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Not sure how to deal with biological dad

My parents were seperated when I was 5 and I have spent next to no time with my real dad. My step dad and mom married when I was 7 and have been there ever since. My mom and stepdad are paying, but they have already said that its my wedding and if I want them there then so be it.  I just am not sure how to include my real dad or if I even want to. I have already decided that my step dad is walking me, and I will do the father daughter dance with him. The only thing that keeps coming to mind is letting him stand to give me away also.
I really don't know what to do, any advice would be appreciated. I don't even want to tell my real dad until I figure this out. We have been engaged for almost a month and I haven't told him yet.
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Re: Not sure how to deal with biological dad

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    My parents divorced when I was 2, my mom re-married when I was 4. My step-dad has been my "dad" pretty much since he started dating my mom. My bio-dad was never a big part of my life ... I pretty much only see him at Christmas and funerals ... and whenever I do see or talk to him, it really stresses me out. He always had the option to be involved (My mom gave him open visitation in the custody agreement and never once tried to say he couldn't be around) ... he just chose not to be.

    I had my step-dad walk me down the aisle. I had my "father-daughter dance" with my step-dad. To me, while he totally would have understood if I "split" the honors or compromised somehow, I just felt like my bio-dad didn't deserve to do any of those things.

    However, I did order an extra "dad" boutonniere from our florist (We had them made up for our fathers and grandfathers) and even though it wasn't a "spotlight moment" announced by the DJ, I did make it a point to dance with my bio-dad and have the photographer get a picture of it. Hope this helps!


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    Thank you it is nice to hear that. How did your bio dad take it?
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    I never really "announced" any of my intentions to him. Like I never called him up and said "Btw, Step-dad is walking me down the aisle". Honestly, we really didn't talk any more than we usually do during my engagement (So after the call saying I was engaged, I pretty much only talked him 2-3 times until the wedding).

    To me, I didn't feel that I owed him any type of explanation for my choices (Although, if he had pressed the issue, I would have had no qualms pointing out his voluntary absence from my life to him), so we just didn't talk about it. I mailed him his invitation, and then the day of the wedding, his boutonniere was waiting for him, and I approached him during the reception for our dance ... I did everything on my own terms. It worked nicely for me.



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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_not-sure-deal-biological-dad?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:2d0a4514-d03e-46fa-b8c4-4b1f19bb146cPost:5f1b522d-5a63-4d21-babd-473d685e1431">Not sure how to deal with biological dad</a>:
    [QUOTE]We have been engaged for almost a month and I haven't told him yet.
    Posted by Fbrandye[/QUOTE]

    Kind of answering your own question here, this is a real indicator, at such a wonderful time when his response would only be postive and you're already happy, you don't want to talk to him.
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    No I haven't called him because I'm not sure what to say to him. Neither me or my brother really talk to him much but I have gotten past the whole he didn't talk to me phase. I have grown up and decided even though he wasn't there, he deserves to be somewhat a part of my life.

    As for anyone else that wants to post a comment like the above. Please just don't post. I want opinions not critisism or down talking.
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    My parents divorced when I was 8 and I'm also not particularly close to my dad.  We've made amends and I am still close to my extended family on my dad's side, and very close with my step-mom and step-siblings. 

    My Mom didn't marry my step-dad until I was 19, but they dated for 5 years prior to that, and at this point in my life he is more of a father to me.

    Because of the closeness with my dad's family & his wife & step-children I've decided to have them both walk me down the aisle, and I will have 2 father/daughter dances.  However, in your case it doesn't sound like you're close to anyone on your dad's side and if that is the case I say just have your step-dad walk you down the aisle.  My jester to my dad is simply that - it's more for appearances.  But if my step-dad had been in my life since I was little, as yours was, I'd probably only have him walk me down the aisle.  Just go with what you're heart tells you.

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    I'm glad to see i'm not the only one struggling with this. MY bio dad has never been my "dad" so to speak. My step dad has raised me since i was 3. He will be  walking me down the aisle and and doing the father/dtr dance. I have probably only spoke with my bio dad 5-6 times over past 3 years and last time was last christmas... We have been engaged since my bday (10/2) and he doesn't know unless one of my siblings told him... i feel like i should at least send him an invite and let him decide but don't know....
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    I am in a similar situation, but a little bit different.  Hopefully I can help.  My dad and I have not spoken for over 7 years.  MY stepdad has been in my life for the last 12 years or so.  I respect him a lot and he and I get along really well together, but due to the "daddy issues" I still maintain form my destroyed relationship with my father, I have a hard time connecting with him on that level. 

    I was uncomfortable having my step-dad walk me down the aisle because we have never really had that kind of relationship, so my brother will be stepping up to take that responsibility.

