DEAR ABBY: Thank you for setting "Singing the Wedding Bell Blues" straight. She's the young woman who was miffed because her parents offered her "only" $7,000 to spend on her wedding when she wanted four times that amount. How dare she assume that her parents are financially responsible! They do not "owe" her anything.
I am a wedding coordinator and have been involved in many weddings where the bride and groom had a limited budget. They were some of the most beautiful and romantic weddings I've seen. I have also done a wedding where the parents spent $100,000 to impress 2,000 people. That couple isn't any more married than a couple who spends very little.
"Singing" should wake up and rethink her plans. Allow me to offer a few suggestions:
(1) Consider having her wedding at a bed-and-breakfast or other facility that provides everything needed for a wonderful event.
(2) Have a double ceremony with her brother. (They have the same family members and probably share some of the same friends.)
(3) Change the wedding date so she and her fiance have more time to save for the splashy wedding of their dreams.
(4) Hire a wedding coordinator who will help her stay within a budget.
Abby, even if this bride-elect is a 4.0 graduate, she's showing neither maturity nor common sense, not to mention gratitude for the $7,000 her parents have offered. She is more concerned about having a wedding than a marriage, and that is sad. -- KATHY IN ATLANTA
DEAR KATHY: Mail poured in after that young woman's letter appeared. While none of the other letters came from professional wedding planners, all of it came from readers shocked by "Singing's" attitude of entitlement. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: I commend you for your response to "Singing the Wedding Bell Blues." If I were writing your column, I might have chosen a few four-letter words to emphasize the selfish immaturity displayed by those young adults. Keep shooting straight. -- DOING ALL I CAN -- AND THAT'S ALL, OKLAHOMA CITY
DEAR ABBY: My parents worked hard during my entire childhood to ensure that my sisters and I had a comfortable upbringing, only to lose everything in a business they bought for their retirement after the three of us left home. When my sister and I were being married, neither of us expected financial assistance from our parents. We were delighted they could even ATTEND our weddings.
My parents drew upon their life insurance policies so they could give us each $1,000 as a wedding gift. I will never forget how wonderful it was to have them with me when I married my husband, nor the heartbreak at opening their card and having to accept their gift, knowing what a tremendous sacrifice it was for them.
"Singing" should be happy that her parents are able to retire comfortably and that she won't have to worry about their future. For years, I could not say the same. -- GRATEFUL DAUGHTER IN OHIO
DEAR ABBY: When I married in May 1977, my parents couldn't afford an elaborate wedding either. We had an outdoor wedding on my father's property. We spent the entire spring building trellises and planting flower beds. My husband and I invited 150 guests at a cost of $1,500. Two weeks before the wedding, several aunts and I made up 300 tamales. The day of our wedding, we had a huge Mexican feast.
Our wedding was gorgeous, and I have the pictures to prove it. "Singing" should quit sulking and use her imagination. -- MADE DO IN KANSAS
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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