Life Advice



Ask Amy: Faux ‘wedding’ is a real gamble

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My oldest daughter (age 26) is engaged to be “married.” After postponing the “wedding” due to COVID, they have picked a new date.

In a casual conversation with my other daughter (age 24), I learned that the prospective bride and groom do not actually plan on getting legally married. They have found someone who has agreed to officiate, but no marriage license will be obtained.

My husband and I met with our daughter. She was vague about her reasons, and became defensive, leaving us feeling that this is not her idea, but rather his.

He is quite wealthy for someone his age and makes his money through online gambling.

We encouraged her to think about beneficiary issues, Social Security standing, and next of kin issues, among other considerations.

After over a month of no further discussion, she asked me if I would want to help check out caterers.


I asked her if it was a wedding or just a party. She indicated she didn’t understand why that mattered. It didn’t really, but I knew then that their minds had not changed.

Since I don’t support this faux wedding, and have no intention of keeping up the charade, I asked for the return of the money I had given to help with the wedding, until there is a real wedding.

At this point she said she would send me a check, and all conversation stopped. All of this makes us extremely sad, and I don’t know how our relationship will fare. Am I missing something?

– M, in Virginia


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