    I know this sounds like a completely different situation, and it is.  But I understand what you are feeling.  My suggestion would be this:

    If you really are feeling obligated to include him in the ceremony, I think your idea of having your dad and your stepdad up there with you is brilliant.  It will not hurt anyone for him to be up there, and that way you will not feel like you left him out.  If you do not want him up there with you, maybe you could have him give a toast of some sort at the reception or do a reading of a poem or something at the ceremony

    I am sure you will be happy with whatever decision you make.  Good luck, and congrats on your happy day!
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    My mom was sort of close with her real dad, but much closer with her step-dad, so when she married my step-father, she had both walk her down the aisle.  That is always an option for you, if its what you want.  The truth is, you can do anything for your wedding - have 2 people walk you down the aisle (or your mom if u would rather), and have 2 dances ( my good friend did this - one with dad and one with step-dad). Do whatever you feel most comfortable with, but I totally understand the predicament and not wanting to hurt others' feelings.
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    I loved Megk8oz's response. She said she did everything on "her terms." My bio dad also made the heartbreaking decision not to involve himself with my life other than Christmas and graduations, so now that I am planning my wedding, I am faced with similar decisions.

    Here's how I feel: He had his chance to build the father/daughter relationship on his terms. IMO he made poor choices. Now this is your chance to include him and your step-dad on YOUR terms. If it will be truly special to YOU to have him more involved, by all means, include him.  But, if you feel pressure or guilt because tradition, customs, or even other people make it seem like this is what you are SUPPOSED to do, then let go of that pressure and guilt. You were the child and you were the one hurt. It was his role and responsibility to step up as a parent.  If YOU forgive him and if you WANT to try to use your wedding as a gesture of goodwill and reconciliation, then that would be lovely and generous of you. 

    I know that I personally have a lot of "daddy issues" and nobody but you really knows how much your relationship with your bio dad impacted you. Every family is different and there are many factors that make things like this difficult. 

    So you have an idea of where I am coming from, I am very close to my paternal grandparents.  They always felt like they had to make up for my disappointing father. That being said, I wanted my grandpa to walk me down the aisle, however, he feels that my dad should do it.  So, I decided to walk myself. I will not argue with my beloved grandfather on this issue, but I will not do something just becuase customs, traditions, or someone else says I should. I am not doing a daddy/daughter dance either.

    You are truly blessed to have a loving step-father in your life. Remember this is your day. Make it specal for you and your husband. I wish you all the best and I will keep you and any other bride in situations like this in my thoughts and prayers.
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    I didn't read all the previous posts, but could you have both men walk you down the aisle?? 

    If you didn't want both to walk you down the entire aisle, you could have your step-dad sitting in the pews right next to the aisle about half way up.... then have your dad start walking you up the aisle. When you come near where your stepdad is, have the men switch places.   One of my friends did this with her 2 older brothers - her had died several years before.  


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    I'm in a similar situation as well.  My dad also made the decision not to see me nor call me and that is still going on today.  When I told him about my engagement his reaction was: Why are you getting married?  You're making a mistake bla bla bla.  At this point he has done more than enough damage for me not to care whether he attends the wedding or not.  If he does manage his busy schedule to actually show up, he will be wearing a boutonniere and that's about it.  I don't want him to be more included than that.  My stepdad will be walking down the aisle with me along with my mom and I won't be doing a father-daughter dance.

    I think you are overthinking this.  I know what it feels like to think about ''well what if someone's feelings get hurt?''.  You have to do what feels right by you.  Don't let other people pressure you but take their advice into account.  In the end, you are the one that needs to feel comfortable with your decision. I think him standing up to give you away is a beautiful gesture that he should be honoured by.
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    Thank you everyone. I have let my real dad know and he said he's happy I told him and can't wait for the invite.

    I will be having my step dad walk me.
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    I wrote to my dad a few days after we got engaged - I've not seen him in nearly four years, and we only speak on the phone rarely when he calls me - telling him about the engagement, and saying that while we would send an invite, he was invited as a guest, rather than as my father; I'm having someone closer to me take that role on.  I've not yet heard anything from him (letter was sent about five weeks ago), and I haven't had a Christmas card or present from him yet either, although we sent one to him.  I can't say I'm hugely surprised.

    I did wonder - it's a question I'd been wrestling with for ages in my mind, long before my fiancé proposed - whether I should just have him there as my father because I "ought to".  I was still undecided when he proposed.  In the end, what settled it was picturing the wedding, picturing him being there, and realising how pissed off I'd be that I'd had to do it because I felt I ought to, not because it was something I wanted to.  There are some things I can compromise on, but that wasn't one.  I'm likely to be emotionally wrought enough on the day without adding to it. 
    You may very well be well-bred, Lots of etiquette in your head - But there's always some special case, Time or place to forget etiquette.
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