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Ask Marilyn: Should My Daughter Attend Her Prom or a Family Wedding?
Steven Helenek of Knoxville, Tennessee, writes:
Marilyn: My daughter's senior prom is on the same day as the wedding of her aunt (my wife's sister). The wedding will be in another state. What do you think she should do? She feels that her aunt would be mad if she doesn't go to the wedding. But on the other hand, this is probably the last time she'll see all her friends from high school, and if she missed the prom, she will feel bad.
No question, your daughter should go to the prom. It's an exciting and memorable event in her life, and if she attended the wedding, she would play virtually no role in her aunt's experience and memory of the affair. Instead, I suggest that your daughter send her aunt a beautiful card with a loving letter telling her that she wishes she didn't have to miss the wedding, but...
By the way, I doubt that your sister-in-law will be the slightest bit annoyed—after all, she was a teen once—but if she is, she'll be the one in the wrong.