(Closed) Birth mother at our wedding? Long and emotional… Please help.

posted 6 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
4150 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Hmmm…that’s a tough one.  I think it really depends on how you want this future relationship to be.  It sounds like you may have changed your mind over this since the first time you met her.  If you want an ongoing relationship and to have her in your life going forward, then I would invite her.  However, if you don’t plan to maintain a relationship with her and would prefer to close that door (which it doesn’t sound like you want after this last dinner), then do not invite her.  

If you choose to invite her, I would seat her just like you seat other family members (i.e., cousins, etc.), however, probably not with your parents, just because if it were me, I wouldn’t want to take away anything from them on that day by including her like she is a parent.  As far as her feelings about who she is sitting with, people go to weddings all the time and don’t necessarily know people they sit with, so this would just be the case for her that day, and I would hope she would just be glad to be included at all. 

Have you talked to your parents about this decision?  What are their thoughts on it?

Post # 4
1542 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

@hardtoconcentrate:  I agree, it depends on how you feel about her but I wouldn’t put her as a parent, specially if you don’t want THAT kind of relationship with her.

I’d treat her as a family friend, maybe not sitting her with family members cause the conversation could get awkward but you should decide it depending on how you think she’ll behave.

I’d email her about the matter telling her you’d like to invite her to your wedding but letting her know in a very sutil way that she’ll be there as a guest and not as a parent. It seems as she’s very emotional when it comes to things like these so be sure you’re clear and sutil, just to avoid drama.

It’ll be also good to tell her about the interaction with the rest of the family, do you think your aunts and uncles will be comfortable if she spends the entire evening talking about you being her bio-daughter?


Post # 5
627 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I dont really have much advice as I can’t imagine how confusing that situation must be for you. The first thing that came to my mind was just wait and see.Exchange a few emails, see if you happen to meet up again and then decide. Maybe when you first got in contact and she became a little over bearing its just because she was excited and didn’t know how to handle the situation. I’m sure it’s just as foreign to her as it is to you. So I’m sure that doesn’t help, but i personally think the wait and see game might be the best approach. As for where to sit her? I don’t know.. Maybe with someone who knows who she, or that left over table of randoms? Goodluck, I hope you find the decision that is best for you and your fiancé the weddingI should be what you want, not what you think will make others happy πŸ™‚

Post # 6
101 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@Amberrw:  This is my first post here but I felt the need to respond because I am also an adoptee.  I have different circumstances but can totally relate to your predicament. I was adopted at birth but my mom wanted me to have a relationship with my birthmother and siblings so I always have.  I just found my father about three years ago, and we talk at least once a month.


I can understand your birthmother’s feelings and yours.  In high school my birthmother started venting some really inappropriate things to me about my mom.  Each time she did this I would pull back and become angry and resentful.  Finally about three years ago everything came to a head around my sister’s wedding (my birthmother’s daughter) and my birthmother sent me this really long email rant saying that if my mom showed up at the wedding she would tell her to leave.  My mom wasn’t invited or planning on coming anyway!!!!

I didn’t talk to her for almost a year and then finally got the nerve to set boundaries with her.  I told her I would no longer listen to disrespectful talk about my mom and if she had a problem she needed to address it with her.  She hasn’t said anything since.  We talk a couple of times a month and she came to visit me a couple of weeks ago and it was great!  Still, I will be fully prepared if she freaks out again since we’ve been through it many times in the course of our 26 year relationship.  

That being said, I plan on having both my birthfather and his daughter and my birthmother and my siblings and of course my mom and family at my wedding.  I don’t know if my birthmother will come because she may feel very uncomfortable around my birthfather and mom but that will be her decision and her loss.  Even if she comes and feels awkward or even starts issues I’m not going to let it get to me on my day! (And I know my mom and birthfather won’t engage in it)..

I hope this post wasn’t too complicating and please feel free to pm me if you want. I can totally relate to birthfamily drama!  

HUGS to you!  And let me know what you decide!

