Bridechilla Q&A – Should I tell my dad about our wedding?

by Aleisha

I am getting married in about six months and we've put together our guest list of about 40 people, which feels like a good number.

The only issue that I've run into so far is I haven't told my dad that I'm getting married. I'm at the point now where if I'm going to tell him, I need to tell him... but I don't want to tell him.

I have chosen not to invite him. I decided that pretty early on. My fiance, my mom, and everybody else whose opinion matters supported me in that. He is not very pleasant to be around, and I don't have a good relationship with him. I just decided I didn't want to feel uncomfortable on my wedding day. I knew I wasn't going to invite him but I didn't know if I was going to tell him before I get married.

I feel like if I tell him, then it opens up the conversation for him - first, to be judgmental about how we're doing things because we're not doing anything traditional, and that's how he would want it to be. Also, he would assume that he should be invited, and I don't want to invite him.

I've been talking to people, my future in-laws and some friends and told them that I wasn't going to tell my dad, and they're making me feel like it's this awful thing that I'm doing.

I wasn't feeling guilty about it until I started telling people and then I saw their reactions. I don't know if I'm being an asshole? I don't want to be but that's how people are making me feel about it.

I don't know if I should care what anybody else thinks. But, if I really am being terrible, I feel like I need somebody to tell me that. Am I being terrible? Please tell me. I figured that maybe I would tell him after or he would just see it on Facebook and figure it out. I don't know. Even just saying it makes me feel bad but I just don't want to tell him because I don't want to have that stress. Anyway, I would appreciate your thoughts. Thanks a lot.

​- Bridechilla Ashley in Sacramento

First of all, you are not awful. Family relationships can be complicated and messy, and it is not any one else's beeswax who you invite to the wedding. So don't let the opinions of others get you down or make you second guess your decision.

As to the question of how and when to tell your dad about the wedding, ultimately only you know what the best choice is. If you would rather he not be involved, send a wedding announcement shortly after the event just like you would with other family members who were not invited. If you do choose to tell him ahead of the wedding you are absolutely correct in that he may assume he is invited and you may have to deal with some unsolicited opinions.

If you do opt to tell him before the event, do so close to the event date when all the decisions are final and calmly explain that the details are not up for discussion.

Whatever you do, do not feel guilty about the choice to not include him. When and how you tell him is up to you, but we hope these ideas help.

Happy Days!

About the Author: Erica Greenwold Reisen is the lead planner and designer at Folie à Deux Events. She specializes in authentic, unique events for couples who like to challenge traditions and do their own thing. She is also the founder and editor of Secularly Wed, a wedding blog dedicated to meaningful, non-religious wedding planning. You may have seen Erica around the Bridechilla community as she is also part of our team here at the show, managing marketing partnerships and blog submissions.

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