’90 Day Fiancé’: Why Juliana and Michael Didn’t Invite Her Family to the Wedding

Juliana Custodio and Michael Jessen, stars of TLC’s 90 Day Fiancé Season 7, couldn’t possibly be more different. Michael is a wealthy, 42-year-old divorced father of two from Greenwich, Connecticut. Juliana is a 23-year-old Brazilian model whom he met on a yacht party in Croatia, and by her own account, she came from a disadvantaged background.

On the Dec. 8 90 Day Fiancé episode, “Premature Departure,” those contrasts became all the more obvious. Michael and Juliana planned a lavish wedding, while Juliana revealed that finances had strained her relationship with her family somewhat and had made her reluctant to invite them to her nuptials.

Michael Jessen
Michael Jessen | Michael Jessen via Instagram

The differences between Michael and Juliana became more obvious as they planned their wedding

As their segment of “Premature Departure” opened, Michael took Juliana to a Connecticut wedding planner to set up for their special day. “I always wanted to give Juliana a beautiful wedding,” he told TLC producers. But with only two months to plan, things were going to be tight. “It’s very very hard to plan a wedding when you’re on the fiancé visa,” he explained.

The 90 Day Fiancé couple’s wedding planners said the differences between Michael and Juliana weren’t anything they hadn’t seen before. “So, Connecticut, we’re dealing with a lot of money. A lot of times it’s second weddings,” one of the wedding planners said. “There’s age gaps in this area, definitely,” the other added to producers.

Juliana and Michael set about planning a wedding at their new, sprawling home for around 40 guests. The base costs, said the wedding planners, would be around $50-100,000.

Juliana explained that this kind of expense was nothing she’d ever experienced before. “It’s just so expensive. I don’t know why. You know? In Brazil, we could make like two, three weddings for a fancy one,” she told producers.

Juliana said things were ‘uncomfortable’ with her family because of finances

When discussing the upcoming wedding, the conversation took a gloomier turn for Juliana, who admitted she hadn’t invited her family members to the event. The reason, she said, was money.

“It’s sad that my family can’t make it, but I’m happy at the same time because it’s very uncomfortable that they expect Michael’s money,” she told 90 Day Fiancé producers. “I wish I could give my lifestyle to all my friends and family, but I can’t help everyone.”

When Michael and Juliana’s wedding planners asked if they even knew Juliana was getting married, she said, “Yeah, they know. I try to not give too much details ‘cause they gonna think that I’m, like, rich.”

Michael explained further, “She comes from a very poor family. They just don’t have much.” Juliana agreed, adding that because of their poverty, “Everything around their mind is about money.”

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At home in the USA

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Michael admitted he didn’t know how to ‘draw the line’ when considering Juliana’s family

Michael reflected on the episode about his financial contributions to Juliana’s extended family. The 90 Day Fiancé star explained, “When Juliana and I were serious, I pledged that I would support her in any way I can. Financially, if she needed help, if her family needed help. You know it’s like, her sister needed hearing aids, okay, I’ll help with that. But I don’t want to sound like I’m some distant dude in America, here’s money and whatever you need.”

The major contrasts between their financial situations would, Michael said, make their wedding less about enjoyment and more about comparison. “And so it would be weird and maybe uncomfortable for Juliana for them to see what would look like a lot of opulence and then they would be leaning on her about, well, we need help. And we do help when we can,” the 90 Day Fiancé star explained to his wedding planners.

To 90 Day Fiancé producers, Michael went even further, sharing that he sometimes felt conflicted about whether he should be helping out his bride-to-be’s family more or less.

At the wedding, he worried that he would wonder, “Would they enjoy this or would they look around because those flowers over there, in their mind, that’s groceries for a week? Where’s the line at which you’re able to indulge yourself a little bit and not feel guilty while you’re still trying to help others who aren’t as fortunate as you? I don’t know,” he admitted.