Trudy
Beginner October 2021

Do i invite my parents?

Trudy, on June 5, 2021 at 7:50 AM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 20
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Hi Lads and Ladies, I'd really appreciate your thoughts; good,bad,brutal.. let's have it as I'm slightly losing it ;-)


I've been estranged from my parents for several years. Long story short, my dad stopped talking to me when I went to live with my boyfriend during my late 20s (I'm now 40) because he's very religious and we were living in sin.

Iv did try over the years to make amends but he wouldn't budge. I finally stopped trying 5 years ago and in the process have lost my mum and sister ie they won't really speak to me despite trying to make amends last year when I reached out to them.

We were planning to get married last year, then COVID came, so post-phoned our wedding to this Oct. Hotel rang last month asking if we were still interested in going ahead. I texted my sister asking if she'd like to come. Her response was it'll be awkward if parents are not invited. I really want my sister there but not my parents. They haven't been part of my life for so long and if I'm honest, as we're having a small wedding, I just don't want to be playing happy families for the sake of keeping up appearances. If my sister doesn't comes, it'll just be my aunt and uncle who'll be family on my side. I also want to be fair to my fiancé. We've been engaged for over 4 years and the whole anxiety I face owing to family issues just keeps making me push out the wedding. So my question is do I invite my parents so that my sister will come. Have any of you who got married/getting married not invited your parents? How did/do you feel? If your parents didn't come, who walked you down the aisle? Any advice is appreciate. Thank you so much.


20 Comments

Latest activity by Florida Marlins, on June 7, 2021 at 2:37 PM
  • AJ
    Super October 2022
    AJ ·
    • Flag

    I say don't invite your parents, but do invite your sister. She can come if she wants, but don't invite your parents for her sake. You want your wedding to be attended by those most near and dear to you and your fiancé, and since your parents are not near or dear to you - skip on inviting them.

    Also on the walking down the aisle thing - you could have someone close to you walk you down (like your uncle) or you could walk down yourself - there are no rules, do what you want!

    I have a different situation (not parents but still family) we will not be inviting my fiance's half brother for various reasons, his grandparents threatened not to come if we don't invite him but they will still be getting an invite, if they chose not to come and support their grandson on his wedding day - thats on them, not on us. (so if you invite your sis and she choses not to come and support you for that reason, thats on her - not on you)

    Good luck on your upcoming wedding, I'm sure it will be beautiful!

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  • Trudy
    Beginner October 2021
    Trudy ·
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    Thank you so much AJ. Really appreciate your advice. You know.. I am seriously thinking of walking down the aisle myself. I like your idea thou of asking an uncle. I will invite my sister and I hope she comes. I hope his grandparents come too and you guys have wonderful day
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  • AJ
    Super October 2022
    AJ ·
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    Thanks Trudy!

    I hope they come too, my fiance would be crushed if they didn't since he is very close with them. I hope your sister comes to your wedding!

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  • B
    Super July 2017
    Becky ·
    • Flag

    I'm just going to say it - this *sucks* - and I hate it for you. Unfortunately, you can't change who your parents are, and they've been showing you who they are for 10+ years. The fact that your mom "sided" with your dad is not surprising, she likely doesn't want to rock the boat - though I can't imagine not rocking that particular boat were it me. Your sister is (I assume) an adult. Invite her. If she chooses not to come because your parents weren't invited, that's on her.

    Celebrate with the people who love you. I get that it's difficult not having as much family attend as your FH will - H had double the number of family members attend as I did (partly because he has a HUGE family and I don't). Remember his family will be your family (seems like they maybe have been since you've been living together) and that the people who love and support you are your true family.

    Walk yourself, ask your uncle, ask a friend, for your aisle walk. Whatever you do, seek some help to stop your parents (your dad particularly) living in your head. You do not need to "make amends" for your life choices. You do not need to apologize for your life choices. You didn't kill someone, or rob a bank. You chose to live your life in the way you wanted. I would talk to a counselor or therapist, someone who can help you get past this.

