(Closed) My Dad Is Not Attending Our Wedding – How Do I Handle His Guests?

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
18637 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

I think that your dad is being horribly immature!  He is going to regret not being at his daughter’s wedding for such a STUPID reason.

As for the friends, I’m guessing that your dad is going to be vocal with them and let them know that he isn’t going to the wedding so I don’t think you have to worry about them coming.

Post # 4
3162 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I think it’s your father’s responsibility to contact his own guests and let them know that he will not be there. You do still need to send them invitations if you sent a save the date, though. 

I’m sorry he’s being so childish about this. I’m sure that is hurtful but honestly you may be able to enjoy yourself more the day of because you won’t have to worry about immature parent drama. Again, so sorry this happened! Good luck with all of this.

Post # 6
2742 posts
Sugar bee

Yes, do send out the invitations but hold out on letting them know that your dad is not coming. He *MAY* change his mind and you don’t want to tell them and they come/don’t come and then see/hear that he did/didn’t show up (hope you understand all the slashes!)

Post # 7
3162 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

@bRooklynRocks: that’s exactly why I think that it should be her dad’s responsibility to contact his own friends – then she has nothing to do with it and doesn’t have to take on the added responsibility/task of letting them know that he IS coming if he changes his mind later.

IMO if he is going to be a child about it and flip-flop between coming and not coming, then he needs to keep his people posted. OP, I’m sure you have enough crap to deal with without taking on your father’s responsibilities!

Post # 8
520 posts
Busy bee

I would certainly send out the invitations.  Your dad may very well have a change of heart and decide to attend.  How very sad for him if he doesn’t.  I’m sorry for his immaturity….don’t let it ruin the joy of your wedding plannin.g

Post # 9
10851 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

I can’t believe you had to print two sets of invitations. Your dad sounds very immature and childish, personally I wouldn’t want him to walk me down the aisle after all this, genetics or not.

That aside, yes, do send out the invites. His guests can choose whether or not to attend.

Post # 10
1696 posts
Bumble bee

First of all, if you are issuing the invitations and are hosting the wedding yourself, then these are *your* guests even if you are only inviting them because your father asked you to. They’re only “his” guests if the invitation is issued in his name. Drama such as you are being subjected to is more common than you would like to imagine, and that is one reason why co-hosting and ambiguous non-hosting arrangements are frowned on in formal etiquette.

So, if your invitations say

“10910 Chicago, daughter of

Mr Dick Chicago

Mrs Smith Chicago


Chicagos Fiance, son of

Mr and Mrs John Fiance

request the pleasure of your company … “

then go ahead and send them to these people. The phrase “daughter of …” is still accurate even if your dad is being a, well, a ‘Dick’.

If on the other hand your invitations say

“Mr Dick Chicago

Mrs Smith Chicago

request the pleasure of your company at the wedding of their daughter

10910 Chicago


Chicagos Fiance, son of

Mr and Mrs John Fiance … “

then you really cannot send them out: he has let you know that he isn’t planning on hosting anything and you would be misrepresenting him if you sent an invitation suggesting that he was. You could simply strike out his name and pencil in an “s” after “request” on the invitations going to his friends and family, which would communicate very clearly the whole drama while maintaining a pretense of dignity — but don’t. Just don’t send invitations to these people. The correct way to follow up on “Save the Dates” if you will not be sending an invitaiton, is taken from the correct form for a cancelled event of any sort, including a called-off wedding: with a polite one-sentence notice stating:

“Mr Dick Chicago

regrets to announce that he will not be hosting a wedding reception

for his daughter 10910 and Mr Chicagos Fiance.”

Post # 12
1765 posts
Buzzing bee


If it were me, I would probably send them out, because he may just get over himself, and actually attend. I wouldn’t worry one bit about explaining anything to the guests, since you are actually hosting your own wedding. It was very nice of you to respect your parents and even include their names. You are obviously more mature than your father.  I hope he gets over himself and straightens out for your sakes.  Best wishes.

Post # 13
3316 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I’d say send the invitations, and don’t mention that he isn’t coming.  If he doesn’t tell them, and they show up and ask about him, just say that you’re so sorry he was unable to attend–no more details than that.  It’s not up to you to be part of his drama.

Post # 14
4485 posts
Honey bee

Leave it be. Only invite the folks you absolutely want there and cannot imagine the day without. Parents’ guests whom you don’t know and don’t socialize with can attend a separate event hosted by your parents on a different date. You only get one wedding and it should be spent with your nearest and dearest, not random strangers who don’t care about you.

Post # 15
592 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@10910chicago: First, if your dad decided to come at this point would you still want him too?

I’m going to disagree with most of the others. I say don’t send the invitations. You don’t know these people and without your father there to introduce you they will be strangers at your wedding. If it were me, I would try to contact these people, explain honestly and in a very mature manner that at this point your father will not be attending the wedding. I don’t think most of them will expect an invitation at this point. Be polite in explaining and don’t go into details – if your father wishes to share that, it’s up to him.  

What her father has done is much ruder and more hurtful than telling a bunch of strangers you’ve never met they won’t be invited to the wedding. 

One more thing, I am assuming in my response, at this point based on the fact your father was not part of raising you that you do not expect to have a relationship with him after all this. IF you want him at the wedding and you want a relationship than your  first call should be to try to work things out with him. Personally, from what you described, I don’t think a healthy relationship would be possible with him, at least not at this time.

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