(Closed) Dad and stepmom not staying for rehearsal dinner – long

posted 8 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
Member
327 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2000

I haven’t had to deal with this with my parents, also divorced and remarried, aside from letting my mom know what things were important for her to be there. But my brother is planning to skip my rehearsal dinner.

I think the only thing you can do is to tell them how important it is to you and why, acknowledge their concerns/discomfort with being around certain family members, and ask that they compromise and be there longer than just one drink. Then you have to let it go. You can stress and be miserable up to and during the Rehearsal Dinner, or you can express your feelings and leave it in their court to make the right decision. It stinks, but it would be worse to be stressed and upset from now until the Rehearsal Dinner.

Post # 4
Member
1135 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

I’m so SO sorry  you’re dealing with this.  I think you need to be very firm with your dad, make it clear that his decisions are hurting you, that you haven’t asked for a great deal, and that he needs to make this about you, not his personal issues.  I’m (unfortunately) getting a little emotional about this, because I’m having almost the EXACT same problem, but with my mom and stepdad.  My parents have been divorced for 14 years, and they’ve each been remarried for about 12 years, but my stepdad has this visceral hatred for my father, that I canNOT understand.  He has made it very clear that he doesn’t want to come to the Rehearsal Dinner.  He asked me not to invited members of his family to the RD–he said that if I did, they would feel OBLIGATED to come, and then he would have to come as well.  Whereas, if they weren’t at the rehearsal dinner, he and my mom would have to spend time with them elsewhere that evening, since they’d be in a strange town with nothing to do.  I told him that I know my stepsisters and my aunt (his daughters and sister) WANT to be there for me in any way that I ask them to, and would not feel obligated to come to my rehearsal dinner…they would want to come, because I asked them to, so tough sh**.  He’s not happy.  If they’re at the Rehearsal Dinner, he has no excuse not to come.  I told him he didn’t have to show if he didn’t want to, but made it clear to my mom that she didn’t have the same choice.  She doesn’t seem to think there’s anything wrong with his behavior.  They REFUSED to stay at the same hotel as the rest of my family, and when they found out, by chance, that their hotel and the hotel where I’d blocked rooms were close together, they SWITCHED HOTELS.  They’re nuts.  We wanted everyone in our families to meet us at our hotel for breakfast the morning after the wedding, but my mom and stepdad are refusing (my stepsisters and stepaunt are coming, btw).  My mom keeps saying they’re doing these things to “avoid drama” but she doesn’t seem to understand that THIS is the drama.  GAH!  Why can’t parents act like parents??  This is not about them!

Okay, I’m sorry, this thread is not about me, it’s about you, but this is a very VERY sore subject for me.  I take every opportunity to explain, calmly, to my mother that her decisions are hurtful and are taking away from my wedding weekend, in the hopes that I’ll get through to her.  I haven’t yet, but I keep trying.  I think you should do the same.  It’s important that they know the effect these decisions have on you!

Post # 6
Member
50 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Maybe I’m completely mis-reading the situation, and I would hate to sour your feelings further/make you more upset…. so I am not going to give you my FULL interpretation of the situation. I agree with you completely. It is very hurtful, and I agree with the others here that the only thing you really can do is explain how you feel.  You can’t make someone do anything, or WANT to do anything for that matter. Having them there against their will could turn out badly.  

I would probably be happy with that arrangement, because I would be so mad about it, I wouldn’t even want to deal with them that night lol…

I am not a huge fan of guilt trips, and I would not suggest telling them the things you feel in order to get your way, but I don’t think keeping your feelings bottled up about this will improve the situation for you either.Sometimes people are too selfish to REALLY understand how their decisions affect others. She made up some event to cover for the fact that she wouldn’t feel comfortable going to your rehearsal dinner.  She is trying to give herself an “Easy” way out. They are going to look like very selfish, sad individuals if they do this to you, and the only thing I can say is “be the bigger person”.  Sorry she can’t get over her insecurities and selfishness for one night, but remember the people that really want to be around you will make a way to be there. I almost wish that sorta thing would happen with my fiancee’s dad/step mother because she is the similar type, and I would personally feel better knowing she wasn’t around to start trouble or instigate my fiancee’s mother into a conniption fit.

Post # 7
Member
606 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Oh wedding date twin, I am sorry you are going through this! 

It’s great that you are comfortable with your dad and you know you can talk to him about this.  I would ask if they can make their “BBQ” a dessert cocktail hour or something.  That way you can pop in, thank the OOTers and head out.  Just make sure you give him another option so he can suggest it to your Step Mom.  There really is no excuse for YOUR FATHER to leave early. 

