Setting rules for a postponed wedding

It's a good day to send me a letter. What's going on with your love life right now? Is the summer providing all you hoped it would? Send your own relationship/dating questions/problems to [email protected] or fill out this form, please. 

My fiancé and I were supposed to get married in October of last year, but postponed to this October due to COVID. We're finally moving forward with planning, including my parents finally meeting his dad and step-mom at my bridal shower coming up.

I recently found out that his dad has decided not to get vaccinated. My parents are being super careful, and don't have anyone in their friends or family that is unvaccinated. They have family members that are elderly and vaccinated but have cancer, so I felt like I had to disclose this to my parents since I knew. They are still willing to meet his parents, but don't want to hang out or be in close proximity to them. I know that my parents will be judging my fiancé's parents and vice versa, and it's making me want to not have them meet, in hopes that his dad gets vaccinated by the wedding. His dad knows how hard the last year was and now that it's literally in his control to ensure that we can carry on with our wedding as safely as possible this year. He's refusing to do so, and I'm taking it personally. How should I handle this situation? Do I confront his dad about how uncomfortable I am?

– Taking it personally


I imagine we're going to keep getting a lot of these letters. I won't run them all, but I do think we should talk about how to set boundaries as partners when it comes to unvaccinated people.

And that's the first thing: 1. Work with your fiancé to come up with a plan. You're getting married, so this isn't just about you and your parents. This is a chance for you and your partner to do this as a team. What are the rules? Should your father-in-law be masked at all events? Should he be invited at all? Be clear about your own comfort with your fiancé, set the rules together, and then deal with this as a team.

2. If someone can be vaccinated and chooses not to be, or if they show disregard for the health of the people around them, you don’t have to invite them to things. That's it. That's the rule I've set for myself, at least. There is so much we can't control right now. We have to do what we can to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. It doesn't have to be a fight with your father-in-law, it can just be a stated rule. Show us proof of vaccination and you'll be welcome. The end.

3. Your gut is telling you that the parents shouldn't meet until everyone can feel physically safe with each other. My gut agrees. Maybe the bridal shower should work differently than you planned. I don't see a reason to set everyone up for failure. If your parents don't want to share the in-laws' company, plan something separate for the people who won't follow your rules.

But let me go back to Point 1 and remind you that this isn't all on you. Your fiancé is your teammate in this, and you barely mentioned him in this letter. No matter what you both decide, follow through together.

– Meredith

Readers? How do you work as a team to make these rules?