Wedding fall out - feeling guilty(34 Posts)
A got married quite recently. I invited all my aunts, uncles and cousins on my mum's side. I have great aunts and uncles on my dad's side who I've met once. I don't know their names nor would I recognise their faces. I also have first cousins who I don't know on my dad's side - his sister is dead and he didn't stay in contact with herchildren (this happened before I was born)
So I invited 6 of my parents closest friends so that they'd have a fairer amount on 'my family' side.
Dad got offended I hadn't invited great aunts and uncles. I said that I didn't know them or their names which is why I hadn't invited them, apologised, and gave my parents the choice of who to invite - the great aunts and uncles, or their friends. They chose their friends.
In the end, lots of my family dropped out of coming. My DP had 25 on his side and I ended up with 16, out of an invited 22. 85 people came to the wedding altogether. My parents paid for 30 percent of the wedding
Now my mum is making passive aggressive comments about there being no one invited from my dad's side. I find it hard to talk.openly with her and don't want a huge argument to blow up.
I feel desperately sad for my dad, but equally this situation is partially due to his lack.of effort - I think it's easier for them to blame me rather than accept that they haven't stayed in touch with people.
Have I hugely misjudged this? Should I have invited them anyway as well as their friends? I am feeling very guilty.
Your wedding is in the past so you can't change things now. I'd call my dad and say I'd realised how upset he was and I'm sorry that I didn't understand how important his family attending was at the time.
I wouldn't feel all that guilty though, you gave them a choice and they chose their friends but for the sake of peace and harmony I'd probably say sorry.
YANBU it is your wedding, not theirs! Fair enough they paid for some of it but you invited a very fair proportion of your family. Don't mention it again, and try to focus on positive memories of your day. If they don't drop it, just ignore them. I don't see a need to apologise.
And congratulations on your wedding!
You can't do anything about this now, because yes you did misjudge it by not having the discussion with them about whether they would prefer friends or family there, and work out how to allocate the number of invitations available amongst the 'possibles' for invitations What you think they should prefer is not what they actually did prefer.
But it was your wedding, and the final say was yours. So you need to keep assuring your parents about all the positive reasons you had for inviting the friends - what they mean to you, how closely you are in touch etc. only time will heal this one, but stressing all your positive reasons (ie you weren't just second guessing a parental preference) will also give positive associations for you.
If he wanted his family to be invited to events like his childrens weddings, he should have stayed in touch with them and let his children know them. PLUS you let him choose whether he wanted his family or his friends and HE chose his friends!
It's all on him. Tell your ma to shut it.
because yes you did misjudge it by not having the discussion with them about whether they would prefer friends or family there, and work out how to allocate the number of invitations available amongst the 'possibles' for invitations What you think they should prefer is not what they actually did prefer
Read the post, she DID give them the choice.
YABVU to feel guilty. It was your wedding, why would you invite people you don't know to celebrate something? Have you/your parents been invited to any of their important family events in the last few years?
I'm surprised this is an issue given that you did have a discussion with your parents about it and they chose friends rather than his family.
Sounds like they didn't feel it was resolved properly then and I think they need to take responsibility for not making it clearer then really.
I think you're right shipwrecked - it's possible my mum pushed for the friends and now is putting the guilt back on me.
Ah, the joy of cyclical family guilt
When DH and I got married he had a grandparent, parents, a sibling, three aunties, three uncles and tonnes of cousins. I had one relative, three friends and that was it. Makes me feel pretty rubbish tbh but I had no option so had to make the best of it. Helped that we refused his side and her side in the Church..
Honestly, the one thing I tell anyone planning a wedding is that you will never please everyone so just please yourselves.
You gave them a choice, you were more than fair. Bollocks would I have a bunch of strangers at my wedding and that's who these 'family nembers' are to you. If she starts again, just remind her they were given the choice and they chose and she is spoiling your wedding memories by hitching about a decision THEY MADE. So to kindly shut up.
Has you dad actually said he is sad about this? Or is it just crappy comments from your mum hinting at it?
Perhaps getting your dad on his own and having a chat might work?
Next time your mum makes a comment about not anyone from your Dad's side reply with "yes, it's a pity neither of you kept in touch with his family so they are strangers to me."
