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.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I just told my son that I am pregnant, and he told me that he hates the idea of having a younger sibling. He’s 10 years old and a bit of an introvert, so I can understand how he wouldn’t love the idea of having to share more of his space. I’m sure that he will warm up to the idea eventually, but for right now, how can I get him to be more open and accepting of the fact that our family is growing? — Growing Family

DEAR GROWING FAMILY: Continue talking to your son about your family expansion. Let him express his concerns and fears as you ease into the conversation and what it can mean for him as a big brother. Tell him how cool it will be for him to be able to help you take care of this child. He can help teach his sibling to read and explore and participate in your family. Talk about how tiny and vulnerable the baby will be at first and how much you will need him to help protect this new child — what a role of honor that will be.

Acknowledge that the role of big brother will be different and new for him and also exciting. Invite him to think about it as the best job ever. Encourage him to believe that he can do it well.

Email Harriette at askharriette@harriettecole.com

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