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by Abigail Van Buren

Wedding Planning Includes Dealing With Stepmother's Drinking

DEAR ABBY: My fiance, "Todd," and I just became engaged and are starting to plan our wedding. The problem is his father is remarried to a terrible woman. Todd grew up with her, but he can't stand her, and I feel the same way.

I gave her a chance, but she got drunk -- something she does often -- and insulted my mother. Obviously, my mother and Todd are my priorities.

Todd and I do not want her at our wedding because we're afraid she'll get drunk and make a scene, but how do we manage that? How do we make it clear that we love his dad and want him there, but his wife is not welcome? -- NERVOUS BRIDE-TO-BE IN FLORIDA

DEAR NERVOUS: You and Todd should talk to his father and express your concerns that his wife's unpredictable behavior could ruin your wedding. Ask how he thinks this should be handled. He may agree to attend alone or choose to skip the wedding. He could also promise you that if his wife gets loaded and becomes disruptive, he will escort her out of there immediately. (Suggest it to him if he's unwilling to come without her.)

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