DEAR ABBY: Your response to "Furious in Vancouver, Wash." (5/30), about adults-only weddings, was right on.
My brother is being married in two weeks. We were informed, via e-mail, that children were not invited. The note said that baby-sitting was being arranged, but that each couple would be responsible for the baby-sitting fee.
My wife and I are upset about it, because we have an adopted 16-year-old and an 8-year-old who will be in the wedding party as the ring bearer. We also have a newborn, but because baby sitters are being arranged we didn't have a problem leaving him with them.
As you suggested, I called my brother to ask about it. They relented, and now the plan is for no children under 7. This will result in excluding only two children from the guest list.
In the end, it was better for me to talk to my brother first than to go off half-cocked and create a potentially ugly situation for what should be one of the happiest events in my brother's life. -- MIKE IN INDIANA
DEAR MIKE: Readers from both sides of the aisle wrote to agree that the writer was being unreasonable and that she should attend her brother's wedding -- with or without her husband. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: The letter from "Furious" made ME furious. She implied that her brother should not allow his son at the wedding because "if no kids are allowed, then there should be no exceptions." She must be joking! Not to allow his own son at his wedding is much different than not allowing a couple of nephews. There are many reasons why her brother and soon-to-be wife might have reached their decision. She should grant her brother's wish and stop complaining that her young children -- who would be bored anyway -- can't attend. She should make it a date night out with her hubby and enjoy herself! -- FURIOUS IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR ABBY: The woman whose children were not invited to her brother's small wedding needs to check an etiquette book. It is the privilege of the host/hostess to determine the guest list, and not for the guests to question. It is also rude for guests to ask to invite extra guests, or to bring them anyway, especially to a small wedding.
-- ETIQUETTE MAVEN, FORT WORTH, TEXAS
DEAR ABBY: As a wedding singer and tour guide for a historic home that hosts weddings, I'm appalled at the behavior of children at weddings. I am even more disgusted at the lack of parental control I have seen exercised. By the way, I have four children of my own whom I love, but I don't take them to weddings. -- BIG BROWN SINGING TOUR GUIDE IN THE SOUTH
DEAR ABBY: Sorry, I must disagree with you on this one. It's the brother who has done something he'll regret. The sister is reacting to his disrespect for her family.
My wife and children are my world, and other family members are simply satellites around that world. If they refuse to recognize my world, then to me, they're just insignificant comets flying through my universe. -- DOUG IN BLANCHARD, OKLA.
DEAR ABBY: Not every occasion is designed to give parents the opportunity to parade their kids around like show dogs. Sure, your kids are sweet and adorable in their parents' eyes, but not everyone shares that opinion. Deal with it! The wedding couple has the final say on who is invited to their wedding. Either hire a baby sitter or stay home. The choice is yours. -- CHILD-FREE IN TENNESSEE