DEAR ABBY: My stepson "Steve" is getting married out of town. His fiancee is an only daughter with three brothers, and her family is throwing a large, traditional, formal wedding.
My husband and I have just been informed by Steve's mother that we are to host the rehearsal dinner for the wedding party, their spouses and out-of-town guests. It will cost thousands of dollars in addition to the cost of us attending the wedding, and we will have to go into debt to pay for it. Is this fair?
When we were married, we had a simple wedding. We prepared everything ourselves because it was all we could afford. Should we be expected to fork over money we don't have to feed people we don't know just because the bride's family can afford to throw a large, formal wedding? -- STEPMOM IN CANADA
DEAR STEPMOM: No, you should not, and you should let the bride's family know it ASAP. Although, traditionally, a rehearsal dinner is hosted by the parents of the groom, today it can be hosted by just about anyone who is willing.
And while the guest list normally includes all attendants and their spouses or partners, close relatives and special guests such as the clergyperson and spouse, you are not obligated to include out-of-town guests. Out-of-town guests should be given a list of local restaurants and should not expect to be entertained beyond the wedding and the reception.