Downsizing Dilemma : What to do when you have a small wedding

Q. I am 32 years old and engaged to be married. I have never ever wanted to have a large wedding. I have discussed it with my fiancee and he is supportive and sympathetic. I only want to invite a small number of people, close family and best friends on both sides, a maximum of 25 people.

However I have many friends and have attended many weddings over the years and I anticipate some negative response to my announcement that I will not be having a wedding, just a small ceremony. How do I handle this so that our friends realize that whilst their support and good wishes are very much appreciated, we are determined to keep our wedding small?

A. It is yours and your fiances choice on the size of your wedding. To uninvited friends, you can simply say you appreciate their good wishes but you have decided on a small wedding. No further explanation is needed.

Seating Situation : Where to seat people at a wedding?

Q. My question is in reference to a wedding rehearsal dinner. What should be the seating
arrangement at the head table for the groom’s mother, stepfather, biological father and guest, bride’s mother and father? Is there any certain order that we should sit? We will be at the long square type table and is it suitable for the mother of the groom to do a speech and toast at the dinner instead of the groom’s father?

A. Former spouses should not be seated next to each other. At a long rectangular table, it would be best to seat the groom’s mother and stepfather at one end and his biological father and guest at the other end.

Yes, it is suitable for the mother of the groom to give the first toast instead of the groom’s father, if the groom approves.

When should you call to congratulate an engagement?

Q. My son just proposed to his girlfriend, should I call her parents to congratulate them?

A. When parents of the bride and groom have not met each other before the wedding, tradition has it that the groom’s family calls the bride’s family to introduce themselves, express their happiness, and extend an invitation for a meeting. Even if you already have met her parents, this is a time of joy for the couple. Both sets of parents should act with spontaneity and in the spirit of the friendship, regardless of who makes the first contact.