The Palin and Meyer families are gathering for a celebration in Kentucky this weekend, says Sarah Palin

By Tierney McAfee
Updated May 22, 2015 07:35 PM
Courtesy Bristol Palin

Bristol Palin‘s wedding this weekend to former U.S. Marine Dakota Meyer may have been canceled, but that’s not going to stop them from celebrating.

As promised, the Palin and Meyer families are gathering for a barbecue at the ex-Marine’s Kentucky farm, where the wedding was supposed to be held on Saturday.

Bristol’s mother, Sarah Palin, tells PEOPLE in an exclusive statement, “This Kentucky farm is a beautiful setting for our friends and families to gather in celebration of life itself this Memorial Day weekend. Nothing is more precious to us than family, faith and America’s freedom.”

“On the year anniversary of our families meeting each other, this weekend is to appreciate both our families’ unconventional, unexpected chapters in exciting lives, with pages turning to more opportunities to live life vibrantly,” the former Alaska governor continues. “This centers on showing love and respect for our military’s sacrifices, and that’s what Memorial Day is all about.”

Sarah announced in a Facebook post Monday that the wedding had been called off, writing, “Bristol and Dakota couldn’t be more thankful for the love and support of family and friends over the past months while preparing for their wedding. They have informed loved ones that unfortunately the announced celebration planned for May 23 will not be held.”

The news came after a report that Meyer had married another woman, Cassandra Wain, in May 2008, and that he’d hidden the previous marriage from Bristol.

However, Sarah also released a statement from her daughter on Facebook that read, “Regarding salacious headlines in recent days about ‘secret wives,’ Dakota and I discussed our past relationships prior to our engagement. Dakota was legally divorced years ago, as any good reporter could and should have disclosed to readers. As usual, false stories and dramatically written headlines begging controversy should be disregarded, and we have faith that our privacy will be respected at this time by those with decency.”

Bristol, 24, and Meyer, 26, a U.S. Medal of Honor recipient, became engaged in March 2015, and it is still unclear whether they have ended their engagement entirely.