November 18

Rant or Rave: Friends or Family at a Marriage Proposal

Once in a lifetime photos? Or a special private moment? The jury is out on whether to have friends or family at the marriage proposal.


We’ve heard stories of family that is there snapping photos but otherwise remain unseen to full-on parties where everyone there knows the news and is in on helping plan the surprise. And, of course, a more traditional private moment just for the two of you. Would you rather keep the special moment in your memory or share it with those close to you? Rant or rave and tell us about your proposal story!


December 3

Can I Take Back a Wedding Invitation?

This is a fairly common question with a pretty steadfast answer, so we wanted to address them all in one big bundle. Here are just a few of the scenarios posited by readers:

  • I had a falling out with a friend. Can I take back her wedding invitation?
  • My two aunts are in a fight, and they say they can’t stand to be in the same room. Should I un-invite one?
  • My brother and his girlfriend broke up, but she and I are close friends and I still want her to attend the wedding. Do I have to rethink my guest list?

In all of these cases, our team of etiquette experts agrees—wedding invitations cannot be recalled. Once your invitations are out, they’re out, so be sure to carefully comb through your guest list before sending them to your family and friends.

As far as fights and awkward encounters are concerned, you have three options:

  1. Try to reconcile if you’re involved. After all, your wedding should be the start of your happily ever after!
  2. Talk to each injured party about your expectations for the big day (if it’s appropriate).
  3. Trust that your loved ones are more interested in seeing you happy than fighting during the chicken dance.

Like many issues that crop up during wedding planning, we think this type of situation can usually be fixed with a little patience, understanding and communication. Do you agree? What advice would you give in the same situations?

Do you have a question for our wedding experts? Send your etiquette, wedding planning or style dilemma to and we’ll post an answer for you.


November 23

Thanksgiving Cooking Tips from Our Favorite Chef

Much to my tastebuds’ delight, my significant other makes his living as a chef. This year will be our first to host family Thanksgiving, and as it quickly approaches, a million lists are forming in my mind.

What can we prepare beforehand? Need to borrow an extra table from a friend. Forgot to pick up a tablecloth!

Him? Cool as a cucumber. I asked him what he does to prepare for a big meal like this, and aside from the know-how of cooking for 100+ people five nights a week, here’s what he had to share for a successful feast.

1. Work ahead.

  • Peel potatoes the day before and store them submerged in water in the refrigerator. The water will keep them from turning brown.
  • If you’re making stuffing, chop the onion, celery and other ingredients the day before and store them in the fridge.
  • Do as much as you can on Wednesday. Make your pies, sweet potatoes and anything else that will reheat well.

2. Make sure your turkey is ready.

  • If using a frozen turkey, make sure it is completely thawed by Wednesday. If needed, run cold water over the bird to speed the process.
  • Make sure the turkey is at room temperature before you start roasting it. Remove it from the fridge at least one hour before cooking.
  • Invest in a meat thermometer. Check the temperature on the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone.
  • A turkey is considered fully cooked at 180.° Dark meat takes the longest to cook, so always check the thigh. He recommends taking the turkey out of the oven when the temperature reads in the 175° range, as the temperature will continue to rise internally once removed from the oven.
  • Don’t wait until it’s too late to test the temperature of the bird. Start checking around the 2.5 hour mark.

3. Get as much help as you can.

  • Whether it’s your first time or you’re a seasoned entertainer, don’t take on too much. Leave time to enjoy the day!
  • Order rolls and perhaps even dessert from your local bakery to save time and hassle.

4. The turkey is in charge.

  • Most likely, the turkey is going to take up all of your oven space for most of the day, so have anything that needs to be cooked in the oven ready beforehand, and reheat it once the turkey is resting.
  • On that note, always rest the turkey at least a half hour before carving. If the turkey is done well in advance, it can be reheated at a low temperature.
  • If you have a small dinner planned, a turkey breast is large enough to serve 2-3 people.

Above all, have a happy Thanksgiving!

Do you have any tips or comments to add? Leave us a note below!


November 12

Involving Both Families in the Holidays: Rant or Rave

Living in a different part of the country from our respective families makes holiday planning a bit tricky for my significant other and me. Should we fly to your family or mine for Thanksgiving? Should they come to us? What about Christmas? It’s a dilemma that many of you are probably faced with, too. How do you involve both sets of families in your holiday season?

Are you planning to carve the bird with his family or yours this year? Do you have any advice for newlyweds splitting their time between families during the holidays? Does coordinating with both families during the holidays make you want to rant or rave?


July 30

Insistent Family Members: Rant or Rave

Everyone in your family has a different idea about how they want to contribute to your big day. For some, it’s planning the perfect shower or lending you your “something borrowed.” For others, it may be a little more extreme—Aunt Melba wants to sing a duet with you. During the ceremony.

When it comes to persistent family members, is it best to stand your ground or is it easier to give in to uninvited requests?  Have you had an experience with a family member who couldn’t take “no” for an answer? How did you handle it? Do family members who insist on playing a part in your wedding make you want to rant or rave?


July 30

Including a Future Sister-in-Law as a Bridesmaid?

Sometimes, from the moment you get engaged to the instant you say “I do,” it can feel like your wedding is more about friends and family than you and your fiance. As a perfect example of this family compromise versus personal preference scenario, here’s a tricky question we just got from a Wedding Paper Divas fan:

Dear Divas,

I’m recently engaged and fairly new to the whole wedding planning scene, so I was surprised when a good friend of mine was shocked that I wasn’t planning to include my fiance’s sister as one of my bridesmaids. My future sister-in-law is perfectly nice and has always made me feel at home in their family, but she is much older than me and I wouldn’t call us particularly close. Am I obligated to include her as one of my bridesmaids regardless?

Thanks for your help,

Soon-to-Be Sister-in-Law

Dear Soon-to-Be,

This is one of those tricky questions where the answer is—it depends. Is your bridal party big already? Do you get along well with her? Have you heard that she’s even interested in being a bridesmaid? And perhaps most importantly, is it important to your husband-to-be?

In general, I vote for including her as a bridesmaid. Whether you are close to her or not, asking your fiance’s sister to be a bridesmaid is a wonderful way to integrate her into your celebration. Imagine if your own sibling were getting married—wouldn’t you want to play a part in the big day? Plus, you are going to be family once you and her brother tie the knot. Why not make this gesture to start your sister-in-law relationship on the right foot?

The only reasons I would advise against including her is if she has been overtly rude to you or if she has told your fiance she doesn’t want to participate. I know you always imagined standing up at the altar with just your best girlfriends, but let’s face it—wedding planning isn’t just about making yourself happy. It’s not worth it to alienate your future in-laws just to free up a spot in the lineup, so we recommend including your future sister-in-law as a bridesmaid as a generous, loving and kindhearted gesture that will kick off your wedding planning in an elegant way.

And who knows? Maybe when you look back on your wedding photos in twenty years the two of you will be the best of friends after all!

Do you have a question for our wedding experts? Send your etiquette, wedding planning or style dilemma to and we’ll post an answer for you!