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by Abigail Van Buren

Son's Wedding May Crash Couple's 25th Anniversary Plans

DEAR ABBY: Our son recently told us he will be proposing to his girlfriend before Christmas. We're happy for him, but concerned that he'll want to get married next year, which will be our 25th anniversary. We can't afford to celebrate our 25th the way we want to and help with their expensive wedding. We have been planning this for years, and we don't want to sacrifice our celebration for their plans.

We think they should either postpone the wedding or pay for it themselves. We have always taken care of our son, but we feel 2014 is "our" time. Are we wrong, and how can we tell him without feeling guilty? -- PARENTS OF THE FUTURE GROOM

DEAR PARENTS: While you have always taken care of your son, he is an adult now and you should be able to communicate with him on an adult level. Tell him how pleased you are that he and his girlfriend are planning to be married, but that you will be unable to contribute financially because you're celebrating your 25th in 2014 and can't afford to do both.

Not all couples marry soon after becoming engaged. Some wait a year or longer, and more and more couples pay for their own weddings these days, so don't feel guilty.

Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Family & Parenting | Money | Etiquette & Ethics