(Closed) Parent attending as Guest… Questions about touchy situations

posted 6 years ago in Family
Post # 3
1622 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

This is a difficult situation to be in, I’m sorry you’re going through it.

1. I think “together with their families” is vague enough but at the same time inclusive of FI’s family.  It doesn’t highlight anyone in particular, so I think it’s a good option.  

2.  I don’t think this is an issue.  He’s obviously not walking you down the aisle, so he doesn’t need to be at the rehersal, and thus doesn’t need to be at the rehersal dinner.  If he asks, I’d be honest but leave it at that.

3. If you’re listing parents, I think it would be better to include him.  

4.  Not sure about this, as we’re not doing a receiving line.  If you do, you could either leave him out or have him at the far end of the line?  I wonder how much of his family is invited?

5.  I didn’t think parents were usually introduced, I thought they were usually already seated.

6.  This is the hardest one….if you don’t dance with him, it’s a huge highlight to that fact.  But I don’t think you should feel forced to either.  Is there someone else that’s a father figure that you could dance with, maybe for the first half of the song and then biological dad for the second half (or next song)?  It really depends on how strong/not strong your relationship is with him.  Also, I think it depends on what your motivation is to NOT dance with him for this song but will later, ie. is the reason not wanting to give him that honour etc etc.

Best wishes.

Post # 4
1406 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Wow that is tough!  I’m sure most people you invite know the situation surrounding your father so I think they’ll understand you not including him….

1) Invitations – If you and your Fiance are paying for the majority of the wedding, I wouldn’t mention parents on the invites.  I paid for my first wedding but put our parents’ names on them which made people think they paid.

2) Rehearsal Dinner – He’ll probably know that one is going on but you don’t need to invite him.  I would also take that time to publicly thank your parents for their contributions to your wedding….maybe even a gift to each.

3) Ceremony Programs – I would include him as your father b/c as you said, it’d be cruel not to.

4) Receiving Line – I didn’t do a receiving line but had the DJ announce the bridal party only. 

5) Bridal Party introduction at Reception – see above

6) Father/Daughter, Mother/Son dances – I would forgo this one and just let your Future Mother-In-Law dance with your FH.  Make sure the DJ knows ahead of time of the situation.

Sorry you are having to think about all these things with your wedding planning!



Post # 5
3569 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Given your feelings about him do what makes you comfortable. I think he is lucky you are letting him come at all.

Post # 7
11234 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

I don’t have any advice, but I’m struggling with this, too. I’m not including my mother in any of my wedding stuff, and she will be attending as a guest only (if she comes). I was raised by her, but she was never there

Post # 8
1406 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

@csteen85:  It sounds like the counseling has helped you quite a bit.  And I agree that the wedding is a “coming together of the families.”  He obviously hasn’t been there for you in the past and he should understand (maybe) that the relationship is never going to be 100%.  I think talking to him ahead of time is an excellent idea….basically you are putting the ball in his court.  That might seal the deal for your relationship so to speak.

Post # 10
745 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

I have a similar situation. Here’s what I’m doing:

1) “Together with our families…” is fine to use. It may imply him in some peoples’ eyes, but you will know who it really means. 

2) Rehearsal Dinner: Nothing says you have to invite him. Mine will be invited to mine because I don’t have much by way of family, and he’s one of the out of town guests. But you are absolutely fine in not inviting him, in my opinion.

3) Ceremony Programs: You can include him as your father int he program, but then do an extra thanks section, which you can thank your Mom, and your fiance can thank his parents. You can thank them for being there, for loving you and supporting you, anything that you’re feeling. It makes them a bit special.

4) Receiving Line: I’ve never been to a wedding with a receiving line. Usually, someone makes an announcement for the guests to go to a different room for cocktail hour. I’m not sure what a substitute for the receiving line would be.

5) I’ve never seen parents introduced at a bridal party introduction. But I think it would be fine to not include him if you want to do this part. Explain to him ahead of time that he won’t be a part of it. Or you can omit the parents’ introduction. Mine and I aren’t even having ourselves introduced (we don’t like too much attention).

6) Father/Daughter, Mother/Son dances: We’re doing a mother/son dance. I’m undecided if I will dance with my Mom, my brother, or not at all. You can see if your Mom will dance with you, and you can both have Mother dances. Or just skip the father/daughter alltogether. It might seem odd to some people, but those that know you best will likely understand your reasons.

Post # 11
189 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I understand how yu are feeling as my father abandoned his family when I was 4 and my bro was 1.  Never saw him again until I was 7 and he has been in and out with years in between.  When the time came for my wedding last year, I did not have any doubt, guilt nor mixed feelings on what role he would play as he was NEVER there for me.  So he was invited as a Guest.  I told him my mom will be walking me down the aisle.  Needless to say he decided not to attend because he did not want to be just a guest. In my mind he should have been grateful to even get invited. Truthfully, he was not missed.

To answer your questions:

1. You can use “Together with their parents”.  To me it is not specifying any names so that is fine.

2. He don’t need to be invited to the rehersal dinner.

3. Yes I would include him as my father.  Not because of how it would affect him or anyone, but simply because of the fact that he is.

4. Haven’t seen a receiving line done before.  Would take that out totally.

5. Annouce only bridesmaids & groomsmen.

6. I didn’t do any of that and nobody missed it.  However, if you want to I would dance with my mom or brother or whoever was the male figure that played a significant role in your life over the years.

Just a little advice, stop stressing over it.  Most of the “traditional” wedding pomp and circumstance people won’t even remember, care about or miss if omitted.  Also, your dad already know he was not there for you and should be honored to even get an invite.  Also, what is of most importance, this is YOUR day.  Do it YOUR way and don’t compromise your joy to please or satisfy anyone.

Your day will be beautiful with or without all the traditional elements!!!!!!!!!!


The topic ‘Parent attending as Guest… Questions about touchy situations’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors