Falling out with Dad over wedding

Hi all, sorry for the long message, just after a bit of perspective on a falling out with my Dad over my forthcoming wedding.

He initially offered to pay and wouldn't hear of my fiance's parents contributing at all, as he would find it embarrassing. My fiance and I are really low key as people and want a relaxed wedding. We're obviously incredibly excited but want a day which feels personal and intimate, and we're both pretty adament that it shouldn't be expensive, formal or traditional, as that just doesn't feel right for us.

Problems began shortly after we got engaged but have escalated dramatically over the past week, to the point where my Dad is now refusing to pay for anything because we want to do the reception in a pub or restaurant, and he thinks this is 'chavvy' and nothing special. He's said that no one will come if we do that and that I 'clearly didn't care and shouldn't bother getting married'. Yesterday he started saying that he will also refuse to pay if I don't get a prenuptial agreement. He's made various references to the fact that this is our 'first' wedding, which my fiance finds hurtful too. He has also threatened to not attend because I don't want to be walked down the aisle - my fiance is Scandinavian and tradition there is that the bride and groom walk the aisle together. This also feels much better to me, as the tradition of being 'given away' by your father doesn't sit well with me at all. I've said that I would like him to be involved in some other way, by giving a reading for example, but it isn't enough.

We can afford to pay for most of the wedding ourselves, and my fiance's parents have offered to fill the gap, so it's not really a matter of actually having to do anything my Dad wants. I just don't want to hurt him and I don't want a big falling out over it, but equally really resent the stress and negativity that he's bringing in to such an exciting and happy time, and don't want to be forced into having the wedding which neither I nor my fiance want.

Does anyone have any thoughts or perspective on this? I can't get it off of my mind.


  • Cazz13Cazz13 Posts: 67 New bride

    It's a tricky one, as it is your wedding but my personal opinion and not everyone will agree, that if someone is contributing they do have a say. 

    Perhaps look at venues that are not so formal (so exclude manor houses etc) that have a relaxed feel to it without being a particular venue that your father is not happy about. 

    A wedding is honestly not worth breaking up a family over, and worth looking at options that you are all happy with and compromise with each other. 

    We didnt want anything formal either so we are having an intimate wedding at a vineyard that's closeby :) 

  • I think Cazz13 suggestion above is a good compromise rather than a restaurant of pub, cold you find a venue where you feel comfortable, but is "classy" enough for your father?  I do not think parents should dictate what happens at a wedding just because they are paying, but we have had to make compromises to keep everyone happy.  I made a list of everything that was really important to me and I have not changed these things, but on other issues I have been flexible to keep the peace as it were.  Are there other members of your family who can help ease the situation with your dad?

  • I would explain to your Dad (or at least try to... he does kind of sound like he might not be willing to listen, but try your best) WHY you want/don't want these things, and emphasise that it is what you want and it will make you happy (I had a little issue the other day where my Mam thought I was making choices that I didn't want just to save money and she was concerned about it, I just had to assure her that I do actually want these things and they're not just a compromises, she felt a lot better knowing that)

    Ultimately, as the above said, a wedding isn't worth falling out with family over, but it is also very much you and your FI's day, no-one elses. I agree, if someone is paying, they should have some say, but within reason. It was HIS choice to pay for YOUR wedding, and he should understand and respect that you will be doing what makes YOU happy.

    I would go with paying yourselves with a bit of help from FI's family, and try including your Dad in ways that will make him happy, if nothing seems to make him happy, then keep him out of the planning process, and if he asks why, explain how he is making you feel bad. As you said yourself, this should be a happy time! Just remember that this is a day for you and FI and do what you need to to feel comfortable and happy x

    Remember, when stressed, simply channel your inner Bridechilla: Take a sand bath, munch some veggies, then chew on a wooden stick... wait... no... that's a Chinchilla... 

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  • I agree that a wedding isn't worth falling out with family over... But I think it's him that needs to be told that and not you? I don't think it's up to you to compromise on your wedding to keep him happy. It should absolutely be him who puts what wants aside to make you happy and if he doesn't care about that then why would you do everything he wants..?

  • Plus, I don’t think prenups are legal in the UK, if your dad really wants to push that point xx

  • GinAndBlingGinAndBling Posts: 1,311 New bride

    While I completely agree that it isn't worth falling out with family over a wedding, that's not all that is going on here is it. The comments about the prenup and first wedding are very personal IMO. If my future inlaws were saying anything like that I would be absolutely devastated and would expect my H2B to speak to them about it. 

    I think yes, don't fall out over the actual wedding but you definitely need to draw a line in the sand about the things he is saying about your relationship. 

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  • I would very respectfully decline your father's offer to pay and keep your plans to yourself.  Stand on your own two feet, keep a little distance (because you love him and don't want the wedding to keep coming between you), and he'll come around x

  • MrsWindsor2b wrote (see post):

    Plus, I don’t think prenups are legal in the UK, if your dad really wants to push that point xx

    They're not legally binding but a Judge is likely to uphold it as long as certain criteria have been met. Both parties need to have received independent legal advice before signing, there needs to be frank and full disclosure of both parties assets and neither party should have been put under pressure to sign. The prenup should also be reviewed at stages of the relationship and amended (i.e. when kids come along or after a certain period of time has elapsed).

    They also won't be upheld if signed less than a month before the wedding, as this counts as being under pressure to sign.

    My FiL to be wanted me to sign a pre-nup so I looked into it!

  • Honestly, if you can afford your wedding without financial help from your dad I would look into it. Don't let yourself be bullied! Your dad's current attitude is massively unfair and you shouldn't put up with it.

  • I disagree with someone on here that said you need to compromise. Why should you? It is your day. If you do not need the money then respectfully decline him, and do the wedding your way. He sounds very traditional and you are not, so he might not understand your choices, but you and your fiance need to do what is right for you. My Mum's face when I told her I was getting married in a wood and putting a tent up in a field was a picture!! They paid the venue deposit for us, and she wants to buy my dress, but that is it for the financial contributions, and she certainly wouldn't bully me into doing what she wanted. The only thing I can maybe see your dad's side on is the walking you down the isle thing. I wonder if there is some compromise you can come to there between your partner's tradition and yours? Walking a daughter down the isle is a very important thing to some Dads. xxx

  • RubyCatRubyCat Posts: 272 New bride

    Could the three of you walk down together therefore combining the two traditions?


    I really think there could be some compromise with bride and groom getting the final say on the venue.

  • I‘m sorry to hear that this is happening with your dad :(

    I think Ali said it perfectly. I would respectfully decline his financial aid, calmly ask him to avoid commenting on your relationship and get some distance for a while. Then enjoy planning the wedding that you want with your OH! 

    Best of luck.

  • Ambam19Ambam19 Posts: 586 New bride

    From another point of view - he’s probably also been thinking about this moment since you were born and walking you down the aisle. It sounds as though what other people think of him is important and he possibly won’t want to be seen as a cheapskate who only paid for a pub wedding for his daughter.

    i suspect that his pride his hurt more than anything else xx

  • Thanks all, it's been really useful to read all of your responses from people with different perspectives. My Dad has a history of this kind of behaviour so most of my friends are totally unsympathetic as to his whims, but it's nice to hear some different viewpoints. I think we are going to compromise by have the ceremony somewhere more fancy, with a drinks reception there afterwards, and then move on to the pub for the meal and evening do (we're getting married in London so will have a routemaster between the two).

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