Tell Me About It: Parents and a daughter's second marriage

Q: My daughter is engaged. This will be her second marriage and her fiance's first. Her first wedding was a traditional, expensive affair that my wife and I paid for.

What should we do for her second wedding? We are approaching retirement age and need to continue saving money. We have a son who likely will be getting married in a year or two and another son who hopefully will be following suit in the not distant future. First marriages for both. My daughter is in her early 30s and the fiance is a year younger.

Anonymous

A: Short answer: Do whatever you want.

Slightly less short answer: Do what you can afford and think is fair to all your kids.

Preachy answer: Don't let your opinion of marriage or remarriage influence your decision. When your kids are old enough to marry, they're old enough to be spared attempts at puppeteering by purse strings.

Pre-emptive answer for other parents with a question like this in their future: Plan ahead, and not just financially. Also prepare yourselves philosophically by figuring out how you'd handle a child who remarries or doesn't marry at all; or one who can afford to pay his or her own way versus one who can't; or one whose vision of a tasteful wedding differs vastly from yours or from a previously married sibling's; or just different kids wanting or needing different things from you. We're all familiar with the power of unintended consequences, but unintended messages pack some serious power, too. Don't risk sending one by failing to think things through.

Tell Me About It: Parents and a daughter's second marriage

11/17/13 [Last modified: Friday, November 15, 2013 7:00pm]

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Washington Post Writers Group.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...