Difficult Parents Refuse to Attend Wedding

I received a telephone call from my parents saying they would not be attending my wedding today.

I have personally been expecting some kind of trouble from my side of the family. My parents are collectively tiger parents mixed with Mommy Dearest level of abuse.

The attention isn't on me. So I will create attention for me!
The attention isn’t on me. So I will create attention for me!

I have researched problem parents and braced myself (SO had no inkling this was typical behaviour at this extreme) for some form of wedding bullshit.

The worse thing about this selfish behaviour (typical of my parents) is that the problem isn’t actually with me or my choice of husband – it is over their petty behaviour with other family members over trouble THEY contributed towards. Here’s what I am thinking about this situation…

Common Wedding Problem?

This topic of difficult parents (and family members) is actually pretty common and I did make sure to have some light reading before going too much into the wedding:

There are more websites which I’ve read but go google it!


It’s near impossible to not be impacted long-term by conflict with our parents. But that doesn’t mean it defines who you are. You’re not “The Girl Whose Parents Didn’t Come to Her Wedding.” No matter how sharp and painful this is right now, there will be so many other things that define your wedding day, let alone who you are, for the rest of your life.


These things sum me up perfectly with my own family:

  • I’m done with her and will love her at a distance but this is totally unforgettable. (Actually I won’t love her and I don’t love her).
  • She doesn’t take an interest in my life and hasn’t for 29 years.
  • She’s not maternal at all.



1. Specifically ask some of your close friends to sit in the front row so it won’t remain vacant.

2. Don’t seat your guests by side.

3. If the subject of family is a sore one, be sure to put family-related popular songs on your “Do Not Play” list for the DJ or band.

4. Let whoever will be arranging your seating and making your announcements know if there are important family members who are not present.

5. Don’t go too heavy on the toasts by family members if one family is not represented.



General consensus if the parents are not contributing towards the wedding and being difficult just go ahead with the wedding on your own


Reinforcing that the wedding is about you and your partner. If they parents don’t come so be it.


If she has strings attached give her the money back.


Parental Whinging

My mother had the audacity to say because we were (likely) inviting family members SHE didn’t like that it meant she wouldn’t come.

Then she said it was DISRESPECTFUL (like we have ALWAYS been buddy buddy) to invite people SHE/HE doesn’t like. My father at no point had the guts to talk to me himself. As far as I am concerned, this is the saaaaame bullshit they did for my graduation and other important life events. It’s the final straw in how involved I want them to be in my life (and I am asking SO if he can understand why I don’t to force happy families because he has a completely different (i.e. more NORMAL) relationship with his family than I do mine). She wouldn’t sit there for two hours because the event isn’t about her or my father. They repeatedly embarrass me in public settings and I think people would have likely called them out on their past behaviours (they have done some absolute shitty doozy things to other people).

I had spoken to SO about the whole “dad walking me down the aisle thing” I felt it wasn’t representative of any relationship we had and he was not going to be offered the opportunity to do so – especially since he is very choosy in when he likes to be a parent and has always been this way. I even took a bet with SO (before my mother called) that I thought my mother would kick up trouble about the guest list or say outright she wouldn’t attend. During Christmas she refused to come to a party at our house even if it was just my parents and us – because it wasn’t in the right place (at their house).

I am actually somewhat happier their presence won’t be around – no one needs to hear their inappropriate comments about me (mainly insults and put downs) nor do they need to bring this personal baggage to what is supposed to be a happy day. I think they are both disgusting human beings and they have really crossed the line with me.

How I feel about my parents non-attendance

I am actually proud of myself for not telling them to get fucked and calmly (but firming) not being a pushover about whom or what I want for my wedding.

Then my mother was like “oh we haven’t met (SO’s) parents yet.” There’s a reason for that. I think if she doesn’t have the decency to come to the wedding (even though her presence will mildly be tolerated) then she will not dictate what events she has the right to attend.

I am very happy that I am hiring security guards because I want people to enjoy themselves collectively for us and not over their petty little bullshit things. SO is unsure about still hiring them, but I am paying for it myself and it is a peace of mind in case they turn up to cause drama (or even turn up at all) because no one else needs to witness their abusive behaviour.

I am seriously hoping SO sees the fucking bullshit I have put up with for nearly thirty years and gives up on trying to make “nice” with two parents who are biological parents not real parents. I also think forcing happy families is a crock of bullshit and they can fuck off and be miserable in their own time/place.

I am fed up and over them both.