Post # 1
My 150-guest wedding is 5/13 in New Orleans. My dad, who has battled lung cancer (among others) the past two years, took a drastic turn for the worse two months ago. It was so dire, that my fiancé and I flew to my hometown in IL (from our home in NY) last weekend for a small, intimate wedding ceremony so my dad could witness our nuptial exchange (in case he couldn’t make the May wedding). It was beautiful – 20 family members, on his back porch. My parents, siblings and now in-laws had a wonderful time and it was incredibly special. But both happy and terribly sad.
Per an update yesterday, it is likely he will pass before or right around my wedding. I’m heartbroken. I decided to initiate FMLA so I can be home with him during this time. However, I don’t know what to do about my May wedding. What happens if he passes away three days before? Do I cancel it now, in the chance he does? (I am ok with absorbing the wedding $$$ that is non-refundable, but of course would feel awful having guests cancel their airfare.) Do I plan to still have the wedding, and do a special tribute to my dad during it, having my brother walk me down the aisle, etc? Will I be too distraught to even make it through my wedding?
I know there isn’t a defined right or wrong, but I’m hoping some thoughts here could at least help me think this through. My dad’s situation and the decisions I’ve had to make the past two months are excruciatingly the hardest things I’ve ever had to experience. Thanks in advance, all.
Post # 2
I Believe your Dad would want you to be happy in this day and continue the wedding plans. To me it would be such a hard time for you and your family that this would be the perfect time for something nice. Surrounded in love, and joy.
I cannot imagine what you are would be going through. Sorry for your loss. But on that day maybe you could do something in remembering him (realising butterflies or a dove on your day, a pomp or something.)
i know if I had a child I was ill I would want them to have there say.
Sorry for this hard time
Post # 3
I Believe your Dad would want you to be happy in this day and continue the wedding plans. To me it would be such a hard time for you and your family that this would be the perfect time for something nice. Surrounded in love, and joy. I cannot imagine what you are would be going through. Sorry for your loss. But on that day maybe you could do something in remembering him (realising butterflies or a dove on your day, a pomp or something.) i know if I had a child I was ill I would want them to have there say. Sorry for this hard time
Post # 4
I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with still going through with the wedding, even if it’s right near your father’s passing. Walking with your brother and doing a tribute sound like beautiful ways to honor him. However, you do run the risk of your father passing when you are out of town and unable to be with him.
You still have some time before the wedding. My suggestion is to not change anything at this point. Two months out, all guests attending will have purchased flights. Cancelling now or later is going to have the same impact. I’d suggest talking with your family to discuss different possibilities (are they comfortable with still attending the wedding, how would they want to honor your father, will your brother walk you, will your mother attend), spending as much time with your father as you can, and waiting at least a month beore making any other decisions.
I will tell you that, personally, as a guest, if I was going to a wedding that was cancelled at any point because of the death of a parent, even if I was already in the destination, I would not be upset. Life is uncontrollable.
Wishing you all of the best at such a difficult time. Your father is lucky to have such a loving daughter at his side. The intimate ceremony sounded beautiful, and the perfect way to include your father in your wedding.
Post # 5
What would your father want? I’d probably venture to say he’d want you to be happy. It might be tough to have such conflicting emotions on that day if your father has passed ahead of time but I think a tribute would be special and that he’d want to see you fulfill your dreams. I’m so sorry bee. My mom died of cancer 6 weeks after my wedding. I understand.
Post # 6
- Wedding: April 2018 - Family Ranch
I am so sorry & I feel for your family during this time. I lost both my parents to cancer(mom when I was 6 and my dad in my 20s) I think still having the wedding during this time will fill and surround you two with joy and happiness. I don’t think he would want you to cancel your wedding celebration. I think being distracted as a lack of better words would be very good for you two and a way to start healing. And if he doesn’t pass you get to share photos and stories with him afterwards.
Post # 7
I think your father would want you to proceed, and most guests have already purchased a ticket (though some of them may be of the variety that for a fee the date could be changed – so they may not be out the entire fare). I think a large piece of the puzzle is should your father pass several days before your NO event, how will you feel. Would you be able to have at least some fun / fond memories? Would it be bittersweet – or just painful. If you can find the answer to that question it may help you find an answer.
