DEAR ABBY: We are preparing for my son's bar mitzvah. He would like to invite the many elementary schoolteachers he had through the years. Would it be acceptable to invite all of these wonderful people without their spouses? We don't know the spouses, and feel the teachers would be comfortable being seated with one another at the reception. I don't want to appear tacky, but the expense would be double for people we don't know and who don't know us. Can we invite just the teachers?
Do not identify me, but please answer soon. -- GETTING READY
DEAR GETTING READY: Invite the teachers only. Those who want to accept will come without their spouses. Do not be hurt if some politely decline; those who accept will be there because they want to be there. Some schoolteachers, as a matter of policy, decline all such invitations because they feel that if they accept one, they will be obligated to accept all. (Also, buying gifts can get very expensive.)
All good wishes to you and your family, and Mazel Tov to the bar mitzvah boy!