Ask Rene:
I’m Not Thrilled About My Daughter’s Fiancé
AND She Wants Me To Pay For The Wedding!


Hi Rene,

Here’s my question!

Our daughter Julia is all grown up now and doing splendidly. She’s a Harvard graduate, now working on Wall Street and really building a wonderful life for herself.

But Julia has zero self-confidence when it comes to guys and is constantly dating the wrong sort of men.

Her latest is a real piece of work. Al is divorced, unemployed and a recovering alcoholic in his mid-thirties (Julia is 24). But she’s crazy about him.

My husband and I have really tried to bite our tongues but just before Thanksgiving Julia announced that they were engaged! She knows we’re not happy but they want to get married next year AND want us to pay for the wedding (and they have big plans!)

So what do we do Rene? Should we pay for the big day when we don’t believe in the relationship? Should we demand they have a smaller wedding? Or should we leave them to fend for themselves…?


Calista in Rhode Island



Hi Calista:

While I do understand your concern, I think there are a couple of things worth pointing out that might help make this whole situation a bit clearer for you. What I see are two parts to this, your disapproval of Al as a partner for Julia and the fact that they want you to pay for their wedding.

1. The Engagement And Al

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This is a very basic concept but the thing you’re going to need to come to grips with right now is that Julia is no longer your little girl, she is an adult who is old enough to make her own decisions. You are not living her life, she is. I understand that you want the best for Julia, that’s only natural for us as parents. But you already did your part. You raised her to be the best that she can be and it looks like you did a very good job at that. Now you have to back off and hope that the lessons you taught her while she was under your roof will help guide her to make sound decisions in the future. How well do you know Al? Have you tried to get to know him or have you kept him at arm’s length because you didn’t think he was good enough for your daughter? It might be that of all the losers Julia’s dated (and some losers wear three piece suits) she finally found the guy who treats her like a princess and she cannot imagine her life without him. So what that he’s older than her. Yeah he’s unemployed; is that a chronic thing or a result of the latest economic downturn? Okay so he’s a recovering alcoholic. You’re going to hold that against him? How about a little kindness and understanding?