My mother and I returned to Nigeria when I was five, after a bitter divorce. My dad remained abroad and we rarely heard from him. Mum later met and married another man who raised me and my brother as his own. We have two half siblings.
Growing up, I always dreamt of this society wedding I often read about in the soft sell. Late last year, my boyfriend of four years proposed to me and we’ve planned a December wedding. My parents have offered to pay for part of the wedding, but as none of us has much money in savings, we had settled for a small wedding and reception.
Then out of the blues, my real father got in touch. He said he’d heard I was getting married and wanted to help. He’s offered to pay for the whole wedding, and said money was no problem. I talked to my mum, who said we could accept the offer if we wanted to. My fiance and I don’t know what to do. The money would certainly give us the wedding of our dreams, but I know that my mum and stepfather would be hurt. Do you think I should take the money?
Anita, by e-mail.
Any dark clouds on the day you get married should be avoided. Your real father has played no part in your upbringing. Why should he be given the chance to steal all the glory and have everyone thanking him for a great party? The best weddings are often not in posh event-centres with fancy food and free booze. They’re the ones where the bride and groom are so filled with love that it is infections.
You’ve already had a word with your mum and drawn the conclusion that she would be unhappy if you went for the money. Your mum and step dad are the ones who have been there for you throughout your life, not your dad. Have the small wedding you’ve planned, with the people you love around you.
If your real dad has money to throw around, let him know it wouldn’t be used for the wedding. That way, he might stay back and not steal your step dad’s ‘thunder’ on your wedding day.