*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a friend who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.
My friend Kristen was so excited to get married to her fiancée Tom.
He proposed to her on the beach at sunset, the definition of a romantic proposal, and then they had a long engagement, over two years, because Kristen wanted to go all out for her wedding.
Like me, Kristen believes that your wedding should be the biggest, best party of your life, and she spared no expense.
The bills were piling up as they booked their venue, their caterer and band, ordered their flowers and cake, and then of course there were all the dresses, the rehearsal dinner. It was to be an expensive affair even for the guests who were attending because it was also a destination wedding - we were to fly to Key West for their nuptials.
The couple were going into debt together before they even tied the knot, but they were getting into something else together as well.
One day Kristen called me crying and asked to come over to my apartment right away, so of course I let her.
Kristen arrived in tears, wailing to me that Tom had cheated on her, and he had not only cheated but he had gotten his affair parter pregnant, to boot.
To add insult to very serious injury, the woman he got pregnant was a co-worker of his, someone Kristen had known for years and never would have expected would go after her fiancée.
The affair partner insisted on keeping the baby, trapping Tom for life with the responsibility of this child and at the very least the child support payments.
All this came one month before the wedding day, and Kristen had a big decision to make.
I told her to leave Tom, told her she would never be able to trust him again, and besides that, she would have to live also tied to his affair partner one way or another if Tom decided to raise his child with her.
But, the wedding was paid for and vastly un-refundable.
She had almost a hundred people flying down to Key West to watch her get married to the man she’d been engaged to for the last two years, and she was just too embarrassed to admit to her family and friends at the time what happened.
So Kristen went through with the wedding.
She married him anyway.
Now, she helps raise her husband’s affair baby while they try desperately to have a child of their own.
I know I never would have gone through the wedding at that point, but what would you have done?