Have a question about your wedding plans? Bride’s Guide wants to help. We have a direct line to many experts in the field and we offer you their opinions and ours. To all of you, who wrote to us on the web, thanks we love hearing from you.
Q. I’m confused about wedding invitations. I was told that in addition to sending out wedding invitations, I should send out a “save the date” card. Is this necessary? I am planning my wedding for 20017.
A. A “save the date” card is an excellent idea to inform friends and family to hold the date for your wedding. A “save the date” card gives friends and family a heads up to lock in the date. The advance notice is usually appreciated for busy folk who plan ahead. Save the date cards are usually sent between nine and twelve months before the wedding.
Q. Should shower gifts and wedding gifts be displayed and opened at the ceremony?
A. It is proper to open gifts at a shower—not at a wedding. At your shower your maid of honor should write down the name of the gift giver and the gift as you open gifts. Gifts are usually opened toward the end of the shower.
Wedding gifts can be placed on a table near the ceremony site. Sometimes they are mailed ahead to the bridal couple’s home. You can have your attendants help you bring gifts from the ceremony site to your car or limousine.
Thank you notes should go out as soon as possible for both shower and wedding gifts.
Q. As parents of the groom, we have offered to pay extra for guests at the reception. We have a large family and out number the bride’s by two to one. Is this proper?
A. Not only is this proper, it is a kind thing to do. Nowadays, couples, and both parents are footing the bill for the reception.
Q. I have chosen the most beautiful centerpieces for my wedding. I don’t want my guests to take them home. I am reserving them for my two aunts and their friends who reside in a nearby nursing home. How do I let my guests know that they are reserved?
A. What a lovely idea! If they can’t come to the wedding, you can bring a piece of the wedding to them. Have your florist or the person who is making up your invitations write the names of the persons that you are giving the centerpiece to on a decorative tag. Your florist or you can attach these tags to the centerpieces. These tags should say that although these guests aren’t physically in attendance, they are thought of and are here in spirit.
Q. My fiancé’s parents are hosting our rehearsal dinner. My parents want them to invite a few guests who are coming from out of town. They said they just want to invite immediate friends and the bridal party. Who is right?
A. It’s not a question of right or wrong. It is the nice thing to do to invite out of town guests to dinner. If it is a matter of expense, why not ask your parents and groom to help with the bill?
Q. My stepfather and I are very close. He raised me as if I was his blood relative. How can I honor him at my wedding?
A. First, you should have him walk you down the aisle. Second, you should have the first dance with your stepdad. Tell the disk jockey or bandleader to make an announcement that you feel so lucky to have this man in your life. You can also share your feelings about him in a toast to him at the ceremony.
Q. My fiancée and I are getting married at our Town Hall. We will have a reception following at a catering site. My parents believe that Town Hall is impersonal and would like us to marry in a church. How do I keep the peace?
A. Why not hire a clergy member to do the ceremony at Town Hall. Ask your parents to attend and to take part in the ceremony. You can talk to the Justice of the Peace or clergy member. To make this a warm and fuzzy moment, you can also write your own vows. Being married in Town Hall can be special too.
Q. Help, my groom-to-be wants me to take his name. I’m 35 years old and have been known by my name forever! People in my profession know me by my birth name. I don’t want to change it. I also don’t want to insult my groom or his family. What should I do?
A. You can take his name and use it everywhere except work or you can keep your own name. This shouldn’t be such a major issue, but many of us women are attached to our birth names. You can also add his last name to yours.
The bottom line is that you two should reach an amicable decision. I took my husband’s family name because it made him so happy.
Q. My future groom has money issues. He likes to spend and I like to save. We are talking about joint bank accounts. What do you suggest?
A. Most couples today have joint and separate bank accounts. The best advice is to talk with a financial planner and make sure you are both on the same page when discussing your future.
Q. I just love my wedding dress. I want to wear it again. Have you ever heard of anyone doing so?
A. Believe it or not, yes. I know of two women who held anniversary parties where they invited all of their married friends to show up in their wedding attire. Another bride took her dress to a tailor and had a blouse made out of it. It is quite beautiful.
Q. I want our wedding to reflect our heritage. My husband’s family comes from Scotland and I come from Ecuador. How can we incorporate some of the traditions of our past into our wedding?
A. Excellent question! You can purchase wedding attire that reflects your heritage. The Piper’s Cove, for instance, sells and rents kilts and other items from Scotland, Ireland, and England. Talk to your caterer about including special foods from your country. Have your music reflect your heritage too.
Q. I don’t wear a lot of makeup. Actually, there are many days when I just don’t wear any makeup at all. Do really I need some on my wedding day?
A. Yes. I can relate. I don’t wear a lot of makeup either. However, the camera can make a person look washed out. A bit of color goes a long way. Makeup artists really know their craft and can create a natural look without making you feel uncomfortable. The best route is to meet with one and arrange a trial. Then on the day of your wedding, it is one less thing to think about. Plus, you will feel special while you are being pampered. You can even treat your bridesmaids and mom to a makeup session on the day of your wedding. The makeup artist will travel to your wedding site for the big day.
Q. Can my bridesmaids were different outfits?
A. Definitely, but try to stick with the same color scheme or go monochromatic. This way there will be some uniformity in the photos.
Q. I am torn between asking my very best friend and my sister to be my maid of honor. I just don’t know who to choose?
A. You can have two maids of honors. It’s been done before and they can share the duties. Let them know that you feel that they are both special to you and that you cherish them both.