominational officiant and incorporate whatever parts of your religions are important to each of you. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Ceremony
Question: Do you have to renew you wedding vows on the day you got married?

Answer: Hi Nicole and thank you for visiting my site. I am not sure I understand your question, but I can tell you that once you are married there is no need to renew your vows unless you wish to do so.



Category: Invitations
Question: on the printed invitation, when the step father is not listed;how do you list the mothers name? Would you use her first name, or Mrs.(husbands name)?

Answer: Hello Barbara and thank you for visiting my site. Either listing is fine, example "Mary Jones" or "Mrs. Mary Jones" it should be consistant with how the other names are listed.



Category: Ceremony
Question: Was it wrong for the exsister-in-law, daughter and her boyfriend of the grooms parents to walk down the aisle and seat themselves after the parents were seated and the groom and the groomsmen were already in place for the ceremony?

Answer: Yes, they should have waited to be ushered to a seat in the back as it sounds like they were late.



Category: Ceremony
Question: Valerie, I have been divorced for 13 years and my daughter is getting married in three weeks. We have been very close to each other. Her dad is not helping with the expenses and will be at the wedding. She wants me to walk her down the isle, will that be okay?

Answer: Hi Sharon and thank you for visiting my site. Anything your daughter wants on her special day is Okay! It is all about her and if she wants you to walk her down the aisle then I say do so with pride and enjoy yourself.



Category: Etiquette
Question: whAT IS PROPER ATTIRE FOR A PREGNANT WOMEN TO WEAR TO A WEDDING IN THE THIRD TRIMESTER. a SUNDAY MORNING WEDDING.

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. I think the most important aspect for a woman in her third trimester is that she is comfortable. As long as you look nice and feel good in what you are wearing I would say just about anything is appropriate.



Category: Etiquette
Question: my 29 year son has just gotten enjaged, which i am delighted to hear. my concern is my daughter (is little sister) was killed in a car accident on aug 21,2006. we are nit sure how we can include her memoery in the wedding & all that goes with it. any advice is welcome. thank you

Answer: Hello Donna and thank you for visiting my site. My apologies for the delay in response, the alert from my website that tells me when I have questions has not worked for serveral weeks and I was unaware the questions were building up. This is such a personal situation and decision it is difficult for me to answer...I do have a couple of suggestions. One way to honor your daughter is to include something in the blessing prior to dinner being served if you plan on having one. Another thing people often do is to include something in the program that is given to guests at the ceremony. "In Memory of...etc, I am sorry for your loss and wish you all the best.



Category: Music & DJ
Question: i would like to know if lost in this moment by big and rich would be a good song to walk down the aile to?

Answer: Hello Kristin and thank you for visiting my site. My apologies for the delay in response, the alert from my website that tells me when I have questions has not worked for serveral weeks and I was unaware the questions were building up. I am sorry but I am not familiar with this song...I do think you should choose any song you want to walk down the aisle to if that helps at all.



Category: Etiquette
Question: We have a dilemma in planning my daughters wedding/reception. The church we are members at frowns at dancing at the receptions. This would be very offensive to many people there. However, neither my daughter, her fiance' nor both families have a problem with it. My daughter and her fiance' want dancing at the reception. My daughter wants to make everyone happy. It seems we are in a no win situation. If we have wedding at a different venue (with a stranger marrying them) and invite everyone and let them choose to come or not we will still offend people because they wont understand why she isn't getting married at her church she is active in and probably hurting the pastors feelings too (who is a very loving person) My daughter doesn't like the idea of having the ceremony at a different venue. Her "idea wedding" would be at her church with the reception following including everyone, but because of the dancing involved this would not be acceptable and because of church rules, the pastor would probably not be allowed to marry them or us use the church. The only solution I could think of would be to have two receptions. Would it be wrong to have two receptions. One in the basement with finger food, dessert etc and then later that day, by special invitation, still have a sit down dinner followed by dancing at a different venue for family and close out of town friends (who would not be offended by the dancing)? We are trying to make everyone happy and include everyone, but still have what my daughter wants. Any help or thoughts will be much appreciated! We need to know what is etiquette.

Answer: Hello…and thank you for visiting my site. This is actually a pretty common issue based on different religions and cultures for a lot of people. Your solution is what most people do, have the ceremony and light reception at church followed by an “after party” for those guests who are okay with dancing and/or drinking depending. This does involve some additional cost but is the most effective way to ensure that your daughter and family are able to enjoy all of the aspects they would like for her special day. Good luck and best wishes!



Category: Etiquette
Question: I am a 32-year-old woman who has never been married. My significant other is 41-years-old and has been married before (he is a man). I have a 10-year-old daughter from a brief previous relationship and we have a five-year-old son together. We have been together for 7 years and living together for 6. He has been a father to my daughter since she has been 3. Marriage was never a big issue for us --he had a very bad divorce. Now we would like to tie the knot. I would like a traditional wedding, only toned down. What is the proper etiquette for are unique situation?

Answer: Hi Tracy and thank you for visiting my site. What a wonderful happy story you have! Weddings today are so very diverse with all types of situations and different family integrations that "proper etiquette" is really a touchy question. My advice to the couples I meet with and plan weddings with is too plan the wedding of their dreams and that would make them the most comfortable and happy. You and your fiance have built a life together and deserve to celbrate your union in the way that satifies you the most. If you have always dreamed of a traditional "white dress" wedding, then I would say go for it! Whatever you can afford and whatever works for you is just fine. Weddings are all about the bride and groom and what they want to express to each other and loved ones on the day they marry. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: My sister-in-law got married on a cruise ship. This was her second wedding. What is the correct gift etiquette? I know we chose to go away for the 5 days and spend the extra money, but do we still get them a gift?

Answer: Hello Marci and thank you for visiting my site. I would say since you did choose to go on the cruise and got to enjoy it that it would be appropriate to give them a traditional wedding gift.



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: I guess that this one would go under this category. I am my cousins Maid of Honor but I will only be 17 at her wedding. I was wondering if the duties would be the same for me as an older say in her 20 Maid of Honor.

Answer: Hello Renee and thank you for visiting my site. Maid of honor duties are traditionally the same for all ladies regardless of age. If there is a financial issue or some other problem with performing the duties of the maid of honor it is best to be up front with your cousin and let her know she might want to have you in the party, but select someone older for the maid of honor.



Category: Etiquette
Question: My daughter is having her wedding at a small church. There is going to be approximately 250 guests. The worship center is big enough but, the fellowship hall is very small and can't seat all the guests. Is it ok to have some guest seated and others standing for a dessert reception?

Answer: Hi Lisa and thank you for visiting my site. Since you are just doing a dessert reception and not a sit down meal service it is just fine to have limited seating. This is very similar to a cocktail style party and you don't need to have a place for everyone to sit down to eat. They can all mingle around during the reception and as long as you have a few places for elderly people to sit down it is just fine.



Category: Ceremony
Question: hi, I'm planning a wedding for October of 2005 we want to go with like a precious moments all around theme but what colors would be good for that time of year?

Answer: Hi Jae and thank you for visiting my site. Weddings are one time when you can get away from being seasonal when selecting colors. You really have the freedom to go with whatever you like. Fall is actually a good time for a lot of the softer colors used in "Precious Moments" I think ivory, peach and a soft gold would look great! Congratulations and good luck.



Category: Reception
Question: We are having a plated dinner, and in between each course is about a 20-30 minute wait. Is it proper for the bride and groom to mingle with guests in between courses?

Answer: Hello…and thank you for visiting my site. Table visits from the bride and groom are very traditional. Usually what I do for my clients is have all courses served to the bride and groom at once. This way they finish while most guests are still on the first course and have plenty of time to stop by each table during the rest of the dinner service.



Category: Ceremony
Question: Is it improper to announce our engagement at my finacee's cousins wedding reception? I believe it would be rude as it would momentarily take the focus off of the bride and groom, but my fiancee believes it would be perfect, as his entire family will be in one place, which rarely happens. We've already told our parents. Thank you for taking the time to answer.

Answer: Hello Lisa and thank you for visiting my site. I think the best thing to do would be to ask the bride and groom how they would feel about the announcement being made at their wedding. They may have no problem with it at all, but if they are not crazy about the idea then it really would not be right to do that. Congratulations on your engagement!



Category: Ceremony
Question: my daughter in vancouver, canada is getting married and the groom's parents are paying for the reception. what is my obligation as a father?

Answer: Hello Tony and thank you for visiting my site. The rolls are a little reversed on this, so I would suggest you pay for the rehearsal dinner, or just simply ask where your help is needed. Another thing families do a lot is the side not paying for the reception will offer to pay for the alcohol to off set the reception cost. It really depends on what you can afford to give. Congratulations!



Category: Etiquette
Question: Do you have to have the traditional bouget and garder toss?

Answer: Hi Laura and thank you for visiting my site. Lot's of couples forgo the bouquet and garter toss. It is a matter of personal preference.



Category: Invitations
Question: My mother-in-law is in a nursing home in a distant state and will not be able to attend my daughter's wedding. Of course, she knows the wedding is coming up. Do we send her an invitation knowing she cannot attend? We don't want her to feel left out, but don't want her to try to send a gift. She knows we are going to send her photos of the wedding afterwards. Thank you.

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. I think your Mother in Law would probably like to see the invitation as well as receive one. I would suggest including a note saying that she will be missed but you wanted her to have the invite as well as a message that the bride and groom are requesting no gifts at the wedding. This would just be a little white lie to keep her from trying to send something.



Category: Ceremony
Question: Me and my Husband got married two weeks ago. It was a quick justice of the peace ceremony. Because of insurance purposes we had to do it before Jan. 1st. We are doing the whole ceremony over in April with bridesmaids and groomsmen then having a reception. Our justice of the peace says we can do the whole ceremony again, but I feel weird cause we are already married. She said a vow renewal is typically after 5 years of marriage. Do you have any advice on what could be done?

Answer: Hello Heather and thank you for visiting my site. If you are not comfortable having another ceremony, how about just the reception. You can invite your family and friends to help you celebrate the union that has already taken place. There is nothing wrong with having another ceremony as well, but if it makes you feel weird you could just do the reception.



Category: Reception
Question: I dont know where to host the reception. We are going to have a destination wedding with few attending ceremony. My fiance want to have two receptions: one on one side of the state where most of his family lives and one where we live, where my family is. I was thinking of having one located between the two locations, this should cut back on expense and stress of planning. His concern is no one will attend. What is your suggestion?

