Life Advice



Ask Amy: Family vacation might be riled by new spouse

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

How might I extend this exclusive invite? Or is there a polite and discreet way to ask he not make this trip a disagreeable one?

– Happy Memories Only

Dear Happy: Your grandmother chose to marry, and when she did, the man she married entered your family. For better and – it seems – for worse: he is there.

It is not selfish of you to want “only happiness,” but no family can be guaranteed only happy experiences or happy memories. Every family must deal with the challenges presented by their reality.

I suggest that you issue this invitation to everyone, and then do your best to manage this disruptive new family member during your weekend together.

If you establish a baseline willingness to stand up to him: (“Excuse me, ‘Steve,’ but I’d love to hear what my grandmother thinks …”) you might have a better time.


Dear Amy: Our daughter’s overseas wedding was first scheduled two summers ago. Family from both sides (mostly) don’t live there, so with the borders closed, the ceremony was postponed — twice.

Now the wedding is on — for this July. We are now seeing that a number of guests who RSVP’d that they were coming the first two times now say they cannot make it. We will miss seeing them.

So here is the question: Since we already have the lovely venue paid for a specific number of guests, is it tacky to invite those who “didn’t make the first guest list” originally to join us now?

If it is not tacky, how might we even phrase that?


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