Post # 8
I’m so sorry you are going through this. My Future Father-In-Law has been battling esophageal cancer for just over a year and it recently progressed to stage four. We moved our July 29th wedding up to May 27th in hopes that he will still feel well enough to attend. I know it is different. All I’m saying is I’m here for you. Obviously I have no idea what it is like for you or my fiancé. But from my perspective, any choice you make will be the right one.
Post # 9
My mom lost her brother a week before her wedding, it was really suddened, and she went through with hers. She was 21 he died when he was 26. I know it was really hard but it was also a distraction, a chance to experience some happiness in a really sad time. But it was something everyone looked forward to, to help them be together and do something else besides be sad.
I believe your dad would want you to continue with your wedding, no matter what happens.
Post # 10
First, I am so sorry 🙁
I don’t mean to be the downer of the conversation, but honestly, I would cancel it. I too lost my dad to cancer and I remember the days/weeks surrounding his death, and being so devastating, and my mom and I were both in a complete fog. I am sure your dad will tell you he wants you to go ahead with it, but I think it will be SO “in your face” that someone is missing. Also, what about your mom – I think it may be hard for her, knowing this is something SHE should have a partner there with her and seeing all the other happy couples. The reality – if you go ahead with it, you are really only going ahead with it for your guests. With cancer, you have no way of knowing when the actual end is going to happen – what if god forbid it happens the day before or the day of? Then what?
As a guest, I would TOTALLY understand if you cancelled, but I would cancel sooner rather than later.
Again, my sympathies – what an absolutely horrible decision to have to make at one of the most (if not the most) difficult time in your life 🙁
Post # 11
Having worked in hospice care for 13 years, I can tell you that no one has an “expiration” date stamped on them and that the “guestimates” that doctors give you are just that- educated guesses. Your dad could live another 4 months, or he could take a sudden turn for the worse and be gone much sooner than expected. I don’t think there is a wrong answer to your dilemma and you should do what you feel is right. If it were me, I would defer to your mom as this will be incredibly hard on her either way.
Post # 12
I don’t think you should make a decision yet, whatever decision you make I m sure guests will understand.
If the worst happens I would go with cancelling the wedding personally, my dad will have been dead 13 years come my wedding and it’s still going to be in the back of my head that he should be there. I imagine it would be very difficult in just days afterwards.
Post # 13
Life finds a way.
Im sure the last thing your father would want would be for you to be sitting at home crying and grieving on what should be your wedding day. Plow through and continue on.
Post # 14
Hi, I am so sorry to hear what your going through. It is such a hard time dealing with your dad’s illness and then with your wedding too, it can feel all too much.
We had a similar situation in November for our wedding. My husband’s dad went into hospital about 4 weeks before the wedding and we all were aware he may not make it through or he would still be hospital when we got married. I remember just thinking of cancelling the wedding but my husbands Dad said he would like us to still go ahead with it all. Thankfully we were lucky and he didn’t pass away but he was still in hospital on our wedding day, we managed to arrange it so he could watch it on FaceTime so he could see the wedding happening while in hospital. A friend held the phone for the ceremony so he could watch the ceremony happen and then some other friends videoed the whole day between them on their video camera (as we originally hadn’t planned to video the day due to financial reasons) and we gave that to him to keep. He was in hospital for 3 months and is now home. The day after the wedding we visited him in hospital which meant a lot to him. I’m wondering if you could do something similar for your dad if he is still here?
I think your dad would want you to go ahead with the wedding and I think it is so special that you’ve already had a small ceremony especially for him, that really is so thoughtful and I bet that means a lot to him.
I’m praying for you and your family xx
Post # 15
My fiancé’s mom is currently in hospice care with lung cancer. It’s been a very long and sad year for him, but he is staying strong and trying to look forward to things. I was also thinking of paying a surprise tribute to his mother by creating a slideshow of the two of them, since they have so many pics, and presenting it at our wedding.
I hope you still decide to go on with the wedding. I know it will be a very emotional day, but I agree with everyone that your father would have wanted you to do so. It will also be a beautiful and joyous day in remembrance of him. I’m so sorry about your father. I see it through my fiancé everyday, and there is nothing harder. Good luck. Xoxo