My MIL and her upcoming wedding


I am wondering if I could have your opinions on this situation. My MIL is 65 and she just got engaged to a man that is 86 and she’s getting married in January. Both of their spouses have passed away 10 or so years ago. Since my MIL husband died she has been very money hungry and everything she says or does revolves around money. She has dated older men before who have all had lots of money but the last one died before they even got engaged, he was 78. The man she is going to marry now is very well off (her words) and they just bought a condo and paid it in full. He has one son the same age as her and she has three kids 29 and up. My husband (her oldest son) and I are concerned that she is only marrying this guy for his money. My MIL is also keeping her house because it is paid for too, we’re not exactly sure why she is doing that. She has been with him for almost three years and my husband and I have only met him once. She wants my husband and her other son to walk her down the aisle and her daughter to be the maid of honor. My husband doesn’t want to walk her down the aisle because he thinks she is marrying for the wrong reason. She is Catholic and very involved in the church (pastoral minister) and he is agnostic and has no intention of becoming Catholic (her words). So I guess we have a couple of questions:

  1. Should we say anything to her about her reasons for marrying?
  2. Is it proper for her sons to “give her away”?
    I would appreciate any advice you have for us. Thanks and God bless.

  1. No. Not your place to do that.
  2. No.

Of course, that’s just my opinion.

You said that you and your husband have only met this man once, are you absolutely sure that she is marrying this guy solely for his money?


No on both questions. I am wondering tho, why she would have anyone give her away? I am assuming it is a small wedding and I have attended small weddings where there was no “giving away”.


Unless you are certain that she is marrying for money, I wouldn’t say anything. It could be that she is very concerned with being poverty stricken in her elderly years and wishes to make certain that her husband can provide for her. This isn’t exactly being money hungry, though.

You could ask her what personal qualities beyond is financial security that she admires in the gentleman and then have a discussion from there.

I haven’t been a Catholic for long so I don’t know the official response to people walking one another down the aisle. I have heard of sons giving their mothers away in other churches’ ceremonies. Perhaps she simply wants you all involved in something that is important to her. If so, you can probably come up with ways in which your husband and BIL can be involved beyond giving her away


If I were you I’d attend, and be nice. If she wants her son to give her away, respect her wishes. All the more power to her if she wants to marry a man of means. You’d probably be critical if she wanted to marry a broke loser too, I’d bet.


They have been together three years? It would seem that if it was only for money she would have managed to get him to marry her long before now.

Maybe she had a very tiny wedding when she married your sons dad, so maybe she wants to celebrate this one differently.(Or maybe she had a large wedding and wants to “relive” the memory.) Really does not matter what age one is, this could be her “dream wedding”, why not let her have it? Her sons could give her away, why not? Of course you should attend the ceremony and help where you can. Invite them over for a nice dinner so you can get to know her “intended” better. You will get a better idea of what his health may be and how they interact…

If you are really concerned about her motives to marry, talk to her priest and see what he says about the matter. Maybe her priest can ask her the questions her family seems to be unable to ask. What I have experienced is that children are sometime worried about parents spending their money and not leaving them an inheritance.This can happen when a parent remarries. Looks like she is saving her home for inheritance purposes, so need to worry there. If he has children, they may be twice as worried about the financial side. Maybe someone could suggest a pre-nuptial agreement. I do not like these, but at this age, this could be appropriate.

My childrens grandfather married at an older age (over 60) His children did not like his new wife, (no one should take their mothers place) but they lived together for 15 years until he died and she went to a nursing home. He was not lonely or a burden on any of his children. There was no inheritance, but that was just fine, they used their money to live a nice life.

Love and peace,
Mom of 5


I am curious as to the readers who stated that it would be inproper for her sons to give her away. Why couldn’t they give their mom away? Is there a theological reason or is this just a matter of opinion.

I really don’t know, so I am being sincere in my questions.


Let me just say that there is more to this but I will condense.
My husband and I could care less about how old this man is, how much money he has, or what he looks like.
My MIL has made it as clear as can be that she has to have money. She’s always telling us about the the things he bought her how much they cost, the vacations they took, etc. The list goes on and on. My husband and I never gotten any money from her while she was living and we don’t expect to get any from her when she’s dead. We aren’t materialistic people, never have been and we certainly don’t want to get rich off of someone’s death.
The reason she is keeping her house is so her 37 year old daughter can live there.

  • About the giving away…I thought that the dad did that (he’s still living and capable) or a brother (she has a brother too).
  • She is having a big wedding just like her first.
    This is just some of the reason we believe it’s all about money.
    This is not a jealousy case either we really want her to be happy but for the right reasons. Not because someone buys you things and takes you on expensive vacations. That’s all she talks about.
    God bless.


