DEAR ABBY: My sister and I are both being married next year. Several people have suggested that we make it a double wedding. We are very close and neither one of us is opposed to the idea, but we are worried it will be too expensive for our guests.
First, do we send separate invitations? Second, would this be too much of a financial burden for our guests? -- TAMPA BRIDE-TO-BE
DEAR BRIDE-TO-BE: Send only one invitation. Your and your fiance's name should be on it, and your sister's and her fiance's names as well.
A double wedding should not impose an extra financial burden on your guests. In fact, the cost might be less if you consider travel expenses for two separate weddings.
I wish all four of you every happiness on your special day.
DEAR ABBY: I have read many letters about infighting between ex-spouses. My husband's ex-wife approached me after he and I were married, and told me she felt it would be in the children's best interest for us to be friends.
What a great idea! Since that time, three years ago, she and I have talked, shared feelings, exchanged holiday gifts, been nice to each other in front of the kids, and shown them that it's OK to be friends with and to be nice to someone even though there have been bad times between parents.
This has reduced much stress that the kids were experiencing and allows them to tell us how much they love their mother without feeling guilty, embarrassed or nervous. -- BEEN THERE, DONE THAT IN ALABAMA
DEAR BTDT: I commend your husband's former wife -- and you -- for your mature decision to set aside personal animosity for the benefit of the children. Many families could learn from your example.
DEAR ABBY: I foolishly left my car unlocked while parked in downtown Boise for the River Festival. Sitting on the front seat was my cell phone and a few CDs. Needless to say, when I returned a few hours later, they were gone.
I immediately called my insurance company to report the theft and was informed that my deductible was more than the value of the stolen items. I was in despair. Then a glimmer of inspiration hit -- I dialed my cell phone number!
Unfortunately for the morally challenged juvenile who stole my property, his mother was standing next to him when his baggy pants started ringing! Let me tell you, after talking to that woman I would not want to be in that boy's shoes!
My phone and CDs were returned the next morning. She stayed to supervise while her son mowed my lawn and washed my cars.
I understand that for the next couple of months he will not be allowed out of the house without a family member. My greatest hope, however, is that the unfortunate incident helped a mother and son realize that a dangerous path loomed ahead -- and that bigger problems in the future were avoided. -- STILL CONNECTED IN BOISE
DEAR STILL CONNECTED: I'm pleased your story had a happy ending. It's risky to leave tempting articles in a parked car even when it is locked. Better to put them out of sight in the trunk.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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