Is it usual to put the dinner menu on the table or best to have the food be a surprise?
Anticipation is part of the pleasure and having a menu adds to that anticipation. Make it part of the table decor. One bride told us that she pressed flowers and then glued a single dried blossom to the top of each menu.
What can a couple on a budget give to their guests?
The best gifts are edible gifts. You might make cookies with the name or initial of each person on the cookie. Or you might buy a boxed truffle to sit at each place setting.
Our caterer has offered a seven-course tasting menu or a three-course regular menu. Which do you think would be most enjoyed by our guests?
Either. People today eat much less, so avoid having any plates that are heaped with food. The tasting menu usually has very tiny portions and is an interesting option. However, if it is a kitchen that offers more conventional (but great) food, this is also splendid. So it’s your choice.
People always pay attention to the wine and liquor drinkers but I would like something special for non-drinkers. Any ideas?
There are many non-alcoholic options available. How about adding something special to soda water or carbonated mineral water?
- fresh lemongrass juice
- fruit cordial blends: try pomegranate and elderflower, ginger and lemongrass, and a raspberry and strawberry blend, served in sugar-rimmed glasses.
Alternately have on hand a range of spritzers – no mixing required.
- cranberry and orange
- pomegranate & elderflower
- orange and mango
- ginger and lemongrass
We don’t want a full bar, just wine and beer. I’d like to be able to afford one addition. Any ideas?
Yes. Have your wine and beer at the bar, but have the kitchen prepare one special drink, passed on a tray by a server to keep the cost in line. An example: Dip rims of martini glasses in coloured sugar and serve a mango martini.
Etiquette issues and more
My in-laws are paying for the wedding. Does that give them the right to be the decision-makers?
Yes – in those decisions that involve money, such as the size of the wedding and catering costs.
No – in those decisions that involve personal preference as in a wedding theme, decor colour and type of service.
My parents, Betty and Frank Harding, are divorced but neither has remarried. Should we put Mr. & Mrs. Frank Harding on the invitation?
No. Your mother is not Mrs. Frank Harding. She is Betty Harding. Your parents are no longer a couple and their names should go on separate lines.
My father is absent. Is it appropriate for my father-in-law to escort me instead?
Why not! And so could your mother. Or a brother. Or any close family friend.
Should the seating-card table be set up right outside the reception area so guests can pick up their card as they enter the room?
This sounds logical but, in fact, it always causes a bottleneck as people pause to look for their name. Instead, put it close to the entrance so it is the first thing people will see as they arrive. Dress it up with a pretty cloth and fresh flowers…or get creative and do something unique!
My fiancé wants his father to be his best man. They are close, especially since the death of his mother, but it seems weird to me. Is it?
Not at all. It is not unusual for a woman to have her mother or a man to have his father as their honour attendants. We all have different family dynamics. The choice belongs to him. You don’t have a say in this decision!
Does my fiancé have to wear the same suit as his attendants for the sake of having uniformity?
Absolutely not. He might like a cutaway while his attendants wear a standard tuxedo.
Will I get a better deal if I shop for my gown online?
You might but you also risk getting burned! Brides tell us about sad experiences, such as getting the wrong size and no returns allowed, or getting the wrong style and no exchange possible, or thinking they’re getting a name brand and then finding that the brand name was used illegally.