DEAR AMY: With the wedding season fast approaching, I wanted to drop a little advice to brides-to-be when choosing their wedding parties.
I was married a few years ago and chose my best friend to be my matron of honor.
I was totally deflated when she informed me that she didn't want to participate, but only be a guest.
Our friendship spanned 20 years. It would have been more acceptable had she been sick, had money or family issues, etc.
Unfortunately, being in my wedding simply wasn't a priority in her busy life.
My friend's actions ruined our friendship and even though we've tried to patch it up, it's beyond repair.
I know she misses our friendship dearly. She has apologized and I've forgiven her.
But her act of selfishness revealed exactly how she felt about me, and if I can't count on a friend on one of the happiest days of my life, I know she'll also disappoint me when the storms come.
— No Longer Bummed Out
DEAR NO LONGER: Brides should be aware that (depending on the size and scope of the wedding event) the role of maid or matron of honor is an honor that some women don't necessarily want.
This honor can become a grueling, expensive job, amounting to a virtual second career during the planning, shopping, celebrating and party period.
You don't mention what expectations you had of your prospective matron of honor, but I give her credit for telling you quickly that she didn't want the job.
You sign your letter "No Longer Bummed Out," but it is obvious that you continue to be very bummed out. If you had really forgiven your friend, you would have moved on already.
I hope you'll continue to try to repair this connection.
DEAR AMY: What is the protocol on second marriages?
My stepson is getting married (for the second time) to his future bride (it's her third or fourth time) on the East Coast. We live on the West Coast.
The whole family is being guilted into attending. It is at an upscale hotel, so of course we are on the hook to pay our airfare, rental car and hotel expenses.
In this economy, doesn't anyone consider what it costs to attend these ceremonies? What is the family obligation? Do we have to go?
— On a Budget
DEAR BUDGET: The economy has had an impact on everyone. Additionally, it seems that people generally are suffering from an overall wedding fatigue.
Not every member of an extended family or invited guest will be able to attend a wedding on the opposite coast. Marrying couples shouldn't "guilt" or pressure family members into attending a destination wedding.
However, it seems to me that parents and stepparents (as you are) would want to make every possible effort to attend their offspring's wedding, no matter where it is located. You should consider this an obligation and do what you can to fulfill it. If you can't, you can't — but perhaps there are economical ways to do this.
It is obvious that you are exceedingly grumpy about being invited to this wedding, but I imagine you would also be grumpy if you hadn't been asked.
DEAR AMY: I agree with "Sharing Sister," who shared her inheritance with siblings.
I come from a family of five children.
Our mother passed away and left four of her children with assets in various amounts.
We're not sure what her logic was because we knew she loved us all.
The sibling who was left out was aware but didn't make a stink.
The remaining siblings and I agreed without hesitation to divide our financial assets into equal parts to include the sibling who was apparently left out.
No hard feelings, and the love is definitely flowing in our family.
— Sharing Sister Too
DEAR SISTER: One way to keep the love flowing is to share and share alike.
Send questions via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org