Wedding Planning: Common Problems, Solved
How to Say No to Unwanted Wedding Guests
Request: Your third cousin asks to bring her boyfriend-of-the-month to your $150-a-plate wedding reception.
What you should say: "We've already had to make so many tough decisions to get the guest list down to size. We really can't squeeze in/afford another guest. But I would love to have you two over for drinks sometime so I can meet him."
Why it works: If you illuminate some of your behind-the-scenes planning, your cousin may get a clue about the inappropriateness of the request.
Why you shouldn't feel guilty: It's your party and your pocketbook, says author Patti Breitman.
How to avoid the situation in the future: Make a few calls before you put together the guest list to see if there are new additions you should consider as you plan.
Tips for the Toastee
Wedding Ceremony and Reception: How to Recycle Flowers
How to Break in Your In-Laws
It's often the dark side of the lovely mother-daughter relationship: the mother-in-law-daughter-in-law relationship. If you feel smothered by a mother-in-law who calls hourly, flatter rather than stiff-arm her (but be genuine). "Tell her, `I'm so in love with your son that I want to have him all to myself right now.' It lets her know that she is great and raised a wonderful son, not that she's in your way," says Eden Unger Bowditch, coauthor of The Daughter-in-Law's Survival Guide ($13, amazon.com.). Take your in-laws out to dinner shortly after the honeymoon, suggests Martha Edwards. Thank them for all they did during the wedding, and start your new life together on a positive note. If possible, both you and your spouse should also spend some time alone with your respective in-laws after you get married. To avoid holiday conflicts, set a schedule in advance and stick to it: Alternate Thanksgivings with each family, for example. Creating a schedule for monthly dinners with in-laws is a good idea, too, because it helps establish boundaries about when and where you'll see each other.
The Perfect "Thank You" Note
You should send a hand-written note...
- If you are given a gift for a wedding, a graduation, or the birth of a child.
- If you were given a gift that you didn't open in the giver's presence.
- If you were an overnight guest at someone's home.
- To acknowledge a condolence note, flowers, or a donation given in a loved one's name.
- To acknowledge a note or a fruit basket given in response to an illness.
You can say "thank you" via phone or e-mail...
- If you are sent flowers by your sweetheart or parents. (Do it promptly, so the sender knows they arrived.)
- If you are given a gift by an employer or a colleague, or if you were thrown a baby shower or a birthday party at the office.
- If you were a guest at a dinner or a party.