Post # 1
Okay, so to cut a long story short my Dad died when I was 12 and ever since then my Mum has been an alcoholic. She remarried and then unfortunately my step dad was diagnosed with cancer and passed away. My Nan (Mums mother) also died shortly after my stepdad followed then by my Mums brother. Basically a whole lot of tragedy has left my poor Mum a shadow of her former self and a now highly aggressive alcoholic.
Ever since I was a 12 I’ve been petrified of getting married as I don’t know what to do with Mum. Now that I’m engaged my fears have become all the more real and I’m at a loss as to what to do with her come the big day. I can’t trust a word she says as she can’t control her drinking so asking her to behave does nothing.
I’m reaching out to see if anyone here has any experience of having a difficult parent at the wedding? It’s her aggressive nature that worries me the most, she has a tendency to pick fights and lash out unprovoked. The last thing I want if for her to hurt herself or one of my guests.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I think it’ll just help to get it out there. I’ve been holding onto this fear for so long. My poor fiancé has no clue what to do.
Post # 2
Are you having a bartender? If so get with the venue and see what they recommend. Maybe only allow her so many drinks tell the bartender to cut her off after so many. Although that wont stop her from having other people get them for her. Another option is just don’t serve alcohol. I would try talking to your mom about your concerns.
Post # 3
I don’t know… starting an alcoholic off on ‘a few’ sounds like postponing the eventual lash out.
Underhand, but perhaps a line of non alcoholic cocktails that can be subbed in?
Otherwise, if you can’t talk to your mum about this (you’ve said that asking her to behave does nothing) – do you have a relative who can help you out? It’s a big ask to ask them to sacrifice their enjoyment of the reception for your sake, but given it is your wedding, it is far less preferable that you spend your day/evening fretting about it.
Post # 4
How about simply having a dry wedding? One of my friends did this, and it wad just lovely. She was able to use rhe savings on alcohol on special details like a professional harpist at the reception. Traditions like “the toast” were done using sparkling cider.
From a guest’s perspective, sure I’m used to alcohol at weddings. But this was what she wanted/what she felt was best, and it was her wedding, so everyone just went with it and had a great time!
Post # 5
A good friend of mine was in the same situation (to almost a tee). This is how he handled it:
His mom was invited with the prerequisite of not drinking the day of the wedding. She promised not to. He followed up prior to the wedding to make sure she was on board with his wishes.
The groom’s sister went to their moms house the day of to pick her up / make sure she hadn’t been drinking prior to the wedding. Unfortunately, she had started the day off drinking and the consequence was quite clear, she could not come to the wedding.
He was naturally a bit sad, however he knew it would be a much better day without her (in that state)
I don’t know if this is even a possibility or if your mom might just show any way and make a scene.
Personally I think it was a tough but fair way to handle it.
I hope you have a much better outcome and will be able to share the day with your mom.
Post # 6
I’m in recovery & know a bunch of parents who weren’t invited to their kids’ weddings. If they get sober, they get over it. if they don’t, at least it’s a dose of reality about their drinking having consequences. It will be mentally & physically impossible (cravings) for her to only have a few if she starts drinking. If it’s a dry wedding, it’s likely she’ll bring her own. The only other option is to specifically ask someone to babysit her.
Post # 7
No one wants to have an agressive or belligerent drunk, at their wedding, no matter how much DNA you share. She has the potential of ruining the whole day for you.
We had a bully of a FOG, who verbally abused my husband (FOB) and I (MOB) at the rehearsal dinner, and almost ruined the whole weekend for us. Of course, he didn’t contribute one cent to the wedding, but he wanted to be in control, and didn’t care how much more we had to pay to edit the photos and videos, to edit-out his behavior. As a result, I hope I never see him again.
Post # 8
I have a friend who has an alcoholic mother..and at several parties when bartender was asked not to serve alcoholic drinks to her…she was walking around finishing left over drinks of other people left on the tables…no need to say she got very drunk at the end of these events and her poor daughter was very emberassed..
i would be honest with your mother and tell her that you love her but you don’t want your day to be ruined..so she is more then welcome to attend the ceremony but you don’t want her at the reception..
Post # 9
I posted something similar about my MIL a few days ago. The story is a little bit different. I trust that she won’t be drinking before the wedding and she doesn’t get beligerent drunk, she just gets incapacitated and passes out. So it’s a matter of whether or not she’ll be coherent and not fall and hurt herself, not whether she’ll start a fight. In my case, I think a “babysitter” is helpful, in your case, less so.
What I learned from people’s responses is that a person has to make the choice themself whether or not to drink and whether or not to stop drinking. I learned that there are many ways around a dry wedding for someone who really wants a drink. I learned that to try to restrict consumption just for my MIL, will likely not work because people will get her drinks anyway.
In your case, I think you can uninvite her or invite her on the condition that she doesn’t drink and let me know that she will be asked to leave if she breaks her promise. I think you’re asking for a scene in this scenario, but hopefully it will be a short scene and then she’ll be gone. Most importantly, from my thread I learned that the best thing you can do is talk to her about your feelings and see if that motivates her to choose to not drink.
Good luck, I feel your pain.