Considering not inviting my parents to the wedding.

edited November 2019 in Etiquette
I've been with my SO for 7.5 years and we've been living together for the last 1.5 of that time. A month before we got engaged, we both spoke to my parents for their blessing. I've always been close to my dad and my relationship with my mom has been rocky at best. So last weekend we got engaged, it was absolutely amazing, then the next morning my dad was the first one I called. All he had for me was harsh words about how we should "slow down" and "well, I guess I'm happy for you." No congratulations. No even act of pretending to be happy for me. So naturally, I was a mess. When I thought I was steady enough to face my mom, I called her. She could hear the pain in my voice and I broke again. She said, "well, what did you expect him to say?". I don't know, maybe 'congratulations' would have been nice. I avoided their texts and calls all that day then decided to call my dad back to give him a chance to apologize because there was no way he could have meant what he said, right? Wrong. He doubled down, going on about how we were moving too fast and that my SO was pressuring me. I told him it was a joint decision and based on my school schedule for the next 4 years or so, this was the best time. His final blow to me was "You two live together anyway, so what's the difference?". They knew each other for 6 months before getting engaged, by the way. 

The next day or so my mom wanted to talk, having the same questions my dad had, me having the same answers. She proceeds to tell me that my dad never truly gave my SO his blessing, that my dad said he wanted to talk to me first. And that is what happened, but after my dad and I spoke, he sounded reluctant but accepting. Both of my parents say they're in shock but my SO and I are calling BS - we've been together since 2012, we moved in at our 6-year anniversary, we asked for their blessing a month before getting engaged.

It has been a week since that throwdown: still no word from my dad (we usually speak 1-2 times a week), nothing but attitude from my mom (to be expected), and nothing but support from literally everyone else we know (including the rest of my family). This was expected from my mom, but so unlike my dad. Honestly, I'm still hurting. I know things are still fresh, but my SO and I are both considering uninviting them from the wedding and all other wedding-related festivities. Our wedding is in 8 months and things will change (hopefully). I just don't know where to place that line in the sand and if I do end up telling my parents that they're uninvited, do I take it back if they decide to grow up? Do I reach out to my dad first? They ruined my engagement announcement, but I refuse to let them ruin my wedding. Advice needed.

Re: Considering not inviting my parents to the wedding.

  • I get why you're hurt by your parents' reaction to your engagement. It's always hard when we think people will be happy for us and share in our joy and then they don't. 

    That said, I feel like there's some information missing here. Why was your father "reluctant but accepting" when he gave you his blessing? Was it because he doesn't like your SO, or because of concerns about your relationship with your SO? Have your parents had their own issues that have made them unenthusiastic about marriage? (It's not clear to me whether your parents are still together or not.) I'm also curious as to what "same questions" your parents asked you when you told them about the engagement. The fact that they seem to think your SO is "pressuring" you stood out to me. 

    I ask all of this because, while you can invite (or not invite) whoever you wish to your wedding, not inviting your parents is a really, really drastic move...and definitely not a decision you should make while you're still this upset. Not inviting them could have major consequences for your future relationship with them, and since you say that you're generally close with your dad, I'm sure you wouldn't want to throw away any chance you may have to reconcile and get past this issue. 

  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I'm curious as to what your parents are concerned about. They both must have reasons? 

    What did your parents say when you both asked for their blessing? I'm confused as to what happened during that conversation. 

    As far as not inviting them, don't make any decisions now. 

  • Can you help elaborate why you think your parents may have reasons?  Are you and your FI living together and financially independent of your parents?  Are you both paying for your individual educations or are your parents still financing them?  

    Is there any difference in age?  Were your parents engaged after 6 months but older than you and your FI are now?    

    You are allowed to invite or not invite guests by social unit but this is a major issue so rather than focus on the invitation side I would focus far more on why this issue exists in the first place. 
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I wouldn't focus on the invitation here. Like other PPs, I'm concerned about why your parents are reacting this way. It seems very odd to suggest that you're rushing into marriage after being together for 6 years, but it could be rushed if you're young or still in school. Are your parents financing your education or any part of this wedding? 

    I would have a heart to heart with my parents (without my SO) and go through these reasons. Why do they think your partner is pressuring you? Is it true? Are there other valid concerns? 

    It's hard to say whether they're being ridiculous or expressing valid concerns, but the fact that this is completely unlike your father suggests that it may be the latter. Even if you are settled that their concerns are completely ridiculous, I would still probably invite them to the wedding. Not inviting them would likely mean cutting them out of your life for the foreseeable future. Are you sure you're ready to go there? 
  • Take a breath and slow down for a moment!  Had to - sorry!

    Really, so the reaction isn't quite what you expected, that's to do with your expectations of what was said vs. what you wanted to hear.  My Father-in-law's reaction was "I ain't going to Jamaica!" (Where my BIL & SIL had gotten married) and later on in the planning his next words were "I don't want her to make me look cheap!" to which the ENTIRE office was dang near spitting coffee out of their noses because that's the LAST thing they ever thought they'd hear said out of my (now late) Father-in-law's mouth!  (He was rather well known for being "thrifty" some would call it "cheap" but there was method to the making sure he got the best price)...  FWIW, I was the first person that FIL had ever met his match with and really - I didn't take either comment personally!  Your reaction is your choice.  As others mentioned, there is a lot deleted and only you're there IRL.  I wouldn't base the decision to invite them or not on this one interaction as you've mentioned here.  That said, maybe you don't discuss a lot of wedding details other than the MARRIAGE planning aspects which have nothing to do with the wedding day itself with them for a while before you get into any details regarding the wedding day.  Remember to be investing more into planning the marriage than you are the wedding day through the process!
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  • Clearly they have concerns that you aren't fully sharing. I have a feeling they have to do with how young you are. I mean have you ever dated anyone else? Perhaps those kinds of things. Also, of course you invite your parents. They have committed no sin. And that is so far away anyway there is no reason to think about that. 
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I think the "Slow down" advice you're getting from your parents stems from the fact that although you and your FI have been together for a long time, you've both only been together as adults for a relatively short period. 

    So it might be that they wanted you to be in a relationship as an adult longer than you have been before announcing an engagement. Or they may have thought you were tying yourself down without having much dating experience since you and your FI have been together most of your post-puberty lives. Without more information, I'm reserving judgment on that.

    As to not inviting them, well, I can understand your disappointment at their less-than-happy-for-you response to your engagement announcement, but I think that not inviting them is a very drastic step to take, and I would only do that if trying everything to get them on your side is unsuccessful, because it's the nuclear option for your future relationships with them. It will also cause a lot of notice among other guests at your wedding (if any) if your parents are absent. So before you do that, try having some conversations with your parents in which you and your FI address whatever concerns that they might have. Be willing to delay your wedding if either of you is in school or hasn't found a job that pays a true living wage yet, or if there is anything to suggest that your marriage (not your wedding) wouldn't be financially sustainable without their help. 
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