Post # 9
Member
5761 posts
Bee Keeper

Maybe I’m reading this wrong,but didn’t you say your Dad is hosting a BBQ for the Out of Town guests that you didn’t invite to the RD? Even tho they are his relatives, aren’t they coming for your wedding and that’s why he’s doing it? Its actually a nice thing he’s doing, but because he’s leaving the Rehearsal Dinner early for this,you’re mad at him?

You could look at it that he’s probably very uncomfortable being around your Mom (and vice versa), and maybe figures you would all have a better time without him there,tho he will be for part of it. We had a similar issue at my daughter’s wedding,but the groom’s Mom & Stepdad chose not to come at all!

I’m sorry this has upset you so much, but having him there part of the time has to be better than none of the time.

Post # 11
Member
66 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

My parents are divorced too.  The best thing I can say about that is it made me take my decision to marry REALLY seriously. During wedding planning my Dad stupidly commented to me that he knows the bad affects of divorce better than anyone. I wanted to smack him.  He has had to worry about himself, and me… but I have to worry about him, me and my Mom and Stepmom and I’ve had to do so since I was a little kid (they divorced when I was 1!).  I mean constantly growing up I had to monitor what I said. Can’t talk about having fun at Mom’s this vacation or it will hurt Dad.  Can’t forget to pay attn to Stepmom on mother’s day but not so much that Mom gets hurt, etc. Ok sorry I  rant and digress….

My point is that I empathize – divorce sucks. It sucks to the be the kid and being stuck worrying about your Dad, Stepmom, and Mom, and oh yeah, what you want too, out of the wedding.  I guess the thing is the only person you can control in the situation is yourself.  So no matter what your Dad decides after you’ve had that honest/firm talk with him about this mattering to you, you need  to be prepared to be happy and enjoy your Rehearsal Dinner no matter what.  If he comes, easy enough – you tell yourself that even though this was uncomfortable  for him, stepmom, Mom – they all came together for  you.  If they bail early, then you need to remind yourself that it isn’t because he doesn’t love you – its because of tracks that were laid a long time ago when things between your Mom and Dad didn’t work out.

Incidentally the way I got through it was that I kept telling myself that everything I didn’t have for my wedding beause of the divorce situation, I would make sure my kids had.  For example, I didn’t have a shower because of issues with Mom and Stepmom – for my wedding my daughters/inlaws will have fantastic wedding showers if I have to plan it myself or bow down while someone else plans it.  I’m sure if you have kids, you’ll be sure everyone is there being congenial and supportive for the Rehearsal Dinner =)  It sure made me feel better to think about what I can give my kids, than to focus on what I wasn’t getting.

 

Post # 12
Member
447 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

ashleyleah—- That’s a great attitude, with looking forward to giving your kids what you can’t have.  I’m not doing a father-daughter dance because if I dance with my dad, I’ll feel like a hypocrite, but if I dance with only my stepdad, it’s a big slap in my dad’s face.  It sucks sometimes!

polkadot—- I feel your pain.  I often feel like my dad and stepmom really cut me out of their lives, and it sucks sometimes to see the attention that goes to their kids when almost none comes to me.  Just concentrate on what you DO have… I know it’s hard to look at things that way sometimes, but it really is for the best to just concentrate on the positive.  Definitely talk to your dad and explain what you would like… but for me at least, I’ve had to remind myself in wedding planning to not take it personally.  Even when it’s from a parent!  Sucks I know, but you will still have a wonderful wedding, whether or not your dad and stepmom decide to grace the rehearsal dinner with their presence… oy, divorce.  My parents split TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO, but to watch them interact, you’d think it was last month.  They’re supposed to be the grown-ups!

Post # 13
Member
447 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

Oh and also… while it’s nice for them to entertain the Out of Town guests, the Out of Town guests are grown-ups and can handle themselves for an extra hour or two on their own.  The guests are important, but they are not more important than you.  Not only are you their CHILD… you’re the BRIDE!

Post # 16
Member
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

Gosh my heart is breaking for you because I know your pain all to well.  You need to remind your Dad that at the Rehearsal Dinner your in-laws will be insulted and that as the Father of the Bride it is as much a party for you as it is for him.  Tell him that you understand the need to host something for his family but why not have a late evening cocktail party with them.  That his family will understand that he needs to be at the Rehearsal Dinner with you and the rest of the bridal party.  Remind him that he is a part of the bridal party.

My Dad has made things hard on us too over stupid shower guests lists.  To me if my mom’s family hosts a shower then my mom’s family and my mom’s friends should be the ones invited.  His side of the family hasn’t done a single thing for the wedding even down to wrapping my wedding gifts.  They’ve been shipped to my home unwrapped with instructions to wrap and bring to the wedding. 

My mom has been on this kick lately of telling people to Do the Right thing not the easy thing. 

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