Ask Amy: Family problems affect wedding planning

January 24, 2014 

Dear Amy: I'm about to be married to a wonderful man in four months. I love him more than anything in this world, and I can't imagine my life without him. The problem is this: Our families' lives have been falling apart around us.

His parents are separated and can't afford to divorce. My fiancé's dad was also dealt a blow when he was diagnosed with throat cancer.

My dad lost his job over a year ago. Now his benefits are about to run out and there's no employment in sight.

I am sad because I can't do anything to help my dad, and my mother is not excited about helping me plan my wedding. Sometimes she cries because she can't help us financially. They paid for my wedding dress, and I am so grateful for it. My fiancé and I were counting on their financial help at one time, but that's not possible now — we'll cut corners where we need to and pay for this wedding ourselves.

All I want is my mother's help and enthusiasm toward wedding plans.

How do I deal with this swirl of emotions I'm feeling, and how do I help my parents?

I just want to get married and have my family surround me on that day. — Sad bride

Dear Bride: It might help your parents get on board if you enlist their help with specific wedding tasks. This will make them feel invested in the event and genuinely useful to you.

Your wedding may not turn out to be the affair you imagined, but look at photos of marrying couples from the 1930s (perhaps even in your own family), and you will see many a couple who started out married life wearing worn shoes or borrowed clothes, accompanied by family members wounded by circumstances or illness.

The ancient idea that you and your fiancé are stronger together than apart is the beauty of joining families, because you can face life's challenges as a unit. Accept and then celebrate the "for better and for worse" of family life, and I guarantee that you will have a beautiful day.

Dear Amy: For "Drowning in Baby Supplies," I recommend that the parents ask the generous grandparents to be the diaper sponsors. Diapers, either disposable or reusable with a diaper service, are a huge expense for the first two to three years of a child's life.

This would be a practical way for the grandparents to help on an ongoing basis.

— Sponsored

Dear Sponsored: This is a fantastic idea!


You can contact Amy Dickinson via email at, follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.

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