Answer: Hi Michelle and thank you for visiting my site. If your budget does not work for two receptions I think one half way is a good compromise. Most people are willing to travel at least some distance to attend the wedding of a loved one.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hello, I have two questions. First I'am the bride to be, both of my parents have past away. How do I write annoument on the invations ect?. Since my father is not with us. My son a grown young man. Would it be okay for him to walk me down the aisle?

Answer: Hi Sharon and thank you for visiting my site. I would suggest listing your name and your husbands name on the invitation and not having the names of parents. Usually this is when couples are very young and the parents are hosting the wedding. It would be lovely to have your son walk you down the aisle. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Invitations
Question: I just started a new job this in March of this year and my wedding is in September. The wedding is not local for where I work. Should I send an Invitation to my co-workers and boss?

Answer: Hello Jennifer and thank you for visiting my site. My rule of thumb is that you should never invite anyone to your wedding unless you really want them there to celebrate your special day!



Category: Etiquette
Question: In today's age of blended families it seems this must come up for a lot of brides. Assuming everyone is qualified, what is the correct order of choice for the brides escort down the isle? In my case my natural daughter chose to have her mother walk her down the isle rather than choose between her natural dad and her step dad for fear of hurting one or the other. Both dads are now equally hurt. How will the guests perceive this, perhaps both dads are worthless?

Answer: Hello Gary and thank you for visiting my site. I run in to this a lot with brides and actually had the same dilema myself when I married. My guess is like myself and many other young ladies with 2 dad's in their lives it was just too painful to try and decide who should walk your daughter down the aisle. Perhaps it just seemed easier to her to ask her mother do walk her. I hope you can understand that her decision was most likely based on love for you and her step father.



Category: Reception
Question: Hi! I'm having a terrible time looking for a location to book for my reception. Actually it wouldn't be that much of a problem but my problem is that I need to find a place in the San Francisco Bay Area where I can provide my own catering and not be charged for the number of guests attending. In other words, I need to find a place that I can rent just only the facility but yet provide my own catering. Is there a website that might be useful. I've searched everywhere & I haven't had any luck. Please help! Thanks!

Answer: Hello Ahilani and thank you for visiting my site. You are going to need to look at halls or perhaps open park type areas to find what you want. Facilities that provide food and beverage are going to require a guaranteed guest count, there is no way around it. I would suggest contacting your local chamber of commerce or convention and visitors bureau and seeing if they can help you. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Ceremony
Question: i am having a double wedding and not real sure how to do ceremony. DO you take turns saying vows or do one of us say them then the other couple? so confused

Answer: Hi Stephanie, and thank you for visiting my site. You can do your double ceremony either way...the four of you should consult with your officiant, let he or she know what you would like and have them assist you. I have actually only seen one double ceremony and it went from groom to groom, then bride to bride.



Category: Vendors
Question: My boyfriend and I have recently been discussing getting engaged and have started to look at reception sites open for next October (2005). I don't want a big wedding - and he has a huge family, he thinks he has to invite all 60 of his cousins plus their dates/spouses and children. All of our relatives live all over the country - essentially from coast to coast. Many are in the midwest, were we live, and I'm afraid either everyone will show up - or no one will show up. Is it inappropriate to write on the invitiation something to the effect of "physical appearance unnecessary"? Many may feel obligated to come and I don't want to cause financial hardship on any of our family members to make it to our ceremony if it isn't going to be huge and elaborate.

Answer: Hello Janey and thank you for visiting my site. Yes I think it would be inappropriate to invite people to a wedding and then indicate they need not physically be there. A better approach may be to send announcements rather than invitations to those who are too far away or that it may cause a hardship on to try and make it to your wedding. The most important thing is that you and your fiancé plan the wedding that is going to make you happy and not one that obligates you to things you do not really want to do. Your friends and family will be happy for your regardless of whether or not you spend a fortune on a big elaborate affair. I suggest you keep it to a size you are both comfortable with and just ask the others for their well wishes. Congratulations and best of luck!



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: Hi Valerie, I will be getting married in less than two months and we have taken care of the major decisions for the wedding. However, we still have numerous small things to decide on and have to have some final meetings with different vendors and venues. My future mother-in-law has been extreamly excited about the wedding. I have given her many things to help with and have included her in some decision making, however if she hasn't agreed with something I have decided upon, I have had to debate for days or give in. I have also felt that small tasks and decisions that my fiance and I have made, have been changed by her when she felt what she thought was better. Most of the decisions do not involve cost, but are simply a way of doing things, colors, or timing things out. For example our invitations were sent out 12 weeks in advance because that's when she wanted to send them out. She wanted to stuff and address them and it was a great help, however she also made the decision to send them out so early since she had them, despite my wishes and opinion of that being too early. She rushed them and therefore forgot reply cards, stamps, etc. Her favors really aren't doing me a favor. I'm afraid that with the final meetings that she will have her way or have the ability to go back and change things or arguing things that we have decided upon. My fiance feels that she has the experience and listens to her over me. Therefore, I do not wish to have her be apart of these meetings, however my fiance feels as though I am being selfish. Both sets of parents are paying for the wedding and we are having to chip in very little. I am very thankful for all their help and financial support, however I feel as though this wedding is becoming something that I don't want becuase I have given in for most everything. Now when I stand my ground and voice these are things I don't want, I am being told I am selfish, especially when they are paying for half the wedding. Valerie, how do I handle these last two months of decision making without being selfish, yet still feeling that this is my wedding.

Answer: Hello Michelle and thank you for visiting my site. I am so sorry to hear that you are feeling anything other than ecstatic about your big day. Your concerns with you Mother-in-law to be are not at all uncommon. I have many clients come in with one or both sets of parents and no one sees eye to eye on anything. It is a huge deal that the parents are funding your wedding for the most part and for that you are very lucky. I know it is supposed to be all about you and your fiance's wishes, but sometimes it just does not work out that way. I only have two suggestions for you that may or may not help you. My first suggestion would be to focus on all of the things that are going to be just want you want and try to have the happiest most wonderful day of your life regardless of little snags or issues that may arise. My second suggestion would be to have a heartfelt talk with your fiance and let him know how unhappy this situation is making you and that you would really like to sit down with his mother and explain your feelings in a calm rational manner and see if she can be made to understand and allow you to have things as you want them. I wish you all the best and congratulations!



Category: Ceremony
Question: what is the proper wording for a cake and punch reception? my husband and i got married 2/14/05, and know have decided to make a formal wedding announcement.

Answer: Hi Lynn and thank you for visiting my site. I would suggest doing an invitation stating something like "Join us in the celebration of our marriage of 2/15/05 for cake and punch on such and such a date". Congratulations and best wishes for much happiness together.



Category: Finances & Budget
Question: I am the divorced Father of a 29 yr. old son who is about to get married to a 35 year old fiancee'? My question is as follows: My Ex-Wife(his mother) and I are willing to pay for the wedding rehearsal dinner and have looked at several places. The affair is out of town but we have been in contact with several possible places. I had sent a list of three potential restaurants and asked my son a particular time for the dinner. My son responded with an e-mail from his fiancee stating another place that she would like to have the rehearsal dinner at. I am afraid that this place is out of our price range? No response was given for the time for the dinner either. I have no problem with paying for the rehearsal dinner but I do have a problem with the fiancee requesting where she would like to have the dinner? What should I do?

Answer: Hi Bill and thank you for visiting my site. As the host of the rehearsal dinner it is your choice where it will be located. I would simply tell your son and his fiance, that the restaurant she would like is not an option and to please pick one of the ones you submitted. Good Luck!



Category: Finances & Budget
Question: Hi Valerie, This is a rather complicated question, I will deatil as much as possible. My husbands 18 year old daughter whom lived with us for the entire length of our marriage (6 years) and lived with her dad after the divorce, quite High school and moved in with her wealthy boyfriend and his parents (which are actually his Grandparents). She says she is working on finishing High school. Anyway, that was just to give you a bit of background. Saturday afternoon while my husband and myself were at our Barbershop, her "fiancee' dad called my husband to ask him if he wanted to be part of the wedding. In the first place, she had NEVER called her dad to tell him she was officially engaged, and that they had picked a date, this was a complete surprise to him, and of course he said yes! He heard it from her soon-to-be in-laws. Anyway, I asked my husband many questions pertaining to the conversation, but most importantly I asked him what the Father of the Groom meant went he asked if my husband wanted to be a part of it. A couple of days went by, still his daughter has not called him to make her announcement, so he called her. This is where it gets strange. I guess these people with all their money decided to go out a put a deposit on Carlsbad Country Club, and they've already made other decisions. My step daughter says its not her business to know how much money is being spent, and what our obligations will be, that my husband needs to talk to them. Now heres the question; Theres no way my husband and I can afford even the thought of a country club, yet alone contribute, we are so strapped financially, and my step-daughter asked her dad if he wanted to be apart of her life? How do we handle this situation?? Do we need to embarrass ourselves by telling them how little money we make, and have his daughter hold it against him because he didnt have all the money to make her dreams come true? how should he talk to her about this? have you ever heard of such a thing?

Answer: Hello Marta and thank you for visiting my website. Surprisingly a lot of families run in to these uncomfortable situations when wedding plans are happening. Since your step daughter did not run any of this by you it seems to me you have no obligation to contribute to the choices she and her in-laws to be have already made. I do think it would be a good idea to have a family meeting and ask her what her expectations from you and your husband are. This will give you an opportunity to let her know what you can and can not help with if anything. You can also let her know that since she and the others just went ahead and made the plans you assume they will be paying for it. The worst thing would be to just let things fester, it should all be out in the open and settled before your stepdaughter believes you will be paying for things you can not.



Category: Invitations
Question: My daughter is getting married in August. I have a casual friend I met about 3 years ago through my best friend whom I've known for 42 years. My best friend has offered to host a shower, and so has this other woman. Since this casual friend has only met my daughter twice, very briefly, we were not planning on inviting her to the wedding - the budget dictates we keep the guest list as small as possible. I had considered telling my BFF and this other friend that it'd be alright if they hosted the shower jointly, but am wondering if it's rude to have the casual friend as a shower co-host and then not invite her to the wedding. If we turn down the casual friends offer to host a shower, I know she will be hurt - she's very sensitive, and she absolutely loves to throw parties! What to do?

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. I think co-hosting the shower is a great idea and it would also save both ladies some expense if they did it together. Most people know how expensive it is to put a wedding together and I'm sure if you sit down over lunch or coffee and explain that the budget dictates cutting back your list, your friend will understand. I do think you should have the conversation before the shower plans are finalized.



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: Would it be ok to bring a 1 year old child to a wedding?

