How do I plan my wedding when Mum is terminally ill?

Occasional Contributor

How do I plan my wedding when Mum is terminally ill?

I'm 27 and meant to be getting married soon on 21 March. I really hoped it would never come to this but.. it doesn't look like Mum will be able to make my wedding and I'm not sure what to do.


She first got diagnosed with bowel cancer 4 years ago. It's been a rollercoaster of recurrences ever since then, with brief glimmers of hope in between where we thought she may have beaten it.


My fiancée and I intentionally planned a short engagement, hoping to get married before her cancer progressed any further. Unfortunately it was not short enough. She is now terminal, with the latest metastases spreading to the liver and spine.


Her doctors can't give me any indication of whether it's realistic to even think about her attending the wedding because she's about to start a final round of chemo, with the aim of slowing the cancer's spread. Understandably they want to see how that goes before they can give any further advice.


My fiancée and I are keen to have a smaller ceremony ASAP so that Mum can be there. But she is determined that she'll be at the March wedding. I feel like this is unlikely, given how rapidly things have been deteriorating for her (and the fact the wedding is 1.5 hours away from where she lives). I understand our wedding is giving her something to look forward to and a reason to keep on pushing, but I  want to have a Plan B in my mind so that I'm not completely devastated if it turns out she can't make it.


What should I do? I feel so helpless following the "wait and see" advice that everyone is giving me. Is there something tangible I can do? Has anyone been in this boat?


Thanks so much.

Day 1 of me being in this community and I already feel so much less alone.

Super Contributor

Re: How do I plan my wedding when Mum is terminally ill?

Hi mel741,


What a horrible situation. I'm so sorry to hear about your Mum.

Yes, it can be very difficult for the doctors to give any realistic idea of how long your Mum will be with you for.

I think that if it is important to you that you have your Mum at your wedding (and it sounds like it is), then perhaps explain to your Mum that it is important to you and your fiancée that she is able to witness the ceremony and that you'll hold an earlier ceremony with her, but that you'll also hold  another ceremony that she can also attend if she feeling well enough. Just a thought.



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