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Beginner April 2026 Greater Manchester

i don’t want my mums husband at my wedding… help?

Alice, 5 of February of 2024 at 23:02 Posted on Etiquette and Advice 0 2
The title may sound harsh, so let me explain.

I’m 25, engaged to be married in spring 2026 of my partner of (currently) just over 6.5 years. I have a rather small family, only one half sibling I see maybe once yearly, and other family who live all around the country. I’m not particularly close to any of them apart from my mum and her dad, my grandad (he brought me up as the father/male figure in my life).
My partner is the opposite; lots of family, they all live close by and all are very close. They’re all lovely and I get along with them great. But in order to make things fair, and the fact I really don’t want a huge audience for the ceremony, the actual ‘I do’ will be taking place on a separate day in Italy.
Because of this, we’ve both been in agreement we would have two guests each - his mum & dad, and my mum & grandad. We are planning to have a dinner/wedding reception party in the UK with everyone else.
My biggest issue is the fact I feel a huge amount of pressure to invite my mums husband. I’ve known him since I was around 10, but due to a lot of past trauma and family history etc, we’ve never really had any kind of relationship in the past. I’ve never considered him to be my ‘step-dad’ so to speak, he has children whom he’s close with etc. we’ve just never really gotten along that well. To this day whenever I visit, he will not speak to me in the house unless I say hello first. Its incredibly hostile and not something I choose to engage with often.
Whenever I mentioned this to my mum - the fact the guestlist was non-negotiable - I would be met with a lot of guilt tripping “he’s done a lot for you, he’s your step dad etc” which she knows isn’t exactly true, and makes me feel very uncomfortable. To the point where I’ve already agreed he can come to silence her demands and complaining over it already, and we’re over 2 years away!!
I’ve seriously changed my mind about him coming - and to be honest I never did want him coming in the first place - but how do I get round this without causing WW3 with the only family I really have?
Any help would be really appreciated (id also like to point out they eloped around 13 years ago of which I never had an issue with…). Thank you in advance x

2 replies

Latest activity by Alice, 14 of February of 2024 at 15:00
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    VIP July 2020 Monmouthshire
    RomanticGreenStationery27135 ·
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    Oh dear...if you've already agreed he can come, it's going to be very, very difficult to back out now.

    Have you fixed a date and venue? If not, I would suggest picking somewhere so tiny that you can literally only have 4 guests and then explain that the only way your mum's partner can come is for your grandfather to drop out, and that you don't feel this is fair since he is the one who brought you up.

    If the venue is already fixed, then you have two choices:

    1) Accept that since you've already invited him, you can't back out and make peace with having someone you don't really want at your wedding. (Make sure you get some photos that don't include him so that you don't have to have a permanent reminder in your photo album that he was there) If your OH has one friend or family member who would make an obvious 'third guest' for him, then maybe consider inviting them along too, so that step-dad is 'watered down' a bit more!

    2) Explain to your mother that it is really important that your ceremony is a very small one with only the very closest loved ones present. Also, you having three guests while your OH having two is unfair and not what you originally agreed. Say that for these reasons, you are withdrawing the invitation to her husband. If you pick this option, it might help if you meet halfway - perhaps agreeing to meet up with him for a meal immediately post ceremony and even having some non-formal photos taken together. However, I would think long and hard before you pick this option. It's impossible to know in advance just how upset your mother will be by you cancelling her partner's invitation. There is no guarantee that it won't cause a long-term (or even permanent) rift in your relationship.

    Whatever you do, I would talk over the pros and cons with your OH and then present a united front. (I'd do this with the rest of the wedding planning too - apart from anything else, it gives you a great cop-out if someone is pressuring you to agree to something as you can say "Sorry, OH and I have agreed to make all wedding decisions together - I'll discuss it with him and we'll get back to you."!!!)

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    Beginner April 2026 Greater Manchester
    Alice ·
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    Thanks for your reply!

    The date, venue and even the country is TBD, we are still in the early planning stages and looking at ideas for smaller, intimate ceremonies.

    I agree that it would make sense for either us saying only 2 guests per side, or adding an additional guest to make it 3 each. The biggest issue really is that he can be incredibly difficult to converse with generally, and I wouldn't want to make it awkward for anymore people than necessary!

    Thank you for your advice, it's definitely something I will be taking into consideration. x

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