This article is reprinted from Unions, a special advertising feature of The Press Democrat.

Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Stevick and Mr. and Mrs. Edd Ringlein, all of Petaluma, are pleased to announce the wedding of their children: Andrea Stevick and Luke Ringlein.

Andrea attended Petaluma High School, UCLA, and Sonoma State University and currently works at the Lindamood-Bell Center in Marin County. Luke attended Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa. He is currently employed by Stonecrop Technologies as a Response Team Leader.

Andrea and Luke were married in July at a beautiful private estate in Healdsburg and are living in Petaluma.

Conversation Killers

1. Are you married? Do you have any kids? Where are you going with either one of these if the response is “no”?

2. How’s your job at United Airlines, Wells Fargo Bank (fill in the blank)? Unless you know the person well, assume nothing. Don’t put him on the spot. Instead ask something less specific like, “What’s been going on with work?”

3. How’s your wife? (Maybe she died or left and took the kids, house and money with her.)

4. Merry Christmas! What are your Christmas plans? Not everyone celebrates Christmas.

5. Is that real? Are those real?

Source: Communications expert Debra Fine, author of “Small Talk.”

Top 10 conversational icebreakers for holiday parties

1. “How do you know the host/hostess?”

2. “What is your favorite holiday tradition?”

3. “Bring me up to date about your family/work/hobby...”

4. “Tell me about your plans for this holiday season.…”

5. “What do you enjoy most about the holiday season? Why?”

6. “What have you got coming up or planned during the upcoming year?”

7. “Describe your typical holiday festivities.”

8. “What special gifts do you plan to give this year?”

9. “What was the best gift you ever received? Why?”

10. “How does the holiday season affect your work/industry/family?”

Source: Communications expert Debra Fine, author of “The Fine Art of Small Talk.”