Question:

I'm trying to choose my bridal party. I would love to have my three best girlfriends, but my dad insists I include my college-age sister. She is extremely bossy and throws hissy fits if she does not get her way, and we do not get along.

I have read several etiquette books, and none seems to mention siblings. My dad is calling me Bridezilla now, even though I have been calm in explaining myself.

Answer: Etiquette won't tell you how to deal with a sister, who, when it comes to playing well with others, learned everything she knows from your father. Hissy fits? Extremely bossy?

The way to deal with them both is to summon whatever serene courage hasn't been nurtured out of you and do what you think is best. Less boundary- conscious family members can boss, hiss and name-call till their veins bulge; it may upset you, but it needn't affect your resolve.

Courageous serenity works if you have no bridesmaids, or just your three preferred bridesmaids, or your sister as one of four bridesmaids.

You want to exclude your sister, I know - but she is still pretty young, along with not-so-pretty-immature, and maybe could use a familial example of grace under social pressure.

Q: I am getting married, and I really don't want to invite my brother and his wife to the wedding. They bad-mouth everyone in my family and have treated my parents terribly.

I have been banned from their house for confronting them with their behavior. We recently hosted an anniversary party for my parents, and they told us that they did not want to participate in the party or contribute to expenses. My brother did show up, but his wife did not.

My parents said I need to invite them, but the thought really upsets me.

A: People who ban you from their house can't expect to be guests at your wedding.

You can't expect to make everyone happy.

Your parents can't expect you to invite someone who is openly hostile to you.

However, parents can expect their children to exhaust all means of making peace before declaring war on each other. Have you, in good conscience, done that? Depending on your answer, you either reach out to your brother, or make it clear to your folks why you won't.

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