DEAR ABBY: I am a certified wedding planner. With the wedding season upon us, I would appreciate it if you would publish the following "reminders" for wedding guests:
1. The only people invited are those listed on the invitation. Please do not bring uninvited guests. I've seen a shortage of space and food at receptions because of this. (Caterers often charge extra for the number of guests exceeding the original count.)
2. Please do not bring children unless they are listed on the invitation. They may be the cutest kids in the world -- especially when they're all dressed up. However, it's the bride and groom's day, not an occasion for you to show off your little ones.
3. Another reason not to bring uninvited children is that many reception sites charge by the number of attendees, regardless of the age.
4. If you must bring a nursing baby to the ceremony, ask to be seated on an aisle near the back, so a quick exit can be made if the baby becomes fussy.
Keep in mind that a wedding day is an occasion the bride has dreamed of all her life. Countless hours and thousands of dollars may have been spent to make it perfect. Please don't spoil it for the happy couple. -- SPEAKING FOR ALL BRIDES
DEAR SPEAKING: Every spring I receive wedding etiquette questions by the bushel. Your helpful reminders can diffuse more than a few potential problems before they occur. Thank you for sending them.
DEAR ABBY: I am 13. I read your column every day. My mom is bulimic, and now I am fat because all she buys is junk food. Please give me some advice in the newspaper, because Mom will be mad if she knows I wrote to you.
I am sick of the kids at school calling me names all the time. I am sick of my mother calling me a fat pig when it is her fault that I eat the wrong food and don't throw up afterward like she does.
There is no reason to live any more. Every day of my life is miserable and I'd rather not even be here. You are my last chance for help on how to deal with these people. -- FED UP IN FORT MYERS, FLA.
DEAR FED UP: You need more help than anyone can give you in a letter. It's time to talk to your teacher, your principal or a school nurse about what you have written me. Your mother has an eating disorder and may not even realize that she is passing it along to you.
You need a healthy diet and an exercise program, and your mother needs to understand that what's going on could be classified as neglect because children's eating habits are dictated by their parents. Don't wait -- talk to someone now. Please let me hear from you again. I care.
DEAR ABBY: In a recent column you mentioned the old story that my grandfather, W.C. Fields, did not relate well to children. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, he loved children, and proudly drove his firstborn grandchild home from the hospital. A family photo appeared in People magazine on Jan. 1, 2000. It depicts my beloved grandfather, his first grandchild and my mother -- and it is heartwarming. -- HARRIET A. FIELDS, WASHINGTON, D.C.
DEAR HARRIET: I stand corrected. Thank you for helping to bury an old myth.
To order "How to Write Letters for All Occasions," send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)
4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600