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Dear Abby 7/17
Friends pitch in to help keep wedding costs under control
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    DEAR ABBY: I had to laugh when I saw the letter from "Not Sure If I Do" (May 8), who hesitated to attend a potluck wedding at which guests would be expected to pitch in and do dishes.
    That sounds a lot like a Quaker wedding. In my meeting house there would be no minister, no music — perhaps some wildflowers picked from a nearby field. The couple would recite vows they had written. The only cost would be the courthouse fee and whatever the couple spent (if anything) on wedding attire.
    In today's economy, how's that for saving money? "Not Sure" should let her hair down and get with the program. That wedding sounds like a hoot. -- PENNSYLVANIA QUAKER GIRL
    DEAR QUAKER GIRL: I agree that in today's economy a potluck wedding may be the most practical choice for some couples. Many readers wrote to say that potluck weddings are not unusual today, and in some areas have become the norm. Read on:
    DEAR ABBY: How refreshing! That wedding couple has the good sense not to spend a fortune putting on a lavish reception, and instead are inviting only friends they feel close to and requesting assistance in the form of food and setting up, etc. I'd rather be the friend of a couple like that than a guest at a lavish reception for casual acquaintances. -- HAPPY FOR THE COUPLE IN COLORADO
    DEAR ABBY: Apparently "Not Sure" is looking to be entertained rather than wanting to contribute to make this a special day. Perhaps it's a money issue, or maybe it's just wanting to share the values that led them to choose this type of wedding. Wish them well and go, or stay home — but don't judge them. -- ANNETTA IN EUGENE, ORE.
    DEAR ABBY: It is traditional in Mexican families for the couple to go to friends and family and ask if they can pay for something in the wedding. It might be food, the hall, ring pillow, favors, etc.
    These people are called "compadres" and "comadres." They also participate in the wedding and are mentioned in the wedding invitations — including what they contributed. They also help to serve the food.
    The persons providing the support do not need to also provide a gift, since they have already contributed to the wedding. -- ROSE K. IN CALIFORNIA
    DEAR ABBY: I agree that the person who wrote that letter should not attend if she doesn't wish to participate, but I think you should have made it clear that not everyone has a catered wedding. Abby, you were correct that the person should send her regrets if she was offended by the invitation, but if she does, she will miss out on a very intimate and enjoyable occasion. -- B.E.C. IN ROCHESTER, N.Y.
    DEAR ABBY: I think the real question is, are the bride and groom just cheap, which seems to be the implication in "Not Sure's" letter, or simply do not have the money for an elaborate wedding, and still want to include family and friends in the only way they can afford? -- CYNTHIA IN SAN DIEGO
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