I’m getting married in June and starting to do wedding invites.
A dear friend suffers from Guillain-Barré Syndrome.
While he’s seen some improvement over two years, he’s still mostly paralyzed. He lives full-time in a rehab care facility.
We’ve made sure our wedding venue is accessible with wheelchairs/power chairs and has an elevator, so my friend and my partner's elderly grandparents can attend.
Unfortunately, my friend has no idea if he’ll be well enough to get/be there.
It’s a 50-person venue so space is at a premium, but I’d love to include him (and of course, extend the invite to his girlfriend).
However, if he can’t attend, leaving those two spots empty would hurt when it could’ve gone to an otherwise uninvited family member.
Besides, we're paying for a minimum of 50 and would like to have at least 50 guests!
I have options if we go over 50 people – there's staff seating for eight in a room off to the side (open to the main area), and we're only using two of the spots for photographers, leaving six vacant.
This would be effectively segregating him from the other wedding guests. I don't want to do that, but I'm not sure his power-chair will fit at one of the regular tables.
I don't know how to ask him.
How can I navigate this issue with grace and class?
I thought I'd done my homework by choosing an accessible venue, but this is the one thing I can't plan for, because the answer could vary.
Plan what you can, but be flexible about what you can’t.
Your thinking about your friend has shown grace and class. Now find out if his power-chair will fit in the main room.
If yes, that’s where you place him and his girlfriend, among your other close friends.
If no, he’ll likely give you a few hours’ notice, and the wait staff can switch those seats to someone else.
With “extra” room and seats, consider a few more uninvited folks.
Be prepared that there can always be a couple of other no-shows, or someone asks late to bring an extra guest (sometimes with good reasons).
I'm a 15 year-old bisexual girl, and I have a big problem with relationships.
They make me feel awkward.
I don't like holding hands and the mushy-gushy stuff hurts my soul.
I'm asking for help to come out to my parents and also what I should do about not liking relationships.
Am I the only one like this? I told my friend once, and she was really confused.
Feeling awkward at 15 about all kinds of things in relationships, is totally normal and no, you’re not the only one like this.
So much is still new to you about when, how, and where to comfortably show affection.
Also, it does matter how you feel when someone’s trying to be “mushy-gushy” with you.
It’s good that you have the inner confidence to already have some convictions about what you like and don’t like.
And it’s great that you have the courage and self-protective smarts to ask for help.
Your own parents experienced undoubtedly some similar awkwardness when young teens, and will understand.
They are still the best people to talk to about that, as well as about coming out.
Just say you want to discuss your sexual identity with them.
Say what being bisexual means to you at this time, and be open to what they say in return.
FEEDBACK Regarding the male writer’s question about how to propose (December 16):
Reader #1 – “Given social media over-sharing, some people go for the "wow" factor of a proposal.
“Nine months ago, when my now-husband proposed at home after a nice dinner out, I knew he completely understood me.
“For me, it was perfect. I'm not one for public displays that make me the center of attention (hence our small wedding in a backyard!).
“There’s nothing wrong with a flashy proposal if she’s that kind of person, but she'll hate it if she’s not.
“A proposal is the best chance he has to show he understands her as a person.”
Reader #2 – “No matter how sure you are of acceptance, do not invite witnesses to the proposal.
“It puts too much pressure on your partner to say "yes," and perhaps mars the romantic aura of an event shared between just the two of you.”
Tip of the day:
The “Perfect Wedding” has a relaxed bride and groom at the ceremony.