Photo: Rebecca Gosselin Photography
From non-existent RSVPs to family members's critiques, dealing with your wedding guests can be difficult. Never fear! Our etiquette experts are here to answer all of your sticky wedding guest and family questions so it's only smooth sailing ahead.
Some of my relatives say they are not coming to my 3:30 PM wedding ceremony because they have weekly errands to run. They are planning only to attend the wedding reception, which is at 5 PM. I'm offended! Should I tell them?
We don't blame you for being upset that they would rather hit the dry cleaner than watch you recite your vows, but think carefully before confronting them. Even if you were able to guilt them into attending, would you really feel better knowing they had come only because you forced the issue? Take the high road, and do not mention their absence when you greet them at the reception.
My fiancé and I are vegetarians, and we planned a fantastic meatless feast. My mother, however, thinks that we're being rude hosts by not serving meat to the rest of our guests. What do you think?
It's a tough call. If you feel very strongly about not serving meat, you should go ahead with your vegetarian dinner plans — even if your guests are normally carnivorous, they may really enjoy the enticing menu you have planned. On the other hand, the sign of a good host is someone who keeps their guests in mind when planning a party. If your family and friends are real "meat and potatoes" sorts who might find your menu too exotic for their tastes, compromise by offering one entree that will please the meat-eating crowd.
Our RSVP deadline was yesterday and I haven't heard from a third of our guests! Should we assume they're not coming? What should we do?
As irritating as it sounds, you're going to have to chase down those RSVPs. We totally get it — after all the work you've put in to your invitations, they least they could do is respond with a simple "yes" or "no." You even provided the stamped envelope! But for some reason, failure to RSVP is an epidemic and your guests will always have a reason — they either lost the card, simply forgot to mail it, assumed you already know they'll be there, or thought that telling your groom verbally that they're coming would suffice (nope!). But as annoying as it may be, you should never assume that they're not coming.
Since your RSVP deadline was yesterday, you should call each guest who hasn't responded immediately. If that's a lot of phone calls, divvy up the list with your fiancé and loved ones. If you get their voice mail, add a time by which you'd like to hear back: "If we don't hear from you by Thursday, we'll put you down as a no. Sorry to miss you." And while a phone call is preferred, email is acceptable too.