DEAR ABBY: I need to get something off my chest. Here is my problem: friends upset about not being asked to be my bridesmaids; family angry about who is giving the bridal shower; being interrogated about why I'm not changing my name; and parents insisting on inviting so many additional guests that we had to reserve a larger reception hall than the one indicated on our invitations.
Abby, rarely do people wish us well. It seems they just want to control some aspect of this event. I am so fed up with this nonsense that I wish we had eloped. We discussed doing that last week -- but some of the guests had already purchased nonrefundable plane tickets, so we could not in good conscience cancel the wedding.
Abby, please tell people who have the uncontrollable urge to meddle and complain about other people's weddings to back off, stay home, bite their tongues, and reserve their negativity for their own lives. Speaking for my fiance and myself, only those who wish to celebrate our joy and love should honor us with their presence on our wedding day. -- WISH WE'D ELOPED IN PENNSYLVANIA
P.S. Thanks for listening. I feel better already.
DEAR WISH WE'D ELOPED: That's what I'm here for, and I'm pleased that venting your feelings provided relief from your pre-wedding stress. The reason that etiquette books are such enduring sellers is because emotions often reach a fever pitch during "milestone events," and they provide guidance as people negotiate their way through the social minefield.
In your case, since the plans have already been made, I would urge tolerance for those who are second-guessing your choices. It's your day and your wishes should prevail; however, the fewer hurt feelings in the wake of this event, the better for you and your husband in the long run.