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Mother And Father Of The Groom Not Attending?

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Needs some words of advice/encouragement please...


Received a call today, from my FI with some "bad news". It's one week before the deposit is due and both his Mother and Father (they are separated for well over 10+ years) have just informed him they both will not be attending?!


Just so you know the details. The wedding is NEXT December 2015. Cost is $1300 per person for 1 week and guests have an interest-free payment plan until July 2015 (next year)...


The Mother called and explained that she cannot afford to come (she is 50 years old and is an administrative assistant for a large company and also has a serious live-in boyfriend who shares all the bills with her.....) I have asked him to call her back and let her know, the Mother of the Groom is a very important role, and if need be, I/we would totally be willing to help her with payments, to ensure she can attend her sons wedding...


The Father called and said he wont be attending, because we're just going to have a (secret) civil service at city hall anyway, so the Wedding in Mexico doesn't matter...???


I have been told there have been talks of "we should have just had the wedding in Ontario" for them, because my family is in Ontario and his family lives in Quebec. We specifically chose Mexico, because we couldn't afford the $15,000 - $20,000 cost of being married in Canada, and then ask all the family to travel anyway (travel/gas, hotel stays, food, wedding gifts, etc) So we honestly thought this was the best option for all.


I knew I would lose a lot of guests by doing a destination wedding... But never did I think BOTH of his parents wouldn't come?!!! WOAH.

I even had to ask him, if this was their way of telling me I wasn't welcome into the family??? Our wedding plans were announced months ago, so I believe these issues should have been brought up in the beginning and not after all the deposits (venue, dress, vendors, travel) have already been made...


Here my parents are shelling out $10,000 for our wedding - and his side have not offered a cent - but no matter, at least attend, right???


I am beyond heartbroken for him, as my family is already confirmed, my friends are booking, and not one member of his side has responded. Harsh eh?


I just feel this is a bad first step to the rest of our lives and cannot help to think of the hard feelings there will be in future (i.e. when we have children, why would I feel the need to travel so far for them to see their grandchildren, when they didnt even care enough to even join us on our most important day?) I even told him, I am now scared of him getting cold feet, due to the lack of support his family is now showing.


I have asked him to really have a heart to heart with both parents ASAP and ask them to reconsider/rethink the situation, but I honestly never thought this would be the response from such key family members and not sure how I should be feeling???


Would love to hear your thoughts ladies.


(Just posted this in the "chit chat corner" forum as I second thought myself that it may not apply under wedding etiquette. Sorry for the double post guys)

Edited by JennyZ

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Hi Jenny.


I'm so sorry you and your fiancé are having to deal with this situation.  It is understandable that you would both feel hurt.  However, please do not project this into the future with justifications for cutting off ties with your newly formed family going forward.  There are sometimes reasons that are not expressed when close family members or friends fail to attend a couple's destination wedding. This can cause hard feelings which creates tension - a very tough way to begin a family relationship. In other cases, people don't always realize how hurtful the type of comment/decision can be.  I'm sorry that your dad seems to be minimizing the importance of a symbolic ceremony but he clearly doesn't understand its importance to you to share this important event with those closest to you. People don't always realize how hurtful this type of comment/decision can be.


If you think there is need for you to offer to assist with payment so your finance's parents can attend, by all means make the offer. But please consider that It is very difficult for a parent to make the decision to not attend their child's wedding.  But their decision should be respected and accepted - even if it is not understood.  


In the end, it is about the two of you and you will have an incredible time no matter what. Just don't let that attitude dictate your response.


Take a deep breath and move forward focusing on all the people who have RSVP'd to be there and help you celebrate.


Have a wonderful wedding!

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Sorry that you're going through this. I think almost everyone here trying to do a DW has some kind of story about trying to get people to attend. It's a difficult situation to be in. Not everyone is a traveller and there are still a lot of people that don't understand about destination weddings, or why couples actually have them. It's sad for your fiance that his parents wont' attend. We had everyone back out on us for our wedding and it did cause problems but I was reminded by the love of my life that it was what we wanted and for everyone that had backed out, they were the ones missing out on a very special family vacation. We're much older, our children are grown and we have grandchildren plus it was second time around for both of us, but it didn't make it any less hurtful. We went to Jamaica and had a wonderful wedding and I married the most special man in the world. We had a reception at home 2 weeks later and the family were there for that. It wasn't the same of course, but it's the two of you that count the most. You need to think about what is really important to the both of you and go from there. But I agree with TAKathy. Don't carry it forward into the life that the two of you are starting together. There may be things going on behind the scenes that the two of you aren't aware of. Parents absolutely do not tell their children everything. Definitely if you think offering to help pay will make a difference then make the offer. As far as the father, you could definitely explain that having all the family together for a week of vacation would give everyone wonderful memories and that it isn't so much as the wedding as having everyone together. In the end you may need to just accept that it's the decision the parents have made and there isn't anything you can do.


Good luck!

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I am in the same situation.


My fiancee's parents won't be coming nor will any of his 3 brothers. His parents state that they can't afford it, and I can understand and respect that. His brothers... well they aren't really big about family other than their own.


My mother and father will be coming as well as my brother, my best friend and a friend/coworker.


I know we are likely very different people JennyZ, but I will share my outlook. Not sure if it will help but here goes:


From the very beginning, Steph and I discussed that it was OUR wedding, meaning celebrating the joining of us. Whether we were there alone with rent-a-witnesses from the hotel or not we were going to do it and have a great time with each other. Everything else is icing on the cake so to speak.


I did pay for my MoH because she is in a financial situation and life situation where she might as well try to grab the moon, so I am mostly paying for her to have a vacation being pampered and spoiled. The wedding again is icing on the cake.


I think Stephane's father is afraid to go to Mexico to be honest.


As far as the getting married by the JP not making the Mexico one valid, that is the main reason that Steph and I are doing the legal ceremony in Mexico. I wanted my first time to feel authentic all of the way. I guess if you look at it through a "male's" eyes it could seem not authentic and since you aren't his daughter (genetically) he may not be as inclined to bend for you as your bio dad would be. My fiancee is still getting used to my close and loving family when he comes from a very distant and cold one. They love him alot, he is slowly warming to them. It's just the way it is. Mind you who can truly tell what a man is thinking.


Perhaps there is something else that his parents don't want to say and saying that they can't afford it is their (his Mom) only defence. However, if they love their son, they will be thrilled you are becoming his wife regardless. DO NOT go thinking that they don't want to welcome you to the family. You already know that they would happily attend if it was in Canada. So don't go there. It is just likely that they don't want to spend the money or perhaps it is the country they are afraid to go to. There are many factors.


The one thing you have to focus on is that is is the celebration of your wedding and the two most important people who should be there are you and your fiancee! Those that can afford the trip and who love you the most will be there.


I tend to overanalyze things myself and you will find that it will only make you miserable. We are setting up a modest reception afterwards and if his parents and family and my othe friend who couldn't afford to go want to come and congradulate us, they can come.


The sooner you put a positive mental spin on this, the sooner you will find that your mind and heart will be lighter. Work on this together with your fiancee.


Best of luck.



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