Post # 8
2493 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

So glad to know I’m loved πŸ˜‰

I read it all and have a thousand ideas about advice to give, and then decided I couldn’t. I’m not adopted and I cannot relate to this extremely difficult situation you are going through. I don’t want to throw my two cents in when they might be completely wrong. Your best advice might be coming from @MrsKelloggtobee:  and I would suggest perhaps privately messaging her to talk more about it (if that’s how you would be comfortable), or even talking to an Adoptee hotline about it.


Good luck!

Post # 9
2 posts
  • Wedding: May 2012

I have much admiration and sympathy for you regarding this situation. I have another “viewpoint” to add that will hopefully help. I had my son adopted when I gave birth to him as a teenager. He is now a teenager himself and I hear from his parents about 4-6 times a year about how he is doing. I know I did the best thing ever for him and completely understand and respect that he has his own family and that includes him creating boundaries from me. I imagine he will one day have this own dilema and hope that he feels he can talk to me privately about it. I would never expect my adopted son to include me as a parent figure during his own wedding, and yours shouldn’t either. I think the very best thing to do is write an old-fashioned letter (by mail) and before you send it you read it to your parents and fiance to make sure your point is made in a respectful yet firm and loving tone. The reason I say to mail it rather than dropping an email is that she will have time to read it, and re-read it before she responds. Often people quickly skim through an email and hit the reply button so fast and cruel words can be said out of defense strategies, rather than true feelings from the heart. From there, any negative response that you may hear from her make mean that it wasn’t the right time to structure a positive relationship from her. You need to do what is best for the life you have created for yourself. You do not owe her anything. With that said, I recommend that you always treat her with dignity and respect, even if that is from afar, because life has a funny way of coming back to you. You never know what may happen in the future and you’d feel ashamed if you didn’t use kind words or actions. I wish you the best in this. Do not rush a decision. You have lots of time to weigh your options. 

Post # 10
101 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@Amberrw:  I’m happy to share my story! And, it’s nice to know that there or more of us in the hive πŸ™‚  

I couldn’t say for sure, but I think that if she was able to eventually respect your wishes about not wanting/needing another family, she probably won’t expect to be invlolved in your wedding/preparations, etc.  Although maybe not?  In my experience, I’ve had to re-inforce boundaires with my Bridesmaid or Best Man several times.  

It sounds like you have a super supportive mom.  They’re great! Aren’t they?  It takes a lot of courage for an adoptive parent to support their child in having any sort of relationship or search for their birthparent.  I know my mom often felt fear, but she never let that control her.  It sounds like your mom is also quite courageous πŸ™‚  I can’t tell you not to worry about how your parents will feel should you choose to invite your Bridesmaid or Best Man because thats really hard, but at the end of the day it sounds like they are on your side no matter what so the decision is really up to you.

I agree with the previous poster who said you have time to decide what to do.  Maybe see how you interact with your Bridesmaid or Best Man over the next several months, and if it appears that she can respect your feelings then that should give you a pretty good indication of what to do.  

There are no easy answers.  But, I know you’ll make the best one for you!

Post # 13
1619 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Oh that is a really tough situation.  I have been thinking about this for a while and it is very hard for me to form an opinion since I am not adopted.  However, my instinct is to say that you should talk to your parents about this and ask them what they think about this situation.  One of the main reasons why your bio-mon being there would be awkward would be because of her position as mom-but-not-mom, ya know?  I think your parents can help provide you some clarity on this situation.  If you do decide to invite her, make it clear to her that she is a guest, none of her children will be in invited and she will have not be included in the parts of the day that include family only.  I would sit her at a table with people you know will make her feel comfortable (chatty, personable friends), but not a family table. 


On a side note – I also live in Sacramento πŸ™‚  Hello neighbor!

Post # 15
1 posts
  • Wedding: November 2011

Hi Aberrw

I was looking for some similar advice when I got married last November but unfortunately I couldn’t find anyone who had been in a similar situation.  I was adopted, had a loving upbringing with my adoptive family and met my birth mother in my early 20s.  It’s actually something I’m going to write a post about on my wedding blog http://www.thechallengedbride.com so keep an eye on that because that post will be very relevant to you.

There is no short answer to this BUT I would say that whilst lots of really lovely people will be able to sympathise with your problem, nobody will understand it quite like a fellow adoptee.  The issues, experiences and feelings that adoption brings with it are incredibly complex for the adoptee, adoptive families and birth families.  People who aren’t in that triangle may think they know what it must be like but they don’t.  Take your time to make your decision, perhaps seek some counselling with a really good therapist who has some experience of adoptees and make decisions based on what YOU want, not your Mum, Birth Mum, fiance or anyone else.  I found counselling incredibly liberating and helpful. 

I have been in contact with my birth mother for about 20 years before getting married so we had a long time to get to know one another and develop our relationship.  I know I moved things much slower than she would have liked.  It has been incredibly difficult at times and also really great.  Over time, I have had the opportunity to get to know my story, the circumstances of my birth and adoption and it’s really helped me to get to know my true self but it’s been very hard to hear the details and learn how that decision taken all those years ago changes so many peoples’ lives. 

My birth mother met my parents once before my wedding and I invited her to my wedding.  That brought a set of concerns with it… introducing my birth mother to the rest of my family at the wedding, my birth mother worried about whether she was a secret or whether people knew of her existence.  It was incredibly emotional for her, for me and for my adoptive mother but it felt right to have her there.

As I say, when I post on my blog about this experience, I’ll go into detail about my history but my advice to you now would be take your time, don’t be rushed into a relationship too fast, be aware of your feelings.  Unfortunately your birth mother has rushed headlong into it because of course for her the emotions run soooooooo deeply that she must have felt a tidal wave of joy and emotion having contact with you and this was just too much for you at the time.  She will never have got over giving her beautiful baby up (it goes against maternal nature, even if it is deemed the best thing for the baby) but she and your adoptive family must learn to respect that you never asked for this, you need to take your time and only in your own time can you possibly become good friends with your birth family and have a good relationship.

As to your quandary about inviting her to your wedding – it sounds like your last meeting with her and her children went well and she’s met your immediate family which is really good.  If you invite her remember that her ‘interactions and thoughts’ are not for you to worry about.  What other people say and do isn’t your responsibility so don’t worry about that and let it go.  She’s a grown up, she’ll be fine.  As for the not inviting children – that’s absolutely fine too.  My husband and I had a ‘no children’ policy for our wedding as we just wanted to enjoy the day with our friends and family… if you read my blog you’ll see we had plenty of other things to stress about!  Who does she sit with?  Put her with an understanding or chatty friend.  We didn’t have a traditional top table so we sat my natural mother with my brother and his partner, my sister-in-law and her partner and 2 of my husband’s cousins.  That way it was a ‘family’ table but also a lively, chatty one.

The day was hard for both of my mothers.  My Mum did the Father-of-the-Bride speech as my Dad wasn’t able to.  My birth mother, according to my brother, did a lot of crying during the speeches.  Being reunited with a birth relative is an overwhelming experience that brings with it a lot of grieving but I think ultimately that’s very healing. 

I do hope this helps you a bit.  I’m sorry my answer is so long but seeing your problem has prompted me to write that post on my blog as it’s so obvious there are other women out there like you and me who have this very difficult problem to work out. 

I promise you that whatever you decide it is YOUR day and your fiance’s and it will be absolutely wonderful!!!

Pippy xxx

Post # 16
1094 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I saw something on facebook yesterday and I feel that you could use it too!

Worrying won’t make you feel better and it won’t change anything.  Once you’ve made your decision, don’t worry about the consequences, live with them.  

This was a couple months ago, so I’m not sure where your head space is now.  But putting myself in your shoes, of course I can see your agony, but i think your mum might be right.  If you invite you bio-mother, you will most likely feel frazzled and worried about every single detail.  From your post, it sounds like she would have high expectations of sharing the precious mom moments (getting ready etc) and that would make you feel torn between the mum you’ve always known and the mum who  gave you life, but gave you up.  At the end of the day, you have to remember that this wedding is about you and your beloved, and the joining of your families.  Now, to me, family doesn’t equal blood.  Family is the people who have been there for you and love you enitirely.  She may in time, become family, but it sounds like at the moment, she’s not quite there, and the only reason you’re torn about this, is the guilt at not inviting her. But you have to be honest with yourself, do you want her there? Ignoring the guilt, ignoring her feelings, do you want her there on your special day? Listen to your heart, and trust it. 

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