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Not Invited to Son's Wedding

Started by bd, July 09, 2010, 07:26:49 am

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Help! I need some duct tape for a few days. The wedding is tomorrow and the kids have not invited anyone (just the officiant & a photographer who are both "friends". My future DIL is from another country & feels that since her family cannot attend that none of my son's family should be there either. She told me it's not "fair". I am trying to remind myself that this is their choice and that I should be accepting. However my heart is aching that such an important event in their lives will not be shared with, celebrated or witnessed by any family.

I'll be seeing future DIL today and am hoping that I can share her enthusiasm but it's not easy to get excited about an event that I'm not allowed to witness. I'm trying to keep myself from saying anything I will regret but feel very sad that I cannot share in this momentous event. I could use any wisdom or advice from those of you who have "been there". Thanks.


Been there!  :( When one of my sons married, his bride (DIL #2 form H.l), didn't want anyone to attend but the two witnesses required by law. (They had both been married before.) He wanted his brother and it was "easier" to have his bother's wife ( DIL #1 from H.) be the other witness. I felt like I was on another planet. They did have a reception and we went to that. The marriage didn't last. Why was I not surprised? (And totally relieved!)
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


BD, I've not been there but I feel for you. Take care of yourself - is there something special you and your family can do instead while this event is taking place? Best wishes and hugs to you all.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


I hope you can keep your feelings to yourself for the sake of your future relationship with your DIL.

My xH lived across the country (moved there with his parents after we were engaged) and we decided to get married out there. I wanted exactly what your DIL wanted, but my pushy xMIL insisted that their family be there and that we be married in a church. I wanted a small family reception, she invited people I didn't even know and my xH had only met once or twice. It was awful. Being 18 (and stupid and naive) I caved and let it happen.  Then, she never gave me my wedding photos. I never saw them. She didn't "trust" me with them.

Even when my marriage to my xH was still good, I looked back on that day with resentment and anger. I was bulldozed by MIL into something I didn't want. A day that should have been all about me and my xH became all about her and she thought she was doing me a favor, doing what she thought was best. She didn't take my feelings about MY wedding day into account as they weren't important.

The reason I wanted what your DIL wants was because my own Mom was so jealous and upset that I was not having a wedding and she would not be able to see me be married but MIL would. She bullied me into wanting only two witnesses there. In going to a justice of the peace, I was trying to honor my Mom's feelings on it.

Between these two selfish women, I didn't even get to think about what I really wanted. I have no idea what I would have done if left to my own devises.

Step back from this and realize that this is not at all about you, but about what these two want on this special day. You may disagree with it, and your expectations might be disappointed, but, so what? This isn't your marriage. You don't want to meddle here and you only want to show happiness and joy for them on this occasion even if you might be crying inside. And, please, please don't make any snarky comments about it in the future. I know it will be hard, but bite your tongue as hard as you have to. I had to listen to these kinds of comments from both MIL who thought I was happy with what she did for my and from my Mom who boo hooed about how she didn't get what she wanted on MY wedding day. No one cared one whit about how I felt about it. Please don't make this same mistake. I know you are better than my Mom and my MIL.

I am sorry I am using strong language here, I didn't realize I was still bitter about it, time to work on that. This was 20 some years ago and I still feel resentment towards my M and my xMIL about this. I just don't want your DIL to think of you as I thought and still think of my xMIL. Believe me, it isn't good.

Instead, why don't you ask her if she will allow you to throw them a family party to celebrate? Only invite as many people as she is comfortable and consult with her on if she has any other sort of preferences and honor them even if they don't make sense to you. She is starting a whole new life in a new country far away from her family. It will be both a happy and difficult time for her. Don't make it any more difficult than it already is for her.


Isn't it interesting how long these things fester sometimes? You take a look and when you do, there it is...the hurt. Good to take it out and look at it and share. I think it helps all of us. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Thanks, Louis. I was kind of surprised at how strong my feelings still were about it. It just goes to show that if you don't deal with stuff like this when it happens, it festers and becomes toxic. Time to do some housecleaning!!


I thought about this and thought about this....

Marriage is a very personal, intimate institution between ONE man and ONE woman, it has nothing to do with parents.  While its tradition (not biblically required) for family and friends to celebrate the marriage, thus receptions, the ceremony itself is sacred.  If I had it to do all over again, I certainly would have grabbed two strangers on the beach to be witnesses instead of the 500+ people CIRCUS that was my wedding!     

That being said, I do hope that a reception is in the works!  If it's not, you and your DIL's mother need to get to work on that, no matter what your feelings are about the ceremony, reach out to her.  Respect their wishes, it's their day.  Instead of focusing on your own hurt feelings, rejoice that you are gaining a daughter, and treat her as such.  If you hold this against her, you're asking for trouble.       


I sure agree with you about "grabbing two strangers on the beach." When Val and I married, we had two witnesses because it was the law and that was it. Wonderful!!!!  ;D ;D
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama