(Closed) Parents refuse to come to wedding…valid excuse or not?

posted 5 years ago in Family
Post # 3
2401 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

You cant force anyone, including your parents, to financially prioritize your wedding. Sorry, it’s just the way that is. 

They are allowed to spend their money on whatever they want. Yeah, it’s crappy, but there’s nothing you can do about it.

After the wedding passes, if they do not come, I would back off my relationship with my parents. Calls would be less frequent. Communication would be only for vital updates. I wouldn’t cut off contact because (again) you cant force them to go to your wedding. But I would realize that the relationship isn’t a priority anymore. 

Post # 4
190 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I’m so sorry to hear that you have had to deal with all this financial drama.  As a frugal person that loves to travel, I think your parents have NO excuse not to come.  They have had more than enough time.  As for you and how to deal with this- I think its time to just let go of the idea that they will be able to make it.  If having your parents there (and knowing their history with money) was a top priority, you would have had the wedding in California.  I am not blaming you by any means, but its the reality of having a wedding on a different continent (or even out of state).  I would have loved to have had a destination wedding, but there is no way my dad will get on a plane, so that idea was out the window from day one.  In the end, your mom and stepfather only have themselves to blame when they won’t be in wedding photos.  You did all that you could to make it feasible for them to come and they chose to make decisions to inhibit them from doing so.


Post # 6
989 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Valid.  Coming up with $1600 immediately (because they would have had to have booked their tickets immediately when you announced your engagement to get the $800pp price, right?) or $2800 on 5 months’ notice – just for airfare – would be impossible for a lot of people these days.  For people working in real estate or construction, I’m sure it’s doubly hard. 

Honestly, if you really want them there and you can afford it, I would suck it up and pay for them to come.  Or consider doing a small reception in California for your family where they don’t have to bear the brunt of the travel expenses.

Cutting off contact seems a little extreme in this case, but you know your relationship.

Post # 8
557 posts
Busy bee

I got married and live in NY and my family lives in Europe. My parents had nowhere near the money of your parents and actually took a loan from a family member to be at my wedding. It was their first time in the US as well! People can always make it work, but honestly your parents seem selfish to me…Your mom admitted that she would spend money, given to her for the flight, on other things first?! Wow, doesn’t seem like she wants to go at all. And the excuses are somewhat ridiculous, I mean pregnant and then heart disease? I don’t know how old your mom is, but…HUH!!? I don’t think that they want to come, and at 3 weeks ahead it is hard to even book a flight now! 


I am sorry for you and think you have every right to be mad. I wouldn’t cut the contact yet though…maybe limit it a lot though…and let them know how hurt you are! 


I hope you have an amazing wedding!!!


Post # 9
11271 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

@hiitsChris:  it’s unfortunate but when you are getting married a plane ride away you cannot expect people to attend, including your parents.  you will just set yourself up for disappointment.  whether their excuses are valid or not, who knows but to them, it’s valid.  they have the right to choose where to prioritize their money.

just enjoy your wedding and send them pics.

Post # 11
11233 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

Ugh, I feel you. While you can’t force people to come to your wedding, they’re your freaking parents. I have a feeling that my mother will have some excuse to not attend my wedding, despite it being in town, so maybe that will make you feel better.

Post # 12
1448 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

It doesn’t matter if it’s a “valid” excuse or not.  If they say they can’t afford it and can’t put the money together for the trip, then they can’t.  Living in Los Angeles *is* expensive.  I loved living there, but I never had money for out-of-country trips.

If they had a year to plan this trip, I probably wouldn’t be so lenient, but they’ve only had 5 months to magically come up with the money for the plane ticket (and probably less since they would have been cheaper in March).  That’s a lot to ask for, and some people save in such a way that they don’t have easy access to their money.

I’d drop it, wish them well and send photos.  You don’t have to be super close to them after the wedding.

Post # 14
3300 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@hiitsChris: A little while ago I would have said they obviously don’t care that much about you and it’s shameful that they can’t be bothered to come to their child’s wedding, etc. While that is not necessarily untrue, I’ve learned through my own wedding planning process (I too live in a different country than my friends and family) that some people just don’t have an international travel mindset. For me, as soon as some people–including my brother and two of my closest friends–heard that it would be in a different country, they just immediately perished the thought of attending.  We’re from the East Coast. Had the wedding been in Vegas (just as expensive flight and way more expensive hotel) they might’ve considered it. But as soon as there’s an ocean involved some people just get all overwhelmed and start making excuses for how they “couldn’t possibly” travel so far or spend so much. 

I think you have every right to be disappointed in the fact that your parents will not (or perhaps cannot…you don’t know their exact situation and they seem to be going to lengths to prevent you from knowing it) prioritize your wedding. Because the excuses started immediately–and not after trying and failing to make it work–I get the feeling that they are kinda like some of my relatives. Not opposed to attending in general, but cannot wrap their minds around such a big trip (even if it’s not that big at all).

That said, do you go into debt to pay for something that the people closest to you have essentially shown you is not all that important to them? Depends on how strongly you feel about having them there. I wouldn’t do it (and won’t. I might be celebrating without my parents as well), but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.


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