DEAR ABBY: My niece is getting married this spring, which has created a dilemma for my immediate family. When the save-the-date cards went out, she addressed them only to the women in the family. We thought it was a mistake at first, but now the invitations have arrived, and they are also addressed to the women only.

My husband and my son (her first cousin) feel slighted. My son’s wife was invited, but she doesn’t know the bride at all. It seems the bride has a limited number of guests she can invite for the venue. She also has a large number of friends and the groom’s family attending.

Out of respect for my son and my husband — and a son-in-law who was also excluded — we all will respond that we will not attend. I feel terrible not being able to see my niece walk down the aisle, but I’m not used to my spouse being ignored. Am I doing the right thing?


DEAR PUZZLED: Before you refuse the wedding invitation, call your niece and ask if she is intentionally excluding the men. Because women make most of the social arrangements, she may not have realized that EACH guest’s name must appear on the invitation. Rather than an attempt to exclude family members because their chromosomes are not the same as hers, this may simply have been an etiquette boo-boo.