Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Is this a wedding or an homage to groom's alma mater?

Carolyn Hax on

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

I got engaged last month (yay!), and my fiance and I are starting to plan our wedding. He cares more about most of the details and so is taking the lead. I'm OK with that, but it's starting to look like he is planning a wedding that reflect the things that are important to him, and I'm barely a part of it. For example, he identifies very strongly with the alumni community of his undergraduate alma mater -- he wants to have the wedding at an event space on his college campus, decorated in the school's colors, with various college traditions as part of the program. I didn't go to that school and I don't identify with any of it, though I don't mind it either I suppose.

If I'm not willing to take the lead on the planning -- I'm too busy to do that and just not interested -- does that mean I forfeit getting to "see myself" in the appearance of the wedding when it happens?

-- Fiance

Of course not. You definitely forfeit the right to complain about some of the details, but site, emphasis and tone aren't details. So just say this stuff to him instead of us: Say you're grateful he's taking the lead in a way you couldn't even if you wanted to, but you also want the end result to represent your lives together -- and the tilt toward the alma mater has you feeling like a spectator at your own life event. Substitute in your words and feelings for mine here, of course.


Marriage means you've declared this person to be your partner and equal, and if you feel you can't say to him what you really mean, then he's not really your partner and equal.

Dear Carolyn:

I work regularly but only occasionally with a guy I'm 99 percent sure has a crush on me. I have no romantic interests outside my marriage and he also appears happily married; I think it is just a harmless crush (and I think he believes he's hiding it much better than he is). But he is very good-looking, professionally has it together, and I do genuinely like him, and it just feels nice to know I've elicited a little spark of crush feelings from someone new.

So my question is, is it OK for me to just enjoy his crush on me until it burns itself out?


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