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  • whirlwind
    Devoted March 2021
    whirlwind ·
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    I walked down the aisle myself. My parents couldn't be at my wedding due to covid. Though we have a good relationship.

    I had two flowergirls who walked before me and hold tight onto my bouquet as I walked down the aisle holding back tears.
    It was beautiful. I wouldn't worry about who walks you down the aisle. More and more brides walk alone. Of course if you have a good relationship with your uncle and you want to ask him that's also a good idea.

    Otherwise, I am really sorry for what you go through. I would invite your sister and let her know how much it would mean if she came. If you think you would regret at a later point not inviting your parents, I would invite them. But maybe visit them before with your fiancé and see how that goes. If that's awful it probably wouldn't be any better at the wedding.
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  • K
    Dedicated September 2021
    K ·
    • Flag
    Do you think they would even come if you invited them? It doesn’t sound like they would be interested, from your description.


    I’m going to play devil’s advocate because you’ve already gotten some good advice echoing what you already would like to do, and there’s nothing wrong with following that advice. But I think it’s always good to consider alternatives in these situations so you can feel like you made the right choice when it’s all said and done.
    Coming from a difficult relationship with my parents also (I’m not estranged from them but I might be if I wasn’t constantly putting in the effort to not be), and having watched my mother be estranged from her parents for many, MANY years only to make amends at the end of her parents’ life... I’m going to suggest inviting them if you think it’s possible that their presence will not be a major distraction to you and that they won’t make a scene or anything. And also that if you invite them and they don’t come, you will not feel extremely hurt by it.
    I really believe in family and that marriage is not just about the couple, but about the family as well. I think there’s a chance you’ll regret not inviting them. Sometimes people are ready to make amends but their pride is in the way and they need the other person to extend a hand (again). Whether you’re still religious or not, the way Jesus told people to treat one another is not a terrible way to live.
    Obviously do what is best for you and your (soon to be) family. I just wanted to throw in another perspective in case you needed or wanted to hear it.
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  • D
    Savvy April 2022
    Dabblinggadwall ·
    • Flag
    I really like K’s advice. I couldn’t be less religious, and imagine how hard my eyes rolled at your parents when I read the reason for your dispute. That said...it sounds to me like you have really tried to repair this relationship, and that you’d really LIKE to repair this relationship (NOT that you should be the person trying to repair ANYTHING, but I digress). It also sounds like, reading between the lines of your sister’s response, that they might like to be invited.
    I don’t know. It’s so unfair that here you are trying to make amends with your parents for living as if it’s the 21st century. But like K said, IF you think they won’t make a scene, and IF you won’t be horribly disturbed by their presence (and fair enough if you would)...it would be really nice for you to ask, and really nice for them to accept.
    But I can’t emphasize enough that like, you gotta go with your gut. Is it that you don’t want to go through the act of inviting them, or that you don’t want them there?? If any part of you might enjoy the idea of them being there, I’d try to embrace that, only because you’ve said how many times you’ve tried to reach out.
    Again, go with your gut. Have the responses telling you not to invite them given you relief and validation? Then don’t invite them. Did K’s response suggesting maybe you reach out AGAIN make you feel a little hope? Whatever you decide, you’re right. Smiley smile best of luck here. My heart goes out to you.Also, walk by yourself!!! Take that attention girl!
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  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle Online ·
    • Flag

    If you are estranged from parents and have no relationship with them, then it doesn’t make sense to invite them just because. Only invite those you can’t imagine the day without. If that is your sister, then definitely invite her. She can decide what to do on her own.

