DEAR ABBY: I am engaged to the love of my life ("Tom"), and I dread making the guest list for our wedding. I don't want any of my cousins there. The young ones are rude and obnoxious, and the one who's an adult I no longer talk to. I asked my mom what to do. She said if we invite any kids, then we must invite all of them.
We would like my fiance's young nieces and nephews to be in the wedding party. Tom said he isn't inviting anyone he doesn't want there. A few family members invited me to their weddings because my parents were invited, but I don't feel I know them well enough to invite them to mine, although one couple was kind enough to get us an engagement present. I want to be nice, but I don't want any nonsense. Please help. -- TORN IN THE EAST
DEAR TORN: Your mother has the right idea. Listen to her. Weddings can bring families together, but they can also do the opposite. The relatives you are thinking of excluding are the children of your parents' siblings. If you don't know them well, be gracious. Should you snub them while including your fiance's nieces and nephews, word will get back to them -- trust me on that -- and the negative repercussions could last for many years and affect not just you but also your parents.