Divine Decorum: Expert Advice for Parties and Weddings

Christina Currie answers you most pressing wedding questions for the upcoming wedding season!

Q: I am beginning to think that people don't understand the word "no." Some of my cousins are thinking it's OK to bring a date to my wedding. How do I keep my family from bringing dates and messing up my table counts?

-Frustrated, Barrington, IL

A: I understand your frustration and have two solutions for you. When addressing the invitations be sure to just have their name and not “ and guest”. Most respectable folks know that is their clue not to bring a date. My second solution, talk with your cousins. Explain to them the cost of your wedding; most likely they truly don’t understand. If they are willing to pay for their dates, then you can decide from their if it’s the cost that bothers you or if it’s the extra guests at your wedding. Perhaps it is a spacing issue too; therefore kindly suggest your cousins to wait and ask their dates after all RSVPs are in to see if there is room at the reception.

Q: How many invited guests should I expect to actually attend my wedding?

-Kari, Palatine, IL

A: The general rule of thumb is if you’re having over 200 guests, then you can estimate that about 25-28% of your guests will be unable to attend. If you are having less 200 guests, then the percentage usually decreases to about 15-20%. Other factors include how many guests you invite that live out-of-town and the travel distance required to attend the wedding.

Q: What is appropriate to wear to a second wedding?

-Stacey, Barrington, IL

A: No matter whether it is your first, second or third wedding… the focal point is still the wedding dress. Many second-time brides choose a simpler, more elegant or sophisticated wedding dress. Many choose a floor length or cocktail length dress in white, off-white or a pretty pastel.

Many “etiquette experts” advise second-time brides to not wear a veil or a long train for their second wedding. Don’t listen to them! This is your day, wear what you want to wear! Maybe you had a very small first wedding and now you want to go all out! Wear what makes you feel beautiful!

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