Father not attending my wedding

We booked our venue last year after 6 months of looking! We have paid deposit for venue and an extra £1000 off the total cost. 

We have booked, photographer, make up and flowers and put deposits down on them all. On Thursday evening my mother decided to message me and tell me my father won't be coming to our wedding. We have never had a good relationship but I thought he may be able to get passed that for one day.

I've been very upset about the whole thing and we are now considering getting married abroad. The main reason we booked UK was because my father has never been abroad and would not fly anywhere. 

I'm just really hurt by everything, my Dad has been abusive in he past and there are long standing issues but I didn't envisage having no one there to walk me down the aisle and my Dad not making a speech and having to explain to people why he isn't there. It's humiliating and feels like another way for my Dad to hurt me. 


Has anyone else been through anything similar? A part of me wants to just move on and start booking a new wedding but I keep crying spontaneously when I think about the actual wedding day :( 


  • My heart goes out to you. I completely understand how you feel. I got married at the end of May and a long story short, my dad didn't come. He is a high functioning alcoholic who has had periods of sobriety but for whatever reason he fell off the wagon big style 2 months before The wedding. Even with multiple hospital admission and lots of help (including us paying for private rehab, which fairly kills your wedding budget!) he didn't manage to stay sober for the two days he needs before flying from NI to the wedding. The heart breaking decision to proceed without him was made on the Thursday morning and we got married on the Saturday. 

    Please try to keep your head up and surround yourself with those closest to you, the friends whom you have chosen to be your family. I know it's hard. Let the emotions out. 

    In my experience it was better that dad wasn't at my wedding (as painful as that is to verbalise). I had the most wonderful day surrounded by friends and family and they where all amazing. If my father had come there would have been the stress of how is he, what is he doing, tension with family members etc. I was able to relax and just enjoy my day.

    I thought it would seem like something was missing if dad wasn't there but it didn't. There was so much other stuff going on and the day. mum walked me down the aisle and that was a lovely moment. My sisters gave a speech which was beautiful. I text friends the day before the wedding simply to say that dad wasn't coming at the I was emotionally fragile and didnt want to talk about it. Everyone was wonderfu. 

    People make choices in life, if your father is choosing not come then that is his loss. He is the one missing out seeing his daughter married and he will need to live with that. 

    On a practical note, i would say if you're going to change your plans do it for the right reasons. Don't let one person derail it all. Also, inform the photographer etc just to avoid any awkward monents. 

    Sending you a big virtual hug and wishing you all the best xxx

  • Hi Joanne, I haven't posted on here before but I had a situation that was similar for my wedding a few weeks ago.

    I'm not close to my dad since he met his new wife. 

     In the run up to the wedding he started to show loads of interest, inviting us round for dinner etc. But I always knew I wanted my mum and to do a speech as she brought us up. I also felt it would be hypocritical for him to walk me down the aisle. He didn't take the news well, and eventually decided not to come to the wedding at all. 

     I got married a few weeks ago and it was absolutely amazing. He always creates tension and not having anything to worry about was amazing. My mum did a wonderful speech and no-one asked about him not being there (most of my side knew the reason anyway). I had toyed with the idea of doing a first look with my husband-to-be but in the end decided to walk by myself and honestly it felt so amazing! 

     Try not to let other people's decisions affect you. You can't change who he is or how he behaves, I was upset that yet again, my dad made my wedding about him. We got married abroad and I have no regrets, and I didn't miss him once all weekend. Its their decision how they behave and ultimately they are the ones that lose out. You will be surrounded by people who love you and your husband to be- enjoy and celebrate that and don't let him taint another aspect of your life. 


  • bella2015bella2015 Posts: 1,903 New bride

    I think your dad sounds very selfish and ultimately he will regret his decision down the line. Are your mum and dad still together?  Do you think he might change his mind closer to the time?

    I wouldn't worry about what other people think, it says more about him than it does you and you'll still have a brilliant day regardless. Please don't let this ruin your wedding planning. 


  • Katherine66Katherine66 Posts: 1,234

    I think your mum could have at least told you on the phone rather than a message i think that is bad!     


    Sounds like the tears are anger and frustration, your brain is still processing what happened and those feelings will ease.   It is maddening when we envisage a perfect day and someone spoils our dreams.     Give yourself time to consider what has happened then decide what you want to do, cancel it and go elope or go ahead just make sure its what you want to do. 


    I hope it goes well for you. 

  • Laura349Laura349 Posts: 1,001 New bride

    I feel for you. I'm not close to my biological dad. The first time I met him in person was at my sisters funeral last year! I've known about him for a young age (him and my mum split when I was 2 and he's not bothered much since I got in contact with him in 2013!) 

    He said at my sisters funeral they he should make more of an effort with me as I love across the other side of the country to him. 

    Since he said that I've heard nothing from him, nothing at Christmas or My birthday. I've not said anything to him about my wedding plans - although I've sent the odd message trying to see if he'd talk (he'd read it and no reply) 

    So I'm wondering why I bother at the minute, the only other person who understood this waa my sister who sadly isn't here anymore! (She was only 33) 

    My step dad has been in my life since I was 6, so he's giving me away etc at my wedding. I call him dad anyway as he's the one who's been there through everthing and bothers with my son. 

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