She’s a big girl and can make her own decisions. I can appreciate that you want her to be happy for the right reasons, but essentially (from what you describe) that would require totally changing her attitude and personality. Do you think that is really going to happen?

If your hubby is concerned, let him have a heart to heart with her and express his concern. He can approach her in a caring way…something like “mom, I just want you to be happy. Does this man truly make you happy?” If her answer is yes, then take it at face value and be happy for her.

It doesn’t really matter what you think is going on, you can’t change her.



Even if your MIL is after the money, so what? She has been with this gentleman for 3 years, seems like they have some kind of friendship. Maybe he provides the cash for her and she provides companionship for him…just like Anna Nicole Smith, remember her??

And if she wants to keep her house so her 37 yr. old daughter can live there, well, it’s her house and she can do what she wants. We can’t tell our parents how to spend their money. Just like they cannot tell us how to spend ours, right?

So, I would just go and enjoy yourself at the wedding. And btw, taking care of an 86 yr. old man doesn’t exactly sound easy, either. There is no way I would marry a man that old unless I needed the cash.


If you don’t enjoy your conversations with you MIL, then don’t get together with her very often. I would find money a boring subject as well. It sounds like you need a little more distance from her if you find her so tiresome. Spend time with family more to your liking.


It does not matter who gives the bride away. I have seen the brides mom give away the bride even though her father was alice and capable. The bride can walk down the aisle alone. Seems as if maybe she just loves her sons, wants them to be a part of this ceremony. My son and his wife were witnesses for our marriage. They were thrilled to be asked. We have many friends and relatives we could have asked, we preferred these two special people. Your husband and his brother should be flattered not upset.

Many people talk money, it seems that is all they know. I have a friend who tells what everything costs, what they do, etc. I am not impressed with all her money, I prefer my normal happy, life even if I have to budget to get to the end of the month in the black. My friend has other problems to deal with. Your MIL my use “money talk” to mask other problems. She may be telling you about all her trips and gifts so that the family will accept her fiance’. Maybe she is just one of those people who thinks she has to “convince” others of her happiness. The last time my friend and her husband visited us, I had the opportunity to say," even though you are very rich and have much more than we, we love you anyway." I gave her a hug. When she calls now, she never mentions her “fortune”. She got the message!!

I still think you should talk to the priest who is having the ceremony, it will put you at ease. Relax, show her christian love, she needs it and you can do it.

Love and peace
Mom of 5


“Giving her away”? Who owns her? My father escorted me and later my sisters to the altar. The priest isn’t going to ask “Who gives this woman in marriage?”. At least I hope not.

There were a few responses that it’s not appropriate for her sons to give her away. Someone asked for reasoning, and I’d like to hear that too. I can’t think of any reason they can’t escort her to the altar.

As for her reasons for marrying, no one can look into another person’s heart. It can be a cold and lonely world for single people at times. People don’t always say what they mean. Maybe she doesn’t want to admit to being lonely so she covers it up with the money angle. Maybe there’s a subtext being missed.


I appreciate the advice you all have given, thank you. I know everyone has their own opinions on how things should be done. I do want to clarify one thing by saying my husband and his mom have never been close and she really treats him badly but acts like everything is ok. He has had numerous talks with her to no avail. You’re right you can’t change someone if they don’t want to change. We can’t take it to the Priest because she works for him and they tell each other everything. Anyway, my husband has already made up his mind and he is not walking her down the aisle simply because he’s not comfortable being in the limelight so to speak and he doesn’t think he should be the one to “give her away” when he has only met the man once. It’s just an awkward situation for him not to mention he gets a headache and bad cramps and just plain stresses out when his mom even comes over for a visit which thankfull for him is only about once every two months. Again thanks for your opinions, bless you all.


I said no just as a matter of opinion. Of course she’s free to have whoever she wants to walk her down the aisle. IMO, I just don’t think it’s appropriate, in fact, I think it’s kind of corny. Sorry…:o


Absolutely NOT

  1. Is it proper for her sons to “give her away”?

Yes-in fact I think that would be prefered.


I’ve been to exactly ONE Catholic wedding - so, I’m no expert… I thought that the bride and groom enter together as part of the procession in a Catholic wedding…


Not at any Catholic wedding Ive ever been to.


No - they do not. Typically the bride walks up to meet her groom waiting at the altar.


That is one of many options that are acceptable. At our Catholic wedding, my father escorted me up the aisle to DH. I could have also walked up with both parents, just Mom, by myself, or with my husband. In a Catholic wedding, however, there is no giving away of the bride. The bride gives herself to the groom and vice versa.

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