DEAR ABBY: I hope you can stand another wedding-related disaster. I was married last October. My husband and I both wanted a small wedding because we couldn't afford a large one. We planned to elope and be married with only our parents and siblings as guests. The idea was to spend a fun weekend at a local inn.
My mother-in-law suggested that we include a few of our closest friends. Therefore, my husband and I each invited six friends and their dates/spouses. A total of 33 people attended the wedding, and it was exactly what we wanted.
I plan to throw a party for other relatives later this year. However, none of mine are speaking to me! They say I wrote them off by excluding them from the wedding -- that I chose friends over family, and some other hurtful comments.
When I explained that my husband's aunts, uncles and cousins weren't invited either and expressed their happiness for us, my relatives didn't care. My husband comes from a prominent family, and my side of the family is using that against me. They insist I am ashamed of them and think they're not good enough.
I thought throwing a party for everyone afterward would solve the problem. However, after what my relatives have said, I don't want to waste our money on them. I doubt they'd come anyway, since we're not speaking.
Abby, is one obligated to invite relatives to one's wedding? Is there an invitation protocol? Please advise. -- KELLY IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
DEAR KELLY: Nothing is written in stone. However, in an ideal world, members of one's family are supposed to be closer than one's friends. Since it's too late to invite your family to your wedding, send them personal invitations to your party and see who shows up. (That way they won't think you have turned your back on them completely.)