Fed up. Feel like we should just elope ..

Hi all,

So I’m due to get married in June 2020 in Rhodes. Have had the date booked for over a year, and all family have been made aware and up until recently most were all perfectly happy to attend.

I completely understand it’s a big ask of anyone to get them to attend your destination wedding, and when we booked this we accepted from the offset a fair few people might not be able to attend. However what I didn’t foresee is facing the possibility of getting married potentially without my own dad there ...

So here is the situation. My parents are divorced and have both remarried. I have step sisters on both sides. My Dad’s teenage step daughter will be sitting her GCSE’s around the same time as my wedding next year so obviously there’s no way she could attend, of course it would have been lovely to have her there but I totally get that her exams take priority, plus although I like the girl a lot we’re not majorly close (I’m 13 years older than her and only saw her maybe every other weekend growing up) so while it’s not ideal, it’s just one of those things.

However my Dad has expressed how unhappy he is with the whole thing, his wife has refused to attend with him if her daughter is unable to attend as she feels she has to stay behind in the UK with her during her exams, and of course my Dad doesn’t want to have to come out to Greece by himself, plus logistically it just wouldn’t work as most hotels won’t allow you to book a room for a single person and there’s not really anyone he can stay with. My Dad had suggested to me that I should try and change my date so she would be able to attend, reluctantly I have tried to do this, I emailed my wedding planner and have been informed there were no other dates available in the month of June for my chosen venue, July and August are out of the question, I have 2 young children myself and flights and accommodation are over double the price in those months and completely unaffordable for us (and most of the other guests for that matter) my dad then suggested September, my own little girl will be starting school that September and I’m unwilling to pull her out of school in the first few weeks while she’s still settling in (although he thinks I should as my little girls first days at primary school are less important than my stepsisters GCSE’s, well I’m sorry but my own daughter is more important to me than my step sister) he then suggested postponing for the following year, which we just do not want to do since we’ve held off for 3 years already plus we’d lose £1500 if we did this. I already know the obvious solution to the problem, in my opinion my Dad and his wife should attend (even if only for 4 nights) and step sister should stay behind with her grandma who she stays with often, and has stayed with on several occasions whilst my Dad and his wife have gone on holiday by themselves. However I’m afraid to suggest this to them as it will result in a huge row with the both of them my stepmum in particular, as they will see it as unreasonable for me to ask them to leave her behind and me selfish for suggesting it (although they’re perfectly happy to do so when it suits them). I suspect the real issue here is that my sister who is a year older than my step sister will be attending and my step sister will essentially be left out of what is a family holiday with a wedding in between and they’re not happy about it. Although she isn’t the only family member who isn’t able to be there, my nieces, nephews, brother in law and my fiancé’s nephews also are unable to attend due to school and the expense (which we have accepted graciously and so have they). I understand my Dad’s wife and stepdaughter are very important to him, but I think in these circumstances I should take priority. I think ten years down the line my stepsister will not care or remember that my stepmum wasn’t around for a few days during her GCSE’s but I will remember it and be hurt for the rest of my life if my Dad doesn’t walk me down the aisle, and as terrible as it sounds I don’t believe I should have to bend over backwards, lose a substantial amount of money and postpone for the following year to have somebody there who I’m frankly not really that close to.

My fiancé’s family have been no issue, most have already booked the time off work and are now looking forward to it, a few have said they’re unable to come for one reason or another, but have wished us well anyway. His sister is also leaving her two very young children behind to attend but has made no issue of it.

My Mum has also recently had a huge fallout with my future in laws which is a whole other story, and she has said she certainly would not be attending the wedding (although I believe once the dust settles she might come round) even still, I’m facing the very real possibility of having to get married without either of my parents there. Even if they both attended, the two of them really don’t get on so with the tension between the two of them, and my in laws, plus stepmum will just make it a horrible day.

I suggested to my fiancé that we should just forget all the family politics and drama and just take the kids, have a holiday out of it, get married then announce to our family when we got home. He doesn’t want to get married without his parents there understandably, and deep down I want mine to be there too. 

What on earth do I do here? I want to avoid a huge fallout, but I don’t want to lose my money or wait another year, and I would like my mum and dad to be there. Arrrghhhh! I hate all these family dramas

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