Answer: Hello Lorna and thank you for visiting my site. Babies at weddings can be a bit of a touchy subject. The majority of my brides do not want children at their weddings. I usually suggest they include something on the invitation like "This is an adult occassion" so the guests have no question if they should bring their small children. Some brides are just not comfortable putting this on the invite, so the safest thing would be to call the bride and ask her if she is planning on having kids at her wedding.



Category: Finances & Budget
Question: This involves a long-time, hurtful situation concerning my husband's daughter. She's announced that she is marrying next year and her mother informed her that she needed to get $4,000 from her father for the reception or he wouldn't be allowed to walk her down the aisle. In my opinion, at 33 she should be paying towards this wedding and also standing up to her mother as to what she wants for this day. My husband will contribute towards the event, but we are not able to do a lot; demanding $4,000 to me is blackmail, undignified and demeaning, especially since the initial engagement announcement was met with, "all you want is a big party". Please help!

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. This is a very personal family issue and my only advice would be for you and your husband to follow you hearts. If $4000.00 is too much to contribute, say so. It is not cool to tell family what they need to provide for your wedding. Your step-daughter should wait until the offer is made to help and be grateful for that. This is of course my personal opinion and nothing more.



Category: Ceremony
Question: What are/should be my duties and responsibilities as a step-father at my step-daughters wedding ? I am aware that specifics are up to my step-daughter, but I just want to do the right thing for her special day. Her father and her are close and he will be fullfilling his obligations, but I just want to be there for her in a low keyed manner.

Answer: Hello Todd and thank you for visiting my site. It is so nice that you want to be there for your stepdaughter. Since her father is there and they are close you really only need to do what she asks of you and have a great time! If the father was out of the picture it would be different, but in this case I would leave it to her to ask you for anything she may want from you.



Category: Reception
Question: My name is Cathy. My future daughter just informed me of the wedding recpt being change.. from 4pm to 6-7 pm.. OMG .. the wedding starts at 11 am .. my son now , has it , as wedding starts at 10 & recpt at 4pm . I told them to get the times right first off.. being that there will be out of town guest & that the recept should always be after the wedding .. ( going to be a house wedding & recpt is at a chinese resturant .. ) who is right?? are we heading for a very long day for ruins ??

Answer: Hi Cathy and thank you for visiting my site. As long as the invitations have not gone out with incorrect times, it should be allright. It is a long time between ceremony and reception which I would not recommend, but it shouldn't ruin the day. If invitations have already been sent they should honor the invitation time.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Our daughter's fiance' is stationed in Japan with the Navy. Originally, they planned their wedding for 2010 when he returns. They can't be apart that long so when he comes home for 2 weeks in Dec. They plan on having a very small, family ceremony at home while he is here and she will return with him to Japan. In 2010, when they return to the states they will go with their original plans for "the big day" inviting EVERYONE. Is there a way to announce their marriage now and include their future plans for their "formal wedding" in 2010. We have many "family friends" and friends who would love to know of their marriage and move to Japan, but also would be disappointed not having shared in the big day so I'd like them to know "the big day" is in the future for all to share.

Answer: Hi Joetta and thank you for visiting my site. You can have invitations or announcements printed to say anything you like. For your situtation you could send out announcements that your daughter has gotten married and you all look forward to celebrating with all of your friends and family upon their return from Japan in 2010. The printer for the invitations should have tons of samples of ways to word this and it is actually not that uncommon. Good Luck!



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: Hi, I have a dilemma with choosing my bridesmaids. I already have 5 but I feel just as close to two other girls that i woud like in the wedding. Do you have any suggestions aside form having them handle the guestbooks or gifts or things like. Im thinking more along the lines or maybe do a reading or something. Do you have any reccomendations? Appreciate your help

Answer: Hi Serena and thank you for visiting my site. I think a reading or something along those lines sounds very nice. Something else I have seen done numerous times is having certain individuals mentioned after the grand entrance or at some point during the toast. How fortunate you are to have so many girls you are so close to! Congratulations and good luck.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Our younger daughter is getting married this year and her older sister and her sister's fiancee are both in the wedding. Our older daughter is getting married next year. Should our younger daughter invite the parents of her sister's fiancee to the wedding and does our older sister need to invite the parents of what will then be her sister-n-law's parents? The two sets of parents have been in each other's company once and live in different states.

Answer: Hello Anne and thank you for visiting my site. If the wedding guests are mainly close friends and family then I don't think it is necessary to invite the parents of your daughters sister's fiance. If it is a huge wedding with many guests being mere acquaintances then it would be somewhat rude not to include them.



Category: Reception
Question: Hello Valerie, my question is about a wedding theme I am doing the princess wedding theme however I am running into a few snags first of all I am having my ceremony early morning and will be getting married and having a early afternoon reception , I am only having a semi formal wedding so I do not want alot of extra formal things, Is there a way that I might be able to tone down the theme ? Without taking away from it much? I have many guests and do not want to make the theme I am using look to formal because of it being during the day. Thanks any advice would be helpful.

Answer: Hi Cassie and thank you for visiting my site. Weddings can be as formal or as informal as you wish...how about doing a "Renaissance" theme? You could still incorporate the princess part but keep it more informal.



Category: Ceremony
Question: i have a few questions.first my step son is the one getting married. my husband and his sons mother dont get along.i wanted to know who should pay for the rehearsal dinner? or should it be spilt between us? i also wanted to know who all is to attend the dinner besides the wedding party? are they to bring a date or spouse? and the kids if there is any? and how many days before the wedding should you do the rehearsal? since the wedding is taking place in a park are we to the dinner there as well? or should there be at another place? what all should be served at the rehearsal dinner? should there be alcohol?thanks a bunch for your help in advance.

Answer: Hello Renee and thank you for visiting my site. With families being so diversified these days the rules for payment of things are pretty flexible. It seems the most reasonable way to handle the cost of the rehersal dinner would be to split the cost, but it could also be decided based on who can afford what. Generally the rehersal dinner is held at a restaurant or hotel banquet room. Traditionally the wedding party and spouses or guests are invited as well as any out of town family that will be in town that night. The rehersal dinner is usually held the night before the wedding. You don't want to have it too much prior to the wedding because the bridal party may forget what you want them to do, especially if there are children in the wedding. It really depends on your friends and family if you want to serve alcohol at the rehersal dinner. If you feel some guests may be offended by offering alcohol you may want to have soft beverages only. If alcohol is being served at the wedding reception it should be fine to offer it at the rehersal dinner as well. Good luck and best wishes for a happy occassion.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Valerie - Not sure where this question should be posted...but we have a wedding this weekend at 3:00 for the Catholic church service and 5:30 the reception at a private club in Washington, DC starts with dinner and dancing. The question is: Is it appropriate for my 25 year old son to wear his tuxedo to the wedding and reception or should he wear a suit. Thank you, Ann

Answer: Hello Ann and thank you for visiting my site. Generally if a young man is invited as a guest and not in the wedding party a suit would be more appropriate than a tuxedo. If the invitation indicates "black tie" then it is open for anyone to wear a tux.



Category: Invitations
Question: my 3rd, his 1st, wedding outside with reception immediately following. date 10-08-05. to be held at my son's home. how to word the invitations?

Answer: Hi Tasha and thank you for visiting my site. There is no need for special wording because it is not your first wedding. I don't see anything in your question that would require you to have any wording other than a traditional invitation indicating place, time, etc...



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hi Valerie, my daughter is getting married in october, she is catholic and her fiance is penticostal. He wants his uncle to officiate the ceremony. His uncle's church is not large enough to accomidate the guests (120ish). He located another church to use however it looks like a store instead of a church. I don't think it is what my daughter had in mind for her fairytale wedding. My question is, Is it ok to suggest that they use our church and just have the uncle assist with the ceremony. If he declines who chooses. Is it ok to suggest that if he is insistent on using that church that perhaps his family contribute the cost of the church and the minister to the wedding. So far they are not contributing anything and do not plan on having a rehearsal dinner. I hope you can advise.

Answer: Hello Anna and thank you for visiting my site. I apologize for the delay in getting back to you...it is wedding season and I have been terribly busy! I think it is important for all family involved in the planning of the wedding to discuss all options. There are always compromises to be made and it is always okay to make suggestions. It sounds like your options to getting married in the small not so great looking church are very reasonable. If the grooms family is insistant I do think it is fair to ask them to pay for the church costs, particularly since there will be no rehersal dinner. The most important thing is that the bride and groom come to a solution that will make them both happy and comfortable on their special day.



Category: Reception
Question: My mother is paying for my wedding. I would like to have a traditional Jewish wedding. The catch is that my mother wants me to have a clown or magician at the reception. She would also like the guests that have classic cars to bring those as well so that there may be a car show out in the parking lot. I am in fear that if I do not go along with it she will not assist financially. Co workers have suggested that I find a place for the reception that I can afford on my own. What do you think?

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. You have a very common and tough situation. I strongly believe that you should have the wedding that you want regardless of who is paying for it. I would suggest making it known to your mother what your dream wedding would be like and if she can't go along then yes, try to go it on your own. You will always regret it if you have a wedding that does not make you happy. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: I HAVE A 6YR OLD IM MY WEDDING SHE IS SUPPOSE TO HELP THE FLOWER GIRL AND RING BEARER DOWN THE ISLE. I WAS WONDER WHAT WOULD HER TITLE BE ON MY PROGRAM.

Answer: Hello Chell, and thank you for visiting my website. The young lady can be listed either as an additional flower girl or a junior bridesmaid.



Category: Reception
Question: Hello, My father is in a wheelchair recovering from a broken hip/pelvis (on top of a motor skills disorder he already has) and cannot really push himself around. He does have the ability to stand for short periods of time with a walker or the help of someone else and he can use his arms. I am getting married in October and thought he would be able to stand for the father/daughter dance but it does not seem as if that will happen. We've already made the decision that he won't be able to walk me down the asile but I didn't want to give up the tradition of the father daughter dance. Do you have any suggestions?

Answer: Hell Lindsey and thank you for visiting my site. I really can not think of a way to enjoy the Father/Daughter Dance under the circumstances. How about just having your father come on to the dance floor and saying a few words in place of the first dance? You could think of another way to symbolize the love between father and daughter...perhaps a poem reading or a slide show presentation? Whatever you decide, congratulations and good luck!



Category: Ceremony
Question: Me and my finace have been engaged since may 06 and have been together for a year next month. we have been living together for alomost nine months. He wants the traditional wedding, without the church and preacher all the traditional things that come to mind when i think traditional wedding. anyway im 21 and my idea was to just go ge it done and the local courthouse, in the state i live in we are common law married, so heres the dilema, he wants a medium wedding all his family and friends and i want something very small if i have to go traditional, the only problem is the money and i HAVE NO IDEA WHERE TO START!!! I so need some advice on how to start planning a wedding. We have decided we dont want any more than 50 guests, because half of my family just doesnt get along and i dont want my wedding ruined. Could you please please give me some pointers or advice about where to begin or if we should just do it the way i want it??thanks so much

Answer: Hello Starr and thank you for visiting my site. It is not at all unusual for couple to want different things for their weddings. It sounds like a good starting point is for the two of you to make the decisions of where you are willing to compromise for one another's wishes. The first thing to do is establish a budget that you can work with and that may eliminate some of your choices. It is important to establish a budget and stick to it so that you don't end up making yourselves crazy. You could also create an online registry which will ultimately end up giving you cash gifts to assist in paying for the wedding. You might want to check out the wedding locations in Las Vegas on line...depending on where you live this can be a very cost effective option. Weddings cost about fifty percent less in Las Vegas and are inclusive of everything from ceremony to flowers, food, cake and music. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: Dear Valerie - My fiance and I are planning a small wedding. We asked my fiance's niece and nephew and his cousin's daughter to be the flower girls and ring bearer (age 7,6 and 6) . We did not ask his other nephew (the brother of the other 2 children age 3) to be in the wedding. As the wedding draws closer the parents are saying that probably won't bring the other nephew to the wedding because he will be very upset to be left out. There are cousins kids on my side of the family who I didn't ask either. Am I wrong not to have all the children in one family? Would it be appropriate for him to escort his grandmother (mother of the groom) who is alone? My mother is upset at the idea that there will be more children from my fiance's side of the family in the wedding and my cousins will be hurt. Does the mother of the bride have a say in who escorts the mother of the groom? Is an escort to a parent a role in the wedding party? Do my fiance and I have a right to be upset if they choose not bring the child?

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. My feeling is that the bride and groom should have exactly who they want stand up in the bridal party and that the family should respect that. Understandably it does not always work out that way...that being said there are many incidental duties that can be assigned to other friends and family members and an escort is a perfect example and is considered part of the bridal party. You can also assign people to man the escort card table, gift attendant etc...if you have more people who need to be considered. I hope it works out for you!



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: is it ok if my best man and i wear a bowtie and a vest while my groomsmen wear just a bow tie and a cummerbun? Is it also ok for a groom to look slightly different from his best man?

Answer: Hello, and thank you for visiting my site. Of course, lot's of weddings distinguish the best man and or maid of Honor by having them wear something slightly or sometimes totally different than the rest of the bridal party. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: Please help me! I have lived with Gil for 28 years. He was married to Kay all of these years, but never bothered to get a divorce for several reasons--money, her health, laziness. After many years, we all became friendly, and all had truly wonderful relationships. Unfortunately, in October, she suddenly passed away. Gil and I are now planning a July wedding. We did not want to immediately get married, so felt that nine months would be a "proper time," although there is nothing really "proper" about our situation. We are getting married at a reception hall by a judge. We are planning on having family and a few close friends (maybe 75-100 people), although everyone we know wants to attend, to see it to believe it, after all of these years. Most of the attendees will be from in town, although there may be a small amount of people coming in from out of town. Gil has 2 kids, 2 stepkids and 4 grandkids who we both adore. I have never been married, so I would like to have a wedding, not just go downtown or elope. We don't need or want anything, so we plan on putting "no gifts" on the invitations. I assume this is ok? Is it ok for me to wear an informal white wedding dress? If not, any suggestions? Do we need to have a rehearsal and/or a rehearsal dinner? What about my friends who have said they want to have a shower for me? What would be acceptable? Any advise you have for us would be greatly appreciated. I realize this is an unusual situation.

Answer: Hi Celeste and thank you for visiting my site. I have to be honest and say good lord we are all grown ups in this situation. So many of the questions posted on this website are really of a very personal nature, yours included and I can only offer my opinon. It sounds to me like there is a lot of love and feelings of comfort in your realationships and that you shoud be able to proceed forward in any way that you wish. It is okay for you to wear anything that makes you feel comfortable and beautiful! It's your wedding... I truly wish you all the best.



Category: Invitations
Question: sisters sent handwritten invitations, actually they were shower invitations. invitations with for,when, where ,time. very sloppy writting.the bwedding is in 3 wks. is there any way to correct this. so embarassed for me and my church.they do not go where i go .i trusted them to do this.

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. It sounds like there is not enough time to re-do the invitations, so I would suggest letting this one go.



Category: Etiquette
Question: My fiance and I are going to be married in October. We both have been previously married. We're planning a very small, non-formal ceremony. We also both have children that I think we're going to include in the ceremony. Question 1 - should we all walk in together or should we already be seated maybe on the first pew, he with his daughter and me with my children, then together stand up and in the front of the church ? Question 2 - for the reception, do we still do the receiving line thing and the cake cutting and feeding each other, etc.... I thought he and I would make a opening toast to everyone there to begin the reception. Also, I've done some research on children's gifts. I found some cute silver necklaces for the girls but I have a son that's 12, do you have any suggestions for a gift for him ?

Answer: Hi Dena and thank you for visiting my site. Honestly with the diversity in families these days there are no set rules as to how things should proceed. I always suggest to my couples they line up and proceed however makes them the most comfortable. As far as the traditional aspects of the wedding like the receiving line and cake, if you want those to happen then go for it! Gifts to all of your attendants should be very personalized to show them how much you appreciate their support. If you have a twelve year old boy I would think a "game boy" or something such would be just perfect. You know what he likes, so get him something especially for him. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: I would like to know how to let family and friends know that me and my fiancé have set our date back. We are dearly in love and just want to have the best wedding and reception, but now just isn't the time. The wedding is in September. I think I should let everyone know now. Should I send out cards? But, how do I word them. Please Help!

Answer: Hello Catherine and thank you for visiting my site. Unless you have already sent out invitations you really don't need to send cards advising of a date change. Letting people know that you have had to push back your plans by word of mouth is totally appropriate. If by chance you have already sent invitations I would suggest writing a brief letter to everyone (copy the same letter) "Dear family and friends" and just explain that your plans have changed and the wedding will take place at a letter date. There is no need to go in to a great deal of explanation as it is really no ones business.



Category: Ceremony
Question: My son and his fiance are having a private wedding. Their wish is to have a "Blessing of the Marriage" ceremony and reception when they return from their honeymoon to share and celebrate with family and friends. This will be an outdoor late afternoon ceremony. The reception will be inside and outside As Mother of the Groom, what should I wear? Are evening pants and top appropriate? I need some suggestions. I considered black evening pants with a White w/ black trim evening top. Help

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. If the bride and groom have not specified what they want you to wear it is pretty open and up to you. I think the outfit you have planned sounds lovely and appropriate for time of day. The most important thing is that you are comfortable and feel like you look great. It's a big day for you too!



Category: Etiquette
Question: My daughter has to postpone her wedding, the bridal shower is in 3 days. The cake and all decos and presents are paid for. Should we go ahead and have the shower, or call everyone and cancel?She is still getting married but not for a few months now.

Answer: Hello Missy and thank you for visiting my site. I think it would be okay to move forward with the shower as long as you don't have another one closer to the date. You will have the opportunity to explain it to your guests at the party. Another option would be to change it to an engagement party if you did not have one.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hi, Valerie Me and my husband are renewl our vows for 25 years next year and i was wondering if I should walk down the aisle? Or do you have any suggestions I want to do the ceremony at a hotel banquet room. Please can you help. Or if you know of a good theme that might work to.

Answer: Hello Nikki and thank you for visiting my site. Most of the couples I work with who are renewing their vows do it exactly like it was a first wedding. You have a lot of flexibility here, so I would suggest planning it exactly as you would like to have it.



Category: Etiquette
Question: We live in Michigan. Our son has asked a lovely girl to marry him. She said yes! He has been living in Texas for the past three years. Our future daughter-n-law also lives in Texas The wedding will be in Texas in September of 2008. We have a large extended family and a large church family. How to we go about letting people know of the up coming wedding? Is there an appropriate way to find out who might be able to attend the wedding. Is it okay to have a bridal shower for the couple in Michigan?

Answer: Hi Kathy and thank you for visiting my site. Save the date cards would be a great idea since you will have people traveling. That way they can have plenty of time to make travel and possibly vacation plans. I think it would be lovely for you to throw a shower in Michigan as long as it does not create a hardship on the couple to travel there.



Category: Etiquette
Question: My friend's boyfriend of 9 years has a son being marrried soon. The bride did not send an invitation to the father of the groom (thought over 300 invites were sent) but insteead in the presence of his long term girlfriend said "you know you are invited" but did not include her. The son and my friend are on good terms and have a good relationship, shouldn't the bridge and groom had invited her as well? Also shouldn't her children, of whom the bridge and groom also know well, be invited. I say this is an etiquette faux pa. My friend is not sure whether she should just attend or if they are just etiquette ignorant.

Answer: Hello Diane and thank you for visiting my site. My apologies for the delay in response, the alert from my website that tells me when I have questions has not worked for serveral weeks and I was unaware the questions were building up. I am afraid you may not like my response...I am a firm believer that the bride and groom should be allowed to invite whomever they want. I do think this was very rude of them and agree with you that it is in bad taste.



Category: Etiquette
Question: i would like to comment on the question from the single person and her problem with her lack of an and guest..... as a soon to be bride putting together a guest list, it is most important to get your loved ones there to share in your day. If space is available, then perhaps an and 1 is appropriate. I would like to point out that it is completely inappropriate to assume you are able to bring a guest. Your invitation should clearly indicate the person/people invited and if no other name is indicated, obviously you come alone, sorry if you are inconvienced, but you can't tell me you don't think this would be an inconvience to the bride and groom who have already planned for a certain number. Sometime the numbers just don't allow and you need to deal with it, take you guest to dinner at a later time or meet up with them later if you feel you need to be with them that badly. You can also think about it when you are putting together a guest list of your own wedding someday and have to figure out what is more important, staying within budget and having those you want or pandering to your guests...this is your day.... please don't be rude enough to the bride and groom and add stress and anger to them on their special day.

Answer: Hello Megan and thank you for visiting my site. You make some very valid and good points and I agree with you wholeheartedly. It is the bride and grooms special day and their desires should not be questioned. I can't tell you how many of my brides face dilemma's with who and who not to invite based on pressure from family, budget, etc...Many of my couples have to take people off of their lists who they really want in order to accommodate family or other peoples wishes. Thank you for sharing your views on this matter.



Category: Ceremony
Question: Hi Valerie, My fiance and I are having a very simple wedding ceremony in a small church. I will have my maid of honor and he will have his best man. Would it be considered poor etiquette for us to have two of our close cousins act as unofficial ushers as a favor to us on that day? They would not be technically part of the grooms party and wound not be in a tux. Any advice you have would be wonderful. Thanks!

Answer: Hello Sheila and thank you for visiting my site. There is nothing at all wrong with asking your cousins to be ushers. I am sure they would be honored and it is not unusual for smaller weddings to forgo the bridal party and just have the Maid of Honor and Best man stand up for them. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Etiquette
Question: What is the spacing etiquette between weddings within the same family? The first one is the bride and groom's first marriage. The second is the groom's second marriage and the bride's first.

Answer: Hello Judy and thank you for visiting my site. To my knowledge there is no set amount of time for weddings to take place in the same family. It seems to me this would be a discussion among the family members to make sure everyone is okay with dates that may be close to one another.



Category: Ceremony
Question: A young man just got married. In planning the wedding the mother of the groom was not allowed to do anything. When the mother & father of the groom arrived, they were seated in a different position than the rest of the group and the groom showed up wearing a matching shirt of the father of bride, then at the reception there was a grooms cake. This really hurt the mother and father of the groom. I have a hard time understanding why the new bride treated the in-laws this way and why the groom allowed it. She was married before and complained about having in-law troubles in her first marriage during the relationship. Can you explain why a mother of the bride and bride would put a wedding together and leaving out the groom on one of his most important days of his life. The groom lived with his parents until he married. They did have a few problems but nothing that should have caused this rift. When asked the groom why this happened he stated that it was her wedding and that is what she wanted so he allowed her to. Now they hardly speak The parents and newlyweds. I need a explanation why someone would do something like this. Is it customatory for the groom's mother to be left out like this. I see nothing good coming from this relationship. The parents dont know what to do. Can you help?

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. Your question is really not a wedding question, but one of personal family situation. I of course have an opinion, but this is not something that has a simple answer or that I feel would be my business to comment on. The only thing I can say is that I am sorry for your pain.



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: Hi Valerie! I am the future mother of the groom. My husband and I would like to know whether we should invite our older son's wife's parents to our younger son's wedding. Thank you, Viviane

Answer: Hello Viviane and thank you for visiting my site. I guess it depends on whether or not you older son's in laws are a part of your family and if you like them. If you son is requesting that you do that would be the nice thing to do, but if he's not it's really up to you. I don't think you are obligated to invite them unless it feel natural. Congratulations to you and your family!



Category: Ceremony
Question: My daughter recently got engaged and both her and her finance are thinking of a desination wedding. Although the are area is not far from us, (two hours), my question is as parents of the bride will we be responsilbe for paying for out of town guests? And do we pay for the wedding party lodging?

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. Traditionally guest pay there own way to a destination wedding and for their own lodging.



Category: Vendors
Question: Can someone who is a justice of peace in New Hampshire come to Pa and marry my fiancée and I?

Answer: Hi Jamie and thank you for visiting my site. As far as I know a licensed officiant can perform marriages anywhere. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Hello, my 2 of my bridesmaid dresses is lapis and i wanted to know if i put the other 3 in levendar would it look right

Answer: Hello Ms. B and thank you for visiting my sight. It is fine to dress your bridesmaids in different colors. Generally people choose variations of the same shade like an eggplant or deep purple and a lavender, so that the colors are in the same family. I think a pale blue or version of blue would better suit lapis, but if you want to do lapis and lavender I say go for it!



Category: Invitations
Question: My husband is a pastor at a medium-sized church. Our son was reared in this church, and is getting married in a year. Do we invite the entire congregation to the wedding and then a selected number of parishioners to the reception or just invite those parishioners who are closest to our family to the wedding and reception?

Answer: Hello…and thank you for visiting my site. This is somewhat of a personal decision, but my “opinion” is the same for all weddings and that is that the family should only invite guests that they really want at their special event.



Category: Ceremony
Question: My daughter is being walked down the asile by her brother just 5 yrs older than her, she wants him listed on the cermony program how should he be listed? He will be known by her family and friends but the groom's side and many co-workers won't know who he is, she doesn't want people asking who he is while they come down the aisle.

Answer: Hello Christine and thank you for visiting my site. I am not sure I understand the question, but as I see it the brides brother should be introduced as "brother of the bride"



Category: Reception
Question: I am getting married in May of 08, my first wedding. My fiancé has two children (4 & 7) that are participating in our ceremony. Since I am new to this, I am not sure who is supposed to watch over them at the reception as we celebrate. I'm sure my future mother-in-law would be more than happy to, but I want her to enjoy her evening, not chase kids all over. Is it inappropriate to have them picked up after the ceremony?

Answer: Hello Traci and thank you for visiting my site. These are pretty young kids and I am sure they will be tired after the big day. I think it would be a great idea to have them participate in an hour or so of the reception and then be picked up by a babysitter so that the adults can enjoy the celebration. Congratulations and best of luck!



Category: Flowers
Question: What flower can I incorporate in my matron of honors buquet to make her stand out.I am using white daisies surrounding a lt. blue hydranea for there bouquets.My bouquet will be all white daisies surrounded by ivy.My dress is white,their dresses are lt. blue.

Answer: Hello Kristal and thank you for visiting my site. It sounds like perhaps a dark blue Gerber daisy or maybe an iris would match your color scheme and could make the matron of honors bouquet unique to the others. It would also be a good idea to get the recommendation of your florist.



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: My husband being the groom's father and I being the groom's step mother plus the groom's mother and stepfather are hosting the rehearsal dinner. Since the wedding is in the city where they couple now resides, most of the people attending will be from out of town. Should we include the invite to rehearsal dinner in the wedding invitation or send it by itself. Should the step parents be listed in the hosting or just the parents?

Answer: Hi Deb and thank you for visiting my site. It would make sense to include the rehearsal invitation with the wedding invitation to the out of town guests and both sets of parents should be listed as the host's if both sets are contributing to the cost of the rehearsal dinner.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Hi Val, I am getting married in october and my dress is white and apple is it ok for my groom to wear a black tux and apple vest and tie? I dont want it to look akward.

Answer: Hello Brandy and thank you for visiting my site. It Is actually a pretty common to coordinate the colors of tie and or vest or cumberbund and sounds like it will work very nice.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hi Val I am 47 yrs old about to marry the man of my dreams I lost my mom at my birth my father has been a great dad . But my dilemma is he has been married 3 times wife 2 played a major role in my life and that of my children. Wife 2 we split on bad terms about 25yrs ago but have since re=connected and I could not have pulled off this wedding without her .And his present wife well lets just say we tolerate one another. My question is how should I list these women on the wedding day profram (mothers ot the bride) 0r just pick 1, without hurt feelings or disrespect????

Answer: Hello Tracy and thank you for visiting my site. If your folks are paying for a portion or all of the wedding I would suggest you word the program something like "Tracy and Alan together with their families"....this way it includes everyone without using names. If they are not contributing financially then it is not even necessary to include them on the programs/invitations unless you want to. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Finances & Budget
Question: Hello Valerie, I reconnected with my birthson 6 years ago and we've written, emailed and have seen each other numerous times since then. Our relationship has been a very positive. He lives in a different part of the country but we keep in touch and I just met his adoptive mother over Easter and it was all very positive. He is getting married in September. I am invited to the wedding. I was wondering how much money to give as a gift. I am not rich but I will give as much as I can. I also have to fly there for the wedding, which will cost around $500. I don't want to give too small a gift, yet I don't want to go crazy if I can't afford it ! I usually give him money for Christmas and birthdays, over $200 each time. He's 27 years old. And I give gifts in between for other holidays. Both of them work and live together and plan to go to Europe for their honeymoon. The adoptive mother is not rich. So, how much do you recommend that I give? Thanks, WW

Answer: Hi Wynn and thank you for visiting my site. A standard rule of thumb for wedding gifts is to to give the amount the couple is putting out for each guest. A nice wedding runs about $150.00 per person for dinner, drinks, favors etc...so since you are a single guest a gift of $150.00 would be appropriate. If you are bringing a date $300.00 is the correct amount. If you can afford more great, but this is the general standard by which amounts for gifts are calculated.



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: Hi Valerie. My friend is getting married in less than 3 weeks and I am the maid of honor. I have been telling her for months now to let me know a schedule of events so I can ask off work in plenty of time. Well, apparantly she told her other bridesmaids when the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner were going to be, but forgot to tell me, even though I've been asking. Now I am unable to get off work that day and she is blaming me for it. She said that I should have known to take off work that entire week to help her, but I can't afford to do that. As of now we are not speaking. Should I have known to make myself available at all times or is she asking too much?

Answer: Hi Chelsea and thank you for visiting my site. Not only is she asking too much, but that is just plain rude! We all need to work around our work schedules and everyone knows that. I would not worry about it if I were you since you did your best to find out the dates.



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: Hi Valerie: My friend's daughter is getting married in May 2010. She wants her mother to be the only bridesmaid and her fiance's two brothers his groomsmen. Her daughter has two friends, one of which I am very close to. She doesn't want to make them bridesmaids, but wants to assign them jobs and buy dresses in the color and style she chooses. Is this appropriate? This woman that I am close to had her as a bridesmaid in her wedding. They have know each other and been friends since they were 8 years old. I am very torn about the whole thing because the bride to be and her mother are always asking my advise and help. Yet my close friend is terribly hurt by her friends actions.

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. Honestly my advise to you would be to stay out of this one. It sounds like there is a lot of potential for drama and hurt feelings. It is my personal opinion that it is not appropriate for the bride to assign duties for guests not included in the bridal party much less ask them to purchase a particular outfit for the event.



Category: Ceremony
Question: Is it proper etiquette for a male to bring a male friend to a wedding as his guest. He is recently home from college and does not have a close girl friend to ask. Thank you

Answer: Hello Lois and thank you for visiting my site. Unless the male friend is a partner it is really not appropriate for a man to bring one of his buddies to a wedding as his guest. Weddings are very expensive per person and while a date is fine, a random friend is not really okay.



Category: Invitations
Question: Hi Valerie My son is marrying a girl from Brazil and we have one month to plan a wedding. Would it be tacky to hand deliver the invitations because we are short on time?

Answer: Hello Debbie and thank you for visiting my site. Delivering invitations is fine, sounds like a nice personal touch!



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: Hi Valerie, I have 2 questions. First of all my husband and I have been married for almost five years now, when we got married we didn't have the money to have a wedding. So for our 5th anniversary in May of 2008 we are renewing our vowes and having the wedding and reception that we didn't get to have the first time. So my questions are: 1. My sister is one of my bridesmaids and she is not wanting to wear her hair like the other girls, she also has went and got a used pair of shoes that don't match what all the other girls are wearing, and all the other girls agreed on not wearing a necklace because of the cut of the dress. What do I do? 2. My mother in law volunteered to pay for the cake and the rehersal dinner, so now she calls me and asks me what we are doing about the food. Since she has waited so long to handle it all the places that we could have used are booked up. So now I have to have the dinner at my house. She said she would go to Wal-Mart and get fried chicken and that all my bridesmaids could bring a dish. Should you really ask your wedding party to cook for the rehersal dinner? I don't think so, but I could be wrong...

Answer: Hello Mandy and thank you for visiting my site. Congratulations on your vow renewal. As the bride you have the right to insist that your sister wear the right stuff or not be a part of the bridal party. It really depends on how important it is to you. I have to say it's pretty rude of her to be giving you a hard time, it's your day and it should be exactly as you want it. Regarding your rehearsal dinner...there is nothing wrong with having a pot-luck at your house. The only thing I disagree with is you having to ask your brides maids to bring dishes. This should be your Mother in law's responsibility since she is technically the host of the rehearsal dinner.



Category: Etiquette
Question: my best friend of over 10 years has asked me to be her maid of honor. i'm thrilled...but less than thrilled about the dress situation. she hasn't picked any out yet but I will be the biggest girl (weight and chest size). i tried suggesting a halter style or something that I wouldn't bust out of. she told me that i could look at style and then told me i was overstepping. I don't know what to do. I'm not about to stand up as her made of honor in a dress that my boobs and everything else are falling out of.

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. This one is easy…if this is your best friend you should just be totally honest and tell her you don’t want to feel unattractive or uncomfortable at her wedding and please work with you regarding the dress. Since you are the Maid of honor and not just a bridesmaid, it is not at all unusual for you to have a completely different style from the other girls. Good Luck!



Category: Ceremony
Question: Hello. My fiance and I are having a destination wedding and having our honeymoon while we are there. For various reasons we have decided not have invite our families to come for the wedding but to come home and have a reception to celebrate with our families and friends. My parents and sisters are very happy and excited for us and support our decison. My fiance's mom is very hurt. I have been thinking that maybe we could have some type of small ceremony (maybe to "bless" our marriage) at home, before our reception, for our parents and siblings. Any ideas on what we could do? Thanks.

Answer: Hi Jessica and thank you for visiting my site. There are lots of non-denominational officiants that will customize a brief ceremony that you can incorporate in to your reception if that is what you choose to do. You can keep it short and do it as an introduction to the reception for those who were unable to be there for your original ceremony.



Category: Etiquette
Question: My fiance is in the military and we are stationed in AZ. All our family and friends are in WA. We don't have much money right now as I just moved my daughter and I to AZ and haven't found employment yet. We are thinking about getting married at City hall and then in a few months when the weather is better, driving home to "renew or repeat our vows" and have a small reception. Is this tacky? I think it is but we don't really have another option if we want a traditional ceremony. What do you think?

Answer: Hi Lissa and thank you for visiting my site. There is nothing at all wrong with having a civil ceremony now and then a more traditional large wedding and reception later when you can better afford it. Lots of couples find themselves in this situation. There is no reason not to treat yourselves to that big event at a later time that works better for you and go ahead and get married now. Congratulations!



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: dear Valerie, My fiancé and I are planning a January winter wedding that will be inside. We are wondering how many people do a winter wedding and some extra tips for the weather. Thank you.

Answer: Hi Liz and thank you for visiting my site. I am not sure about other parts of the country, but here in Los Angeles Winter is very popular for weddings. Brides love to go with deep jewel tones and more formal events in the Winter. I work with lots of couples who theme their weddings around the season or the holidays as well. Christmas weddings and Valentines Day weddings are very popular. The only tip for weather I can think of is to remember to request coat racks or a coat check when you are planning your reception. Congratulations and good luck.



Category: Ceremony
Question: My wedding is going to be an outside wedding at a local vineyard. I was wondering what type of sound sytsem would be best so guests can hear our vows and also for our music? And more importantly where can I rent a sound system.? The reception is not being held at the same location so I can't use the DJ.

Answer: Hi Kelly and thank you for visiting my site. You need to contact an audio visual company to rent an appropriate sound system. The venue where you are getting married may have some suggestions or your DJ may be able to provide an additional system for you.



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: My daughter is engaged and had a falling out with her first cousin, they have not spoken to each other in a year, should she ask her to be a bridesmaid because she is family?

Answer: Hello Irene and thank you for visiting my site. In my opinion a bride should only have people in the bridal party that she feels the most love for. I don't agree that because someone is family they automatically should be asked to stand up for a bride.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hi Valerie! How do you list 2 Best Men in the Church Program? Is it just written Best Men and both names, or do you list them one under the other like Best Man..........John Doe Best Man..........Joe Doe The girls' listings are no problem since my daughter is having a Maid of Honor and a Matron of Honor.

Answer: Hi Deb and thank you for visiting my site. When I have seen 2 best men listed on programs it has always had both names listed as "Best Man". I believe that is the appropriate way to list them.



Category: Ceremony
Question: I am getting married in June '09 and this is a second wedding for both myself and my fiance. We are both divorced and I was wondering if it would be weird or inappropriate to have my dad walk me down the isle again. Originally I thought I wouldn't but I really want him to be a part of my wedding.

Answer: Hi Kim and thank you for visiting my site. There is nothing the least bit in appropriate about having your father walk you down the aisle a second time. It's great that your dad is still there for you! Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: My fiance and I are trying to figure out our wedding. But the first issue we are having is the location. We met in Coos Bay, Oregon where we live currently but not for much longer. We know that the wedding is for us and nobody else but we are both very close with our families and want them to be there. So our problem is where to have it. My family is in Southern California and his is in Massachusetts. There are some important people to him in his family that we know wouldn't be able to afford to fly to california for the wedding and there are quite a few people in my family (including my mother) that wouldn't be able to fly to massachusets for the wedding. What do you think would be the best/most inexpensive thing to do?

Answer: Hello Ashley and thank you for visiting my site. It sounds like people are going to have to travel either way, so maybe you could plan a destination wedding to Las Vegas. Vegas has some very inexpensive venues and you can usually find good rates on air fare and lodging. Your guests could also make this their vacation. "Victoria's Chapel" puts together complete packages to include ceremony and reception for anywhere from 10-300 guests at a very reasonable price. Good luck!



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: Hello Valerie. I have a question that hopefully will help my niece who is getting married in a few months. Her father (who she was very close to) passed away two years ago. He had remarried about a year before he died and my niece was involved in the step mother's life only as it pertained to her father. Recently, my niece was informed by her step-mother that she is seeing someone else--wanting her approval--which my niece does not care about--since the extent of the relationship with the step-mother was only that she was married to her father. My niece decided for a number of reasons not to include "and guest," on her step-mother's invitation. My niece and her fiance are paying for the wedding and have a very tight list, as well as the fact that she will have strong emotions this day with her father's absence and thinks it will be very awkward having his widow there with a date whom she has not even met and has no interest of having a relationship with him. After the invitations went out the step-mom has already questioned why she doesn't get to bring him. My niece explained that their list is tight. However, her step-mother kept pushing and is not satisfied with the answer. We (my sister/her mother) think her step-mom is being insensitive in that this man is not part of my niece's life, nor does she expect that he will be--and she will have a lot of emotion this day and knows up front she does not want this person there, but it doesn't appear she will understand. Does etiquette state it is my niece's rightful call to exclude "and guest?" even for a widowed step-parent.

Answer: Hello Charlie and thank you for visiting my site. Your question is of a very personal nature, so all I have to offer is my personal opinion. I am of the strong belief that couples should only have those people at the wedding who they most want to be there. There should not be individuals who have the potential to cause drama on the most important day of their lives. For this reason my own mother was not present at my wedding. This is the most special day in the lives of these two people as a couple...any other family dramas can be handled later, or not....I would not risk the drama this situation could cause, but of course that is a personal decision.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hi Valerie! Ok, here's my question(s), This is my 2nd wedding, fiance's 1st, he wants to get married at his church, which is baptist and I am Catholic, which doesn't matter. He wants an old fashioned "big" wedding and since it's my 2nd I wanted a more private beach wedding. We cannot agree at all! He wants several people in the wedding too, and I was hoping for maybe 2. HELP! What's the etiquette for these situations??

Answer: Hello Jen and thank you for visiting my site. Sorry to say there is no specific etiquette for your situation, this is just something the two of you will need to work out a compromise on. Good practice for the rest of married life!



Category: Ceremony
Question: I am the groom's grandmother. The wedding is in mid-April, 2010 in Boston, MA. at 2:30 p.m. Is a cocktail-length dress appropriate for a wedding at that time? If not, what length dress is? Does "color" make a difference? If so, please make suggestions. Thank you!

Answer: Hello…and thank you for visiting my site. Cocktail length or tea length is very appropriate for a mid day wedding and reception. Color is not important unless specified by the bride.



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: Hi Valerie, I am getting married in January and have been in the works of planning for just over a month. I have been in the background of numerous weddings through my church and in catering, etc,., So, I feel I know some thngs about getting married, but it is a whole new ballgame when it is your own. I am struggling with the family members, namely the moms, who want to be helpful but are proving to be stressful. This is the first wedding for both my family and my fiances family so it is an extra big deal, so to speak. I have been putting my foot down on issues where I feel I am being bullied, but I am losing my determination. I feel as though I am being torn in half by trying to involve my fiances mom as well as honor my own moms need to be involved. I don't want to have to cut them out of the process.....but I don't know what to do? I don't want to lose what my fiane and I want over the wishes of family, but how do I go about it without hurting everyones feelings?

Answer: Hello Katherine and thank you for visiting my site. Many couples go through the same frustration that you are having with trying to please everyone. Of course all of the situations are different but my personal opinion is always the same. Since it is your wedding it should be as you want it to be. I know this is tough if the parents are paying for all or most of the wedding, but that is my opinion. The only thing I can suggest is to continue to let them know which things are very important to you to make the wedding of you and your fiance's dreams. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Reception
Question: My daughter is planning to have her reception on a riverboat on a local lake. The lake is about 20 miles from our town where the ceremony will be held. The riverboat normally tours the lake for 2 hours. Guests will be able to board the boat 30 minutes before the boat departs. The wedding party will also be able to board and take pictures before the boat departs. We can set the reception time anywhere from 2 to 6 in the afternoon/early evening. We have to be off the boat by 6:00pm. We plan to have a sit down meal on the riverboat with some dancing. What would be an acceptable timeline for reception activities when we have such a limited time on the riverboat? I am also assuming that the bouquet toss and bride and groom leaving will be done after the boat docks. In addition, what would be an acceptable time for the ceremony to begin when people will need to travel about 30 minutes to the reception?

