Post # 1
Hi all! First time poster, long time board lurker. I’ve really loved seeing all the awesome advice from fellow bees, so hoping there’s a fix for me here…
my boyfriend of 7 years popped the question on Labor Day and we planned on a Jan- Feb 2018 wedding in Santa Fe, NM (we’re in NYC). But 3 wks later my dad had a major heart attack and was in the hospital for over a month. We decided to hold on announcing the engagement for obvious reasons. When he was discharged we were optimistic and thought of just moving the wedding to April or May.
He’s home now but his condition has gotten more sensitive; he has congestive heart failure and is stable but not expected to recover from this. He can’t walk much, needs a lot of assistance and my mom is his primary caretaker while I handle all his appointments, PT scheduling and meds.
I’m 35 next month and was looking forward to getting married and starting a family. I wanted to celebrate us. Now everything feels wrong and on hold indefinitely. I don’t know what to do: do I still plan a wedding, even if it’s without my parents? That feels wrong and I’d miss them too much. Do I wait, and if so until when? Do I forgo our wedding wishes and elope at a local courthouse?
I want to celebrate life and our union with family and friends but feel sad that it’s also coming at a time when we’re also reminded of our mortality and in my dad’s life when he isn’t able.
Any similar stories/ situations? Open to any recommendations.
EDIT UPDATE: forgot to add that the grooms family is in NM. We’ve enjoyed time out there and that’s why we chose Santa Fe.
Also, should’ve mentioned my dad has cardiovascular dementia after the heart attack. He remembers people and even certain historical dates but often doesn’t know where he is, why he’s there, the time/day/year.
This topic was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by nycflor13.
Post # 2
How does your dad feel about this? If he isn’t physically able to participate in the wedding is usually envisioned, maybe there’s a way you can modify his role to where he can do it. If that won’t work and you really want your parents present, I totally get that btw, then In your situation, I would probably do a courthouse wedding followed by a big reception. You still get the party/celebration, but it won’t be auch a big deal I’d your parents can only be there for part of it. Good luck!
Post # 3
Is your dad able to attend the wedding still? As in could he sit through the ceremony and enjoy it? If so, could you hold the wedding in NYC so your parents can be there? I would still aim for a 2018 wedding if I were you. It sounds like your dad may not ever be at 100%, so I would have the wedding soon to help ensure he can be there.
If you don’t think your dad would be able to attend the wedding regardless of where you held it, I think you should go ahead with your planning. Your parents love you and wouldn’t want you to put your life on hold for them. I know it’s hard, but you can still involve them by asking their opinions on venues, menu items, etc. You could go dress shopping in NY and still take your mom. It’s not the same, but it is something.
Post # 4
Why did you pick Santa Fe? Is one set of family there? Where are your parents?
If having parents there is important to you, then I say cancel whatever you have and plan something where the parents are – location of the parents with the most obstacles “wins”. It might be smaller or lower budget, but if having parents there is the priority that is what you go with. Is there a reason why he wouldn’t be able to attend your wedding if it was local? I mean, I understand the seriousness of CHF, but unless he’s having an active exacerbation he should still be able to attend. He may not be able to participate fully, but attending should be do-able. You could also hire a nurse for the day to assist your mom.
Post # 5
Your dad will probably want you to have the wedding of your dreams. Talk to him about it. Tell him what your plans were and what he thinks about them. Remember dads will move earth for their baby girls. They are hard wired that way. This might mean flying him to location and him walking you down the aisle on his scooter but allow your father to decide and voice his opinion. You will be surprised.
My dad got sick two days before I met my Fiance in 2016. Brain tumor, THANK GOD it was just a mass, no cancer. But during this time we also found out he needed a quad bypass. So the first year of my dating Fiance my dad was in and out of the hospital with brain surgery and quad bypass surgery. So I totally understand what you’re dealing with when it comes to your dad.
My dad just asked me before Christmas am I getting married before Christmas! LOL!! I told him No but we’ll probably run off and get married. He said what do you want for Christmas. I told him nothing, just save a little money to help us pay for whatever we decide to do. Mind you, he’s retired and on a fix income and was just released from Drs care about 6 months ago. And being the dad that he is, he’s more concerned about me and my Fiance and making sure we had a Merry Christmas and a nice wedding.
He even knows me so well, he knows we’re going to run off and get married hence him asking me are we getting married before Christmas. We’re eloping Jan 14 and we’re keeping it a secret until we return from the long MLK weekend. We’re in our mid 40’s and it’s our 2nd wedding so we’re like no fuss this time around. But dads know their lil’ girls. They just do.
Post # 6
thank you for your reply and the advice. It’s sometimes hard to steer conversation towards wedding because of the physical symptoms he’s experiencing so it’s been tough to gauge any thoughts he has on it. Also, I failed to mention he also has cardiovascular dementia since the heart attack so while he remembers people, he often forgets he’s sick, where he is and other things. I don’t want to confuse him further but also want him to be present.
Before the cardiac incident, we were talking about songs to dance to and now he forgets I’m engaged.
Post # 8
thank you for the words! I think I needed to was that and it’s all true.
Post # 10
I wouldn’t postpone the wedding.
You could have a courthouse wedding with your parents and then have a celebration reception with his family in Santa Fe. You could have a really nice dinner somewhere with them.
You could elope and then have 2 celebration dinners—one in NY and one in Santa Fe.
You could have a small wedding for just his family in Santa Fe and have a dinner celebration with your family in NY. There are several small wedding/elopement packages available in Santa Fe.
Post # 11
If you want your father to be with you at your wedding, even if he is somewhat confused, I’d plan a wedding soon, and invite just immediate family members. Even if someone needs to help your dad remember what to do, it would be priceless for you. And then have one or more receptions, as the above poster described.