Wedding 911

Hurt my Father's feelings... advice for a wedding dummy?

My father is upset with me because I informed him that I would like to have my step-dad walk me down the aisle as well as him. I can’t pick between the 2 of them so I would rather walk alone than give into my father’s fit.

Background: my biological father was present in my life, but not a great dad. He treated my mom like crap and denied that I was his real child until a few years ago when I finally confronted him about it (he thought my mom cheated on him as he thought he was sterile, sorry tmi). My parents divorced when I was 12 and my mom met my step-dad when I was 16. My father paid very little child support and rarely visited me.

Though I was a bit older when my step-dad came into my life, he has been a rock for our family. He supports me in every way he can and has taken care of my mom in some tough times, for which I am truly appreciative. I consider him my chosen dad.

Fast forward to my wedding and I ask both if they would be okay with sharing the walking me down the aisle responsibility. My step-dad was so honored and happy; he was 100% on board. My biological father though blew up and accused me of not considering his feelings and hurting him on purpose. I have apologized a few times now and tried to explain that he is not being replaced, but my step-dad is an additional, supportive parent that deserves to be included. I do not wish to diminish his role, but I cannot exclude my step-dad.

The funny thing about all this is that my father hasn’t seemed keen to coming to the wedding at all. He is prepping me with potential excuses for not coming like: I might start a new job and can’t ask for the weekend off, not even for a wedding; I might have too much yard work that weekend (he manages an apartment building), etc. I don’t want to assume the worst, but this is typical of him to set up with excuses and then bail the last second. If he is on the fence about even coming, why would he care who walks me down the aisle? Maybe another potential excuse…

My question is, has anyone been in a similar situation and can offer advice for managing my father’s feelings further? I left the ball in his court last time we spoke, telling him if he doesn’t want my step-dad to be included then maybe we shouldn’t do it at all. As in, the whole family will just sit in the front row and enjoy the laid-back ceremony. At least that’s what I was hoping for… We haven’t spoken since and I’m worried that this will just make him not come. I really want him there, but at the same time, I don’t negotiate with emotional terrorists.

Be honest, even if it’s harsh. I need a dose of reality. Sorry for the long post.




Re: Hurt my Father's feelings... advice for a wedding dummy?

  • justsiejustsie member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I agree with everything PPs have said, you are not responsible nor are you able to change an adult man's feelings/opinions, especially someone who clearly is not willing to look past themselves for someone else. He has shown you who he is throughout your life, so believe him. If you want to, keep the invitation open but with every excuse he gives meet him with "I will miss you at the wedding then". Stop apologizing to him because you have done nothing to apologize for- you're only feeding into exactly what he wants. 
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    SameLer5Evershort+sassySP29
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited July 12
    It is YOUR place to decide whom you want to escort you down the aisle.  No one else!  You asked your Bio Dad, and he refused to share the honor.  That leaves you perfectly free to ask you Step-Dad to be your escort.
    Being the Father of the Bride, whatever the circumstances, does not give a man the right to be her bridal escort.  That is something that she alone decides.  We have seen quite a few brides who prefer someone other than their father to escort them.
    Dad had his chance and he blew it!  You are not responsible for his childish and selfish feelings of envy.  He gave up being your "Dad" long ago.  He has proven himself to be an ass.   Lucky you to have a wonderful Step-Dad!
    You haven't done anything wrong.  Stop apologizing to him.  You are only enabling his childish behavior.
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    SameLer5EverOliveOilsMomInLoveInQueensshort+sassy
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Your bio dad sounds like a real jerk. That sucks, and I'm sorry for the way he's treating you. I think you're right on point with how you're handling this. If he doesn't show up, it's HIS loss, not yours. You have a great step-dad that you love, that has actually been there for you. I wouldn't even entertain the idea of him walking me down the aisle if I were in your situation. 

    SameLer5EverInLoveInQueenssparklepants41
  • Thanks to all you lovely people for the head shake. I really appreciate the advice and since everyone seems to be on the same page, I think I will revise my position. I'll just tell him I would like them both to do it and if he doesn't like it then he is free to sit it out.
    I felt like I was doing something wrong by including my stepdad, but that's just my father manipulating me. I can't believe I didn't immediately realize that was so selfish of him.
    Thanks again for the kick in the butt and the sound advice. Five weeks until I marry the man of my dreams! That's the most important part.
    Yes! 

    Personally, I wouldn't ask your bio dad at all after his childish tantrum. I would simply walk with my stepdad, but I understand you not wanting to feel like you're slighting your bio dad (even though you're totally not AT ALL). 

    Think about this long-term....is this man who denied you were even his kid, didn't support you financially, emotionally, or otherwise, and who makes everything about himself..is he really someone you're going to have a long-term relationship with? Or is that relationship probably going to end up being with your step dad? I think you know the answer. Family can often be people you choose.
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    levioosaCMGragainSP29OliveOilsMom
  • Fast forward to my wedding and I ask both if they would be okay with sharing the walking me down the aisle responsibility. My step-dad was so honored and happy; he was 100% on board. My biological father though blew up and accused me of not considering his feelings and hurting him on purpose. I have apologized a few times now and tried to explain that he is not being replaced, but my step-dad is an additional, supportive parent that deserves to be included. I do not wish to diminish his role, but I cannot exclude my step-dad.


    I just wanted to add I think this was a PERFECT way to explain your choice in an attempt to mollify his "hurt" feelings.  There was nothing to feel "hurt" about, but sadly that is the kind of man he is.

    He should really be thanking your step-dad for being such a positive and supportive influence in his daughter's life.  But that most definitely is not the kind of man he is either.

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