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by Abigail Van Buren

Bride Fears Bridesmaid Adds Too Much Color to Wedding

DEAR ABBY: I'm a 36-year-old woman who has a 25-year-old friend I love like a little sister. Because of that connection, I felt compelled to ask her to be a bridesmaid in my upcoming wedding.

After she agreed, I overheard her mention that she would be getting a large tattoo on her arm. Because she knows how I feel about visible tattoos, I asked her if she'd wait six months until after the wedding. She and the matron of honor are scheduled to wear strapless, knee-length gowns.

She proceeded with the tattoo and now has half an arm of full-color design. I don't want her to ruin my wedding or the photographs. I would feel guilty if I had to force a jacket or sweater on her or my matron of honor, especially if the day is unseasonably hot. What should I do? -- NO INK IN LOUISVILLE

DEAR NO INK: If your "little sister" cared as much about your feelings as you seem to about hers, she would have postponed getting the tattoo as you requested. Too bad she didn't.

However, weddings are more than the procession and the picture album. They are about loving friends and family and the joining of two people who intend to build a life together. If you're worried about the pictures, pose "Sis" so her "canvas" can't be seen by the camera.