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Dear Annie: Balancing budget, bliss

Annie Lane, syndicated columnist

Dear Annie: My wife’s nephew got married about four years ago. It was a destination wedding at a beautiful tropical location. My wife is very close to her sister, so there was no question that we would attend. No expense was spared. We added a week to our family vacation. All of our children traveled with us, and we are a larger than average family. We pushed the limits on our budget, but we had fun.

The rub: the marriage lasted three months!

Now the same nephew is engaged again, and another extravaganza is planned. I don’t want to hurt my wife, and her nephew is a good guy. But it seems that everyone has forgotten the last foray into wedded bliss.

We are now retired and live on a smaller income. And I don’t see us being able to afford anything like that again. Two of our own kids were married recently, in a much more modest fashion. HELP! — Old Curmudgeon

Dear Old Curmudgeon: The first step to not being an old curmudgeon is to recognize when you are acting like one. The fact that you signed your letter in this way puts you halfway there. That your family had fun during the last wedding is priceless. Spending quality time with family is money worth spending, regardless of how the first marriage worked out. As for your nephew’s second wedding, you know that it is important to your wife. You also know what a wonderful experience it was for your whole family last time, so I would suggest going to the second wedding. But don’t stay for the entire week and try and book early to get the best deals.

Try not to compare your children’s weddings with your nephew’s. Everyone has different ways of celebrating the gift of marriage. Comparison is the greatest thief of joy.

Editor’s note: “Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.

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