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Kayla
Beginner April 2021

Grandma Not Attending Wedding Because I’m Not Religious

Kayla, on September 8, 2019 at 6:04 PM Posted in Family and Relationships 0 14
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This is a spin on a question I’m sure has been asked too many times - but I can’t find anything with a specifically religious factor.

I grew up traditional Catholic, Grandma is still Catholic. I stopped going to church seven years ago, and Grandma has always hated that and has given me grief over it. Randomly, two and a half years ago I was at her house for a family dinner. They all prayed out loud before dinner and I bowed my head, clasped my hands, closed my eyes to be respectful. She elbowed me to get me to speak/pray but I didn’t budge. One hour later and we were outside as I showed her my new car. She then asked me why I didn’t pray, I responded that I didn’t do that anymore, and she super randomly said “OK. Well I’m not coming to your wedding. I just thought you should know.”

I wasn’t engaged, there was no talk of engagement at that time, etc. She was just holding onto that to spite me for a completely unrelated situation. Fast forward to now - our relationship is strained. I stopped going over there (she’s told me I was going to hell before, too), I see her maybe twice a year, and I just don’t prioritize her as part of my life. We have an engagement party at the end of September for immediate family and close friends. I told my mom that my grandparents are invited since they’re not on Facebook. She said she’d tell them, but I’ve been engaged for 2 months now and they’ve never called. I don’t think I really expect them to show up to the party.

I suspect most of you will tell me I should call them and personally invite them, and I’m totally willing to do that, but will it change anything? What would be the point if we’re not close anymore? Our wedding will be in Hawaii, and Grandpa refuses to fly, so I know they won’t attend. I’m just not sure what I think about it all and want your opinions.

14 Comments

  • Caytlyn
    Legend November 2019
    Caytlyn ·
    • Flag
    We don’t know if it will change anything. If you want them there, all you can do is try.
    • Reply
  • Formerbride
    VIP June 2019
    Formerbride ·
    • Flag
    Maybe it's just me but I've never been close to any of my grandparents. If my grandmother told me I was going to hell, I'd say "see you there" while flipping her off. Being old and/or religious doesn't give you the right to be a d. If you care, reach out. Don't do it to make her or your family happy. Sorry you're dealing with this!
    • Reply
  • Laura
    Rockstar October 2019
    Laura ·
    • Flag

    You can try, you may regret it if you don't, but they did seem to be pretty clear by not contacting you to at least congratulate you. If you try and get shot down it may hurt you more. This is not a great situation to be in, and i'm sorry you have to be. I would just follow your heart.

    • Reply
  • Renee
    Super October 2020
    Renee ·
    • Flag
    I'm sorry but it doesn't sound like she wants to come. Some people hold very strong religious beliefs and let that effect their relationship with other people. Despite the fact the Jesus is supposed to teach love and tolerance. I'd send an invitation and just expect them not to come.
    • Reply
  • kahlcara
    Master August 2013
    kahlcara ·
    • Flag

    Make the effort if *you* want to make the effort. My husband's grandmother stopped speaking to his entire side of the family (and all her grandchildren) around the time that we got married. It was weird but definitely intentional. At one point (before she stopped talking to everyone) she said some negative things about our marriage because I'm not Jewish and H's family is. We still sent her a wedding invitation because we wanted her to know that it was her choice not to be involved, not ours. She returned the RSVP in the mail with "Unable to Attend" circled, no note, no other contact even though H had called and left several voicemails that he was willing to come get her if travel was an issue. It is what it is, we've done what we can, and if she doesn't want to be involved, it's her loss.

    • Reply
  • Yam
    VIP September 2019
    Yam ·
    • Flag
    You might not get the reaction you’re hoping for but it sounds like you’re fully aware of that and being cautious. I think you’re on the right track. Think about this a while. Will you regret not saying anything? Make your decision based on how you’ll feel afterwards.
    My other grandmother isn’t quite as bad but she’s definitely a religious woman. She gave me bibles for every birthday. I had one in every color! Even now I get random notes and articles in the mail about “What would Jesus do?”, she knows I don’t practice religion. She hates my FH because he can’t be a “traditional man” and give me children, couples get married to have children. 🙄 He’ll never be good enough. This has strained our relationship over the years, so I do feel terrible for you that your grandmother has strained your relationship.

    I think she’ll regret her decision more than you will. You’re not the one missing out on the wedding.
    • Reply
  • Laura
    VIP November 2019
    Laura ·
    • Flag
    I would probably make the call to invite them to the engagement party, especially since they can’t/won’t travel for the wedding. And if they say something nasty or negative, at least you’ll know you did the right thing and their non-participation is their choice, not yours.
    • Reply
  • MrsD
    Legend July 2019
    MrsD ·
    • Flag

    I would just send them an invite in the mail like all our other guests, to be the bigger person.

    • Reply
  • N
    Dedicated October 2020
    Neena ·
    • Flag
    Send an invite anyway. If they don’t want to attend for whatever reason, that’s on them
    • Reply
  • Kayla
    Devoted November 2020
    Kayla ·
    • Flag

    I have a fairly strained relationship with my grandma as well, just not for religious reasons. I do get along with my grandpa really well (he will be officiating our wedding), so generally I don't run into this problem. But if it were just her, I do think I would regret not trying. If you send the invite, the ball is in her court. And hopefully she'll see that your relationship should extend beyond religion.

    • Reply
  • K
    Expert September 2020
    Ka-Rina ·
    • Flag
    How Christian of her... I am being sarcastic
    Not religious myself and do have quite a few issues with church as an institution but a few friends of mine who are truly religious and kind people would never misrepresent what God stood for in such a way. It's is awful of your grandmother to be this way.
    I agree you should send her an invite but not expect her to come. Angry old lady that's what she sounds like.
    • Reply
  • Bride2020
    Devoted May 2020
    Bride2020 ·
    • Flag

    I'm really sorry. Speaking as someone who's pretty religious, that is absolutely not at all how your grandma should have reacted to you literally just telling her you think differently than her, I hope you have actual kind religious people somewhere in your life showing you actual love! My grandparents can be the same way, my fiance and I started dating when we were 15 and 16, a few months into dating they asked when we were going to get engaged, we said it'd potentially be after college (you know, since they were asking two CHILDREN who had been dating for 2 seconds) and they freaked out about how we would be "tempted for too long to live in sin..." sooooooo, safe to say they've been pretty upset with us the past 5 years for not being married before we even have highschool diplomas?
    Extend the invite, if there was a chance they'd go I would say only invite them if you actually want them there, but with your grandpa not flying, it would just be a kind gesture. Best case, maybe she'll complain about it to someone who will tell her she's being crazy and she'll have a change of heart! Worst case, things just stay how they are.

    • Reply
  • privateuser
    privateuser ·
    • Flag

    This is a hard one. I also have a strained relationship with my grandmother and I didn't invite her to the wedding but she also lives far away and she doesn't speak to me or any other family in any capacity, so that was easy for me to be okay with.


    I would try to just remember that she is old and traditional and set in her ways and she will never understand why religion may not be as important to you as it is to her. Since the wedding is a destination wedding and you know your Grandpa can't come, I would just send them an invite to know that you still did the right thing and invited your grandparents who are older and won't be around much longer. I would not go out of my way to personally call them and try to convince her that she is wrong or you are right. It will be a lot of wasted energy.


    As far as the engagement party, you left that up to your Mom. If she's throwing the party, that is her responsibility to invite them, so I wouldn't go out of my way for that either.


    Just remember her beliefs are her beliefs and unfortunately affects her choices and they are not a reflection on you or your upcoming marriage.

    • Reply
  • Kayla
    Beginner April 2021
    Kayla ·
    • Flag
    This is all VERY helpful - I appreciate everyone’s input and have decided to see if they attend our engagement party since they’ve already been invited. We’ll send them an invitation to the wedding as well even though they’ll likely decline it. Thanks for discussing how it puts the ball in their court and then I’ve done what I can! Xoxo
    • Reply

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