It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today, we hear from “Dad’s Side,” a woman whose father was excluded to the wedding of longtime family friends after his infidelities and subsequent divorce. “My dad is much closer to the bride’s family,” she wrote, “than either my mom, sister, or I [who have been invited].” She wondered whether it would be OK if she asked the bride why her dad didn’t score an invite. Keep reading to see whether she did and what the answer was.
Thank you so much, Wendy, for your thoughtful advice. It really helped to get the opinion of an outsider (whom I tend to agree with) as to how to proceed.
Before I give my update, I want to clarify that the bride explicitly wrote in an e-mail to me only, “We have just invited you, [your sister] and your mum, in case you were wondering.” The rest of her e-mail was her following-up to ensure I received accommodation information.
I thought very carefully about how to respond to her and also asked advice from my sister and some trusted friends as well. In the end, I responded to the gist of: “Thank you for going out of your way to personally send me accommodations information; many brides would not be so thoughtful! I’m surprised my dad is not invited, but respect your and your fiance’s decision. Right now I’m still sorting out logistics but will RSVP soon and hope I’m able to make it. Where are you registered?”
I received a reply a few days later saying that she understood from her family that it might be easier for me, my sister, and my mom to attend if he wasn’t there. She apologized for causing any offense and that it wasn’t her intention. The bride and I have not discussed my dad’s non-invite since. My interpretation of this is that she doesn’t know about my dad’s cheating but that her family does and they made this call on their own. My family of four has no problem interacting (mostly), and will be doing so at my upcoming graduation (I’m in grad school). In my opinion, in their effort to be overly sensitive, they made things worse.
In the end, I decided to go to the wedding! Yay! The timing worked out well for me with some other travel I am doing after my graduation, so I just tacked this on to that larger trip. I’m really excited and can’t wait to see the bride and her family. It looks like my mom and sister will not be able to attend.
After booking my travel, I called my dad to tell him about my travel plans and briefly mentioned that I’ll be stopping in the UK for the wedding. He asked me when it was and I told him the date, but also told him a couple times that he should contact the bride’s father (whom he is close with) about details. That conversation was about two weeks ago, and, wlthough my dad and I have spoken since then, the wedding has not come up.
I also loved the commenters’ advice and speculation, especially from those who suggested that my dad had had an affair or had hit on the bride or bride’s mother: This made me (and my sister) laugh out loud! We can assure you this is not the case. This is a great community, and I really felt sympathized with in dealing with this awkward situation. Thanks.
Thanks for the update. Have fun on your trip!
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at email@example.com.