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Engagement Issues: Diplomacy Primer

You've made your announcements. Now it's time for engagement quandary number one: How to use diplomacy with friends and relatives.

Photo: Patti Roper for Wildberry Photography

You've only just shared the news about your impending nuptials, and already everybody wants to know when the big date is, who your attendants are going to be, and whether you're serving chicken or beef. Here's how to deal.

Take a Deep Breath

Try to answer all inquiries with maximum coolness and your trademark sense of humor (one of the best tools for rebutting sticky questions without bruising egos). Keep in mind that the people who are drilling you with endless, even sometimes insulting questions -- Aren't you too young to get married? Won't this interfere with your promotion at work? When are you going to have kids? -- aren't trying to drive you nuts. They just want to be part of the excitement and help you avoid pitfalls.

Choose Your Battles

When your aunt assumes her dog walker will be invited to the wedding, simply say, "We're very sorry, but with the cost of the wedding we just can't invite everyone." Honesty is always the best policy. For bigger issues, like when your fiance's family expresses concern over splitting holidays, enlist your fiance. After all, you each know best how to manage your own crowd.

Be Fair with Friends

Our bet is that all of your friends, family, and coworkers are basking in the light of your love. Well, almost all of them. There will always be a few black sheep in the flock who, for one reason or another, just can't digest your good news. Friends may be jealous or feel like you're abandoning them and that they won't see you as often now (they're probably right). Try to clue in to their concerns and reassure them the best you can.

Let It Go

How to handle evil-wishers (like high-school enemies, your commitment-phobic squash partner, or that waiter from hell who's got a crush on you)? Just ignore them. Who cares what they think? They'll get over it.

-- The Knot

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