DEAR ABBY: My fiance and I devised a wedding plan that pleased both our families. He is the youngest child; I am an only child. We've always been especially close to each of our moms. We wanted to make their wedding dreams for us come true, as well as our own.
The solution? We had THREE celebrations! One for us, and one for each mom. Sound crazy? It's not.
My fiance and I eloped to Santa Fe, N.M., for a private ceremony with only my best friend and my fiance's brother in attendance. We hired a professional photographer to capture every moment for our families. It was a beautiful ceremony in a church with a minister.
Three months later, my mom arranged a 200-person sit-down wedding reception in my hometown. She asked our long-time Presbyterian minister to "bless" our marriage with a small ceremony, invited the guests, ordered the food and hired the band. In short, she gave the party she had always dreamed of for her only child.
Three months after that, my mother-in-law hosted a Catholic validation at a church in my husband's hometown. She was overjoyed to provide the Mass and party she had always hoped for her son.
All in all, we had three weddings, and celebrated our marriage for a year. It was perfect. Both sets of parents attended each other's events, and everyone got to eat, drink and invite whomever they wanted. I didn't get stressed-out like some brides do -- I just enjoyed myself.
Abby, I highly recommend this solution to anyone who is trying to please everyone. You can have your wedding cake and eat it, too. -- WE DID IT OUR WAY
DEAR WE DID IT: Providing all the in-laws can afford it, your solution seems amicable for everyone. It's an original. My congratulations to all of you.