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Should I reconsider wedding abroad if dad wont come?

Hi Ladies,


We really struggled to find any kind of wedding we were excited about - it all seemed expensive and stressful and I didnt want the attention of a big day. Then we thought of getting married in New York, quick ceremony at the Clerk's office and then celebrating in the city with immediate family only. We were finally super excited and making plans. Everyone was excited to come.. except my dad :(


He has not been the best of dads, and has always been a difficult character and has lots of his own issues, and we have never had a great relationship however I did want him to be there on the day. Firstly he ignored my calls for a few days after he heard this was what we were considering and I wanted to discuss it with him. He only called me back once my mum told him off. He initially made excuses and firstly said he couldnt come, and listed things which may make it more difficult (some are health related) but certainly shouldnt stop him coming to his daughter's wedding. After me answering all of his concerns he's now saying he might but wont decide for months, but we want to book quite soon.


Were really not sure what to do and dont know whether we should do it anyway and let it be his choice if he wants to come, or reconsider our plans. We cant think of anything else we want to do and been looking at similar things in London but all seems like second best and not at all excited by it. Sisters have said just go without him, but I do feel guilty about the prospect of leaving him here. Also if he did decide to come I'm now concerned that he would be grumpy and miserable the whole time (very possible) as he would feel forced to go somewhere he didnt want to go. And also dont want to spend all that money for it all to be a disaster!


If anyone has actually read this far would massively appreciate any advice as really dont know what to do  x


  • I have had an issue with my Dad this weekend regarding our wedding also so I may be quite biased as I am rather annoyed. He informed me with 6 months to go that he won't be coming. I made a special effort to include him, his new wife and my half sister (making her a bridesmaid and everything) and now they have thrown all that back in my face as they can't face my Mum. Sorry! Not trying to take over your thread.

    I think you should go ahead and do what you want to do. If he has not been the best Dad and is making things difficult then I would agree with your sisters. People that really care will make the effort and you shouldn't have to twist his arm to make him come, especially if you think he will be grumpy. Ultimately he will be the one that is missing out and it is your wedding day and you can only be so accomodating to people.

  • TadpoleTadpole Posts: 2,134 New bride



    Sorry you are having to deal with this. Your Dad sounds like a very selfish man. Normally I am not one for the whole “its your wedding, you should be able to do whatever you want” because I think that parents and families look forward to weddings too - but I think in this case you are very much entitled to take that view. You’ve set your heart on something and your Dad doesn’t appear to have a good enough reason to not attend. And his behaviour in ignoring you etc. isn’t acceptable either.

    I think you should probably just call his bluff to be honest, arrange the wedding that you want and keep the door open for him to attend. If he fails to do so then it is entirely his loss and he will be the one that misses out on a great day. Not saying that you won’t miss him on the day as sure you’ll be aware that someone is missing – but you can hold your head up high knowing that you did all that you could and haven’t done anything unreasonable or antagonistic.

    Good Luck x

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  • We have a similar problem.  I actually live in the Netherlands, but my boyfriend says that he would like to get married in Scotland (where I am from).  In the Netherlands, you are expected to pay for everything and invite everyone you know - not what we want, so hence the suggestion of Scotland.

    His Mum and Dad are in their early 70s and when we made the suggestion last week that we thought about Scotland and how we could all go over on the ferry to Newcastle, the first thing his Dad said was 'oh, no, I don't want to do that - it means driving on the otherside of the road in another country etc'.  We hadn't even mentioned the driving thing - if anything, we will be driving, they will be the passengers.  But they are still not keen on the idea. Preferably, I would have liked it if they hadn't said anything straight away about it, maybe they could have said 'oh, let's discuss it another time when there are more details'

    So we're at a loss as to what to do as well....... I suggested flying, but my boyfriend says there is no way they will get on a plane.....

  • I think, given the problematic nature of your relationship with your Dad, changing your wedding plans because of his objections might be giving him too much power. If you have your heart set on New York, go with New York. Your Dad may chnage his mind, but I don't think you should compromise your dreams over someone who hasn't always been there for you. If you did give up your New York plans for your Dad maybe this would lead to resentment towards him after?

  • ka5ka5 Posts: 49

    Thank you so much for all of your advice ladies, I really do appreciate it, as I'm finding it so difficult to work out.

    Crabcakeface am sorry to hear whats been happening for you, sounds like a nightmare after all your effort. Why are some parents so damn difficult?! You must be so annoyed! Def agree that people who want to be there will make the effort. Hope all works out for your day.

    Thanks Toad Bride, had considered something similar but often end up somehow feeling bad for him in these situations but you are right. What made my h2b (first time i've used h2b - yay!) particularly angry was the ignoring me.

    Have been thinking about what you said Kitten and you def have a point, he could well be like it with everything, we thought he would like the New York idea as he has said he has always wanted to go to the US, however when I recently went to a friends wedding 15 min drive from our home town he commented how inconvenient the location is for getting home afterwards! He had previously mentioned the social club 3 min drive from his house and think he may only be happy if it is that convenient for him.

    Vodkaqueen, sorry you are in a similar situation, do you think they might come round? What do you think you'll do?

    Thanks thelegacyofmrsm, I do think it will and think I feel resentful to all the other ideas we have tried to consider because of this.


    Unfortunately the flight prices have dramatically increased over the last few days that we have been stressing about this and now really concerned that it may get too expensive for the time we had planned. Long talk with h2b needed I think. Thanks so much for all your thoughts, it really helps to get others thoughts as I dont talk to friends about these sorts of situations as so embarrassing that he's like this! Hope all is going well for you all x


  • Have you tried STA travel for flights? They are often much, much cheaper than elsewhere!

  • Hi lovely,


    Go ahead with what you want to do. If it was impossible for your dad to come, that would be a different story, however it sounds like he is just finding excuses. don't let him ruin your big day, a wedding is all about you and your husband to be, and what you want, it should be the best day of your life and one to get excited about. It's sad your dad thinks it's okay to guilt trip you, because it's not. Take a deep breath and do what you want for your own day. if your dad wants to come, he will come, if he doesn,t he will stay behind and doesn't deserve to be a part of your special day.


    Chin up xx

  • Well, I did approach the subject again as I mentioned this to my boyfriend as it seemed so similar to us. He said that now he isn't bothered if they don't come which is a shame thinking about it. He doesn't want to get married here in the Netherlands (we will have a party when we come back though) and if it comes to it he will be happy to have his best friend there. 

  • I would go and have my dream wedding in New York, it seems a bit disproportionate to cancel a whole wedding for 1 person, without a very good reason that is.

    I would go to New York & have him present via video link or something, in this day and age it must be possible?

    I hope all goes well.

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