Ask Amy: Bride requiring wedding guests to be silent at reception, whispers only

Dear Amy: My fiancé and I are planning our wedding. As the bride, I’m planning on making certain requests of my guests, to make sure that my special day is as perfect as possible. For example, I’m asking that my guests wear exclusively yellow at the ceremony.

My fiance has been supportive, but he angrily rejected my other request: that our guests remain silent throughout both the ceremony and reception (to ensure that the focus remains on us).

My fiance said that this is irrational. He does not want to have a silent wedding.

I know it’s uncommon. I’ve never heard of anyone else having one, but we’ve had them in my family.

The guests are not permitted to speak at all during the ceremony, and the only toasts allowed are from the mothers of the bride and groom.

Instrumental music will be playing quietly.

During the reception, the guests may whisper amongst one another, but may not speak aloud.

As the newly-married couple, our focus should remain solely on one another, rather than on any rowdy guests.

I know it’s a lot to ask, but I feel I should have the wedding I want, so that the start of our life together will be perfect.

I want him to support me, even if we disagree on something.

Is my fiance’s lack of understanding and support a red flag?

– Silence is Golden

Dear Silence: Congratulations! You are on the verge of attaining legendary Bridezilla status.

Yes, there are many flags flying over this unusual affair (and they’re yellow, of course).

I hope your fiancé is paying attention, because if you are this self-centered now – I can only imagine what the dynamic will be like later, for instance if you choose to have children.

Somewhere along the line, you seem to have gotten the idea that a wedding is for the bride alone, to serve her whims and fancies. No. Public weddings are family events and should celebrate the joining of two families.

Your fiance’s job is not to support you regardless of how dumb your ideas are. That’s not how marriage works.

Let’s start with your request that all guests must wear yellow. I have yet to see a man’s yellow outfit that didn’t bring to mind a giant banana.

Let’s move on to the silence. Generally, guests don’t speak during wedding ceremonies, unless asked to read aloud.

But a silent reception? Aside from some traditions associated with a Quaker wedding (which yours obviously is not), the idea of a silent reception goes well with your color scheme: basically bananas.

If you don’t want rowdy guests, then limit (or don’t serve) alcohol. If you want the focus solely and exclusively on you, then get married in a small room, standing before a mirror.

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Dear Amy: My husband and I invited my side of the family over for Thanksgiving dinner. However, our niece and nephew asked if they could bring five additional people to our dinner.

We don’t know these people (except for two of them), and so my husband said no, because we had two newborn babies coming, but mainly we think it was very impolite for our niece and nephew to ask.

We would have accepted the two people we knew, but beyond that, no way.

What is your take on this?

– Afraid to Disappoint

Dear Afraid: Thanksgiving is traditionally a dinner where the spirit is one of openness and hospitality.

It is also traditionally a dinner that can be very challenging to prepare for and host.

My basic point is that it isn’t necessarily impolite to ask to bring more guests, unless the request itself makes the hosts feel pushed into a corner, which this request obviously has done. Five people is a lot of extra people to accommodate.

They asked, the answer was no, and – assuming that they accepted the answer graciously – I hope that everybody moved on.

Dear Amy: I think you got it wrong in your response to “Clean, Please!”

She was about to move in with a boyfriend whose apartment was extremely dirty.

You suggested she should’ve entered her boyfriend’s messy apartment on the first date and say, “Nope, nope, nope.”

That’s rude!

She should feel comfortable enough with a boyfriend she is moving in with to raise difficult issues.

She should raise this in a kinder manner.

– A

Dear A: I was being somewhat sardonic. My overall point was that she should have reacted honestly to the state of the apartment very early on.

(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

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