DEAR STEEL ADVICE: Please give me some suggestions on how to prevent wedding drama. My niece does not want me to invite her ex-husband to my daughter's wedding. The problem is I have already sent him an invitation. The wedding is out of state. I am getting extremely nervous thinking about what might happen if my niece sees her ex-husband at the wedding. She has a history of making violent outbursts if she doesn't get her way.
-- STRESSED OUT
DEAR STRESSED OUT: You have to disinvite the ex. Appeal to his saner side when you explain your predicament. Your niece should not be baited with his presence. You do not want your daughter's wedding to be the arena for a re-enactment of bitter unresolved issues between exes. Enlist two trusted family members or friends to sit with your niece during the ceremony and reception. These individuals should have enough background to be able to sidestep and avert any outbursts that may be triggered by this family celebration.
DEAR STEEL ADVICE: Enjoy seeing you on the "Pittsburgh Today Live" KDKA-TV program. I am hosting a small baby shower luncheon at a local restaurant for about 20-25 women in honor of my daughter-in-law. She doesn't want anything big, just simple, but I just needed to know what I can do to show my appreciation as far as gifts or door prizes for the women in attendance. My daughter-in-law is expecting her first child. So we wanted to do something. She isn't interested in playing any games, etc. Do you have any suggestions?
Also, if our guests don't respond to the RSVP, is it OK to call to see if they are coming to the shower?
-- FIRST-TIME GRANDMOTHER TO A GRANDDAUGHTER
DEAR GRANDMA: Favors add a finishing touch to a shower. The favors do not have to be identical and preferably are not too tchotchke. Peruse the local discount chain stores that carry an inventory of overstock and closeout items. Buy what looks fresh and meets your budget. Wrap all of your finds in attractive stork or pink wrapping paper and put them in a festive wicker basket. As the guests leave they choose from the basket. A restaurant luncheon is not a drop-in-if-you-are-in-the-neighborhood affair. So definitely call the guests you have not heard from. Remember to take notes and pictures for future reference because in a short year you will be involved in planning for your granddaughter's first birthday. Enjoy every moment.
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