Post # 1
My fiance and I got engaged last July after dating for 5 years. We have been planning a destination wedding for August 2015, something we have discussed for years. My fiance’s father has Alzheimer and we’ve known for a few years now. But now it is getting worse and we are worried that he won’t make it to 2015. We have discussed moving the wedding to this year even though we can’t afford a small wedding close by and keep a small resemblance of our dream wedding. I’ve looked into so many venues but it is such short notice that everything is booked and options are limited. We are not sure what to do. It is so confusing and saddening. Do we continue with our original plans? Do we try for this year? What if we wait until next year and change the wedding to close to home and he can’t even go? We want him to be present but we also want the wedding we have been planning for years. We have been going back and forth and we are lost. Can you ladies help us?
Post # 3
That is really only a decision you two can make.
If it was me, I would care for more about my dad being there and being able to enjoy the day than having the pretty wedding I dreamed of. I’d give up my dream in a heartbeat to have my dad there.
Post # 4
@mylende2015: Honestly… His Alzheimers will eventually overtake him, so he won’t remember your wedding day. But YOU and your FI will remember… I say spend as much time as you can with him, and continue to save up for your dream wedding. Hope that he makes it there. Don’t move the wedding. I know it is hard, but your wedding should be what you want and what you have been dreaming of…
I have worked with Alzheimer and dementia patients in a nursing home.
Alzheimers is a very tricky disease. Sometimes it attacks quickly. I have seen someone with beginning Alzheimers go from doing well (knowing who they are, and who their family is, eating well-doing great) to very bad ( didnt know who they were, who their family was, loss of time, etc)… They ended up passing away in three months… Their mind and body gave out. That being said, I have seen people with Alzheimers live for several years longer. Family visits them, and they know who their kids and grandkids are. You never know how they are going to progress.
It is a very hard situation, but I know If I was your loved one who had Alzheimers I would not want to ruin your day or be the reason you changed your plans from your dream wedding to something thrown together…
Every person will answer your question differently.
I really wish you the best. I am so sorry you and your FI are going through this.
Post # 5
I am so sorry that you are going through this. It is so hard to have a loved one with this disease. I wish you all the best.
May I ask what your original “dream wedding” idea was? Maybe some bees know some ways we could try to figure something out that resembles it? If you’re getting married in the summertime there are many beautiful parks and outdoor places that might be more cost effective.
Post # 6
I think your FI needs to figure out if the dream wedding is most important or if HIS memories of his dad at your wedding are most important. We are not just talking about Dad’s memories and experiences here, we are also talking about FI’s wedding memories (as well as what memories he still has left to make with his dad). When our loved ones are gone (be it due to death or dementia) those memories are all WE have left.
Alzheimer’s is an insideous disease that has also touched our family. For me, I would choose having the wedding with dad, but that is because I was orphaned as a child and didn’t have the option to have any parents at my weddings.
Post # 7
This really needs to be a decision your FI makes, and you support what he decides.
My husband’s father has Alzheimers. He’s had it for years, and it got to the stage where we moved him into a home just over a year ago (and 7 months before the wedding). DH’s parents live in Scotland, we live outside of Washington DC. When deciding on where to have the wedding, the conversation of DH’s father was conversation #1. If we had the wedding here, his dad would not be able to attend. How did DH feel about that? How important was it to him to have his father there, even in his current state?
For DH, having his father there, even for a short time, was paramount. We decided the wedding would be in Scotland so that DH’s father could be there – and he was able to attend the ceremony, pictures and dinner. he left before the dancing, etc. We also made sure that he had a “helper” from his care home attend with him so that no one in the family had to miss anything to take care of him.
So really, this needs to be a decision your FI makes and is comfortable with. Would he be ok not having his father there? To look back at all the pictures and have him missing?
Post # 8
@hermom: I’m sorry to hear about your loss. I’ve told my FI that if it was my dad, I would do everything I could to make sure he was there. Even if it is more for us than for him.
@BriansBride: Our original plan was to have a beach wedding in Florida. We were planning on renting a house and having a small ceremony on the beach and then a small party back at the house. Soon after we got engaged, we found the perfect house and we were excited. We wanted both our families to celebrate our happiness and go to Disney World. We’ve pretty much given up on that dream now. It’s just sad when you’ve planned something like this for years, you get so close, and then you give it up. We are sad at the loss of our dream wedding but sadder that his father won’t be around for long.
