Daughter on dad: "He won't pay for my wedding if I invite my stepdad"

Amy Christie

*This article is a work of nonfiction based on actual events recounted to me by a friend who witnessed them firsthand; used with permission

Finding the right partner to get married to and planning your future together can be a unique time in your life, but what do you do when the costs of your special day depend on family connections and on the rules set by your parents?

Can you still invite whoever you want to have close on your wedding day if you're not prepared to pay for everything yourself, or do you have to listen to different opinions?

My friend Amanda has been dating her boyfriend, Will, for three years. During this time, they went on vacations, met each other's parents and siblings, and made mutual friends.

"It all worked out fine. My parents like him, and I love visiting his mom and dad. I actually think I will have some of the friendliest in-laws compared to what I've heard from my friends. His mom is always so positive, and she likes to show me how to cook Will's favorite dishes. She also asks how I'm doing or if I'm tired after work, and his dad makes great jokes, and we all laugh a lot," Amanda said.

After going out for one year and a half, they decided to move into their own apartment.

"I think that was when I felt our relationship would last. Having our own space and seeing we like the same things and that Will helps me with everything around the house has meant a lot. I'm sure he's the right partner for me," she added.

After five months, Will proposed, and they set the wedding date.

"We were so excited, and my parents and his offered to help with some of the expenses. We need the help because we don't earn that much yet, only two years after graduation. So, when I heard they wanted to support us, I knew our special day would turn out just the way we wanted it to be," Amanda said.

Unfortunately, that help will not come without conditions. Amanda's mom married twice, and her current husband is Amanda's stepdad. She stayed close to her dad, who offered to pay for the whole wedding, but only if she wouldn't invite her stepdad.

"That's very unfair. It's like he doesn't care who I want to be there. It's only his way and his opinions. He never liked Jeremy, but he's been my stepdad for over ten years, and I care about him. He helped me so many times. I don't consider him my dad, just a very good friend. But I would feel I was being rude if I told him not to come. I can't pay for the wedding without my dad helping, though. Neither can Will's parents," Amanda shared.

She went to have a talk with her dad and find out if there was any way to make him feel better about having her stepdad for the celebration, but that didn't help at all.

"He got annoyed with me and said I'm ungrateful. It's true he's been sending money for me all this time, but I'm not excluding him from anything. He would still be the one walking me down the aisle. I just don't understand why Jeremy can't be there too," she said.

Her mom also intervened and went to explain to her ex-husband why her daughter wanted Jeremy to see the wedding and take part in it. His position is the same, and covering the bills for the wedding will only happen on his terms.

"He won't pay for my wedding if I invite my stepdad. I haven't told Jeremy anything yet because I know he will offer not to come. But he will still feel sad. I don't know what to do," Amanda said.

In the meantime, her dad also said he'd like to tell Jeremy himself that he can't come to see his daughter as a bride.

How do you think this should be handled? Is Amanda's father making a fair request, or should he be more flexible because Jeremy was there for his daughter for many years? Is it ok for both the dad and the stepdad to take part in the wedding?

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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

Dallas, TX

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