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by Abigail Van Buren

Wedding Hostess Walks Out When Job Goes Into Overtime

DEAR ABBY: I was recently asked to be a "hostess" in a wedding. When I asked the bride what exactly my duties would be, she said I would pass out programs and make sure that all the wedding guests signed the guestbook. The bride also requested that I buy a $200 matching bridesmaid dress -- which I did. With hotel and travel, the weekend cost me more than $1,000.

On the morning of the wedding, I was immediately put to work assembling plastic champagne flutes and placing favors and name cards on tables, etc. While I was doing this, the wedding party was having their pictures taken. I was not invited to be in a single photo. I also missed the entire wedding ceremony because I was assigned the job of arranging flowers in the reception hall. I was the only member of the wedding party who was expected to work in this manner.

At the reception, I was instructed to escort the bride and groom and the others to their tables. It was a task I found insulting. I was also asked, via a typed "task list" handed to me by the bride's aunt, to pour cider for the 300 guests. I was so upset, I left the reception before any cider pouring.

Do you think the bride was out of line -- or am I out of tune with what is expected of a "hostess"? (I have rescinded my invitation for her to be a member of my wedding. Too rash?) -- FEELING USED IN STOW, OHIO

DEAR FEELING USED: I don't blame you for feeling used. You were treated shamefully. You were a victim of "bait and switch." Your duties should have ended when the ceremony began. Instead, you paid $1,000 to be treated like a caterer.

I don't blame you for not wanting to be reminded of this incident at the time of your own wedding. So don't second-guess yourself about your decision to uninvite this "blushing bride."