Post # 9
@mylende2015: I am so sorry that you are gonig though this. My grandpa (who I am soooo close to) has alzheimers and it was one of the hardest things I had to deal with on our wedding. Typically – he still knows who we are – however – he didn’t recognize me on my wedding day (probably because the hair and makeup). However – you can’t let it get to you too much just know that the person that they were would be so proud of you. It is true – he doesn’t remember that I got married – in fact he still asks how school is (I graduated 8 years ago). Just make the most of it and make sure that you guys are happy – that is what your FIL would have wanted for you. I wish that the Opa that I grew up with was there to see me on my big day but I am happy I at least got a few pics with him and got to see him smile – if only to see him happy even if he didn’t know what for 🙂 This is one of my happiest memories of the day – him having a great time dancing with my oma – his wife of 56 years
Post # 10
@mylende2015: Also do remember that Alzheimer’s doesn’t mean he’s going to die soon. DH’s father was diagnosed more than 10 years ago. His mind is almost totally gone, but he’s in great health – in fact, our big worry is that he’ll outlive DH’s mom and then we have no idea what we’ll do 🙂 So you don’t know what state his mind will be in, but people with Alzheimer’s can live a very long time.
Post # 11
The last couple months have been very difficult for us. When we started planning the wedding, we had always hoped that he would be fine enough to travel. But recently, he has declined and we’ve realized there isn’t enough time. So we planned on having the wedding this year, on the lake so that we could keep a beach theme, and we were finally getting excited again. However, when FI discussed the plans with his mother, she blew up. She wanted a big wedding, all her families and friends invited, everything to happen close to home, why did we make changes for his dad but not for her, and how could we afford a wedding this year. Honestly we couldn’t and we were going to borrow money to make it happen for his dad.
So we called it off for this year mostly because she was so angry even though she later said she would try to be happy for us. There has been no excitement or wedding planning ever since. It’s been so hard. My FI is heartbroken. There are so many regrets and how could we celebrate a marriage around his father’s illness? How can there be happiness when FI is grieving? But there would be so much regret if it can’t happen.
Post # 12
@mylende2015: I don’t have any advice to you, but I want to say that you’re in my thoughts! This must be such a difficult thing to go through, reading the PP’s has made me tear up.
I hope you find a resolutions that keeps everything the way you’d like it to be! Wishing you all the best.
Post # 13
@LeSpice: Thank you for your kind words. I know that I’m not the only one going through something like this but when it does happen, you feel like you are alone. Weddings are suppose to be happy. Its hard to start off our lives in such a sad way.
@krstino1012: I’m happy to hear about your wedding and your Opa. Some days are good, like he snaps back and realizes where he’s at. Most days are hard. We’re thinking about pushing it to Summer 2015 instead of August 2015. No date set yet but we’re hoping to figure things out soon and hope that its soon enough for FI’s dad.
@Glasgowbound: That’s true. His father has been diagnosed for a few years now. He has been having a hard time keeping conversations and has been sleeping alot. All we can do is hope. We’ve discussed a small church cermony so that we could have pictures and he’d be present but it didn’t feel like a wedding and we wanted him at OUR wedding.
@bowsergirl: I agree. But we’re hoping for a compromise. Our wedding has so many issues! I’m asian and so my parents are expecting a separate traditional ceremony on top of everything and I haven’t even told them yet that it’s not going to happen because we have to play fair for both sides.
Post # 14
@mylende2015: I’m so sorry you and your FI are going through this. My mother has ALZ. At the time of our wedding she was about stage 4/5 and lived across the country from us. We reluctantly decided that the travel and wedding would be too difficult for her, so we didn’t have her make the trip. Instead I sent her pictures of me and my husband, and then when I visited her after the wedding I took my dress and everything and got ‘done up’ again for her. It was a difficult and very sad decision. I will say that many ALZ patients do much better in their own familiar envionement, when you take them out of it with travel they can become much MUCH more confused and upset. I so hope you can work out a way to have him with you on your big day. You and your FI need to step away mentally from all the family hubub and say ‘what is most important to US on our wedding day’ and then go from there and tune out any other angry people. You will never regret that route. I agree with PP that the disease is erratic – sometimes people are on a plateau for a few years, sometimes they take a radical downturn you didn’t see coming, it’s just really unpredictable.
Post # 15
His father might eventually not remember the wedding, but you will remember having him there. To me, the people there is absolutely number one. What’s a wedding without those closest to you to celebrate?
Post # 16
@mylende2015: I was going to suggest doing a summer wedding closer to home and doing a small intimate thing on a beach even if it isn’t florida ( like Lake Michigan if you’re in Chicago.) Then going and doing a disney thing for an anniversary. But now I see your response , why did FMIL get upset?? If she wants a certain wedding for you, I’d say she has to pay for it. If it’s not what you want regardless, then screw it. It’s your wedding, not hers. You aren’ doing this because it’s what his father is asking you to do, it’s because he is ill. Geesh.