Wedding Wednesday Q&A #007

Another Wednesday, another wedding planning Q&A. Remember you can always submit your questions by emailing them to with "WW Q&A" in the subject line!

My sister-in-law and best friend are throwing me a bridal shower in early August. It should be pretty small, we’re only expecting about 20 people. Should we tell people to social distance on the invitation or is that rude? What about wearing masks?

I’m a big fan of this saying that I first heard from Brené Brown, “Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind.” If you want guests to social distance and wear masks, because you would feel more comfortable and keep everyone safe, you should definitely state that on the invitation. It’s not rude at all to try to keep yourself and your guests healthy! In fact, as someone who is personally trying to take CDC recommendations very seriously, this would be comforting to see on an invitation. That being said you might get some negative comments on your request, but just realize that those comments are almost certainly not personal.

We have decided to do an open bar for 2 hours at our wedding then switch to a cash bar. We were anticipating having the open bar for a cocktail hour through dinner (6 pm to 8 pm), but the venue is recommending having an open bar for the cocktail hour and then switching to a cash bar during dinner, and then switching back to an open bar for the first hour of open dancing. Thoughts and advice?

I think the two hours need to be in one chunk of time to not confuse guests. Trying to split the open bar time will probably be confusing both for guests and your bartenders, but I think the thing that your venue is concerned about is a long line at the end of dinner (as the open bar wraps up) delaying your speeches and dances. My recommendation would be to tell guests that your open closes about 30 minutes before it’s actually over. You want to make sure all your guests have their food (especially if you are serving buffet style) and then announce the bar is closing. People will line up to get their drinks, but most of this line should take place during dinner, however, you may still want to work in a little extra time pre-speeches, since those bar lines will probably extend the time dinner takes slightly.

My fiancé and I just postponed our September 2020 wedding to September 2021, but we want to get legally married on our original date with our parents. Should we make an announcement? Keep it private? Only tell the family? Our immediate families know what we are doing and I would love to tell everyone, but I don’t want this to take away from our actual wedding day.

You do you! I think people are even more understanding than usual about these sorts of things since the pandemic has wrecked a lot of people’s wedding plans. People will be happy to celebrate with you no matter what! Tell everyone if you want or keep it private. Whichever you choose your wedding day in 2021 will still be exciting!

I would love some advice about how to structure my wedding day given that I have both a stepdad and a bio dad. I regard my stepdad much more like my true dad and my bio dad and I have a minimal relationship. It would feel really inauthentic to give my bio-dad all the traditional dad responsibilities at the wedding, but his family will be present and I want him to feel like more than just another guest. How should I handle this?

You mentioned a couple of specific traditions that you weren’t sure about how to handle. We’ll break them down one by one. I think you have two great options for walking down the aisle. The first is to pull a Megan Markle and walk yourself down the aisle. The other option is to have both dads walk you down the aisle. You can either walk with one on each arm or have your bio-dad walk you halfway down the aisle and then at the halfway point switch to your stepdad (or vise versa).

You also mentioned that you were nervous about having your bio-dad give a speech because he is unpredictable. If you are uncomfortable with the idea of him giving a speech, don’t have him give a speech. I’d recommend having your mom and stepdad give a quick speech to thank guests for coming. When you tell your bio-dad you’re not having him give a speech, treat the speech like it would be a burden and not a big deal.

For the father-daughter dance, I think you should split your dance between the two dads. Start with one of your dads and then halfway through the song the other dad cuts in. This really is a special moment at a wedding and I think it important to include both of these men if you can.

However, at the end of the day, you have to decide what are your priorities. Is it more important to you to have your step-dad do those traditions with you or to avoid family drama? It’s your wedding day, so at the end of the day, the choice is up to you.

How do I tell people they missed the RSVP deadline? I have several people who have still not responded to our RSVP and our numbers are due to catering this week. I’ve already sent them a reminder text! How do I tell them they missed the deadline, so don’t come?

First things first, you need to call them or have someone in your immediate circle call them (like today)! I hate phone calls as much as the next millennial, but if you haven’t gotten an answer someone needs to talk to them and get a firm yes or no. If you are still not able to get a hold of them, I don’t think there is any polite way to tell them not to come. Use word of mouth, make it clear to the people in your life that know them, that they can’t come since they didn’t RSVP.

However, know that they still might show up. Random people who didn’t RSVP show up all the time at weddings (like at least 50% of the time). Your wedding vendors know this and are typically pretty flexible about making it work. Make sure to have an extra place setting available and some blank place cards, so you can stick them at a random table. Let someone in your life (whether that is your wedding coordinator or your sister) assigned to handle getting them a spot thrown together if they do show up. And you have full permission to make some passive-aggressive comment about how you didn’t expect to see them since they didn’t RSVP.