I’m Invited to a Destination Wedding at a Plantation. What Do I Do?

They don't realize this is a terrible idea.

A friend's daughter has sent my family an invitation to her upcoming "Plantation Wedding" in a Southern city. I had been looking forward to attending until I became aware of the appalling and tragic history of this estate and gardens. I am deeply troubled by the thought of celebrating on the grounds where hundreds of men, women and children were bought and sold, enslaved and tortured, so that white people can enjoy the privilege of a fairy-tale wedding.

Some friends are attending to support the mother of the bride. They urge me to just go and raise my own consciousness by touring the estate's historical slave quarters and other sites in this city. I am skeptical that this is enough. I doubt I would be able to avoid speaking out during the wedding reception. Should I explain to the bride and groom the reason for my absence? She surely knows the estate's history already. I foresee that all this will cause a rift in our families for some time. Would a donation to a historically Black college, in lieu of a wedding gift be appropriate?

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Everyone in this scenario is white, raised in the Northeast and college-educated, and I'm astonished that they don't realize this is a terrible idea. I want to act in good conscience and not create more disturbance. Do you have any thoughts?

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