Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I am a high school senior. With graduation day fast approaching, I have some pressing questions.

First, what are the rules of etiquette regarding sending invitations/announcements? Do I have to invite all the members of my family to my graduation party that is supposed to be for my friends? (I would rather not even see most of these relatives, but my grandmother is insisting that I invite them.)

Second, what is the best way to keep track of gifts, so I can properly thank the gift-givers?

Abby, I have been reading your column since I learned how to read and would greatly appreciate your input. -- POLITE SENIOR DUDE IN AMARILLO, TEXAS

DEAR DUDE: Ask your parents if you can have two separate gatherings -- one for family and the other for your contemporaries. (Try to give family members the benefit of the doubt. As you get older, their finer qualities may emerge.)

Write what each person gives you on the card that accompanies the gift. That way, you can easily keep track of who gave what when it comes time to send thank-you notes, because it's always a nice touch to refer to the gift in your note.

P.S. Best of luck to you, grad!

DEAR ABBY: My sister and I have both become engaged. We are very close and are considering a double wedding. Our fiances think it's a neat idea. I've never been to a double wedding and have no idea how it works. Can you please help us? -- NEWLY ENGAGED IN EL PASO

DEAR NEWLY ENGAGED: Double weddings are extra-special events -- and they can reduce expenses.

I discuss this topic -- and more -- in my booklet, "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." It can be ordered by sending a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus a check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)

However, since you asked about double weddings, I will offer some tips from the booklet:

Two sisters or close friends may wish to be married in the same ceremony.

They may share the same attendants or each may have her own maid of honor. Each groom will, of course, have his own best man.

If they desire, each bride may serve as maid of honor to the other bride, and each groom may serve as best man to the other groom.

The brides do NOT need to dress alike.

The costumes of the attendants should harmonize, although they need not be identical.

If the brides are not sisters, church and reception invitations must be issued separately.

The reception is usually given jointly, and either one or separate receiving lines may be formed.

4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600