DEAR ABBY: I need some advice – fast! My daughter, “Julie,” is being married in July to a wonderful young man I’ll call “Denny,” who is also an only child. Julie and Denny planned a small, intimate wedding with close friends and family to be held in our prize-winning flower garden. The guest list was limited to 50, so my sister is catering the happy day.

Now, suddenly, Denny’s mother bought another 200 invitations and mailed them out! At last count, we have 180 guests! I thought the guest list was up to the bride and groom. Not only is there not enough room in our garden, but no parking! We live in a small, gated community, and our covenants do not allow for that many cars. Must we find another venue for the wedding or can we tell mom-in-law-to- be she was out of line? – FUTURE MOTHER-IN-LAW

What Denny’s mother did was extremely presumptuous. However, this is not your problem, so please don’t make it so.

Inform Denny’s mother that entertaining more than 50 wedding guests on your property is forbidden by the codes, covenants and restrictions in your community and that she must now call every one of the guests she invited and rescind the invitation. Then alert the security personnel that only those on the original guest list are to be admitted.

Please understand that you and your daughter have my deepest sympathy, because this is only the opening salvo in the power struggle that’s to come with this nervy woman – so be prepared.

DEAR ABBY: I am 26 years old and, aside from my wedding day, I have never worn makeup. Several people have told me that “every woman needs makeup.” I have pretty good skin, so I just brush them off and continue going without.

Lately, however, I have noticed that my cheeks and forehead are a bit more red than the rest of my face, and I would like to try some foundation or something to help even out my complexion. I’m not looking to go from zero to 60; I just want to start with the basics. I’m just not sure where to start.

I am wary of beauty consultants who will try to sell me overpriced stuff that I don’t need. Also, I am afraid my husband, who has been fine with my “au naturel” appearance, will wonder why I’m all of a sudden interested in makeup. We have a great marriage, but he has mentioned in the past how glad he is that I don’t wear makeup because it is messy and time-consuming. Can you give me some advice? – MAKEUP- CHALLENGED IN TEXAS

I’ll gladly share some important beauty advice with you. It’s something I learned in my 20s.

When it comes to your skin, your best friend is a good dermatologist. He or she can determine whether this change in your complexion is “cosmetic” or a symptom of an underlying medical problem. It could be something as simple as an allergy to the soap you are using, but you need to find out what is causing the irritation rather than trying to cover it up.

DEAR ABBY: You once published a beautiful short poem having to do with the value of reading to children. Encore, encore! – MOMMY IN TACOMA

DEAR MOMMY: With pleasure. It is from a poem titled “The Reading Mother” and was written by Strickland Gillilan.

“You may have tangible wealth untold;

“Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.

“Richer than I you can never be –

“I had a mother who read to me.”

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

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.