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.

What’s allowed for vows ? : Do you need to memorize your vows ?

Q.  Is it okay to read vows to my groom from an index card?

A. Sure. It is an emotional time and if you are concerned that your mind will go blank having your vows written out will be an aid to you. The option is to memorize them and give the card to your officiant so that he or she can prompt you if you forget. Best wishes.