Category Archives: Yenta-quette

Yenta-quette: Ask Desiree, Edition 3

The Wedding Yentas is so excited to bring back another edition of a wedding advice column, Yenta-quette, featuring questions and answers about wedding etiquette from a Los Angeles foodie, social butterfly, and former Real Weddings bride, Desiree Jacobs.

Desiree, more than anything, enjoys coming home from work and putting on pajamas. She loves to eat Mexican food and sushi (not together) and couldn’t live without chocolate. She’s got a penchant for reality tv and 90s music. She lives with her husband Richard and the cutest dog that ever lived, Breaker. She wears a size 7 shoe and would love the entire current Sam Edelman collection and black Louboutains. Feel free to send them her way! Oh and Kate Spade bags are also appreciated. If you love Yenta-quette and you’re like, “I NEED MORE OF THAT” visit her blog at www.bundtsofsteelblog.com. Need advice? You are encouraged to submit questions for Desiree to alison@theweddingyentas.com for a future edition of Yenta-quette.

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My mother-in-law to-be is wearing a really bright color that clashes with everything. It looks like she’s trying to take all the attention and make it about her. My mom is wearing a neutral dress, which is fine with me. Is there anything I can do to tell her to choose a different dress?

This question makes me really sad because I know so many girls face problems like this with their in-laws and their own parents. I’ve heard this in terms of the dress choices and in terms of others trying to steal your thunder and show you up. There’s just something about weddings that brings out a little bit of crazy for a lot of people. I had a similar situation in my own wedding where someone (not a parent, but someone who would be in pictures) wanted to wear a red dress (not a color that fit in with my color scheme in the least). She had my mother-in-law ask me how I felt about this in advance. I wasn’t thrilled with her choice to wear a red dress, but I didn’t want to tell her no and look demanding, but I was very bothered with this situation. I chose to tell her she could wear whatever she pleases. I realized that it says more about her (the red dress wearer) than it does about me. No one will hold you accountable for their poor fashion choices, it’s a reflection of them. This is the kind of thing that will probably irritate you leading up to your wedding day, but you probably won’t really care on the actual day. In the end, all you’re left with are the pictures of your wedding day, and you will probably only order pictures to display that are of you and your husband and you never need to look at her clashy dress choice again! I’ll let you in on a little secret too: no one is looking at her; all eyes are actually on you that day.

If you really can’t get past this one and your fiance agrees with you, let him handle it. It’s his mother and if he sees things your way, let it be his beast of burden, and don’t you worry your pretty little head about it.

(In case you’re wondering about how the red dress went over at my wedding, because I’m sure you are on the edge of your seat about such crucial information, I will fill you in! I saw her walk into the hotel wearing the red dress while we were taking pictures. I didn’t even care at the time, but luckily the stars aligned and she changed into a classic black dress. The change was appreciated and I didn’t even have to say anything to her about it. Win win!)

Heidi Ryder Photography

My bridesmaids are not really that enthusiastic about my wedding. No one has mentioned a bachelorette party yet and my aunt is hosting the shower because they didn’t step up to the plate. Should I say anything? I feel like I can’t approach this situation without sounding like a bridezilla even though I feel it’s not bridezilla-like.

To start, I’m really sorry your bridal party isn’t more supportive, excited, and ready to step up to the plate in ways you were hoping. You don’t sound like a bridezilla; you sound like you are just looking for a little support and for others to do the traditional activities that help make the months leading up to your wedding more special. It’s an important time in your life and you really do deserve all those things. The question of who hosts a bridal shower seems to get different answers depending on who you ask. In my circle, showers are typically hosted by friends or family of the mother of the bride or mother-in-law rather than the bride’s friends. I know this isn’t how it works everywhere, but this has just been my experience. I was upfront with my bridesmaids about my expectations of them and I think it’s really important to be clear with them for your peace of mind and so they know what they are in for when they accept that honor. I think you’ll feel better if you have a little heart to heart with your girls. I would suggest starting with your maid of honor. She can take the lead in encouraging the other girls to step up in a way you two are comfortable with. You aren’t being a bridezilla; you simply want the girls who mean the most to you to be excited for you and be more participatory. That’s not too much to ask if you ask nicely.

I always break out in a sweat when I drink alcohol so on the morning of the wedding, I want to do a toast with my girls but Champagne will make me tipsy and hot. What other suggestions do you have for bridesmaid bonding on the morning of the wedding?

