Abby: Wedding planning drives close mom, daughter apart

Dear Abby
Jeanne Phillips

Dear Abby: My 38-year-old daughter is being married this summer. This is her first marriage, and we are planning the wedding. She has never planned a big event like this before, and every suggestion I make gets us into a fight. I know it’s upsetting her terribly, and it’s upsetting me, as well.

We have always been close. I understand it’s her wedding, but I would like some input since my husband and I are paying for it, and there are certain traditions I would like continued. Also, every time I suggest inviting someone, her reaction is, “… I don’t know. They’re YOUR friends, not mine.” Well, I would like my friends to share this moment in my daughter’s life. What’s the solution here?

Fighting in Pennsylvania

Dear Fighting: You may be a “traditional” mother, but customs have changed since you were a bride. Among them is the fact that women your daughter’s age usually pay for their own weddings, which entitles them to run their own show. I think the solution to your problem may involve suggesting that to your daughter. If you are footing the bill for the “show,” you should absolutely have some say about the production, and your daughter should be mature enough to accept it — along with the check — or finance it herself.

Dear Abby: When I am in a frenzy preparing to host a party and one of the guests calls a few minutes before arrival time to say they’re going to be late, I get annoyed. I think, please just BE late and don’t bother me when I’m finishing everything or welcoming other guests.

I assume these individuals are trying to be considerate, and if they were the only guest coming, I agree they should call. But if they are one of many, it’s a distraction to have to answer the phone and listen to their excuse. Am I being ungrateful when someone is trying to be considerate?

Frenzied in Georgia

Dear Frenzied: I think so. Your guest is trying to be polite and is afraid that you will worry. (Fat chance!) This isn’t an unusual occurrence, but a charming host will not reveal annoyance. It takes only a second to reply, “We’ll see you when you get here!” and get off the phone.

Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.