Dear Francie: I am newly engaged, and I am already dreading choosing the bridal party. I would like to ask people early to get the pressure out of the way and let the fun planning begin, but I have a hard decision to make. I have five very close friends of 10-plus years that I am fairly set on having as maid of honor/bridesmaids. However, I have two sisters and two nieces, all of whom are close. I know I can't include everyone in the bridal party (wedding will probably be 300 people), but who do I choose? Is it okay to choose my friends and nieces while asking my sisters to do a reading or something of that sort? Should I include them all? Or should I include the sisters, not the nieces, and drop out two friends? Please help!
Wedding Date: April 2012
Dear Laurie: First, I would encourage you to take a little time and give it some thought. Your wedding is two years away, and so you have plenty of time. As for how many attendants you should have, I think that is totally up to you. If you want to include everyone, then do. Of course, remember the more attendants you have the more work it will take in coordinating everyone. The bottom line is, it's your wedding and you should choose the people you want to be in your bridal party. I know it is hard to make difficult choices, and I'm sure you are worried about hurting someone's feelings. Take some time and talk to your fiance. You will make the right decision.
Dear Francie: My wedding is several months away, and I am determined to get into shape before the big day. The problem is, my fiance is at least 40 pounds overweight and refuses to do anything about it! I bought him a membership at the gym where I work out, and he has only gone once. I want us to look good on our wedding day, and I try not to nag, but I can't help it. I find myself lecturing him almost every day. I guess I should point out that he was hospitalized six months ago with pneumonia, and he complains that he is tired all the time. How can I motivate my fiance to take weight loss and fitness seriously?
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Wedding Date: December 2010
Dear Alice: Congratulations to you for your dedication in getting into shape. It's important to live a healthy lifestyle before and after your wedding. I understand why you are concerned about your fiance. The fact that he complains of feeling tired all the time could mean there is something medically wrong. I suggest he make an appointment with his family physician as soon as possible. It can take several months to recover from an illness like pneumonia, but there are other illnesses that need to be ruled out. For example, depression can cause a person to feel tired and lack motivation. Whatever is going on with your fiance, he may be more willing to listen to his doctor than listen to you. For now, try to step back and give your fiance support without nagging. Making major lifestyle changes is not easy, and a person really must become motivated on their own. Just as you had to get into a healthy routine, your future husband must find that same motivation on his own. Instead of lecturing him, let him know you are worried about him because you love him. Rather than insist he go to the gym, ask him to take a walk with you on a pretty day. This isn't just about looking good on your wedding day, it's about preparing for a long, healthy life together.
Dear Francie: Lately my fiance and I have been fighting a lot over the wedding. He has pretty much told me that he doesn't care at all about it. He said it seems like a huge expense and a big inconvenience. When he says these things, it really hurts my feelings. I have really been working hard to make this a special day for both of us. He says he wants to marry me and can't wait for me to be his wife. He just doesn't care about the wedding. How can I cope with a fiance who is so detached from the wedding?
Wedding Date: June 2011
Dear Shelley: While many grooms get very involved and excited about wedding planning, there are some who just can't seem to get excited about the details. It isn't just with grooms, there are brides who don't like planning a wedding. While most of us love the excitement of choosing colors, picking a cake and finding the perfect dress, not everyone enjoys the process. It sounds like your fiance is one of these people, and that doesn't make him bad. In fact, I think it's great he is reassuring you that he loves you and wants to marry you. It may be disappointing, but try not to let it ruin your fun. Include your MOH or another person you know will get into the planning with you. I have a feeling your fiance will not only be pleasantly surprised at the beautiful wedding you've put together, but he may end up having a different outlook on weddings.