We can’t have any bridal sweating going on for you, so let’s toss the Champagne bottles straight out the door… for you anyway. I wouldn’t recommend going out for brunch; that is a time killer! It’s nice to provide some kind of breakfast or brunch for your girls and having a girly meal together is a great way to bond. If you’re at a hotel, they can provide a little nosh and maybe some colorful juices to start the day off on a well-nourished foot. Perhaps you have a close family friend or relative who can bring breakfast to you all while you get ready at your house or venue. People are happy to help, so don’t be scared to ask. Since the day of your wedding tends to get pretty hectic pretty quickly, don’t get caught up in taking on too much in the morning. You’ll want to get a head start on getting extra gorgeous, so do something low key. Take advantage of what you already have planned for that day and find ways to make the necessary bullets on your to-do list a little more special. Nothing brings girls together like a good meal! Another opportunity for girl bonding on the morning of your wedding is when you present your bridesmaids with a little gift to say thank you for being in your wedding. That’s a sweet part of the day and you can turn it into a really special moment.

On the morning of my wedding, my girls, the moms, and I got our hair done together at a salon near the hotel. We brought in bagels, fruit, and other treats. The salon also played a wedding themed movie which really added extra ambiance and got everyone in the mood to celebrate. I definitely recommend doing something like this as it was so fun to see the girls go from their everyday to wedding ready looks and get pampered together. Don’t forget to have someone take pictures!

Sweet Tea Photography

What do you do if you find out your bridesmaids are saying mean things behind your back or are not being cooperative throughout the wedding planning time?

I’m a firm believer that you should always try to make things work with any relationship before cutting it off and rarely advise in ending relationships off the bat, but I have to say this is one of those situations that is unacceptable.

As a Yenta, I know we all enjoy a little gossip now and then and sometimes this comes from a place of love and sometimes it does not. It’s the latter of these that is behavior you should not have to tolerate from people who claim to love you, support you, and are going to participate in your wedding. I really think the root of the issue comes from a place of jealousy from bridesmaids in these situations. It’s safe to say we’ve all experienced a pang of jealousy in our day and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Where this starts to get out of hand is when you inappropriately respond to that jealousy and take it out on others. Keep your green monsters to yourselves, ladies! The time leading up to a wedding is definitely special and exciting, but it’s also stressful in a way that you could never have imagined. You don’t need any added stress and cutting your losses might not be the worst idea. Unfortunately, this situation calls for some action: an honest conversation with the perpetrators of girl code is in order and asking them if they really want to be in your bridal party or if they would rather come as a guest. Let them know you are comfortable with it if they would prefer to back out of the bridal party. This will definitely be emotional for you and I’m sure your feelings WILL be hurt, but I think you’ll also feel a tremendous sense of relief. It is such an honor to be a part of someone’s wedding day in any capacity, but the girls who stand up there with you are girls you will never forget and you want those memories to be positive ones. I think this is a last resort situation and will probably test your friendship and may cause more stirs of gossip, but when it’s all said and done, you don’t want to look at pictures of the girl(s) who caused to so much pain.

Mi Belle Photography

  • Maycon says:

    That’s a mobarlredke-. Great thinking!

Yenta-quette: Ask Desiree, Edition 2

The Wedding Yentas is so excited to bring back another edition of a wedding advice column, Yenta-quette, featuring questions and answers about wedding etiquette from a Los Angeles foodie, social butterfly, and former Real Weddings bride, Desiree Jacobs.

Desiree, more than anything, enjoys coming home from work and putting on pajamas. She loves to eat Mexican food and sushi (not together) and couldn’t live without chocolate. She’s got a penchant for reality tv and 90s music. She lives with her husband Richard and the cutest dog that ever lived, Breaker. She wears a size 7 shoe and would love the entire current Sam Edelman collection and black Louboutains. Feel free to send them her way! Oh and Kate Spade bags are also appreciated. If you love Yenta-quette and you’re like, “I NEED MORE OF THAT” visit her blog at www.bundtsofsteelblog.com.

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How do I address envelopes? What about when the woman in a couple is a doctor? Or what about friends of mine who are single and bringing a date?

It is true that your invitation sets the tone for your wedding, but what do guests see before they see the invitation itself? They see the envelope! Depending on the formality of your wedding, you have several options of how to address envelopes. If you’re having a very formal black tie wedding, you should definitely use formal titles, not “Uncle Bob and Aunt Becky.” It would read: Dr. and Mrs. Robert Goldberg.

