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My daughter got engaged on the fourth of July and wedding plans are beginning. She and her fiancé are paying for the wedding and I am paying for her gown. he has informed me that I will not be permitted any guests at the wedding. It will be family and their friends. I believe it is customary for the mother of the bride to be given a certain number of guests. I have the same friends for 50 years and have attended all their children's weddings. While money is tight, this is not a money issue. My daughter and I have been having a back and forth over this issue for a long time, even when there was no boyfriend in the picture. "Why should your friends come to my wedding?" This is so hurtful and embarrassing to me. I'd like your take on this.

As you have detailed the story, I am sympathetic to both "sides." As for insight, your daughter might be basing her strong stance too much on what she has gleamed from other weddings. I personally know of one too many stories when the parents of the bridge overtake the entire wedding — they are given an inch and take a mile. So perhaps you just need to ask her about a specific number or specific invitees and now just ask for blanket permission to invite friends. She is probably also being realistic about money and doesn't want to spend money on those who she doesn't feel as attached to. Perhaps you can get your daughter to pinpoint why exactly she doesn't want your friends there — is it money, precedent, conflicting with her image or her wedding or her desire to have a small wedding. I can understand all of those reasons — as I am sure you can, too — so perhaps you just need to give her space to articulate that.

Also, I understand how important this day is for you and how you want to have your special people there. Perhaps once you get your daughter to break it down you can find a way to have some friends there. And if that's not possible— can you offer to throw a party the night before or even an engagement party now?

— Amy