My fiancé and I attended his brother's wedding two years ago. My fiancé was the best man; we'd then been together almost three years.
I was not seated with his family, but at the back of the reception hall with his parents' neighbours. When asked if any more people were to be added to the groom's family photo, the bride abruptly responded, no. Yet her own family photo included her sister's boyfriend of nine months (who sat with the bride's family).
Now, though we always give a gift for both his brother and wife, they only gift my fiancé, e.g. a sweater. We've decided to gift only the children.
I continue to attend family gatherings with that couple present. However, we're planning our own wedding.
My gut says to treat them as I would have wanted to be treated, but part of me can't forget and wants to exclude them.
How do I get over it and make the day a nice one for everyone?
Your feelings are natural, and your doubts about exacting revenge are even wiser.
Your wedding is one day on which you both want to feel your best selves, with a positive vibe... at least from you two.
Meanwhile, discuss your future response, so you know you're not just accepting disrespect. Gifting only the children is one good idea. If your sister-in-law continues to exclude you from anything, your new husband must speak to his brother. There may be a misunderstanding you know nothing about.... but he needs to find out for you.
If she's just plain rude, and nothing changes, decide together your boundaries with this couple.
But do NOT let her past behaviour shadow your Big Day.
I'm inviting four friends to dinner. Four of us enjoy eating snails, and the other two may not. May I serve the snails, and if the two do not like/want them, may I offer them something else, or should I plan to NOT serve snails altogether?
Should I call the two whose tastes I don't know, and ask them ahead if they like snails?
I've included your question which differs from most, because I sense you're struggling with your own lack of self-confidence.... which can affect many relationship areas.
Regarding snails alone: The common practice would be to ask the other two if they'd eat snails, would prefer a different starter, or can't stomach the sight of others eating snails... in which case, you'd save the dish for another time, when you invite only those who are fans.
However, your concern over this fairly simple decision suggests you're uncomfortable with your own decisions... a signal of insecurity in other areas.
Since you've reached out, I'm taking a chance that you want some personal boosting, starting with hosting directions.
So here are my relationship "tips" for entertaining people with a healthy dose of self-confidence:
1. Serve foods you believe everyone will eat (inquire ahead about allergies and strong dislikes).
2. Serve something you've successfully made on previous occasions, unless you're a regularly adventuresome cook. 3. If hassled by the whole prospect of a dinner party, get some ideas (and add some prepared ingredients) from a deli counter you trust for cleanliness and taste.
4. Use music, candles, and flowers to create an inviting setting.
5. Focus on having good conversations.
6. Even if you have to invite some people you don't know well, include others whom you know and enjoy.
7. Strive for casual comfort, not formal perfection.
FEEDBACK Regarding the girl with a "weird crush" on another girl (Jan. 25):
Reader - "I agree that it's a normal process of young people to question their sexuality, however I think it's too big an issue to discuss with a trusted adult or school counselor.
"You should've encouraged her to see a trained psychologist... hopefully her parents would be understanding and arrange an appointment without prying as to the reason."
It appeared from her letter to be too early in her self-questioning to recommend the professional route - a suggestion that, on its own, sometimes makes young people fear there's something's "wrong" with them.
At this stage, normalizing her feelings of a same-sex crush might be all she needed to stop worrying about herself. But if her concerns persist, she'll hopefully discuss it with a trusted adult (parent) who directs her to probe a deeper understanding of her sexual identity over time.
Tip of the day:
Don't let relatives' rudeness colour the joy and graciousness of your wedding day.