Now this is an excellent question when the wife is a Dr. In this case, you would address the envelope “Mr. Robert and Dr. Rebecca Goldberg.” Another tricky situation can be when a married couple does not have the same last name, in which you would address them “Dr. Robert Goldberg and Mrs. Rebecca Weissblatt.” These invitations look great when done in calligraphy by hand and you spell out “Boulevard” instead of “Blvd.” Please note that it is appreciated by guests to use the word “Unit” as opposed to “Apartment” as it encompasses apartments and condos. You may also have an envelope inside the outer envelope that says first names of the couple and contains the actual invitation, though this secondary envelope is not really necessary. If you are sending the invitation to a friend with a date and you know the date, please address the invitation to both of them “Mr. Jeffrey Steinberg and (or use “&”) Miss Lauren Horowitz.” If you do not know the date’s name, you may say “Mr. George Rosenberg and Guest.”

If you are having a very intimate, casual wedding, you can be a little more creative with your address format. It is still nice to address as “Mr. and (or use “&” or “+”) Mrs. Goldstein”, but you can be more playful here and use first names, “Josh and Rachel Goldstein.”

What’s the etiquette on letting my friends bring a date to the wedding? Should my wedding be a Sadie Hawkins dance or is there a set of rules for who can invite a plus-one? And how do I share my decision?

There are a few ways to tackle this one and in the end, someone will always get their feelings hurt. It’s one of the harder parts of determining a guest list as you don’t want friends to feel left out if they can’t bring a date. Unless you don’t have a budget or are getting married in an enormous venue that can accommodate an endless number of guests, you’re going to have to draw the line somewhere and one of those places is by limiting “plus ones” aka “dates.” It is common for couples to make a rule about who gets to bring a date and who doesn’t. Sometimes the rule is that the wedding party can invite dates, another thought is that family members can invite dates, and it is even okay to decide that no one can bring dates.

This was a difficult decision my husband and I made for our guest list and we decided that we would invite significant others of friends if we had socialized with the significant other on a regular basis, the couple had been together for a significant amount of time (for us this was about a year), was living together, or engaged. I felt strongly that I wanted to know every guest at my wedding. I didn’t want to look at wedding pictures and wonder “who’s the guy with Nicole? Was that the week she was dating Josh or Jeff,” or to learn that they broke up their hot two-week-old romance the week after my wedding.

Your friends should pick up on if they are invited solo or with a guest based on whose names are on or are not on the envelope. If it is just your name, then you are the only person invited to the wedding. If the envelope says “and guest” then mazel tov, you just scored a date to the wedding! It might sound harsh to have this cut and dry rule, but creating some kind of guideline about how to handle dates is the fairest way to handle this. Be sure to stick to it to avoid further hurting feelings. Stand by your rule if a friend asks you if they can bring someone and be honest; explain that you have a limited amount of seating in your venue and cannot accommodate dates for all your friends. It’s a tough conversation to have and one many a bride has had to deal with and will have to respond to in the future.

Do I still buy a gift for the couple if I’m in the wedding party?

So you’re a bridesmaid and you’ve already ponied up for a dress, new shoes, perhaps some travel, hair, makeup, a bachelorette party, and who knows what other expense may have come your way in your quest to support one of your best friends on her big day! IT ADDS UP and this is a hotly debated topic. When I have been a bridesmaid I have always given a gift to the couple. I knew when I said yes to being in her wedding that it would be an expensive year. When I was a bride, all my bridesmaids gave me gifts as well. I actually didn’t expect this from them and had they not given me a gift I wouldn’t have been surprised or disappointed because I know participating in a wedding is a big financial commitment. I’m sure if you’re in the wedding, you still want to do something for the couple, so try to get them something thoughtful and a price point you’re comfortable with. If you’re bringing a date to the wedding, you might want to dip a little deeper and give something just a little more because it was nice of the couple to invite your date.

Yenta-quette: Ask Desiree, Edition 1

The Wedding Yentas is so excited to introduce Yenta-quette, a new installation of questions and answers about wedding etiquette from a Los Angeles foodie, social butterfly, and former Real Weddings bride, Desiree Jacobs. Be on the lookout for Desiree’s column that will share real answers to real questions about the why and how of wedding planning!

