Do ya really want to know what my 93 year - no brain to mouth filter left MIL said when the wedding recently came up as a topic ? Doesn't matter - maybe I'll be dead by then. (no she is not depressed .... she just matter of factly doesn't like to make plans to far ahead becasue she might be dead ). I actually like her practical no - nonsense manner.
When asked what she would like for her 90th birthday - she didn't know .... she might be dead by then. I replied - OK - I'll be sure to get a gift receipt in case I need to return your gift. her response ... good thinking.. everyone else ..... very horrified at our conversation.
She would seriously be entertaining at a wedding.
She sounds hilarious!
I've written about this elsewhere here, but we had the same type of situation. Our son for now, lives in Tokyo and we were attending his wedding from Kobe, 3.5 hours by bullet train and then a 15 minute taxi ride to the venue. MIL was in Stage 4 or 5 of Alzheimer's (we thought-she's been re-diagnosed but that was the info we were acting on then) , with short-term memory of about 2 minutes plus some sundowning.
MIL really wanted to go, when she could remember about the wedding. As she was physically Ok (she just needed a wheelchair for doctor's visits, shopping etc involving distances) and we just had to worry about the sundowning, we took her. We hired a nurse that we knew, and whom she likes very much, so that we could be in the receiving line, see people off etc and have someone to be with her. Before the trip we had her rest, kept her home from day care (she was going 2x a week to see her old friends) and kept all prep/packing out of sight (so she didn't think she had to 'do something' and get in an anxious mood). She was 84 then. To keep anxiety at a minimum, we didn't have her attend the rehearsal dinner, she had dinner with the nurse so we could keep her on her usual dinner at 5, bed at 8 routine. The morning of the wedding we just took her to get her hair done and then had her rest more.
She did start to sundown right on schedule, in part because they had dimmed the lights in the hall for the newlyweds to come around to each guest table and light a candle...dark isn't good for AD patients in the evening. We handled it with distraction, and lots of hugs and picture taking with the kids when they got to our table. In her hotel room she did have a mini-meltdown as she was past her bed time, and she didn't recognize any of the scenery from her window, but we were able to calm her down. As short as her memory was, for a while afterwards she told people 'I went to my grandson's wedding!'.
POF, your MIL has just some confusion, I think you said, so you would not have to think ahead for tactics to avoid sundowning and things like that. The thing is, as you know, that the elderly get tired from just having their routines changed. If she goes, she should probably attend the wedding, period. A series of events that she has to dress for and be 'on' for (talk to many people, participate in more conversation than she's used to daily) would likely knock her out.
If your MIL wants to go, and if they want her there so badly, they all need to make it possible. We had a nurse, and the hotel staff made someone available to us if we needed help and it was still a bit hectic. Lakehouse Sally and any others insisting that you bring her need to (in my humble opinion) step up and take an active part in MILs attendance, taking turns with her, making a concerted effort not to completely overwhelm her, and to take some of the burden off of you and your DH.