Dear Abby: Bride plans destination wedding to keep away groom’s family

The marrying man’s mother is crushed that she can’t afford to leave the country to see him take his vows.

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DEAR ABBY: My son and his fiancee, “Breanna,” have planned a destination wedding in another country. Breanna’s mother’s family vacations there every couple of years, so they decided to have the wedding there when her extended family will be vacationing.

The reason Breanna gave me was that she is embarrassed by some of my family members and doesn’t want to introduce them to her family, so a destination wedding eliminates those people from attending. When I told Breanna’s stepfather what she said, Breanna denied ever making the statement!

I told my son how hurt I am that she doesn’t want our side of the family to attend (including his father, brother and myself), since the cost for travel and accommodations will be approximately $3,500 per person. He said he doesn’t want to ruin her special day and changed the subject.

I would love to see my son get married (even though I have a bitter taste in my mouth), but we can’t afford to attend unless we take out a second mortgage or dip into our 401(k). Are we bad parents for not attending our own son’s wedding? — STRUGGLING MOTHER OF THE GROOM

DEAR MOTHER: That your son’s fiancee verbalized what she did is shocking. It shows how little respect she has for your feelings and her lack of manners or class. A marriage is supposed to be a blending of TWO families, something this young woman — and her family — appears unwilling or unable to recognize. That your son would accept this because THEIR wedding is “her” day is disappointing. Under the circumstances, you and your family should not go into debt to attend this wedding.

DEAR ABBY: I am a father of four. My sons are 62 and 52. The older one calls me about every two months; the younger one hasn’t called me in nearly two years. One of my daughters last spoke to me three years ago. My remaining child, a daughter, stays in regular contact with me about once a week. They all live far away out west. I have tried to contact each of my children lovingly, but have not been successful for the most part.

I now have end-stage cardiac disease and will soon be joining hospice. When I do that, I’ll be faced with the decision of how much to tell my kids about my condition. In view of our distant relationships, I’m not inclined to tell them very much, since they have been so unresponsive in the past. I would welcome your suggestions. — PONDERING IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR PONDERING: I am sorry about your diagnosis. I don’t know whether something caused the distance between you and your three older children, or whether they are completely focused on themselves and their own lives. I do think you should disclose to all of them what is going on so amends can be made if possible. And, of course, the daughter who is close to you should know so she can be as supportive as she has always been and begin preparing herself emotionally for what is coming. She may also be helpful in spreading the word among her siblings.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: “Abby’s Favorite Recipes” and “More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $16 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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