Dear Amy: Our daughter (age 31) is getting married for the first time to her long-time boyfriend. Parents of the couple are contributing $10,000 each to the wedding.
We were expecting a local wedding where friends and family from all over the United States would be able to attend.
The couple looked into various venues and could not locate one to their liking.
They have since decided to hold the wedding at a fancy resort in Belize! Belize!
They have related to us that it would be cheaper for them to have the wedding there, rather than pay for a local venue.
My wife and I are in our upper-60s and in poor health.
We cannot imagine going to Belize. We have shared our reservations about going, but are walking a fine line, as our daughter can become quite volatile when she is challenged.
Going would require us to spend at least another $5,000 for flights, food, lodging, boarding of dogs, etc.
If we mention anything about the cost, I am sure our daughter would offer to pay for us, which is not what we want.
We want to support the couple, but feel they are being extremely selfish in their decision.
We have resigned ourselves to go but are not happy about it.
No one from my side or my wife’ side of the family would attend. Other than the two sets of parents, I doubt if anyone else would attend.
We would gladly give them the additional money we would spend if they would have a local wedding, and then honeymoon in Belize.
What to do?
— Exhausted Dad
Dear Dad: Couples sometimes plan destination weddings when they become overwhelmed by the thought of a large local wedding and its attendant hassles.
My take on this is that it seems as if your daughter and her fiance are basically trying to limit the guest list, if not eliminate it altogether.
You might ask your daughter and her fiance if they would be willing to get legally married in a small private local wedding — perhaps at the courthouse in your town — so that you and other health-compromised elders could witness it and throw them a small party afterward, and then cheerfully send them on their way to enjoy their planned festivities with any other attendees who might be able to make the trip to Belize.
This idea may make your daughter unhappy. She will interpret this as you trying to control her special day. Ultimately, the wedding should be about the couple.
Dear Amy: I have been dating “Brian” for over a year.
My niece came to visit me for a few days. She and I decided to go out to a sports bar and play games and eat.
I invited Brian to meet up and join us, and he did.
When the check came, I picked it up and took my card out. Brian offered me $20 to help cover it.
I took his $20 and thanked him.
He texted me later, saying that was inconsiderate of me to take it.
He said that if he invited me to join him and his niece, then he would have paid the entire bill.
I don’t get what I was supposed to do?
I have paid the entire check for us several times.
Brian actually wants the $20 back!
Am I in the wrong? Am I the cheap one for taking the money?
— Who’s Cheap?
Dear Who’s Cheap?: I’m not sure if “Brian” is cheap, but he is definitely passive-aggressive.
His gesture was not sincere — and he expected you to realize that and refuse his money.
When you didn’t read his mind correctly, he accused you of being inconsiderate.
If Brian had joined you, not consumed any food or drink, and offered his $20 as a generous gesture, you should have thanked him and told him, “Oh no, I’ve got this.”
Definitely give his $20 back. After that, you’ll have to decide how revealing of his character this whole episode has been.
Dear Amy: Like “Decluttered,” my family grew weary of material gifts we did not need, so I suggested to donate the same money (per person) to a charity each Christmas. We have been doing that for 20 years.
Decluttered could ask the kids to pick a charity to donate to, and suggest relatives make a small donation to the child’s special cause in lieu of material gifts.
— Brian, in Windsor
Dear Brian: I love this idea.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)
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