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!
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:
Try to reconcile if you’re involved. After all, your wedding should be the start of your happily ever after!
Talk to each injured party about your expectations for the big day (if it’s appropriate).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll post an answer for you.
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!
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?
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?
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:
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,
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 email@example.com and we’ll post an answer for you!
Wedding planning is hard work, but that’s not an excuse to forget about the special holidays dedicated to those you love! This Father’s Day offers the perfect opportunity to show your dad and your father-in-law-to-be just how much you appreciate all of the wonderful things they bring to your life.
With Father’s Day coming up on June 20th, now is the time to start formulating your plan. Whether you intend to treat Dad to a big plate of homemade brownies, a day of golf or a brand new tie, these stylish Father’s Day greeting cards from our parent site, Tiny Prints, will be perfect accessories. You can even add photos and a unique message to make your greetings extra personal.
I absolutely adore the Mustache Brigade greeting card below—but that’s probably because my dad had a rockin’ mustache for the first 18 years of my life! Which design is your favorite?
If you’re recently married (or about to tie the knot), there’s one person you certainly don’t want to forget on Mother’s Day—your new Mother-in-Law. Whether she’s a saint or a true Monster-in-Law, she’s a part of the family now…
To make sure you celebrate your first Mother’s Day with her in style, check out our brand new line of greeting cards. Tiny Prints Greetings offers a fun and easy way to personalize greeting cards for everyone on your mailing list. Plus, you get three cards FREE when you sign up, so you have nothing to lose!
Imagine how much your Mother-in-Law would love a photo Mother’s Day card with a picture from the wedding?
Big family events like weddings tend to bring up some touchy issues. Whether your father refuses to speak to your Aunt Edna, your mother is still livid with your cousin Jane or you haven’t spoken to your sister since last Christmas, nothing will force family grudges to the forefront like making a guest list for your wedding.
According to this interesting article on Divine Caroline, holding on to grudges isn’t just bad for your big day. The stress of staying mad at someone has the same negative effects on your health as the stress you encounter at your job, leading to problems like high blood pressure, a suppressed immune system and hair loss.
If the thought of losing your hair or feeling ill throughout your wedding planning doesn’t make you want to clear the air, consider the fact that it only takes one angry relative to set off a fight that could threaten the serenity of your entire event.
Don’t start your happily ever after with a cloud hanging over the day. If you’re holding on to a grudge, try some of these tips from Divine Caroline to begin to let go. If the angry party is someone you are close to, forward them this article with your heartfelt hope that they can clear the air and help you celebrate in peace.
Figure out what’s making you dwell on the issue in the first place. Talking it out with an impartial third party or writing it down can help you sort through and understand your emotions.
In whatever form forgiveness comes, remember that it’s not the same as forgetting, which is something that might never happen. The memory can last, but if you’ve truly forgiven someone, its ties to residual anger should be severed.
Becoming cognizant of a grudge’s ill effects on your life makes holding on to one seem all the more pointless.
As I channel surfed last Friday night (Yes, I was at home, channel surfing on a Friday night. Something happens when you get married…or is it old? Either way. You suddenly find great joy in staying in. But I digress… ) I stumbled across the movie “Monster-in-law” with Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda. After Charlotte (JLo) gets engaged to Viola’s (Jane Fonda) son Kevin (Michael Vartan), insanity ensues. Viola can’t imagine that the lowly Charlotte, a simple dog-walker and temp, could ever be good enough for Kevin. From invading their privacy to hiding peanuts in Charlotte’s food to trigger her allergy the night before the wedding, she’ll stop at nothing to ensure she remains number one in her darling son’s life. But Charlotte isn’t spineless, and does her best to fight back.
Although this is an extreme (albeit hilarious!) example of the relationship between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, it actually is not as far-fetched as it may seem. This unique relationship has been chronicled for years, with self-help books and TV shows galore aimed at solving the age-long mystery of exactly why this female-to-female relationship can be so rocky. I never believed the hype until I myself got married. Somewhere between the new daughter-in-law taking first place in her husband’s life and the mother-in-law feeling like she’s losing a son, a lot of resentment and dare I say, even jealousy, develops.
The question is, how do you stop this from happening when you enter a new relationship? How do you keep it from getting worse over the years? I know there are plenty of people out there who are lucky enough to be as close to their in-laws as they are to their own parents. I’d love to hear from anyone out there–what is your relationship with your mother-in-law like? Is she a monster-in-law or a second mother to you?