If she's going to play the guilt game, she should make sure she does it from a position of strength (as in, if she and your Dad had made an effort with these people if they matter so much to them).
My dad is very very passive - it was my mum who told me he was 'devastated' about his family being 'forgotten' - when I challenged them both about the situation he apologised, but I think he prefers to just ignore the sadness there. If I try and talk to him I think it will make things worse. I had to call him 3 times to get a decision about who to invite in the end.
I know - both my mum's family and dads family are from the same town. When I visited my GPS and cousins, we never, ever visited these great aunts or uncles. One of them sends me a birthday card every year but I've only met her once.
Just remembered - one if them sent us £40 as a wedding gift which started the guilt!
Then I think you have absolutely nothing to feel guilty about. There's nothing more you could have done.
And it's really crappy of your mum to spoil your memories like this. I second the other posters suggesting ways of shutting her down.
Shitty behaviour from your Mum. The wedding is over so the only possible reason for her saying this to her is to make you feel bad. Which is pretty horrible if you think about it. Tell her to stop trying to ruin your memories.
In my opinion I think it quite odd that he is making you feel guilty over not inviting people he is not in touch with to the degree that you can't even name them. They are effectively strangers. I find it odd that people are "family" for occasions and then not for the rest of the year.
Have you sent a thank you for the £40? Apart from it being the right thing to do, it might open up a chance of a relationship for you and them, independent of your father.
Congratulations on your marriage.
I think it's easier for them to blame me rather than accept that they haven't stayed in touch with people.
I suggest that you say that to them. Point out that if you had grown up knowing these people and visiting them regularly then of course you would have invited them, and the reason you didnt was because they are strangers to you because your parents didnt stay in touch with them.
They wont like it, but frankly it doesnt sound like you can do anything right at the moment so you may as well tell them the truth.
If your parents feel so bad about it why don't they throw a flippin' party with all the family invited to celebrate all the new family happenings? nothing to stop them doing that now?
Your wedding. Your choice who you invite and they opted to invite friends not family.
Can you suggest that your dad has a big do and uses it as a chance to invite his extended family? Could be a renewal of his and your mum's vows or something if he wants to go down that route.
That way he can invite who he wants and can do the party/event as he pleases. And obviously you can attend and schmooze with these folks.
We had a very similar situation at our wedding, I am very close to my Mum's side of the family, always saw them at Christmas etc but Dad had very few family members who were a) alive and b) we still spoke to. Luckily Dad talked about how he felt about it with us and the reason that he felt upset by it was that he was embarrassed. He felt that everyone would notice that he had no family there and would judge him or be talking about how he had no family. We made him see that he DID in fact have family there, he had me, my mum, my siblings and my HTB and that no one pays a blind bit of attention to who's there from whose family and on the day he could not have given a toss. Inviting people that you hardly know (or if there has been a previous rift in the family) makes the day so much harder as you have to make small talk with people who are essentially strangers. We were lucky that this came up before the wedding but perhaps your father is feeling embarrassed about it all now? Whatever the reason, you did absolutely nothing wrong so please don't let it spoil your happy memories! Congratulations.
Bogeyface is right, it's worth saying it to your mum, she's blaming you for the concequences of her actions. Either your Dad actively didn't want to see his family, or she filled up visits to the town they were both from with her family and he didn't argue (or did and she put her foot down), but the 'why' doesn't really matter to you, the end result is the same, your parents chose to cut off his family from their DCs, so they can't expect their DCs to consider them 'family'.
Oh dear, my usually lovely and normal PILs did this to DH. Only it was his MIL's mum. There was a bit of a family rift years ago so DH has only met her about a dozen times, and half of those were at family funerals, so no real relationship there. I'd only met her once (in well over a decade). Even so we assumed we should invite her but asked PILs (didn't want to make it awkward for them). We got a flanneling about sort of answer that we both thought meant don't. So we didn't. We checked again once we started to get responses just in case - same thing. Then after the wedding some random whining about how sad it was that "the different generations of DH's family weren't represented in the photographs". DH told them
to bugger off with the transferred guilt that we loved the photos with all the people we actually knew and that were really special to us and sorry not sorry.
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