Dear Zadie:  I am getting married at Christmas and we’ve asked my niece to be our flower girl.  The big debate is who pays for the dress.  My brother, father of the flower girl, says he does and her mother says I do.  Can you offer a little advice here, please?


Dear Bride:  In a traditional wedding, the parents of the flower girl pay.  However, that said, this could be a negotiable question.  If the parents of the flower girl are unable to come up with the money because dress is terribly expensive, help from the bride or whoever is paying for the wedding is not out of the question.  Thirty years ago, these questions never came up because weddings tended to be much simpler.



Dear Zadie:  Our wedding will be held in an old college chapel with slate floors.  Do you have a suggestion how we can muffle the sounds of footsteps as the wedding party proceeds down the aisle and back up again?


Dear Hearing Footsteps:  I doubt this will be a problem with the old pipe organ thundering your chosen processional and recessional.  But since you asked, a bridal runner placed in the aisle will soften the clattering of shoes on slate.  Also, the clothing of the assembled people will help muffle the sound.


You didn’t ask, but slate floors can be slippery so I would also recommend “slip pads” attached to the bottom of the bridal party shoes – men and women.  These pads will add further sound-proofing.



Dear Zadie:  The mother of my fiancé is quite upset because she was not invited to the food tasting at the hotel where we plan to hold our reception.  She states all parents should go – even though my parents are paying for everything.  She has not offered to contribute in any way, but wants to be involved in all decisions.  We heard not a word from her until she was left out of the tasting.


Dear Delicate Issue:  In this particular situation, the groom’s mother should not be involved unless you want her to be.  Many people like to make up rules especially when those particular rules will benefit them.  There is no rule about who chooses the food at the reception.  In many cases it is the bride and groom but only because they are paying for everything.  In your case, your parents have final say.


Your fiancé should be the one to talk to his mother.  It will not be a good idea for you or your parents to try to inform her of the “rules” or to try to soothe her ruffled feathers.



Dear Zadie:  I am twenty-eight and getting married this summer.  I haven’t seen my father in twenty years so he will not be a part of my wedding.  I have asked my mother and a close male friend of mine to give me away.  My mother has a partner she has been with for eight years, and she is refusing to sit at the head table without him.  We asked him to sit at an honored guests’ table so that my friend can take my father’s place at the head table with my mother.  Am I being unreasonable here?


Dear Reasonable:  In the great scheme of the cosmos there is no right or wrong way to handle this – but some ways are more gracious than others.  So instead of being immovable, why not have a sweetheart table for just the you and the groom?  That way your mother, her partner, and your close friend can all sit together at the honored guests’ table close by. 


Note to bride:  The time spent at any table is minimal – usually just through toasts and dinner, so it really isn’t all that important who sits where.  The most important thing to remember is that you want everyone to have a good time and look back on this day with fond memories. We want smiling, happy people in the albums and on the DVD.



Dear Zadie:  We were married in September.  We had ten bridesmaids and ten groomsmen.  Most were engaged or married couples.  The groom of one of the engaged couples is very close to my husband and we socialize with them on weekends. The bride and I are friendly, but not that close.  I asked her to be in my party because I needed one more bridesmaid.  My husband has been asked to be a groomsman but they have asked me to handle the guestbook.  My feelings are hurt and I feel alienated.  Am I on the wrong track here, Zadie?


Dear Hurt and Confused:  Well, yes, you are off on this one a little.  It is the bride’s choice who is in her bridal party.  This bride chose women she considered to be very good friends.  Just because they were in your wedding does not mean you will be in theirs.  It sounds like you set yourself up for a disappointment by assuming you would be in their wedding.  OK.  It is what it is.  Be gracious, handle the guestbook, and enjoy the wedding.  Be happy for the bride and groom.  I assure you nothing spiteful was meant in the choices she made.



Dear Zadie:  We are planning a small, intimate wedding and reception with fifty-five guests.  The day after the invitations were mailed, the groom’s mother tells us her other son wants to bring his current live-in girlfriend.  He says he plans to marry her – as he planned to marry the last fifteen girlfriends none of whom worked out.  This brother will not be denied anything by his mother.  Our problem is that we just don’t have space for one more person.  What shall we do?


Dear Counting Closely:  While I know you think this is an imposition with which you should not be burdened, it truly is not that big a deal.  Most catering executives will tell you that at LEAST ten percent of your guests will not show even after responding in the affirmative.  So by my quick calculation you have room for five and a half more guests. 


Besides, my dear, this brother could surprise everyone (himself included!) and marry the current flame.  Now, do you want to spend the rest of your life feeling guilty that you kept your sister-in-law away from your wedding?  You will spend Fourths of July, Thanksgivings and Christmases together.  Your children will be first cousins, and those children will share a grandmother   Best of all, you might like her!  Or they could break up next week and all this frenzy will have been for naught.  Think about it.


So, my lovely brides and mothers, too, spring has crept quietly into the Valley.  Valentine’s Day has passed and we are headed into Full-Blown Bridal Season, the loveliest time of the year.  Shall we celebrate with a glass of icy Dom Perignon? 


Your mannered friend,


Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: