Wedding 911

My Father won’t be attending the wedding on my own accord how do I ask my guests not to ask for him?

I’m the bride and I refuse to let my father attend the wedding. My father sexually abused me in high school, I haven’t spoke to him since. Most of my family doesn’t know what happened and I’m not ready to disclose that information yet. A lot of his cousins, aunts, and uncles will be there and I just know everyone is going to ask where he is and why he isn’t there. This is something I want to avoid because of how sensitive of a topic it is and it could very much ruin my special day. I have to communicate with my guests that I do not what them to ask me about my father but I don’t want to be rude. I have a private Facebook group for the wedding that has most of the guests on it but not all of them and this is something that should be communicated to them all. What can I do about this? 

Re: My Father won’t be attending the wedding on my own accord how do I ask my guests not to ask for him?

  • Do these relatives know that you aren't speaking to your father, even if they don't know the reason? They already may not expect him to be there, though I understand why you want to take action to avoid these discussions ahead of time. 

    I don't know quite the right way to go about this, but well in advance of your wedding, spread the word that your father won't be there. You can either preempt questions by saying it's a private matter that you prefer not to discuss, or that can be your answer if people do ask. This may partly depend on whether you think these guests will be polite/discreet enough not to pry. If it's out in the open well ahead of the wedding that your father isn't attending, you will hopefully not get questions the day of. 

    I'm sorry for what you've been through and that this is something you even need to think about while planning your wedding. Best of luck.

  • First I want to say that I'm so incredibly sorry that happened to you. 

    Is there a relative you trust (mom, someone on your dad's side) that can help spread the word that he won't be attending and that to not ask you about it?
  • I am so sorry that this happened.

    I agree that the goal is to spread the word now that your father isn't attending and you aren't on speaking terms.  
  • I also hate to say it but in addition, it could be worth mentioning that the matter is sensitive but he's expressly forbidden from attending.  I would ensure that your venue(s) know who he is and what he looks like in case a family member lets the cat out of the bag to tell him.  
  • Every family has a "Chatty Cathy" - it may be worth letting them know this and to spread word within the family that they are NOT to divulge any details of the wedding to him due to safety and security reasons.  

    I'm thinking here "What would CMG Say" (a late knottie who this was her niche for wording on invitations...)..  

    "Due to sensitive Safety and Security reasons we request that you not divulge the information regarding the date/locations/times of the upcoming nuptials to anyone not listed on this invitation in discussions or social media until midnight the morning after the wedding."
  • I'm very sorry.

    You might let your relatives know ahead of time that due to serious issues with your father (you don't need to go into details), he will not be at the wedding. If anyone asks you to clarify, I would just reiterate that the issues are serious and can't be discussed further. I also agree with notifying your venue and having security if warranted so that he is not admitted should he show up and escorted away if necessary.

    I like @MesmrEwe's idea about putting inserts in your invitations asking the recipients not to divulge the logistical information, but are your relatives likely to respect your need to keep it from your father if you follow this suggestion?

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