DEAR HARRIETTE: I'm feeling anxious about mixing friend groups for my upcoming wedding and all of the events leading up to it. My bridesmaids do not know each other, and I'm not sure how they'll get along. I'm including my fiance's sister in the festivities, and I want her to feel comfortable, but I haven't spent that much time with her. What would be the best way for all of us to break the ice? How do I ensure that there won't be any weird tension or awkwardness leading up to my wedding? -- Bridal Party Anxiety
DEAR BRIDAL PARTY ANXIETY: Mixing friend groups is a real challenge -- one you can overcome with a bit of strategy. Start now by creating opportunities for your bridal party to get to know one another. Use the wonders of video technology to create bridal party get-togethers now. Host a "meet the bridesmaids" digital gathering. Invite everyone and ask them to bring a story with them about how you met, or something funny or sentimental that illustrates your bond. Depending upon how close you are to the person, the stories will vary. It’s all good. Let everyone know how important it is for you that they get to know each other. They are important in your life, and you want them to know and love each other.
Pay attention so you get a sense of who gets along well. Then, figure out what bridesmaids' functions need to be fulfilled and team them up to work together on certain roles.
Leading up to the wedding, host a couple more virtual get-togethers where you gather to talk and laugh. Allow these engagements to be more social than focused on you.