Dear Amy: “Dear Daughter” is engaged to a great guy. She is finishing college and heading to grad school, so the wedding is likely 18 months away.
I like the groom, but he has some strong opinions about the wedding!
He wants a small wedding with only clergy, the couple, and parents present.
He says he organized his brother’s wedding by himself, and it was fine (why was the bride’s family NOT involved?).
Also, he wants to have the wedding in his home state, in the Midwest. (We live in the West.)
When my daughter has noted that the bride and her family “traditionally” organize the wedding, his response is: “But it’s my wedding, too!”
When I mention hiring a wedding planner, he disagrees (wait, who is paying for this?).
I could plan the wedding myself, but I dread the hours online, phoning, or how many plane trips this will take! (However, I am willing to sample the champagne locally.)
My compromise is a wedding out West, with a second reception in his hometown with his family or him in charge.
He is OK with this, but he still insists the Western wedding should be only five people. This negates the attendance of family on both sides.
Must I become Momzilla, Destroyer of Weddings, or is there a way to move forward with concessions and compromises on both sides?
What if she decides to leave him in charge? Would it reflect anything of our family?
More worrisome, if this an example of decision-making between them, should I recommend pre-marriage counseling?
Dear MOB: I agree with you that there is trouble on the horizon, and because you are the person who has presented a laundry list of problems, I’d start with you.
You dangle the threat of becoming a Momzilla, Destroyer of Weddings, but I’d say you are already stomping over this celebration, spewing your mighty tongues of fire.
Planning a wedding is a primary step in planning a life together.
Lay off. Let the marrying couple plan the wedding they want to have, wherever they want to have it and however they want to have it. If you don’t want to pay for what they’ve planned, then don’t. (Financing the wedding should be their responsibility.)
If you’d like to host and pay for a reception in your Western hometown afterward, you can plan it, choose the champagne and flowers, and have it reflect your family’s preferences and taste.
Yes, the bride’s mother is often extremely invested in how her daughter will tie the knot, but you might have to consider this episode as practice for you to learn how to accept choices that you don’t like, including the possibility that your daughter is letting her fiancé dominate the proceedings.
Yes, premarital counseling would be helpful – definitely for them. And also for you.
Dear Amy: I have a dear friend with a heart of gold who will help anyone in need.
She is involved with “John,” who through his own poor judgment lost his job (he was charged with sexual harassment).
Since then, she has extended herself to help him, allowing him to stay at her house, enjoy her food and amenities, even though he has his own apartment.
I live across the parking lot and when I come outside onto my balcony, I can see her front door.
I’m not spying, but twice now I’ve seen him bring another woman into her home while she's at work.
I feel like her kindness is being taken for granted and she is being disrespected, but I’m not sure if I should tell her what's been happening.
What do you think?
Dear Wondering: If you’d seen this man dining with another woman in town, I would suggest that you keep it to yourself. But if he is bringing other people into her home, then she should be told.
You can say, “Hey, I know this is not my business, but I do want you to know that I’ve seen people other than “John” coming into your apartment while you’re at work.”
After that, let her handle this, if she chooses to.
Dear Amy: “Resentful Future Hostess” reported having many new “friends” since moving to a paradise vacation spot. Kudos for your advice for her to pull back the welcome mat.
I moved to a lovely area and experienced a newfound popularity from people I barely knew wanting to visit.
I ended up getting an unlisted number.
– Still Happy
Dear Happy: Problem solved.
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