Wedding Question: Anniversary Wishes?

Photo from The Wedding Lens

This reader question applies for a bit after the wedding, but I think a lot of people struggle with this issue on both sides. Here’s the question: My wife and I got married last year and we just celebrated our first anniversary. We were really disappointed that none of our friends sent us cards or gifts for our anniversary. Should we not expect such things? Or should we be disappointed in our friends?

Hm! Well, I think some of your friends probably thought “Should I send them an anniversary card?” and maybe forgot or decided that it seemed silly. The short answer is that you should not be disappointed in your friends! It is nice to receive a card (or even a gift!) but it should never be expected.

In fact, I would say that it is very rare to get an anniversary gift from friends. Think about it this way: your friends probably spent some amount of money coming to your wedding and getting you a gift last year. They probably feel like it’s unnecessary to send another gift — especially since they just spent so much on you! But don’t feel cheated or and don’t think they are thinking great thoughts of you! People express it differently. And maybe the next time you see them, they’ll have well wishes in person. You never know!

And hey! Congrats on your anniversary from The Wedding Lens!

~ Natasha

Wedding Question: How Do We Tell Guests That There’s No Plus One?

It is about a month and half til our wedding. We are getting more and more rsvps in, which is great. However, we’ve noticed several of our single guests hav rsvp’d as bringing a date, when the invitation was clearly addressed to just them. What do you think is the best way to handle this situation? How do you keep your budget modest and not offend your guests?

Photo from The Wedding Lens

Photo from The Wedding Lens

The first thing you should know is that most people (especially single people) do not know the wedding etiquette for dates and that the envelope says who’s invited. I was invited to one of my first weddings in college and I didn’t know this at all. I responded that my best friend would be coming with me. In retrospect, I have NO idea what the invitation said; I’m sure I just assumed — as many people do.

Assuming that most people don’t know and have responded with a plus one, the best thing to do is talk to them. I know it can be awkward, but it will save you (and the guest) the embarrassment. The key is to explain the situation and explain why there are no dates permitted.

For example, “I just noticed that you responded that you’ll be bringing a guest with you. Unfortunately, we’re not able to let people bring guests unless we’ve specifically invited them. We’re just really tight on the budget and we really can’t afford to include more people. I hope you understand.”

There’s no easy fix and no easy way to let people know without a conversation (or a link to my blog post on invitations and bringing a date to the wedding!)

Hopefully they will understand and everything will be OK. They will eventually! Case in point: a group of friends and I attended a wedding a few years ago, one of whom complained the whole time about how we weren’t allowed to invite dates. Ahem. He got married this year and… um… he gets it now. No dates for his wedding either!

Good luck!

~ Natasha

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Wedding Question: Who Pays for What?

I recently received another wedding question: “One of my friends is getting married and I’m a bridesmaid. She hasn’t mentioned who is paying for the dress, but she already said she wants me there early on the day of because she’s having our makeup and hair done. Is she supposed to pay for the dress? Am I supposed to pay for the hair & makeup? Who pays for what?

Good question! This basically depends on the couple. I’ve known brides to pay for the dress, but not makeup or hair and I’ve known brides who paid for makeup, but not dress and hair. I’ve also known brides who have said, “you pay for everything, but please dont get us a gift.” So see? It can kind of go any way.

My advice is to ASK. I know it’s weird and uncomfortable, but it’s better to be on the same page as your good friend who’s getting hitched, than for either of you to feel stuck or resentful afterwards!

Hope that helps!

~ Natasha

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Mother Wearing A Dress to Match the Color Scheme?

The Wedding Lens Blog receives questions from our readers on a regular basis — including in our Wedding Questions forum. Usually I try to sum up the question in different words, but I think this question needs to be in its own words:

“I will be attending my step daughter’s wedding in 6 weeks & I have not been given any details of bridal colours, MOB & MOG have NOT yet decided what they are wearing hoping to find something off the rack. I found & bought a long simple blue gown & left a message for the bride if this was ok as time is running out & I did want the mothers to have first choice of colour & well I need to wear something! She never said no but she never said yes, apparently her bridal party will all be purachasing their own gowns? What should I do – stick to what I bought & wear it or am I suppose to wait until the day before the wedding when I finally get everyone’s colours & hope I find something? HELP!”

photo from The Wedding Lens (not the reader!)

photo from The Wedding Lens (not the reader!)

In reading about the attire for the mother of the bride and mother of the groom, there are a few “rules” — all of which are subject to the personalities of the people getting married. In my humble opinion, I do not think it matters whether you’re the mom or the step-mom.

So, in this situation where the reader tried to talk to the bride (and the wedding is only 6 weeks away!) I think she’s doing the best she can. Blue is the perfect color! Regardless of the color scheme that the bride eventually chooses (if she has one?) it is unlikely that blue will clash. It is also unlikely that blue will make the guest stand out — something else you want to avoid!

My only warning: if you hear from the bride and she nixes the dress, give her some slack for the late notice. I’m sure she’s stressed and would otherwise have been more gracious in her response time.

Good luck!

~ Natasha

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