Anyone else not inviting her dad to the wedding? (long-ish)

posted 8 years ago in Emotional
Post # 4
Member
1684 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

Sorry to hear your Dad’s so hard to deal with.  I can’t really offer any advice other than make sure you’re ready to deal with whatever his answer is if you do invite him. A friend of mine had the same issue for her wedding in October. Raised by her Mom, she was worried about her Dad making a scene or causing drama (or in this case, maybe your stepmom?) but when she did make a decision and invite him, he declined. Just make sure you’re prepared for whatever happens.  And if you’re not… we’re all here so you can vent.

Post # 6
Member
37 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: February 2018

Oh, that’s so tough. I’m sorry you are going through this before your wedding.

Maybe you can take some comfort from how my sisters and I have handled a similar situation:

Middle Sis was married the year after my parents’ messy separation. The New Lady gave us the evil eye all the way through, and her presence next to my dad at the wedding was too much to bear for my mom. New Lady whisked my dad away from the reception early (after my dad gave a drunken and embarrasing father-of-the-bride speech). I watched my dad drive past without saying goodbye.

Oldest Sis was married nine years after the separation. Dad responded to her wedding invitation by demanding that my sister clears his reputation in our town (for the divorce, etc.) before he would attend. My sister was crushed, but her wedding ended up being beautiful and drama-free.

I married a year later and didn’t bother inviting the Dad. No regrets! Our grandfather is much more of a ‘dad’ figure to me and did all the ‘dad’ things, as he did for Oldest Sis, and we got to enjoy our day with people who actually cared about us. Embarassed In contrast with Middle Sis’ wedding, our marriage took centre-stage at the celebration instead of my parents’ failed one.

No one can replace our absent fathers – it’s normal to long for a relationship with them – but when they have abdicated their roles and have proven that they can’t be trusted, I think it’s best to avoid the drama on our wedding days. Hope that helps!

Post # 8
Member
37 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: February 2018

And may your marriage be a strong one! i’d love to hear how things go for you and how you work out your family’s involvement in the wedding.

Post # 9
Member
54 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

eryepye,

It sounds like having your father present will only make you more worried, and that his past behavior certainly sets an unhealthy and emotionally detructive pattern.  Plus, surely he’d bring his new wife and that would be awful for you!  Still, you may need to do some soul searching to be really sure you won’t regret it, even if it is the right thing to do.  The same has happended to me several times, though not necessarily over my wedding.

I suggest that you think back over the past ten years. Were there any times me came through for you that make you think it could happen again?  Certainly doesn’t sound like it.  If you can’t figure out any, than please don’t invite him and trust yourself on this one.  It is true your wedding only happens once, but he’s had lots of chances to earn his place there which he has blown.

Good luck.  Thinking of you!

Post # 11
Member
229 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Eryepye, I am sorry you even have to think about this issue.  How awesome that you have such a supportive family, though.

The parallels between your situation and my own are uncanny–our stories are identical but for your dad leaving town… my dad stuck around and the minute my mom moved out, her ex best friend moved in, and they were married as soon as the divorce was finalized.  And your dad’s wife sounds cuckoo, whereas my dad’s wife is just really… bitchy.  But I sooo get what it feels like to have to endure an estranged father doing the whole “proud dad” charade.  It’s actually validating to read about someone else having that feeling.  It has infuriated me for years. 

Anyway, even though I don’t want him there, I will ultimately invite my dad to our wedding. My mom (who dislikes him as much or more than I do) thought it would be best for me to invite him.  I think she thought that was in poor taste not to invite him.  In my situation, not inviting him would cause a lot of drama, whereas just inviting him probably, in the end, won’t be that big of a deal. I still keep in touch with my extended family on his side, and my siblings (whom I am very close to) still maintain a relationship with him, so it’s really more for them than for him or me–I just don’t want any of them to feel weird about it.  Also, I don’t have any fear that he’ll cause a scene or anything, as we’ve kind of come to an unsaid understanding in the last few years that we’re just… people who know each other.  Acquaintances, I guess.  He won’t be in any family pictures, walking down the aisle, father/daughter dance, toast, or any of that.  And I hope I don’t have to even talk to him at our wedding, so I really wish he would just decline the invitation (although I am sure he won’t).  

So I guess what I have said is not really that helpful.  I think in the end you should really just listen to what your gut tells you.  

But just out of curiosity–was there like a big falling out between you guys?  Or did you generally fall out of touch after he took off?   

Post # 12
Member
229 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Also, if you find yourself still feeling conflicted and think you might want to invite him after all, you might also consider writing him a letter about your expectations regarding his role (or lack thereof) in your wedding and/or his behavior at the wedding. If he asks why, it might be a good opportunity to tell him that you’re a lot different than the person he knew before, and that a lot of people have helped you grow over the years and become the person you are today, but he is not one of those people.  And that you resent that he says that he is “proud” of you when he’s been absent for so many years.  He can be happy for you, and you can be proud of yourself, but he has no business being “proud” of you.  Okay, I think I am now just projecting my own feelings onto your situation, but it was just a thought!

 

Post # 13
Member
91 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

Thats so awful hon, i feel for you. My dad isnt coming to my wedding so i understand it can make you feel a bit confused.

Ultimately are you going to be hurt either way wether you invite him or he doesnt come of his own accord? Would you invite your step mom with him?

KARA321 has some great advice, go with that as i would just be repeating what she said.

Hugs to you though darl and take care of yourself xox

Post # 14
Member
343 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I have some really painful family history, too, and the most consuming part of my wedding planning has so far been agonizing over whether to invite my father.  It’s so hard in these situations.  From what you’re described, I would say don’t invite him.  I made the decision to invite my father, and I already regret it.  I wish I had left him out of the whole planning process because 1) I feel really guilty about asking my Mom to be around him for an evening, and 2) his presence makes me feel agitated & unhappy.  I wish it were different, but it’s not.  That’s why I would recommend to you that you don’t invite him.

I wish you all the best in this decision.  And I hope that the joy of YOUR marriage is very healing!

Post # 15
Member
1490 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I left home when I was 15 because my parents were abusive. I did not regret their absence at my wedding, nor any of the other occasions, like graduation, where I wanted parents. I’ve always missed having a parents, a reasonable parent, but I’ve never missed my biological parents. It’s like losing someone to Alzheimer’s: you can have the memory of how they once were, the good times, but realize that you’ve lost that person to something else. The person you once knew no longer lives. 

I’m sorry. Embrace those you have in your life.

Post # 16
Member
226 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I have exactly the same issue with my father. I just decided about a week ago not to invite him to my wedding.

I won’t go into it, but it’s an eerily similar situation to what you’ve experienced. My take? (And this is only my opinion) – You don’t want to spend your wedding looking around to ensure that your dad is in line, or saying the right things, or anything. You want the day to be focused on you.

 

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