(Closed) Future Father In Law possibly wont attend reception- HELP!!!!!!

posted 9 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
513 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

No I haven’t dealth with this. I am sure he will at least attend the dinner portion of the reception? I assume.

Post # 4
371 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I was raised in a VERY strict religious background like this, not Pentecostal but along those lines and this was common when I was growing up. Actually, my grandparents are still this religious and won’t be attending our wedding because of this reason, well, that and the fact that my fiancee and I are living together before marriage.

There is sometimes no reasoning with people that have rigid beliefs, and honestly, if he thinks that is it wrong to attend the reception, do you really want to force the issue? I completely understand where you are coming from, but if this is his belief, you probably aren’t going to change that.

I would plan the reception that you and your fiancee want and maybe invite his Dad out to dinner for a small celebration after the wedding sometime. I would also sit down with his Dad and find out upfront if he plans to come, and what you all could do to make him feel more comfortable. I’m so sorry that you are going through this, and best of luck!

Post # 5
960 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

You know what? Sometimes you can’t please everyone. I understand this is a very important person (if my Future Father-In-Law said he wouldn’t attend I would be crushed) but a wedding is a reflection of YOU and your Fiance. As you said, you want a reception with drinks flowing and people dancing to "worldly music" (what might that be, by the way??). Once you actually do get engaged, sit down with your Future Father-In-Law and explain your vision for your wedding. If he loves you and wants his son and FDIL to be happy, he will deal with it. It seems like this is kind of speculation by your Fiance at this point, so you really have no idea how he will actually react. Is your Fiance comfortable with the kind of reception you want? Maybe he can talk to his dad and explain how important it is to both of you that a.) he comes to the wedding, but also b.) that you stay true to yourselves. Good luck, I hope it all works out.

Post # 6
145 posts
Blushing bee

Since you say you like his father, he must be a fairly pleasant and reasonable man.  Surely that means he’ll be reasonable on this and at least come for dinner.  My fiance’s father is a Baptist preacher and does not drink, but has no problem with alcohol being at our reception. 

Is his father performing your ceremony?  How does the rest of the immediate family feel about this?

If you want to avoid the issue entirely, you could have a lunch reception.  Instead of drinks, you could serve exotic ice teas and maybe have a harpist or something like that.

If you still really want a big evening reception with drinks and dancing and he won’t budge, I would say go for it.  Explain nicely that this is what the two of you want, and what your friends and family expect (especially if your family is making a substantial financial contribution), and you’re very sorry he won’t be able to come, but you understand his principles, and perhaps the three of you can have brunch the next day to celebrate.  Yes, he is a very important person, but you can’t cater your whole day to suit one person.  Imagine if I served only tofu at my reception to accommodate my one vegan family member!

Post # 7
2765 posts
Sugar bee

Another option might be to have a dry reception… and then a big afterparty?  I have some friends who are religious, and they usually have a church wedding/reception… and then a festive afterparty at a club, for all of their friends.

Post # 10
2641 posts
Sugar bee

I haven’t specifically dealt wtih this, but I understand there can be some sticky wickets when it comes to faith.  I’m also curious if he’d be performing the ceremony.

1.  You could try to accomodate him a bit.  skip the cocktail hour, or have it nonalcoholic..  So he can safely come to the reception.  But then he can leave as the music and drinks start flowing.  If you have a cocktail hour, that might require him to come-go-come back-leave.

2.  Also a lot of times people talk about a gap between the ceremony and reception.  This could be a chance to have a light lunch reception, which can include dad, and then a bigger evening reception, perhaps without Future Father-In-Law.

If he is this strict, do you know if other familt members are not OK with these things too?  It might be something to consider.

Also, it sounds like these are pretty strong beliefs.  I wouldn’t take it personally if he decides not to attend.  These are his beliefs.  If someone engages in behavior he religiously disagreses with, I don’t think it’s fair to necessarily expect that he compromise his beliefs to attend.  It would be a differnt story for him to not attend because he doesn’t want to see an ex, or got cheated out of some money by the groom’s father.  But he’s a pentecostal preacher.  Apparently he really feels this is wrong.  And while you are free not to share in his beliefs, I don’t think he is just trying to be a stubborn jerk.  It probably hurts him too.  

Post # 12
14186 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

You could go with more of a traditional/approved wedding, then dinner, toasts, etc. Basically fit in all your "approved" wedding stuff up until a certain time. You could indicate on your invites that "cocktails and dancing starts at 9pm" so they know they can leave at a certain time if it clashes with their religious beliefs. This way the parents/family are there for what they want to be there for, as are the rest of your guests, but you still get a "party" and some music and fun.

What about instrumental music for dinnertime? I’m sure jazz is out, but classical instrumental (Bach!) has been around for EONS. Maybe that’s a "safe" background music to play?

My heart really goes out to everyone in your situation. I try to respect religious beliefs as much as possible, but it’s so frustrating when things like "dancing" is considered to be so horrendous that family won’t go to another family member’s wedding. It just breaks my heart. I’m not in this situation at all (i’m the opposite, my parents WANTED us to live together and everyone’s very supportive of our long-distance-stay-with-each-other relationshp and stuff) but I moved from Cali to the midwest so I definitely see a lot of this in the Bible Belt if you will. 

I think you need to have your Fiance float ideas by him and ask how he’d feel about different things that might pop up at your wedding. While you should respect his father’s wishes, you also have your own, your FI’s, and your family’s wishes to think about. Everything you want cannot simply be brushed aside for one person’s (albeit extreme IMO) beliefs. If he’s really that traditional, this may be a common reaccurance (birthday parties, etc) and you can’t have every single event in your life be dry and no music. You may have to accept at some point that he may miss milestones in your life and in his grandchildren’s life because of this. You can’t change everything to accomodate one person all the time

Post # 13
773 posts
Busy bee

Are you getting married in a church?  Is there a fellowship hall?  What if you had the "cocktail hour" there?  You could have sparkling grape juice or cider, a few hors d’oeuvres, and you could greet all your guests.  You might consider serving your cake or a small cake there.  Then you could have a big reception your-style wherever you wanted to.  This might be a way to include Future Father-In-Law in some of the festivity without forcing him to compromise his beliefs, or forcing yourselves to compromise your budget. Some of your older guests might appreciate it, too 🙂

Post # 14
7053 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

Having gone to a very strict religious school from 1-12 grade, I knew alot like this..we wore uniforms too..T went to one also (Catholic).  I knew some who didn’t drink or dance either.

What my spiritual discussion with your stbFIL is this, if he is this kind of man, holds this kind of faith where he feels it’s not good for him to drink, etc., WOULDN’T it be good for him to be an example to others?  I mean, his attending but NOT drinking or dancing imho would be ok. 

NOT attending says imho, that possibly the temptation is too strong or something..

Try this line of rationale with him and see where it goes.


Post # 15
5823 posts
Bee Keeper

Wow girl, you and I have parallel lives, seriously!

My FI’s dad is a Pentacostal minister.  We’re having a secular ceremony.  Talk about tension!  But it’s really important to him that his dad comes, so we kind of twisted his arm a little (sneaky!).  We asked him if he would give the blessing at the start of the meals for the reception!  So now he’s ALL ABOUT being at the reception, and even if he gives a really long awkward blessing between every meal, he’ll be there and Fiance will be happy.  YAY!  Maybe try asking him to participate in that way?  He may be more open to coming if he can minister to the masses.  You’re giving him a platform to preach, and what minister would turn that down?

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