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Ms. Magnolia

Letters have been edited for length and clarity.

Dear Ms. Magnolia, My husband and I are just working- class people. We have two children, a girl and a boy. We’ve worked hard to make sure that our children had what they needed and got a good education. But we aren’t rich, and we’re trying to save up so that we won’t be a burden on our children in later years. Our daughter is now engaged and planning her wedding. Ms. Magnolia, we really can’t afford the kind of wedding she wants without going deep into debt. What should we do? Reader Dear Reader,

It shouldn’t be that hard to say to her and her fiancé, "Here is a check that will provide for a very nice wed

ding that will make you legally mar ried. We’ll be glad to help you plan it for that amount." If you don't cough up the money for the wedding she wants, are you afraid that your daugh- ter will never talk to you again? That she won't let you see your grandchil dren when they come along? That you will be embarrassed that you can't keep up with the Joneses? These days many parents are in the same boat that you are in. Some parents go deeply into debt for a daughter's wedding just so she can show off to her friends, only to have the couple divorce in a year or two. Perhaps these children weren't taught to work, to save and to sacrifice for the things they want. Perhaps they weren’t taught to value people more than things. Most of them definitely weren't prepared for the challenges of marriage, or we wouldn't have such a high divorce rate.

If you have a question for Ms. Magnolia, please mail it to P.O. Box 669, Vidalia, GA 30475, or e-mail to

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