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  • Jasmine E.
    Rockstar May 2022
    Jasmine E. ·
    • Flag
    I agree with the others above; invite your sister, but not your parents. All your guests should be supportive of your relationship. You can walk down the aisle alone, with your best friend, with your dog/cat if you have one, or even meet your fiancé at the end of the aisle and walk together.
    • Reply
  • Dj Tanner
    June 2021
    Dj Tanner ·
    • Flag
    Mine didn’t go and it was the best decision I ever made
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  • Trudy
    Beginner October 2021
    Trudy ·
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    Thank you so much Becky for your advice. Your comment re not killing someone or robbing a bank really resonated with me. This is exactly what I've been telling myself the last nearly two decades. I don't know or probably will never understand why my parents don't speak to me. I do say there's always two sides to every story but it does hurt a lot. Sorry, I'm blabbering now and going off topic. Thank you again for your advice. I'm going to invite my sister. Not my parents. Fingers crossed she comes. I really liked your idea of counselling. Haven't gone in years but now it not a bad time to start again
    • Reply
  • Trudy
    Beginner October 2021
    Trudy ·
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    Thank you so much whirlwind for your advice. I'm sorry to hear your parents couldn't be at your wedding. Thank you for sharing you walked down the aisle yourself. More I think of it, I'm becoming more accepting of walking down myself too. I really hope they that you can celebrate your special day again with your parents.
    I appreciate your advice visiting parents before the wedding. It had crossed my mind but if I'm honest the only time my parents met my FH was thanks to my aunt and uncle ie they arranged a meet up. It was so awkward but I knew parents wouldn't kick off because we were in a public place. There was a lot of bitting lips and holding back.. uugghh no, the more I think of it, it's best not inviting them.
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  • Trudy
    Beginner October 2021
    Trudy ·
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    Thank you K. I do appreciate your advice and I'm sorry to hear you're experiencing difficult times with your parents. A huge high five to you for consistently reaching out. I mean that! I do guilt myself thinking I should've done more. But then I look back at the times I've texted, rang, visited only to be pushed away. Their presence will be a major distraction to me. I think the main thing is they haven't been part of my life for so long, why invite them but I do appreciate your opinion from another perspective. Hope you'd a fabulous day and enjoying married life
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  • Trudy
    Beginner October 2021
    Trudy ·
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    Love it Dabblinggadwall. Thank you for your advice. You've given me food for thought ie reaching out to parents. My main issue and prob why I just don't want them there is that I reached out to my mum and sister when covid started seeing if they were ok. I never got a response back. But I do try to be the bigger person and maybe will visit them before the wedding. They both work in high powered jobs so it's prob going to be the etiquette coming out of them if we visit but hey visiting is something to consider. Oh the drama :-)
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  • Trudy
    Beginner October 2021
    Trudy ·
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    Thank you Michelle for your advice. Really appreciate the time you've taken to respond. That's exactly how I feel. It doesn't make sense to invite them. Like I often think if they weren't my parents, would I be even considering inviting them. Bad as this sounds.. but no way!
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  • Trudy
    Beginner October 2021
    Trudy ·
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    Oh I love it. Thank you so much Jasmine. That's an excellent idea about meeting my fiancé at the end of the aisle. Never thought of that. Thank you
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  • Trudy
    Beginner October 2021
    Trudy ·
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    I'm sorry DJ Tanner for prob the stress you had with your parents. I'm so glad thou to know it was the best decision you ever made. Thank you for responding. It's giving me hope too
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  • K
    Dedicated September 2021
    K ·
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    Thanks, and I just want to clarify that my parents will respond when I reach out, even though it’s strained. I didn’t meant to imply that my effort is better or more consistent than yours.
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  • Nadia
    Beginner June 2020
    Nadia ·
    • Flag
    I'm so sorry that you have to go through this! It would be ideal for your family to be there but I understand that the circumstances are difficult. I say invite your sister if she decides to come great if not then there isn't nothing you can do but to pray they will all eventually come around! Best of luck to you!
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  • Florida Marlins
    Expert October 2017
    Florida Marlins ·
    • Flag

    I would not invite them as I would be concerned over making your wedding a healing therapy session. Invite your sister. Sounds like having the parents there would be challenging. Plus your dad could pop off and lecture guests (and you!) on your past choices. As for your sister, well it is not her wedding now is it? Best wishes!

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