Daughter's Wedding

Updated on October 09, 2011
S.N. asks from Boston, MA
18 answers

As I suspected my daughter invited my nephew and his wife and my sister to her wedding. I am clearly upset over it but I tried very hard to take it with a grain of salt...but however I am very unhappy over the situation.

It's a very long story but my sister and nephew and his wife did some terrible things to me and my daughter after my son died in 2002. I stopped all contact with them in 2004. In 2008 I reconciled with my sister for the sake of my mother who has Alzheimer's and is 89 years old and in a nursing home. In an email to her I told her that I don't know if we can ever be sister's or friends. but I am doing this for my mother.

I really feel back stabbed once again and I did not make a huge deal of it with my daughter but this is really bothering me. She said they invited them because they are "family". I don't know what her definition of family is but they back stabbed me and my daughter ...what am I missing here...I know life is full of forgive and forget...but I lost a child here and decided to get rid of the toxic people in my life.

How can I handle this like a civil person? I already told her since I am in charge of the Bridal Shower they are not invited.
Sorry I can't take it. I did say that I would like to make sure I am sitting no where near them - even willing to sit on the groom's side.

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

I have decided it's best to drop it and never mention it again. Right now I am fighting back the tears of my son's 9th angelversary.
The wedding will be bittersweet without my son there and that is stress enough for me - I don't want to have to care about who is invited. The other thing is I love my daughter very much and I want her to see me glowing on her wedding day. My kids are/were my life and I would do anything for them and that still holds now even with the pain inside my heart.

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answers from Appleton on

Just because they are there doesn't mean you have to talk to them. See if you can set up a couple of 'buffer people'. Friends or family members who will intercede if any if them trys to talk to you. They can interrupt and say 'S. I need to talk to you or show you something'. If they get obnoxious about have the freinds say, 'she doesn't want to talk to you'.

By the way who is paying for the wedding? As a rule of etiquette the parents of the bride are the host and hostess, the bride and groom are the guests of honor. And while the bride does have most of the say in who and how many are invited the parents have the final say.

I totally get this and will be facing something similar soon.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Portland on

The way to handle it like a civil person is to be one. Be polite and gracious and realize that this is your daughter's day, NOT yours. You could ruin this day by being selfish and rude or you could rise above your past experience and be the best person you can be for your daughter.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I understand you are hurt and have valid reasons. However, this is your daughter's day, not yours, so you need to back off and deal. And, you have to let go of the hate, you don't have to reconcile, but you have to let go of the hate. It is getting you nowhere and in the end could actually alienate you.

I told my mom she was going to be polite and kind to my father at my wedding - it was my day and had nothing to do with her animosity toward my dad. You need to do the same with your sibling.

If you do anything to upset your daughter on her wedding day or with any of the wedding festivities, it will haunt you for the rest of your life.

You can't win here. This isn't a battle to pick. Good luck!

**Added: regarding the shower. It is typically for close friends and family. Since your sister is not considered close family, I think that gets you off the hook.

Remember, deep breaths..................but I still say let go of the hate (that is a lot of weight to be carrying around for someone you don't care for).

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I'm so sorry for your loss.

This is your daughter's wedding, and since you have already told her they are not invited to the bridal shower I would let it go. Choose not to allow them to hurt you, concentrate on making this a beautiful experience for your daughter. Don't deprive yourself of enjoying even one moment of this special time in you and your daughter's life. If they speak to you at the wedding just smile and walk away, be the person your son would be proud for you to be. Honor his memory, forgive, you will never forget, and once the wedding is over go on with not having them in your life. You are in control of your happiness, not them.


6 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

She has forgiven them, and you need to respect that. This is her day, and you need to keep your focus on her happiness, not your bitterness over the past. She is not doing this to hurt you, she is doing it to heal herself.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Family doesn't have to like each other, much less love each other... one just has to share a gene pool.

For all I know, your sister and nephew killed your son, I'm not going to judge why you hate them.

There's just one question to ask:

Do you love your daughter more than you hate your sister and nephew?

If so... then you do everything in your power to show your daughter how much you love her and you make the prep and the day as special and as stress free as you possibly can.

If not... then stay away as much as possible.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

You are clearly still bothered by this and I get it...I think you know you're supposed to make this about your daughter, but that's hard. I get that you're struggling with that too...but, take a step back and remember that this is what your daughter wants and although you get to provide input, she isn't going to do everything you want b/c you want it. Maybe she wants to move on from the past and forgive them. Maybe she doesn't know the extent of what happened or has blocked it out. Whatever the case may be, she is clearly extending an olive branch to those family members...no one says you have to be on the other end of it.

