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Wedding Woes

Uninvited Parent Causing Difficulty Amongst Family

My FI and I have had strained relationships with our families.  To help heel some of these relationships, we have included all brothers and sisters in the WP.

I've not had a relationship with my father for my entire adult life, but I have been able to maintain a relationship with the rest of my paternal family.  My parents divorced when I was in college because my father had been drugging and raping my mother (put mildly).  He then married a teacher/stripper/pedophile who is 9 years older than me, and has actually hit my younger sister.  His family doesn't know the circumstances of why my sister and I do not have a relationship with him, nor would they believe us.

Typically, the family just ignores it, but since we are planning our wedding, people have been vocalizing too much about  how he (and his wife) must be included (never going to happen), and that he should walk me down the aisle, AND have a father daughter dance....

My grandmother (his mom) called my mom last week.  They have a pretty solid relationship, but the call got brutal.  She said that because he is alive, he is entitled to all of those rights... (since when does having a pulse entitle someone to an invitation/role in the wedding)... My mother responded by saying, "This is my daughter's wedding and it is her decision to make.  I am not standing in the way of her changing her mind, but the decision rests with her."

The next night, my brother (GM) and sister (MOH) were driving home when he verbally accosted her about the situation, and how they should be invited.  She came home sobbing.  Hard. She's an epileptic, and it sent her into a seizure.

They are not invited.  End of story.  I'm frustrated because no one has come to me directly.  Instead, they have verbally attacked my loved ones over decisions I have made.  My mother is paying for the wedding, and she begged us to include my brother in the party.  After what has happened to my sister, I no longer want him a part of the WP.  I don't trust him.  He could easily pull some stunt. Prior to these events, we already considered hiring a security team for the wedding...

The hardest part is, how do I explain to my grandma that her son is not to be included?  She is in her mid 80's, and wouldn't believe the truth about the rift.  I know it causes her pain, but his presence has sent me into a panic attack.  She's the only grandma my FI and I have.  She is thrilled to have a granddaughter getting married.  She has offered to contribute financially, but I know that it will come with strings attached.

1) Should I approach the topic with the offenders?

2) Has anyone ever had to remove someone from the WP before, and if so, how did you handle it?
a) or do I let this play out more before we tell him he is no longer a GM?

3) Is there a way to explain to my grandmother without hurting her too much?

4) Could a compromise to my grandmother be let her pay for the videographer, who can livestream the wedding?


Re: Uninvited Parent Causing Difficulty Amongst Family

  • So, you've had to learn the hard way that your wedding is not a UN peace summit.  That sounds flippant; you aren't the first bride here to think that people will suddenly change their behaviors and be "nice" when they never have been before.  They won't, so all you can do is control your actions and responses.

    At this part, you need to save your and FI's sanity.  I would ditch the entire wedding party and not have one at all to keep all.  Let it be known that you are not entertaining complaints about your guest list, your FI isn't,and neither is your mother.  And stick to the plan with everyone and everything, including grandmother (make sister a reader in the ceremony, since it sounds like you still have a relationship with her).  If that means grandmother doesn't come either, you'll need to tell her she'll be missed.  That's it.
    OliveOilsMom
  • 1) yes - confront the issue head-on in a non-negotiable tone and say "NONE of this "behind my back" crap - come to the SOURCE!  It's our wedding, this is what you (FI & I) have decided, the decision IS made, let it go, don't bring it up again especially with Mom, how's the bean dip?"  Also, tell your Mom "Bean Dip" when these people try to create drama (it WILL happen again because they're likely to "test" your call here.  Or, as other family does "I've got a call coming in" or "I've got to go to the bathroom really bad right now!"...  Tell her it's o.k. to stick these people to you on matters like that so you can tell them "Butt out!"

    2) I know many that have, especially on here, basically, consider it the end of the relationship. When it comes to family, tread lightly (My SIL removed one of her sisters from her wedding after her sister hit her about a month before the wedding.  It was a lot of unnecessary drama at the time even if they get along great now), but know that there are times.  But, until the situation is confronted/resolved/played out, you really would also be making a decision via what someone else said someone said gossip, and you don't want to go about it that way. 

    3) No...  The truth always wins.  The truth may hurt, but it's the truth.  At some point there's a "come to Jesus" moment that has to happen because she's turning it in to a chance for drama.  That said, it's all in how you say it.  It'll hurt, but if she knows you didn't just on a whim come to this decision, it'll hurt a lot less...

    4) No - with money comes strings - How about she pays for her hair to be done the morning of the wedding and a pretty new dress that you go shopping for together! 


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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers

    1) Should I approach the topic with the offenders? I would tell them that it's not up to them whether or not your father and his wife are invited or otherwise participating in your wedding and that the subject is closed, and there is to be no more calling anyone or going behind your back because your decision is final.

    2) Has anyone ever had to remove someone from the WP before, and if so, how did you handle it?
    a) or do I let this play out more before we tell him he is no longer a GM?  Well, whatever you do, I would make clear to your mother that it's up to your FI, not you, who is a GM, and that you have no say over his attendants, and that after the way he treated your sister, the subject of his being in your wedding party is closed.

    I disagree with @VarunaTT that you should ditch your wedding party if it includes other people who are not part of your family drama.  That would be a mean thing to do to them just because your brother is being an asshole.  I personally wouldn't side-eye your making clear to your brother that his continuing as a GM means that he has to stop attacking you and your sister.  Ideally, he should pay for her medical treatment relating to the seizure she suffered, but good luck on that. 


    3) Is there a way to explain to my grandmother without hurting her too much? No.  I think she should have been told the truth all along and she should know it now, but there's no way to keep it from "hurting her too much."  Part of the problem has been that you keep stating "no one would believe us."  As long as you don't tell anyone about how your father victimized you, your sister, and your mother on that basis, you don't give anyone the chance to decide if they believe you or not.   

    4) Could a compromise to my grandmother be let her pay for the videographer, who can livestream the wedding? No. Don't compromise by offering to let her pay for anything, because she'll attach strings and pull them when she doesn't get her way.     



    MesmrEwe


  • 1) Should I approach the topic with the offenders? Why bother? It's just going to stir up more drama. These people are (presumably) adults - you can't police their behavior - especially when they never said anything directly to you. 

    2) Has anyone ever had to remove someone from the WP before, and if so, how did you handle it?
    a) or do I let this play out more before we tell him he is no longer a GM? Not sure why you allowed him to be in the WP in the first place , if he sucks that much - but if you want to maintain a relationship with your brother post-wedding, then you can't kick him out. 

    3) Is there a way to explain to my grandmother without hurting her too much? ONLY If she comes directly to you, "Grandma, I'm sorry you feel that way, but Bio-Dad and I do not have a good relationship, and he's not a part of my life. I do not wish to have him or his wife attend my wedding." End of discussion. You shouldn't have to justify not wanting to have a relationship with him, and since explaining will likely only hurt your grandmother or cause a fight, it's really not worth getting into details.

    4) Could a compromise to my grandmother be let her pay for the videographer, who can livestream the wedding? Just say "thanks for offering, but we have it covered." If you're not willing to accept the strings, don't accept the money. If you don't want your father to attend, why would you want him to watch the live stream?



  • MesmrEwe said:

    1) yes - confront the issue head-on in a non-negotiable tone and say "NONE of this "behind my back" crap - come to the SOURCE!  It's our wedding, this is what you (FI & I) have decided, the decision IS made, let it go, don't bring it up again especially with Mom, how's the bean dip?"  Also, tell your Mom "Bean Dip" when these people try to create drama (it WILL happen again because they're likely to "test" your call here.  Or, as other family does "I've got a call coming in" or "I've got to go to the bathroom really bad right now!"...  Tell her it's o.k. to stick these people to you on matters like that so you can tell them "Butt out!"

    2) I know many that have, especially on here, basically, consider it the end of the relationship. When it comes to family, tread lightly (My SIL removed one of her sisters from her wedding after her sister hit her about a month before the wedding.  It was a lot of unnecessary drama at the time even if they get along great now), but know that there are times.  But, until the situation is confronted/resolved/played out, you really would also be making a decision via what someone else said someone said gossip, and you don't want to go about it that way. 

    3) No...  The truth always wins.  The truth may hurt, but it's the truth.  At some point there's a "come to Jesus" moment that has to happen because she's turning it in to a chance for drama.  That said, it's all in how you say it.  It'll hurt, but if she knows you didn't just on a whim come to this decision, it'll hurt a lot less...

    4) No - with money comes strings - How about she pays for her hair to be done the morning of the wedding and a pretty new dress that you go shopping for together! 


    All.of.this.  Especially the part about no more crap behind your back.  That come to Jesus meeting needs to happen today and you need to start with grandma, tell her the truth, and then move on to your brother, and if need be, your father.  Will grandma believe you?  Probably not, but you guys should have put the truth out years ago instead of protecting your dad. 
    OliveOilsMomMesmrEwekimmiinthemitten
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    My FI and I have had strained relationships with our families.  To help heel some of these relationships, we have included all brothers and sisters in the WP.

    I've not had a relationship with my father for my entire adult life, but I have been able to maintain a relationship with the rest of my paternal family.  My parents divorced when I was in college because my father had been drugging and raping my mother (put mildly).  He then married a teacher/stripper/pedophile who is 9 years older than me, and has actually hit my younger sister.  His family doesn't know the circumstances of why my sister and I do not have a relationship with him, nor would they believe us.

    Typically, the family just ignores it, but since we are planning our wedding, people have been vocalizing too much about  how he (and his wife) must be included (never going to happen), and that he should walk me down the aisle, AND have a father daughter dance....

    My grandmother (his mom) called my mom last week.  They have a pretty solid relationship, but the call got brutal.  She said that because he is alive, he is entitled to all of those rights... (since when does having a pulse entitle someone to an invitation/role in the wedding)... My mother responded by saying, "This is my daughter's wedding and it is her decision to make.  I am not standing in the way of her changing her mind, but the decision rests with her."

    The next night, my brother (GM) and sister (MOH) were driving home when he verbally accosted her about the situation, and how they should be invited.  She came home sobbing.  Hard. She's an epileptic, and it sent her into a seizure.

    They are not invited.  End of story.  I'm frustrated because no one has come to me directly.  Instead, they have verbally attacked my loved ones over decisions I have made.  My mother is paying for the wedding, and she begged us to include my brother in the party.  After what has happened to my sister, I no longer want him a part of the WP.  I don't trust him.  He could easily pull some stunt. Prior to these events, we already considered hiring a security team for the wedding...

    The hardest part is, how do I explain to my grandma that her son is not to be included?  She is in her mid 80's, and wouldn't believe the truth about the rift.  I know it causes her pain, but his presence has sent me into a panic attack.  She's the only grandma my FI and I have.  She is thrilled to have a granddaughter getting married.  She has offered to contribute financially, but I know that it will come with strings attached.

    1) Should I approach the topic with the offenders?

    2) Has anyone ever had to remove someone from the WP before, and if so, how did you handle it?
    a) or do I let this play out more before we tell him he is no longer a GM?

    3) Is there a way to explain to my grandmother without hurting her too much?

    4) Could a compromise to my grandmother be let her pay for the videographer, who can livestream the wedding?


    Go straight to Grandma.  "Grandma, I heard that you called my mom and asked if dad be invited.  I just wanted to call you and let you know that I decided the guest list and dad is not invited.  That decision lies with FI and I, so do not speak with my mom about it again.  Thank you.  I know that you want dad invited, but long ago I decided on my own, based on dad's actions, to no longer have a relationship with him.  That decision extends through my wedding.  Dad lost any rights he had to a father daughter dance and walking me down the aisle based on his own actions.  This will be the final time we speak about this, the decision is made and final.  I'm sorry if you do not like it grandma."  If Grandma tries to say she won't attend either, just say you are sorry to hear that and you will be missed.  Regardless of her being the only grandparent alive between you and FI, she needs to respect your decisions about your dad and if she can't that is her problem, not yours.

    As PP mentioned, I would be inclined to get rid of the entire WP.  If you remove just your brother, you will destroy any relationship you have with him.  The downside of this option, is that it punishes other people who didn't do anything wrong.  Perhaps you can try to have a conversation with your brother first.  Along the same lines as the one with grandma.  I would also throw in there that his problem with you caused your sister to have a seizure, which is unacceptable and he should have approached you first.

    If you do think there is a chance that your dad and his wife will crash the wedding, first speak with your venue.  They may already have a protocol about what to do in this situation.  They may take care of it before you even know he is there.  Or they may suggest you hire security.  Sometimes you can hire off duty police officers in the town your venue is located.  Also, know that if you have a church ceremony, you cannot keep your father from showing up as church's are open to everyone.

    Lastly, don't take a dime of grandma's money for the wedding!

  • My FI and I have had strained relationships with our families.  To help heel some of these relationships, we have included all brothers and sisters in the WP.

    I've not had a relationship with my father for my entire adult life, but I have been able to maintain a relationship with the rest of my paternal family.  My parents divorced when I was in college because my father had been drugging and raping my mother (put mildly).  He then married a teacher/stripper/pedophile who is 9 years older than me, and has actually hit my younger sister.  His family doesn't know the circumstances of why my sister and I do not have a relationship with him, nor would they believe us.

    Typically, the family just ignores it, but since we are planning our wedding, people have been vocalizing too much about  how he (and his wife) must be included (never going to happen), and that he should walk me down the aisle, AND have a father daughter dance....

    My grandmother (his mom) called my mom last week.  They have a pretty solid relationship, but the call got brutal.  She said that because he is alive, he is entitled to all of those rights... (since when does having a pulse entitle someone to an invitation/role in the wedding)... My mother responded by saying, "This is my daughter's wedding and it is her decision to make.  I am not standing in the way of her changing her mind, but the decision rests with her."

    The next night, my brother (GM) and sister (MOH) were driving home when he verbally accosted her about the situation, and how they should be invited.  She came home sobbing.  Hard. She's an epileptic, and it sent her into a seizure.

    They are not invited.  End of story.  I'm frustrated because no one has come to me directly.  Instead, they have verbally attacked my loved ones over decisions I have made.  My mother is paying for the wedding, and she begged us to include my brother in the party.  After what has happened to my sister, I no longer want him a part of the WP.  I don't trust him.  He could easily pull some stunt. Prior to these events, we already considered hiring a security team for the wedding...

    The hardest part is, how do I explain to my grandma that her son is not to be included?  She is in her mid 80's, and wouldn't believe the truth about the rift.  I know it causes her pain, but his presence has sent me into a panic attack.  She's the only grandma my FI and I have.  She is thrilled to have a granddaughter getting married.  She has offered to contribute financially, but I know that it will come with strings attached.

    1) Should I approach the topic with the offenders?

    2) Has anyone ever had to remove someone from the WP before, and if so, how did you handle it?
    a) or do I let this play out more before we tell him he is no longer a GM?

    3) Is there a way to explain to my grandmother without hurting her too much?

    4) Could a compromise to my grandmother be let her pay for the videographer, who can livestream the wedding?


    Go straight to Grandma.  "Grandma, I heard that you called my mom and asked if dad be invited.  I just wanted to call you and let you know that I decided the guest list and dad is not invited.  That decision lies with FI and I, so do not speak with my mom about it again.  Thank you.  I know that you want dad invited, but long ago I decided on my own, based on dad's actions, to no longer have a relationship with him.  That decision extends through my wedding.  Dad lost any rights he had to a father daughter dance and walking me down the aisle based on his own actions.  This will be the final time we speak about this, the decision is made and final.  I'm sorry if you do not like it grandma."  If Grandma tries to say she won't attend either, just say you are sorry to hear that and you will be missed.  Regardless of her being the only grandparent alive between you and FI, she needs to respect your decisions about your dad and if she can't that is her problem, not yours.

    As PP mentioned, I would be inclined to get rid of the entire WP.  If you remove just your brother, you will destroy any relationship you have with him.  The downside of this option, is that it punishes other people who didn't do anything wrong.  Perhaps you can try to have a conversation with your brother first.  Along the same lines as the one with grandma.  I would also throw in there that his problem with you caused your sister to have a seizure, which is unacceptable and he should have approached you first.

    If you do think there is a chance that your dad and his wife will crash the wedding, first speak with your venue.  They may already have a protocol about what to do in this situation.  They may take care of it before you even know he is there.  Or they may suggest you hire security.  Sometimes you can hire off duty police officers in the town your venue is located.  Also, know that if you have a church ceremony, you cannot keep your father from showing up as church's are open to everyone.

    Lastly, don't take a dime of grandma's money for the wedding!


    And all of this one too - especially the call to Granny.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    If you've already asked other people besides your brother to be in your wedding party, you can't scrap the wedding party without putting your relationships with them at risk. I do not advise this. You should be allowed and able to have the people who you do feel close to standing beside you regardless of whether or not you invite your father. The drama about your father is not of their making and should play absolutely no role in whether you ask anyone else to be in your wedding party.
  • VarunaTTVarunaTT member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited July 2015
    The reason I suggested scrapping the entire wedding party is that there are other brothers and sisters in it.  This family seems to be full of master manipulators, who would play each other against each other including re: still being in the wedding while someone else isn't.  Removing this one brother (and he should be removed, torturing someone into a reaction of their medical condition is horrific behavior) isn't going to alleviate the actual problem and could exacerbate it.

    If I had a friend going through this with her family and she told me she's getting rid of the entire wedding party b/c of these shenanigans, I'd be disappointed, but happy to be a guest.  My friend enjoying her wedding away from monsters would be more important.  This is just simply not the same as, You were a sucky bridesmaid/MOH who didn't help me fold programs or stuff invites.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited July 2015
    VarunaTT said:
    The reason I suggested scrapping the entire wedding party is that there are other brothers and sisters in it.  This family seems to be full of master manipulators, who would play each other against each other including re: still being in the wedding while someone else isn't.  Removing this one brother (and he should be removed, torturing someone into a reaction of their medical condition is horrific behavior) isn't going to alleviate the actual problem and could exacerbate it.

    If I had a friend going through this with her family and she told me she's getting rid of the entire wedding party b/c of these shenanigans, I'd be disappointed, but happy to be a guest.  My friend enjoying her wedding away from monsters would be more important.  This is just simply not the same as, You were a sucky bridesmaid/MOH who didn't help me fold programs or stuff invites.

    Scrapping the wedding party will do nothing to stop the manipulation on the part of these particular family members, and it punishes those who aren't part of the problem.  Whether or not it makes the brother's issues worse to remove him should not be part of the decision-he should not be part of her wedding, period, if he's likely to lose control.  And there should be security at the wedding to keep him away.  Sorry, but I do not buy into the idea that anyone should be chosen to be in a wedding party or invited to a wedding because their medical, mental, and/or psychiatric problems will get worse if they are not.  Those, if anything, are reasons NOT to keep that particular person in a wedding party-but not to scrap the whole wedding party.

    In fact, if I were having these problems with my family members, it would make me value my friendships with those other members of my wedding party all the more.  They don't deserve to be kicked out and they would be very, very justified in dropping their friendships with me-at a time when I need them the most.

  • You do not owe ANYONE an explanation of why your Dad is not invited.  Explanations will just make things worse.  Talk firmly to Grandma.

    I didn't invite my ex-stepfather, the child molesting ex-stepbrother, or the drug dealing brother-in-law to my wedding, either!
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    GBCKJen4948
  • GBCKGBCK member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    I'm going to echo not to explain to granny.

    Call her, yes.  explain no.  When you explain to people, they think they have a right to weigh in.  She doesn't.  It's not up for discussion.  So don't discuss it.

    I'd go with "granny, Mom said you called and pressured her about the guest list.  Mom isn't handling the guest list, I am.  Please don't involve her in it again.  Do you have something you'd like to say to me?"
    *let her ramble*
    "Sorry you feel that way, but I have made my decision, it is firm, and the guest list stands as is.  Now how is that crochet project you've been working on?  did you figure out how to attach those granny squares?"
    mrsconn23Jen4948Heffalump
  • I'm surprised at all of the call Granny/confront Granny advice. I think (as an adult) OP's mother should have directed Granny to OP in the first place.  ("Granny, you need to discuss this with OP, she's managing her guest list." End of discussion.) OP wasn't part of this conversation, so it seems like it is a little extreme to call and confront Granny on secondhand information. (At this point, it's all she said/she said between OP's mom and Granny - who is to say that mom didn't insert her own bias into what she told OP?)
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