Answer: Hello Patti and thank you for visiting my site. It sounds like you have a total of 4 hours of time on the boat. I would suggest using the maximum time you have available from 2pm-6pm with the boat. If you are 30 minutes away from the ceremony site, then the ceremony should probably begin around 12:30. Weddings always run a little late and you need to allow time for travel, parking etc...The guests can board at 2pm while the bridal party finishes up with pictures. Your Grand Entrance can be just before departure at 2:30 pm. It would be a good idea to get the traditional wedding things done right away so you have time for dancing, so you could do the Grand Entrance and go right in to the couples first dance, father daughter dance and toasts with dinner immediately following. This would have you done with dinner by 4pm with an hour to 90 minutes of dancing before you dock. You could do the cake cutting as you are docking and perhaps get plastic or to go containers so your guests can enjoy the cake after you are back on shore where you will do the bouquet and garter toss. The coordinator on the boat should also have some timeline suggestions for you, this is only one option. Have a wonderful event!



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: We have decided on 6 groomsmen, and 6 bridesmaids... I am having my 5 cousins (with whom I am close with) do stuff like cut the cake and greet guests... but I still have 3 close friends who I dont want to feel like they are being left out... what can I have them do so that they feel include too... someone told me that maybe they could be "escorts" such as escort the grooms father, and his 2 grand fathers down the aisle... does that sound silly???

Answer: Hello Marie and thank you for visiting my site. No that does not sound stupid and there are several things you can ask your friends to do to make them feel included. You could have them man the gift table and keep a signed log of the gifts, they could pass out favors if you plan to have table favors for your guests. The could assemble your placecard table and assist guests with finding their seats and you could assign them little extra duties like putting together your emergency repair kit for the day of the wedding or assisting with the shower or rehearsal dinner. There are always plenty of jobs to go around when planning a wedding. If you need more suggestions I would recommend you look at one of the planning lists available in most bridal magazines. Congratulations and Good Luck!



Category: Ceremony
Question: we are having a semi-casual wedding and have decided to have a taco bar (very non traditional) we know that we will have enough food but do we still need to have RSVP's? My fiance thinks that we don't but i am not sure. Thank you

Answer: Hello Autumn and thank you for visiting my site. It would be very unusual for the venue or caterer not to require a guaranteed guest count. Even if they are not, I would recommend you give as close of a count as possible to ensure enough food.



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: Hello Valerie. I have been engaged since December. My fiance and I are not getting married until June of next year, so the wedding is a little over a year from now. We are in the initial planning stages, and the only thing we know for sure is where the ceremony will be. We will be finalizing the reception site soon. Is it appropriate for me to wait until we have finalized the reception site before I ask attendants to be in my wedding? I have been dragging my toes a bit because I foresee a bunch of drama regarding my decision. I am having a difficult time deciding who to include. Also, does the maid of honor typically assist the bride (or go with the bride) to help make wedding-related decisions (such as taste-testing caterers or picking out flowers)? Who should the bride go to for assistance, and how much should the groom be involved in the planning?

Answer: Hello Amanda and thank you for visiting my site. There is no specific timeline for selecting your attendants, it can be done at any time during your planning. It is customary for the maid of honor to assist the bride with planning and decisions, but it is really a personal decision for you to make. If you would rather do things on your own you are not required to include your maid of honor. Don't worry too much about who you pick to stand up with you, it is your wedding and should be your decision. The most important thing is to select those people who you most want to be there.



Category: Etiquette
Question: We are discussing a Sunday garden wedding, possibly in the morning, and am concerned about the logistics of decorating, etc. Is a Sunday morning wedding considered appropriate? If so, are there any guidelines you can offer. With a morning wedding, we would have a lunch reception.

Answer: Hello Reggie and thank you for visiting my site. Weddings are so wide open now there are no specific perameters and if you want a Sunday morning garden wedding that sounds just lovely. You could either do a brunch or lunch reception or even keep it as simple as cake and beverages depending on what you budget allows.



Category: Etiquette
Question: I am the mother of the groom, and my husband and I are hosting the Rehearsal Dinner. It is being held at a Yacht Club, and therefore is not a formal situation. The caterer requires the guests' choice of entree one week ahead of time. I want to have place cards for each person attending. On the back will be a code or sticker for the waiters to identify that guest's entree choice. This also prevents switching choices. My question is: How do I address the place cards? James Smith or Mr. James Smith? Mary Smith or Mrs. James Smith? I greatly appreciate your response. Thank you. Dorothy

Answer: Hello Dorothy and thank you for visiting my site. There is no set rule of thumb for addressing the placecards. Some people put both names on one card and some people use each individuals name on the cards. It is really a matter of personal preference.



Category: Etiquette
Question: We are putting the engagement announcement in the paper and have come upon a problem. How would you list parents of the groom if the mother has remarried but kept the last name of the ex-husband? This means the divorced parent have the same last name and the stepfather has a different name. Should the stepfather be listed at all?

Answer: Hello Janice and thank you for visiting my site. It really depends on the relationship of the step parent and the bride and grooms feelings about how the names are listed. The easiest way to handle this type of situation is to use the bride and grooms names followed by "together with their parents" which covers everyone.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Our minister has been retired for 13 years. We really would love him to officiate at our wedding. He livesout of town. Do we pay for his airfare or transportation to our destination? Do we also invitehis wife and pay for her airfare?

Answer: Hello Roxy and thank you for visiting my site. If you can afford to pay the expenses for your minister you should. I'm sure he is probably on a fixed income. Traditionally his wife would not be included unless you are also inviting them as a couple to be guests of your wedding. Either way I don't think it is your responsibility to pay the wifes travel expenses.



Category: Wedding Attire
Question: Is it ok if i wear a burgundy bow tie with white dots and my groomsmen wear a solid wine satin bowtie with a wine cummerbun? I was thinking it might be a color riot. i am not sure about the combination.

Answer: Hello...it's your wedding and it should be how you want it. What do you care if it's a color riot if you like it? I say go for it!



Category: Ceremony
Question: My Fiance and I are both getting married for the third time. He has 2 children, and I don't have any children. What can I do to bring them into MY family? I'm not sure exactly what I would have to do or what can be done to have a family ceremony since they will be my step son and step daughter. Another reason why I ask is because we are going to have a Military wedding since he is in the Army. Please help!!

Answer: Hello Pam and thank you for visiting my site. My apologies for the delay in response, the alert from my website that tells me when I have questions has not worked for serveral weeks and I was unaware the questions were building up. My suggestion would be to sit down with your wedding officiant and ask them how to incorporate the children in to the ceremony. There are so many different roles they could have that it depends on what you as a couple want.



Category: Reception
Question: My brother and his wife got married in Hawaii, they were planning on having their reception in June but he got orders to go to Iraq. Would it be wrong for me to send out an email to our side of the family about if they want to send gifts. Her side of the family already had their wedding reception as she lived out of state.

Answer: Hello Sharon and thank you for visiting my site. My apologies for the delay in response, the alert from my website that tells me when I have questions has not worked for serveral weeks and I was unaware the questions were building up. I think it might be nicer to send cards in the mail to the brides family. Something like "Share our Joy" or "Celebrate the Union", that way the family of the bride has the option to send or gift or not if they wish.



Category: Invitations
Question: The wedding is happening at grandpas house. He is a retired Colonel and I d not know how this should be listed on the invitation... At the residence of Colonel Bob Jones Retired???

Answer: Hi Sharon and thank you for visiting my site. I believe retired military are like retired Presidents and once a Colonel always addressed as Colonel.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Hello, Valerie, I was trying to keep our wedding in Honolulu simple with only one maid of honor and one Best Man. I was also not going to have a flower girl or ring bearer. Is there something wrong with that?

Answer: Hello Jaime and thank you for visiting my site. My apologies for the delay in response, the alert from my website that tells me when I have questions has not worked for serveral weeks and I was unaware the questions were building up. Destination weddings are often kept very small and there is nothing at al wrong with that.



Category: Ceremony
Question: I sent a question in on 7/10/08. I have been searching for it and can not find the answer. It was put under Ceremony. Do you email the answers as well

Answer: Hello, and thank you for visiting my site. I do email the answers, but am only able to get to my questions every couple of weeks. This website is a hobby in addition to my day to day job and in the heat of wedding season I only answer the questions every couple of weeks or so.



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: My son and future daughter in-law are getting married on Feb 28th in Washington State. The mother of the bride has yet to let me know what she is wearing or even a color she might wear. I have asked my future daughter in-law what she would like me to wear and she said what ever I want to wear is fine with her. I know her dress is not formal (because she is wearing my dress that I wore for my second wedding) it is calf length and white with a rose pattern in the material. Her bride’s maids are wearing royal blue dress that is long and my granddaughter is the flower girl and wearing a white organza dress with royal blue accent. The wedding is set for 3:00pm at a golf course. Ant there will be an informal reception after at the bride’s family’s home. What color and style dress should I wear? I am thinking maybe a chocolate brown color and knee length. I live in a very warm climate and fear that it will be very cold in Washington on that day.

Answer: Hello Shelley and thank you for visiting my site. Bottom line...the bride said you should wear whatever you like and that is the bottom line. She is not requesting colors or styles for the mother's, so pick something that makes you feel beautiful and comfortable!



Category: Engagement
Question: I was asked to put the engagement announcement in the newspaper for our son and future daughter in law..the question is..they are getting married Nove. 1 in Hawaii by themselves and Dec. 3 our son is being deployed to Afghanistan. We will have a huge reception for them in one year but how do we announce that in that paper and should we mention at all about his upcoming deployment. He is active duty medic stationed in Vermont and we are so roud and happy for them both...they found eachother.

Answer: Hello Edward and thank you for visiting my site. It would be appropriate to include all of the information in the annoucement, this will let your freinds and family know of the impending marriage and that a celebration will follow at a later time. Congratulations on having a wonderful son!



Category: Ceremony
Question: Is it OK to use a bank of lit candles in lue of altar flowers to decorate the church at a 2:30 pm wedding in September? Th church uses a set of beautiful candle stands to decorate for Christmas, and I'm thinking they would look great for the wedding.... BUT....Will it look weird or in bad taste to have candles lit while the sun is shining?

Answer: Hello… and thank you for visiting my site. I think that sounds very pretty and usually the lighting is somewhat dim in a church so it should be a lovely effect. There is nothing about candles during the day that is in bad taste at all.