You are putting your daughter in the middle of a fight that YOU have with your sister. You are asking her to choose and that is not right. Ever. But certainly not while she's trying to plan a wedding and begin anew. She's stressed, you're stressed, but try to be the bigger person and invite them to the shower. Don't put your daughter in the middle.

I do think it's perfectly fine that you have asked to be located far away from them at the reception. I would think that your daughter would be able to grant you that wish without problem.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Well I don't know what they did to you.... or if they continue to do bad things to you.
But this is your daughter's wedding... and her Fiance's.
She can invite, whom she wants.
Apparently, she has put aside, her negativity toward them. Or maybe she can just ignore it. Even if she still feels icky feelings about them.

No woman, wants drama, with their wedding.
It should be a 'happy' time and a happy memory, for the couple.... even after they are married.
No Bride, wants to be a referee in their own wedding, over problems within the family. Nor can they solve it..... They should not have to solve... everyone's problems or animosity, just to get married.
The couple should be able to enjoy, the process of planning their wedding and getting married.

Maybe your sister and nephew and his Wife, won't even attend. Even if they were invited?
Since you all, are estranged.

Remember, that it is not only your daughter's Wedding... BUT her Fiance's... too.
I am sure he doesn't want drama... in his wedding either.

Just don't sit by them.
You don't have to talk to them.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

the worst part of these family dramas is that you ARE related, and you WILL always be connected. it's a fact of life. (trust me, i know). you will have to accept that they will be there. you will hold your head high and you will be the bigger person. IF they even come. it will be YOUR daughter's wedding. YOU are the mother of the bride. it is YOUR daughter's day, and you owe it to her to make it a happy day. you are in a somewhat exalted position being mother of the bride, and you shouldn't let them ruin that for you, either. i get that these wounds run deep, but for your daughter, you do it. and i get that having lost a child that is unimaginable pain- but you have a living breathing daughter who is counting on you not to ruin her wedding. your daughter sounds like she is extending a hand to them and being the bigger person. the least you can do is suck it up for an hour (or whatever). be the bigger person, always. they can only ruin the day if YOU let them. i know this sounds like a bunch of babble, but please believe me that it's not - i am spreaking from the heart, and from first hand experiences. my mother was in your position. and she handled it with grace and composure. at least you have warning that they may be there, and it won't be sprung on you. i think you should thank your daughter for the heads up, and promise her and yourself to handle it in a way to make her proud. hang in there. you can do it.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

If your daughter doesn't care about the bridal shower, then I say you are cool there, don't sweat it. As far as who to invite to the wedding, whoever she wants goes. You will just have to steel yourself for the discomfort of seeing them, but it isn't your wedding. At my wedding there were some major family issues but everyone came and played nice, it was a few hours one day. I am so sorry for the loss of your son. My sister died almost three years ago and the things some people said and the way some family acted was so out of line, and I like you have some people in the family, I just don't associate with anymore. Not just because of what they did regarding my sister's passing, but it was the icing on the cake. BUT if we are invited to the same events etc, I don't let it hold me back. I know losing a child is not the same as a sibling, and I am sure my mom has had some deeper forgiveness issues along the way, but she doesn't seem to let it prevent her from any events etc either. My sister died of long term illness so people act like you should be fine bc 'you knew it was coming' blah blah blah, you know how it is. Hopefully you love the groom and you will get grand babies out of this deal most likely, so try to just put your mind on the happiness of the situation. Above all, if you can, deal with this with your friends, husband, pastor, priest, whoever, just not your daughter. None of it is her fault, which I know you know, and she just wants to invite family to her wedding, that's all. She is entering the life altering covenant of marriage, so you gotta be her mama now, so I wish you the best in that. Take care!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

I'm sorry this is upsetting you so much, but you have to realize that this wedding is not about "back stabbing" you. The wedding is a celebration for the people getting married and the family that THEY choose to involve.
If you cannot throw a bridal shower and include the people the bride wants to include, then I think it's only fair that you step down from that responsibility.
You don't have to like or love or even have forgiven your relatives for what they have done to you, but this is not your wedding.
This isn't about you.

Sorry, no offense. It's not about YOU.
I understand people have been toxic to you and I understand you think your daughter should be taking your feelings into account.
This is her day, her wishes, she wants to invite who she wants.
Please don't be the toxic one in this instance and make it hard on her.
You don't have to be sugary sweet. You don't have to see this as a means to reconciliation. You don't have to see this as just another way to hurt you.
It's an event in your daughter's life and it's important to her.
The event will be over and you can go right back to having no contact with those you want no contact with.
That's your choice.
I'm divorced.
I sort of dread my son getting married because my ex husband has issues with my brother in law and my nephew.
I have news for him.....
When my son gets married, ALL of his family will be invited and expected to be gracious to each other for at least that one day.
I know my son. My mother and ex husband don't get along, but my son isn't going to not invite his grandmother because his dad doesn't like her. Or vice versa.

