DEAR ABBY: My husband and I just found out that his daughter and her boyfriend duped everyone -- including us -- with a formal, traditional wedding ceremony, but the "marriage" is not legal. They had no intention of being legally wed, but felt that because they are having a baby, they were entitled to a formal wedding.
We paid a large amount of money to attend this wedding, Abby, including gifts and a bridal shower. When confronted, they showed no remorse for their deception. In fact, they are extremely arrogant about it. They say it's their personal business and consider themselves "married in the eyes of God."
I am furious over this scam, which affects more than 100 family members and friends. Please advise. -- DECEIVED IN ARIZONA
DEAR DECEIVED: Usually when couples are married in a "formal, traditional" wedding ceremony, the clergyperson or other officiant asks the couple -- and their witnesses -- to sign a marriage certificate. How could this not have happened?
"Marriages in the eyes of God" usually involve special circumstances such as seniors who are in danger of losing pension benefits if they marry in a civil ceremony. I don't blame you for being furious at the deception, which was nothing more than a gift grab. And, embarrassing as it may be, you should inform the others who were also "taken" -- better they hear it from you than think you were part of the deception.