Post # 1
Forgive me that this story is choppy, it is long and involved and I am trying to give the important parts.
My mom and dad divorced when I was just a few months old. He signed away his rights, and I grew up with a single mom. He came from a big family with foster brothers/sisters/etc. Through the years my mom kept in contact with a few of his siblings and I met them a few times. Two years ago one of my half sisters found me on FB. I met my dad last summer, when I was 32. It was fine, I didn’t have huge feelings one way or the other. He lives in CA and I am in IA, so it isn’t like we can see each other often.
I texted him about getting engaged and told him when the wedding was going to be. Last night I found out that he will be coming to the wedding. I have 2 half sisters and one of them will be coming out, so I can meet her as well. Is it selfish of me that I wish the timing was better? I have wanted to meet both of my sisters since I found out that I had them, but I will be in wedding mode and then meeting my sister and seeing my dad for only the 2nd time. I am an emotional person anyway, so I have no idea how this will turn out.
My stepdad has been my father figure since I was 12 and he will be walking me down the aisle and doing the father/daughter dance. I know I shouldn’t feel guilty, my dad is the one who left me, but still, it is going to be strange.
Post # 3
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@emviamama: Ugh. This is a tough situation, especially isnce a wedding isn’t a good time to meet new family members because you won’t have a lot of time to get to know them. Seeing that your father signed away his rights years ago and you think of your stepdad as your real dad, I would treat your father as a regular guest and try not to think too much about the situation. In all honesty, I probably wouldn’t have invited him to the wedding at all in order to avoid drama.
Post # 4
@emviamama: I am so sorry that you are experiencing something so confusing/difficult along with your wedding. For what it’s worth you should NOT feel guilty at all about your step-father walking you down the aisle. But I know you know that. If your wedding date is correct you still have quite a bit of time before the wedding so maybe it would make this more comofortable if you got together with your dad and met your half sister before the wedding? That way your day can be just about your wedding, and not about a family reunion? Just a thought! I hope it all works out for you 🙂
Post # 5
@beachbride1216: Treating him as a regular guest is probably the best. This is awful of me, but part of the reason for inviting him is so that he can see what he left behind. My mom is a wonderful mom and I am so proud of her.
@Bri1o: With them living in CA and me in IA, it will be nearly impossible to meet before the wedding. We will probably meet for the first time outside of the wedding – they have family here and it will probably be at one of their houses, hopefully a day or two before the actual wedding. Maybe it will help that some of their family from here will be invited, so I don’t feel like I have to entertain them.
Post # 6
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@emviamama: My mom tried that with her dad and it only brought her heartbreak because she had to see how much better of a father he is to his younger children. She constantly wonders why he was able to be a horrible father to her and a great father to them. I keep reminding her that is he is probably compensating for being such a bad dad to her by showing her how amazing of a dad he is to his other kids. It doesn’t make it any easier for her though.
I hope for better for you.
Post # 7
My father will be at my wedding, mostly as a guest. My mom will walk me down the aisle (the important part!) and my dad gets a dance (which I really don’t care about). Part of the reason I am doing this is the same logic you have – I feel that he should really sit and watch what he missed out on.
I don’t plan on having him in many family photos, if I can help it. I’m not really going to be around him too much and I expect him to leave early (like he’s always done for life events).
He was around when I was a kid but really not active.
[ETA] By “around” I mean generally around, not living with and being paternal to my family
I think you’re doing the right thing by treating him as a guest.
He is essentially a stranger – why honor a man who brought you into the world but didn’t even bother to show you around?
If it starts to make you crazy nervous and unhappy, then I think the right thing to do by you would be to call him up and ask him not to attend. I get it, it’s hard to have him there in the first place, but I think you have every right to ask him to do his usual and not show up if you decide against it.
Post # 8
@emviamama: That’s ok, I’ve read a few threads by people in similar situations (kind of) and luckily for you, I think your situation is much more clean cut. Your stepdad is the one who has been in your life for all this time, so why shouldn’t he walk you down the aisle/have the father-daughter dance with you?
I can see what you mean about feeling weird about it though, but I think you are just too nice, haha! It’s good that you have been able to have a somewhat positive reconnection with your biological dad and half-sisters; others aren’t so lucky and things just end up getting way too complicated and/or ugly. As long as you are doing what makes you happy/what you are comfortable with, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Have fun planning! 🙂
Post # 9
I just wouldn’t worry about it. They can be generic guests, obviously you can’t have this big meet and greet with your sisters at your wedding. Maybe just being introduced and suggest making a plan to get to know each other a little bit some other time (after the wedding- probably a separate trip). I would not think twice about having your step-dad do all the dad stuff. Your dad signed over his rights and with that the privileges of being a father. That doesn’t mean he can’t attend the wedding, but he is just another guest
Post # 10
I wouldn’t invite him to the wedding. That is super awkward. I haven’t talked to my dad in 15 years… I would kick him out if he decided to play daddy for one day. Ugh.
Post # 11
Why did you even tell him when the wedding would be if you didn’t want him there?
Post # 12
- Wedding: August 2015 - Country Club
I am in a somewhat similar situation; my dad didn’t give me his last name nor recognized me as his daughter for a little while after I was born. Lately we have been trying to salvage a bit of our relationship since he has two kids that are my daughters’ age, and we like to have a family meeting, but that won’t happen for a little while longer since we live in different countries.
He’s able to travel, but I wont invite him to my wedding just for the sake of giving him a guilt trip (see? This is your loss” kind of attitude), he obviously knows where he went wrong, He will meet his grandaughters and I will see him and my new siblings after the wedding since is not the feelings I want to deal with in such especial day where the ones that have always been there for will be.
in my opinion it would be awkward.
In the mean time , I had my grandfather, my true father since he raised me, walked me out when I had a civil wedding, and will have him walk me down the isle for our relegious ceremony in 2015, God willing.
If you want to have him attend your wedding go ahead and do it, just dont make him feel completely left out, or act indiferent, and personally think how it would impact your day.
Post # 13
- Wedding: September 2014 - Banff, Alberta
My father is not invited to the wedding, the last time was at my Grandpa’s funeral 8 years ago. My step dad will walk me down the aisle and the father/daughter dance. I do not feel guilty in the slightest and neither should you.
Treat him as a regular guest and try not to put too much thought into it. You will have enough to deal with, don’t put a lot of pressure on paying attention/meeting them.