Dear Abby: Man holds wedding guest list hostage after offering to pay


Does paying for a wedding give you say over the guest list? (Getty Images)

DEAR ABBY: My daughter, “Jessica,” is getting married. My husband offered to pay for most of the wedding. Jessica and her fiance happily accepted the offer. My husband is now insisting that all of HIS aunts, uncles and cousins be invited, which means that Jessica and her fiance will have to eliminate nearly all of their friends from the guest list. Note: None of MY aunts, uncles or cousins are invited, but I am OK with that.

My husband is now threatening not to attend the wedding because Jessica won’t add four more people to the list. He said if those additional people don’t come, two of his aunts will be unable to be there due to driving issues.

Is it our responsibility to make travel accommodations for all of the guests? It would eliminate four more of our our daughter’s friends. It’s Jessica’s day, and I think it should involve people she would like to be there, not who her father wants there. We had our wedding -- this should be about her and her fiance. I’m at my wits’ end. Please help. -- WEDDING WOES IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR WEDDING WOES: Your husband is a handful. As it stands, he has hijacked your daughter’s wedding with his checkbook. Jessica and her fiance should thank her father for his generous offer and refuse it. If she doesn’t, the event will no longer be their wedding, but her father’s family reunion.

If Dad refuses to go, you definitely should be there standing with the bridal couple. There are worse things than having a small wedding with just a few close friends. One of them is a father as controlling as your husband appears to be.

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Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order “How to Have a Lovely Wedding.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)


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