Advice from a Mother of the Bride: Vegan Menus and Parental Squabbles

Our resident wedding etiquette expert, Leslie Milk—“Washingtonian” lifestyle editor and author of “It’s Her Wedding but I’ll Cry if I Want to: A Survival Guide for the Mother of the Bride”—answers your questions.

My daughter is a vegan, and she wants a strictly vegan menu for her wedding reception. I don’t think our elder relatives are going to eat tofu. Do I have to go along with her wishes?

Vegan choices, yes. Vegan only, not necessarily. Sometimes a bride needs to be reminded that wedding guests are not extras in her personal movie but are valued participants invited to share her celebration. Also, guests who don’t eat much tend to make up for it with liquor consumption, and that can create more “celebration” than any bride would welcome.

I’m getting married next year. My parents went through a nasty divorce a year ago. My father wants me to make his new wife a part of the wedding plans; my mother says “No way.” I’m caught in the middle, but I understand how my mother feels. What can I do?

Sounds like the divorce and the wedding are too close for comfort. Your dad isn’t being Mr. Sensitivity, so you’ll have to provide a not-too-gentle hint. Of course your new stepmother will be invited, will sit with him, etc. But you can assure him you and your mother already have the wedding well in hand and no additional help is needed. He should get the message.