Need Advice: Should we pay for fiance's father to attend our wedding?

posted 3 months ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Should we pay for fiance's father to attend our wedding?
    Yes - this is such a small price to pay to have your father / FIL there on your wedding day : (51 votes)
    53 %
    No - this is not your responsibility; if your father / FIL wants to be there, he'll make a way : (46 votes)
    47 %
  • Post # 31
    5308 posts
    Bee Keeper

    I’d be willing to be the bad guy in this scenario and say “I don’t want him there & I don’t want to pay his way” Not because of any salty feelings- okay maybe a little- but mostly to spare my fiance’s feelings. 

    Because I don’t see this going well. I share OP’s fear that the father is whispering sweet nothing’s in his ear because he’s trying to take advantage of one of the few of his children willing to give him another chance. He seems rather shameless in mooching off people, including his fiance’s mum who he treated very poorly and then took advantage of her feelings of duty and decency toward him. 

    The sister of OP’s fiance not only paid his way to her wedding the year before but bought his wedding clothes for him- OP, how has the father treated his daughter since this? How did he behave at their wedding? 

    My concern is that OP’s fiance has set his hopes too high and will end up crushed. It’s sad that he wishes he had a good father- a loving involved dad and solid role model. But I don’t think this abusive freeloader can morph into a decent father. If it’s sometimes painful seeing how close OP’s family is, I think if his father comes to the wedding this difference will be magnified not lessened. I’d hate to see her fiance hurt and disillusioned on what should be one of the happiest days of his life. 

    Post # 32
    1903 posts
    Buzzing bee

    Id probably tell him that I think its shitty he wants us to pay, but whatever you choose I’ll support you. TBH I wouldn’t want him there, but I probably wouldn’t say that. I didnt even invite my father, and he doesnt even sound as bad as your FIs dad =/

    Post # 36
    596 posts
    Busy bee

    One thing I wonder is why would this be 700 dollars? Is this just for travel or all the expenses? As inexpensive as air fare can be, when I saw 700 my thought was ‘is this a first class ticket?’ It’s up to you what you want to do, but I would worry that you’d pay out and he may just not come anyhow. That is my big reservation when it comes to paying for things like this. You and your FI have to decide if his being there is worth the risk. I would leave the final say to your FI since it’s his father.

    Post # 38
    596 posts
    Busy bee

    bluecutie00 :  I’m starting to wonder if it wouldn’t just be eaiser to fly out and have a destination wedding in his country.

    Post # 39
    5308 posts
    Bee Keeper

    bluecutie00 :  If  he comes and a family member won’t host him, be careful he doesn’t try to finagle his way into ‘house sitting’ for you. Normally this would be an ideal set-up and I woudn’t hesitate to open my home to 98% of DH’s or my family members- but it sounds like your fiance’s father would fall in the other 2% you couldn’t trust in your home- especially if you’ll be away!

    Post # 41
    3035 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2017

    Given the background (abuser who never apologised, has used FI’s siblings, stayed in SIL’s house for a month and then badmouthed her) I wouldn’t want anything to do with his father. Sounds like this reconciliation is very one-sided. I think most of our gut reactions here would be ‘screw him’ but obviously your FI is more forgiving than us! I agree with RobbieAndJuliahaha that I doubt this relationship can go well. 

    If your FI decides he does want to pay, makes sure you draw very clear lines about what will and won’t be accomodated. E.g. Maybe you will pay for the flight, but will not be involved in his accomodation arrangements or any other expenses or arrangments. If you decide something like this make it very clear to your FIL. It sounds like he may well use an initial expense to open the door to more and more favours. You need to protect yourselves by showing him early on that you will uphold boundaries. 

    Also you could possibly make an offer like going halves on the flights. $700 is a lot of money to cough up without seeing any signs of effort on his part…

    Post # 42
    202 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2018

    bluecutie00 :  Personally I feel that a grown man who doesn’t work “by choice” as you say, should not receive help to attend his son’s wedding. Perhaps I’m selfish in that sense, but for me $700 is not a small amount of money and you have a wedding/life to plan.

    Obviously the verdict is pretty split on this. Ultimately it’s up to you and your FI what to do. I’m just saying that it sort of sounds like he’s a deadbeat. Sorry.

    Post # 43
    693 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    Of course you shouldn’t have to pay for this man to attend your wedding and I understand why you are horrified that this is your current reality.  However, unfortunately what is right and fair is not always the way things play out.  If your FI wants his dad there and is willing to pay, I think that’s obviously what is to happen.  Even though it will be very hard, I encourage you to keep your feelings about it to yourself because this is your FI’s issue to work through and heal from.  The best thing you can do is be a listening ear and support whatever he chooses to do.


    eta I’m sorry that you both have to deal with this.. it made me so sad to read everything you wrote about how this man his treated his family 😒.

    Post # 44
    5318 posts
    Bee Keeper

    bluecutie00 :  His father was abusive to your FI?  I don’t think I’d pay for him to be at a wedding then.  That’s my honest opinion.  He sounds like he just wants someone else to pay his fee to look like a good dad and that’s it.

    Post # 45
    514 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2017

    Here’s the thing. Your FI wants to repair his relationship with his father. However, a relationship is two sided. If your FI wants to repair it, but your FI’s father will use you for free travel and to attend events on others’ dimes, without ever doing anything on his part to work on the relationship, the relationship will not be repaired. It sounds like your FI’s father is a user, from expecting others to pay his way, to not working, to not even paying rent. He will use you, and then your FI still will not have the relationship he wants. You can’t force people to change, and as harsh as it sounds, family or not, someone people are not worthy of your time, money, and effort, and a relationship with them is simply toxic.

    Talk to your FI and ask him if he’s okay with spending that amount on his father to attend the wedding. Give your opinion, but don’t try to “convince” him of anything. You don’t want your FI to regret something later on, and you to feel guilty or responsible.

    Personally, I feel that this relationship is not worth trying to repair, and that your FI’s father has no interest in repairing it. However, your FI is going to be more emotionally invested in it, and he may feel the need to try everything possible.

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