Category: Ceremony
Question: Hi Valerie, My name is Robin Sumner, My ex-husband were married for 15 years. We got a divorce almost 4 years ago, My question is, I have been to Gatlinburg Tn. before, and I love it there, My ex ask me to re-marry him. We just want to go to a small chapel, Do we have to have a witness? And do we have to get a marriage license? We just want it to be the two of us, spend a few days on our honeymoon there and come home, Would you please reply to my e-mail? Thank you very much: Robin Sumner

Answer: Hello Robin and thank you for visiting my site. My apologies for the delay in response, the alert from my website that tells me when I have questions has not worked for serveral weeks and I was unaware the questions were building up. To my knowledge you must have a witness and a license to remarry. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: I am having a simple ceremony in Gatlinburg, TN that has turned into a little bigger than I expected. The ceremony is going to have a Medalion ceremony for our children. My question is we have 3 daugthers ranging from 5 to 13. Would it be inappropriate to have the 2 younger girls in red and the older girl in black?

Answer: Hello Leilani and thank you for visiting my site. I am sorry but I do not know what a "Medalion" ceremony is.



Category: Ceremony
Question: I am getting married in December and we have booked a Victorian style ballroom to have the ceremony and the reception in. But I have no clue how to decorate for this. Would I use tables instead of chairs??? Help is need Christine

Answer: Hi Christine and thank you for visiting my site. It sounds like you are having the ceremony and reception in the same room? There are a couple of different options if this is the case, you could have guests seated at the dinner tables for the ceremony and then have the DJ or band set up on the stage where the ceremony was held while you are having dinner, or if space permits in the ballroom could have the ceremony at one end of the room and then have the chairs put back around the dinner tables after the service. I would really need more information to answer your questions properly. I would suggest going over you options with the manager or event planner from the facility who is assisting you.



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: Valerie, My sister-in-law is getting married next fall and is having isssues with who to invite or not to. One in particular is her brother who has a dringk problem. Every occasion he goes to and there is liquor he seems to start trouble. He caused a fight at his brothers wedding a few years back which resulted in the police showing up at the reception. My husband antother brother says not to invite him, but my sister-in-law feels it's her brother and she might have to. Does she have to?

Answer: Hello Laura and thank you for visiting my site. NO! Your sister-in-law has no obligation to invite someone who she is concerned may spoil her biggest day. If she wants to be extra courteous she could let her brother know why he is not being invited.



Category: Ceremony
Question: Hi Valerie. My fiance and I are both pagan and my mother is having a fit that we want to have a non-denominational ceremony. my Uncle Jim has offered to preform the ceremony but refuses to do a non-denominational service. what should we do? and #2...I want my father to walk me down the aisle but he refuses to wear a tux and when i suggested that he wear just the pants shirt and vest( as are the men in my party as we are getting married on a beach) he still said no and I don't know what to do. thanks, Chrissy

Answer: Hello Chrissy and thank you for visiting my site. I am a firm believer that couples should have the wedding that they want and not what family or other influences want. I would pass on Uncle Jim if he will not perform the kind of ceremony you are both comfortable with and want for your wedding. There are lots of officiants that will customize your wedding to your personal beliefs and wishes. As far as what your dad will be wearing, does it really matter? If it does then I would politely tell him you respect his choice that he will not wear what you want the men to wear, but you want to keep the look consistant for the people in the Bridal party. You can make a spectacular entrance walkiing down the aisle alone, or you can bite the bullet and let you dad do what he wants.



Category: Ceremony
Question: Hi Valerie, Thanks for all of the good information I have already read on your site. My daughter is getting married in Hawaii next May. We know that most of our friends will not be attending, and we planned to send a photo from the wedding as an announcements afterwards. I know that many will send gifts. The kids are finishing college before the wedding and do not know where they will land jobs. They currently live with the grooms parents (very generous), and do not have too much ' 'stuff'' accumulated. They would like to keep it that way until they find out where they will be living. All that said, what they would like is financial contributions to their honeymoon, but the announcements would not go out until afterwards. Should we send announcements before with a registry insert (like your recommendation of RegistryPalace.com)? My daughter and I feel that the photo is more fun, and we don't want people to feel like we are asking for gifts. Any advice or ideas? Thanks, Kim

Answer: Hello Kim and thank you for visiting my site. There is nothing wrong at all with including a registry insert with the announcement. It will actually save your guests the trouble of having to get in touch with you or your daughter to find out where the couple is registered.



Category: Ceremony
Question: We are getting married July 2009 but want to get a head start on our planning. I am having bridesmen instead of bridesmaids, we have planned for them(3) to walk in with their girlfriends and seat them in one of the front pews but how would we have them walk out with the groomsmen(3) so they don`t look gay??

Answer: Hi Lacey, I would suggest having the girlfriends get up to join your bridesmen as they exit.



Category: Etiquette
Question: Valerie, currently we are going to classes through our church which are required prior to our wedding. We meet at a couples home weekly. Is it proper etiquette that we extend an invitation to them to our wedding?

Answer: Hello Debbie and thank you for visiting my site. There is no etiquette that requires you to invite these people. If you have grown fond of them and would like them to be there then that's great, but it is not necessary just to be polite.



Category: Ceremony
Question: Hi. I recently got engaged to my boyfriend of 2 1/2 years. My sister who is four years older did not seem thrilled for us. Less than a month later she announced her engagement to her boy friend of 2 months. I feel like she is rushing this because she cannot stand the idea of her little sister being engaged before her. I am also hurt that she did it so soon after me. It feels like she is taking the spotlight of my engagement off me. Do you think I have a right to feel hurt by this? I believe her timing was distasteful. Do you agree?

Answer: Hello Diana and thank you for visiting my site. I think if you have hurt feelings you have hurt feelings, and it's not a matter of if you have a right to feel that way, you just do. It seems like it would have been handled better for your sister to talk to you about her engagement before announcing it. The only suggestion I have for you is to honestly let her know how her actions make you feel, and then move forward to plan the wedding of your dreams. Good Luck!



Category: Ceremony
Question: Hello Valerie, I'm not getting married for just over a year, we've recently just gotten engaged and started the planning process. We have run into a big stumper with the wedding attendants. He doesn't have anyone really close to him that he feels comfortable asking to be his best man. He has moved around, a few times across the country, and therefore doesn't have any real close friends. And his jobs are not in social settings either. He is not close to his father or half- brothers either. I would really like my sister to be my maid of honor and my best friend to stand up for me too, but with him not being able to think of someone he wants to be there for him it is making planning difficult. But I don't want him trying to pick someone he isn't comfortable with either, not for a important day like this one. I don't mind having a creative or non traditional ceremony. I'm just not sure how to make it work in this situation. Can you please help or give us ideas? Thank you so much,

Answer: Hi Kori and thank you for visiting my site. There is no set number of attendants that have to stand up for the bride and groom. If you want your sister and best friend to be the only members of the bridal party, that would be just fine. Just to balance the setting maybe one could stand next to you and the other stand next to your fiance. It does not make sense to have somenone in your bridal party that is not very special to either the bride or groom, and there are no set rules as to how many on each side. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Family & Attendants
Question: Hi Valerie! My Husband and I are renewing our vows in March 2008. I asked his cousin to be in the wedding and he said I think my church anniversary is that weekend. So because my husband wanted him in the wedding i changed the date. Now I have just called this cousin again and he moved his church function to te weekend of my wedding. His mother came to my house and told my husband to change the date so that he could be in it. I have everything booked for the 22nd. I don't think it is fair for me to change the daye again. I even have already made the invitations for this date. Do you think I should change it again or leave it where it is at? Please Help.

Answer: Hello Pamela and thank you for visiting my website. I agree it's not fair for you to change your dates again. You should tell your husband's cousin, while you would love him to participate the, date is set and invitations are printed. Good luck.



Category: Vendors
Question: I just got engaged and i always wanted to be married by the water. I wanted to know how to find out about renting a house in the hamptons on long island and having my ceramony and reception there

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. Not being from the area I do not have any direct referrals for the Hamptons…my suggestion would be to use “Google” on the internet and type in wedding ceremony near water in the Hamptons…any sites that offer these features will be pulled up and give you additional information. You could also try contacting the chamber of commerce in the area who could give you a listing of facilities that hold weddings. Congratulations and good luck!



Category: Ceremony
Question: My name is Christina. My fiance' has a daughter. I was wondering if their are any special traditions I can use at the wedding, I want to incorporate her into the ceremony.

Answer: Hi Christina and thank you for visiting my site. I am sorry but you have not given enough information for me to suggest traditional ceremony information. What culture is the wedding? Different religions and different races have very different traditional customs.



Category: Ceremony
Question: I rarely go to church now, but went regularly growing up. I have asked my old youth minister to marry my fiance and I. He told us to get in touch with him 6 months prior to the wedding for premarital counseling. I tried to call to do this but the number has been disconnected. I have an address for him, but I really don't want to show up to his house. Should I write a letter? What would you suggest I do?

Answer: Hello Amber and thank you for visiting my site. A letter sounds like a perfect idea.



Category: Reception
Question: Hello Valerie, When a question is posted to you does it go on the forum? I was looking for mine, but I can't find it. I hope you got it. Thanks

Answer: Hello and thank you for visiting my site. All of the answered questions go in to the directory. Since this website is a hobby and I have a full time job as well, sometimes it takes me several weeks to get to the questions. Also, if a question is of a very personal nature I may not answer it because I feel uncomfortable. Since I am going through all of my questions today I hope you find yours.


 

About Valerie Lehman  


Valerie started in the hotel industry directly out of high school and was immediately transfixed with catering and event planning. She was quickly promoted, and at the age of 20 coordinated her first wedding as a Catering Manager at Red Lion/Sea Tac in Seattle.

She has always loved planning weddings and personal celebrations more than any other type of event. Valerie has coordinated over 600 weddings over a period of 22 years. Her largest wedding was for over 600 people at the Bonaventure Hotel and her most unique wedding was a themed wedding from the renaissance era where the guests wore elaborate costumes and white powdered wigs

Her most challenging wedding was a ceremony and reception in Walnut Creek California when the power went out throughout the state for 14 hours. She recalls "We boiled water with fire and served pasta, and used a portable battery powered radio for the music."

Valerie says she "loves the feeling of a happy bride and groom and the trust that they put in to me while helping them with their event."

In addition, while at the Bonaventure hotel in Los Angeles, she coordinated events for the Los Angeles Lakers as well as 2000 Democratic National Convention events for Hillary Clinton and Joe Lieberman. Currently she is Catering Manager at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.


(c) 2005 By Valerie Lehman - ValeriesWeddings.com (Valerie@ValeriesWeddings.com)