Sometimes you have to be the bigger person. That's all I'm saying.
You have a right to your feelings, but this event isn't about you and as the mother of the bride, if you can't even sit on your daughter's side because of relatives that will be there, that makes you seem like the one with the problem. Even if you are justified in your feelings, do you have to make such a public statement about a personal issue to that point?
Other people invited likely don't understand the family dynamic. Why have them all talking and whispering and wondering why you can't sit on your daughter's side of the aisle?
Why bring more attention to it?
The attention is supposed to be on the bride.

In a positive way.
For at least that day.
I hope you can keep your wounds separate from what is supposed to be the happiest day of her life.

Best wishes.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Why have you not gone to therapy to deal with this?
To hold onto so much anger, is not healthy. You AND your sister should have also attended together so you could explain exactly why she hurt you so terribly.. The Therapist would have backed you up on it too.

My stepmom's daughter was killed in a horrible accident (6 years). There have always been whispers that possibly the kids had been partially at fault, but my stepmom, knows in her heart in the truth and does not listen to all of this. She is still in therapy to help her through all of this. She like you will never be the same, but she has found a sort of peace.

I like t say "she is full of grace". She does not have time for anger. She does not want the legacy of her daughter to be any blame or anger. She knows it is a wasted emotion compared to the love and strength she can gain from others.

Your daughter I am sure understands your feelings, but she also knows family is a lifetime. She does not want any regrets in the future when you and your sister find peace.

Grandchildren will be next, and I am sure you and your sister will want each other in your lives to share the joys of your grandchildren.

Please please, find peace in your heart. I would hope what your sister said to you was not meant to hurt you, bu t rather an extremely poor choice of words.

Go to this wedding and make it the best memory your daughter and her fiance will ever have.

I am sending you strength.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

Weddings, funerals, and births usually bring family together. I think your daughter would like y'all to reconcile. Life is pretty short to be pissed off forever.

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answers from St. Louis on

When my grandma passed away my mom fought with my uncle. Both thought they were right and so far as it was known to them they both were right. So finally on my uncle's death bed they made up.

It took a lot for me to forgive my mother for taking that last 15 years away from me with my uncle. All because she was too stubborn to admit some of it was her misunderstanding because she wouldn't admit any fault. Neither would say they were sorry.

Not saying it is the same thing because you were very vague in what happened but I can assure you if she is reaching out and you are trying to make her feel bad for it your relationship will be harmed.

Is whatever it is worth losing two children over?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I'm sorry you are still carrying so much pain and anger. I'm sure that you feel thay are justified. Unfortunately, they are hurting you much worse than anyone else. If you were to talk to your sister and nephew about the incidents in question, they would probably have a very different take on what actually happened, and they are probably not feeling punished by your continued anger.

I have felt the pain of being backstabbed and sideswiped by a woman I admired and respected. My hurt was grinding my soul away day by day. I discovered a wonderful process that has lightened that load for me tremendously, and time is doing its healing thing, too.

If you'd like to find some similar relief, check out The Work, fill out a free Judge Your Neighbor worksheet, ask yourself The Four Questions, and do as many Turnarounds as you can think of. Repeat as needed. http://thework.com/thework-jyn.php

I wish you the best.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I'm so sorry you're going through this. I'm also sorry for your loss. There is really nothing you can do about it but totally focus on your daughter and try to block them out entirely. Hang in there! HUGS!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I'm sorry. I have a toxic cousin who gets a pass all the time through a fluke of genetics. I have some serious peacemakers in my family who are "this close" to being emotional doormats. "She's family." Yeah, well, she's 27 yrs old. When does she get held accountable, too? I just stayed away from her at a recent family wedding. So not worth my time. If anything happens at the wedding, you can just tell whoever it's not your problem. You didn't encourage her to invite them.

If your daughter wants you to reconcile, that's not her choice. She can put you in the same room, but she can't make you shake hands. If she's going to choose to invite them, then she chooses to deal with the outcome.

I do encourage you to not let her get to you. Stick with the friends and family who support you. My DH's cousin's mother will forever be remembered by her snotty attitude toward the bride's father at the wedding. If she'd just held her head head high, she'd have come off smelling like roses. FWIW, the father did nothing to instigate it. He even sat at a different table not so near the head table to help keep the peace.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

We ended up inviting family to our wedding that we were currently not speaking to. In fact, we didn't know up until the wedding if my husband's sister and mom were even going to show!

But you know what--everything was wonderful that day, even with all the bad feelings and mixed up emotions. Everyone was able to put the past aside and enjoy the day.

So if we can do that, so can you. It will be wonderful! Your daughter is getting married! Rejoice, and don't sweat the stuff you can't change.

1 mom found this helpful
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