I’m in the Wedding Party. Can I Mask Up for the Ceremony?

I am one of two maids of honor at a close friend’s upcoming wedding. Because of Covid-19 public health orders in her state, she has had to postpone the event twice. We’re finally approaching the re-rescheduled date. The couple is hosting an indoor ceremony with 200 guests (no masks or vaccination required) and a tented outdoor reception. My partner and I are traveling from California. We’re vaccinated but uncomfortable spending time indoors with others who are unmasked or potentially unvaccinated — especially when breakthrough infections are making some people very sick. Would it be tacky as a maid of honor to wear a mask throughout the evening? Will people think we’re overcautious?


We are in a public health crisis, Maid of Honor! Protecting your health (and the health of others) completely dwarfs wedding attire. Instead of worrying about what other people think of your sensible mask, perhaps you can use your close relationship with the bride to help make her wedding safer for everyone. Because 200 people gathered indoors — without masks, social distance and possibly vaccinations — sounds more like a superspreader event than a joyful occasion.

Before speaking to your close friend, try to appreciate her (totally legitimate!) sadness and frustration at multiple postponements of her wedding. Don’t get me wrong: Party planning is small potatoes compared with serious illness and death. But you can still empathize with the bridal couple’s challenges. This sets the stage for a warmer conversation.

Then call her. “I love you and feel terrible about how hard this wedding has been on you. But with the growing number of Delta variant infections, wouldn’t it be smarter to move the wedding outdoors? And requiring vaccinations and masks would make it safer for everyone. Will you think about it?”

The bride may be angry — or she may agree! In the end, the decision to attend and wear a mask is yours. Personally, I can’t imagine disregarding the advice of the C.D.C. to avoid large indoor gatherings. Like it or not, we stake our good health (and possibly our lives) on smart risk assessment now. I leave it to you to make the call and to sympathize with your friend.

Pregnancy Test?

I think a friend of mine may be pregnant. We’re friendly, but not BFFs. She hasn’t said anything to me about it, but I can see the shape of her body changing. How terrible would it be to invite her to dinner and serve ceviche? (Pregnant women can’t eat raw fish.) If she doesn’t eat it, that would be another piece of evidence. Can I?


Request denied! Your plan is manipulative — and inconclusive. We are each entitled to share personal information (that does not affect others) at our own pace, regardless of other people’s curiosity. Also, you overlook the distinct possibility that your friend may not care for raw fish cured in citrus juices and still not be pregnant. Respect her privacy. When she has something to tell you, she will.

Pitfalls of Grieving Online

I am a part-time music influencer with several hundred followers on Spotify. My grandfather died recently in a freak accident. We’re all in shock. I was very close with him and I’m grief-stricken. To help myself cope, I made a playlist of songs about loss and grief. Stupidly, I made this playlist public — with my usual custom cover art and Gen Z-friendly song descriptions. Now, I worry that it looks like I’m trying to profit off my loss to gain likes and followers. I loved my grandfather dearly, and I hate to think I’m being disrespectful. Any advice?


I applaud your sensitivity to the optics of this situation, but I think you’re overlooking an important fact: Your playlist may help others, like you, who are grieving. That’s a wonderful tribute to your grandfather!

I suggest revising your playlist description to make its origin and purpose clearer to your followers. Maybe replace the cover art with a special photograph of your grandfather and embroider song descriptions with memories of him.

I get that generating income is one of the reasons you became a music influencer. But I bet your love of music — and your emotional connection to it — is a bigger one. Invite your followers to share their painful losses, too. Personally, I see you doing lots of good here. Don’t be hard on yourself!

Care for an Egg?

My mom and sister are helping me move to college. The car will be packed, so it’s a tight squeeze for the three of us. My sister insists on bringing hard-boiled eggs for a snack on the road. But hard-boiled eggs smell awful to me and tend to make me nauseated. I asked her to bring something else, but she won’t budge. Any ideas?


Let’s find a compromise. Your sister is helping you move, an occasion for gratitude. Still, feeling nauseated on long drives is a big bummer. How about this: Your sister limits her egg intake to pit stops? She exits the car to peel and eat them, then washes her hands and pops breath mints as necessary. Totally doable, right?

For help with your awkward situation, send a question to [email protected], to Philip Galanes on Facebook or @SocialQPhilip on Twitter.

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