Desiree, more than anything, enjoys coming home from work and putting on pajamas. She loves to eat Mexican food and sushi (not together) and couldn’t live without chocolate. She’s got a penchant for reality tv and 90s music. She lives with her husband Richard and the cutest dog that ever lived, Breaker. She wears a size 7 shoe and would love the entire current Sam Edelman collection and black Louboutains. Feel free to send them her way! Oh and Kate Spade bags are also appreciated. If you love Yenta-quette and you’re like, “I NEED MORE OF THAT” visit her blog at www.bundtsofsteelblog.com.

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Are you required to ask a friend to be in your wedding if you were in hers?

My dear, your wedding is one of your most special of days. I’m sure you were flattered, or perhaps you were surprised when your friend asked you to be in her wedding. Every bride and every couple has unique circumstances that will impact their wedding. Your wedding should be exactly that, UNIQUE and reflective of you as a couple. I wish I could say you aren’t “required” or obligated to do anything you don’t want to for your wedding, but of course we all have to make compromises here and there. However, choosing members of your wedding party should not be one of them!

You should surround yourself with the people who are the most important to you, the most supportive of you, and people who you feel will be there for you in the years to come. No one wants to look back at their wedding photos and not still have those friends who stood at the chuppah with you not be in their life anymore. That would be so sad. Maybe you were closer with your friend around the time of her wedding and you’ve grown apart. Maybe she chose girls based on different criteria than you are selecting bridesmaids on, and maybe she had every single girl she has ever met in her wedding party. Either way, you meant something to her at that point in her life, but maybe she holds a different place at this point in your life.

There are things we sometimes do to make parents happy for our weddings, but your bridesmaids should be friends or family that are chosen without any obligatoin. Ask your girlfriends to stand up there with you because you can’t imagine them not there with you, not because you were in her wedding. Her feelings might be hurt, yes, and my wedding wish for you is that she is mature enough not to make you feel badly about your choices and that she attends and dances the hora at your wedding because she is nothing but happy for you!

What’s the protocol for food selection? Do I have to give an option of chicken or fish or can I just choose one entree for my guests with vegetarian options on hand that night for those who don’t eat meat?

Alas, food: one of my favorite topics in life! I have been to my fair share of weddings and I honestly don’t remember the food from the majority of them. Just like the kitchen is the heart of the home, the food can be a high point of your wedding. Don’t get stuck in the chicken or fish trap! Have fun with this, please! Your guests will thank you. If it’s an economical choice, by all means, choose something affordable. But if budget is no issue, have filet, have jidori chicken, have loup de mer, have a fabulous truffled mushroom ravioli. Please, no blah steamed vegetable sides! Push your caterer to present you with foods that represent you as a couple and how you want your wedding to feel. The food at your wedding is a great time to make a statement about the new Mr. and Mrs. Maybe you’re having a rustic fete in a vineyard? Find a caterer who uses locally sourced produce and let them do their thing. Don’t ever feel like you need to conform to some traditional chicken or fish option. Of course, be courteous and offer something for guests with dietary restrictions and preferences, but don’t base your menu around your picky Aunt Sarah or stuffy Bubbe. PLAY IT UP! What do you love to eat? Serve your most favorite foods and your wedding will only be more YOU because of it. Have fun with this one!

How do I determine a guest list for my rehearsal dinner? What about for our brunch the day after our wedding?

Your rehearsal dinner is the first big kick off to your wedding and it’s a really exciting event! It’s basically your wedding pre-party. The bare minimum of who to invite would include everyone who attended the wedding rehearsal which includes your wedding party and parents, and perhaps close family. It is also polite to invite guests who are traveling from out of town to be at your wedding. These guests have spent a decent amount of money to be with you for the weekend and it is nice to feed them the night before the big day. It will give you the opportunity to spend a little more time with these guests and will make the night even more festive with some extra company. If you are able to accommodate even more guests, you can more extended family members, close family friends, and good friends of the couple who are not in the wedding party, but who mean a lot to you. It is also nice to include any hostesses who threw you showers in this list if your budget and the venue can accommodate them.

If you are hosting brunch the morning after your wedding, you should definitely invite any guests who have stayed overnight after the wedding, the wedding party, and close family. Again, if there are others that live close to the venue that you would like to include, you can, but you shouldn’t feel obligated. This meal is really for those who stayed over after a night of partying and celebrating the new Mr. and Mrs!

  • Bride-To-Be says:

    This is super helpful… thank you! The rehearsal dinner part is something I am struggling with now since a solid 1/3 of our guests might be out-of-town guests. Narrowing down to a reasonable amount has been more than a challenge, but it is nice to know about the brunch concept…