Editor’s note: Annie Lane is off this week. The following column was originally published in 2018.
Dear Annie: My youngest daughter, “Marta,” is beautiful and caring but intellectually challenged. I have always encouraged all my kids to do what makes them happy, and she is no different. A couple of years ago, she met a wonderful man through mutual friends, “Brian.” After dating for almost a year, they married last fall. We could not ask for anyone more caring and giving. Brian makes Marta his first priority as a spouse, partner and friend in his life.
The reason I’m writing: My second-youngest daughter, “Elle,” who is 27, is getting married this fall and wants to invite Marta but not Brian.
Elle and her fiance would have preferred to skip this whole ordeal altogether and just get married at the courthouse. But they are doing the wedding his parents want (spending money that is supposed to be saved for a down payment on a house, but I digress). Elle has been really stressed out about it from the outset.
They said that they are only inviting people they talk to regularly and that Brian isn’t one of them.
Brian and Marta were already saving up money for both of them to go. Additionally, Marta is not capable of getting there herself because of her aforementioned disability. I said all this to Elle, but she still said Brian can’t come. I said, “Then maybe we won’t come, either, because it’s not fair that you’re treating your sister this way.” Now Elle is not talking to me or Marta and blocked my number and my messages online.
Am I wrong here? I do understand that they haven’t wanted the wedding from the beginning. But now that they’re having one, I think it would be wrong to exclude her brother-in-law. Family is family, whether you talk every day or not. – Wedding Woes
Dear Wedding Woes: You’re not wrong, but you can’t force them to do what’s right. Though it does strike me as odd to exclude a brother-in-law, this isn’t your wedding. If Elle and her fiance don’t want to invite Brian, that’s their mistake to make.
Were I to squint hard to try to see a halfway decent rationale for their actions, I suppose I might focus on the fact that they didn’t want a ceremony or reception to begin with. They may not see this as a big deal or understand how hurtful such a snub can be. As for how they expect Marta to get there when she needs Brian’s assistance while traveling – well, I have no idea what they’re thinking. You and Marta might contact airlines to see what assistance is available for travelers with disabilities, if she’d still like to go. But it would be perfectly OK for her to stay home, too. That would be the bride and groom’s fault and, most of all, their loss.
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