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Hi everyone, I’m having a really hard time making a decision on a very sensitive subject. My biological father will be at my wedding because he’s recently (since his second wife died a couple of years ago) decided that he wants to be in my life. I have only seen him a handful of times over the past 25 years. He was never around, never came to any of my activities growing up, didn’t come to my high school graduation, never even sent so much as a birthday or Christmas card my whole life. But now that he’s older and his wife died, he’s lonely and expects our relationship to just suddenly be completely normal. 

I am extremely close to my stepdad though. He married my mom when I was 7 years old and has never, not even once, missed a single activity I’ve done since then. He is the one that came to all the “doughnuts for dads” events at school every year. He’s the one that financially supported me and is always right there if I need anything at all. I feel like he’s my “dad”. 

My problem is, since my biological father is coming to my wedding because he’s all sad, lonely, depressed, and feeling “sorry” for not being there for me growing up,  wants to make things right and I am TRYING to be the bigger person. BUT I don’t want to do the father/daughter dance with him. I think it would feel completely awkward and uncomfortable because he’s kinda like a stranger to me. My mom and my fiancé say that I need to include him because “he is trying” and it would really hurt his feelings to watch me dance with my stepdad instead of him. 



  • GlitterQueenGlitterQueen Posts: 73 New bride
    Hi there! As a person who has no relationship with their father and relates a lot to what you've mentioned about your childhood, I do not think you should include him in the bridal party. If he hasn't been there for you, he shouldn't walk you down the aisle or have the father/daughter dance moment with you. Why does he deserve that when your stepfather has been your true father figure? It's not unfair or harsh for you, on your wedding day, to include the people who have actually been there for you and love you. Some things can't be fixed and some things shouldn't be. I think it's incredibly kind and generous that you have even invited him and if you would like to rebuild that relationship that is great, but he cannot expect to play a major role when he hardly knows you and he cannot possibly be hurt that you would like to share this moment with your stepfather who was/is the father he should have been. 

    Just a thought, maybe have the dance with your mum instead? My mum is giving me away and we're having the 'father/daughter dance'. May save any hurt feelings?

    I really hope you have a wonderful day despite this :)
  • jess632jess632 Posts: 10 New bride
    edited 5 March
    Is it an option to consider skipping the father/daughter dance entirely? Your biological dad is bound to be a little hurt by it and it sounds like although he hasn't been around much you are both trying to work on developing a relationship. I'm sure he will understand that your step dad has had the bigger part in your life so far, but he's making an effort to get closer to you and if you have invited him to the wedding it seems like there's no need to rub it in that he hasn't been around.

    Perhaps simply not doing the dance would avoid hurting anyone's feelings? You could always have an impromptu slow dance with you step dad and not make it a 'thing' which is announced and watched.

    My background - I have a dad and a step dad too and am lucky to think of them both as my dads. We decided to actually have two weddings - a very small legal ceremony (which my biological father is attending) and then a larger wedding party/ blessing (which my step dad and rest of my family & friends are attending). I'll have a dance with my step dad at the wedding party and my biological dad will have had his special time with me at the legal ceremony. 
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