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Dilemma: I didn't invite my daughter to my wedding and now she's upset

07 January 2020

A reader asks Dawn French for advice on what to do after she didn't invite her daughter to her wedding, upsetting her.

An older couple hold hands wearing wedding rings

Dilemma: A reader is furious with her daughter for being upset with her for leaving her off the wedding invite list

I’m in my late-fifties and have just got married for the second time. My new husband and I agreed on a low-key wedding with two friends as witnesses.

Most of our family wished us well, but my youngest daughter took umbrage at being ‘excluded’ and hasn’t spoken to me since. I am furious with her for ruining our day, but my other daughter insists I should try to build bridges.

Dawn French's advice

Okay, it’s time to drop the fury (and I appreciate how hard that is!) and bite the contrite bullet. Sometimes being a mum means making sacrifices, and saying you’ve managed something badly. Even if that isn’t perhaps the entire picture.

Remarrying is tricky; it often doesn’t just involve two people. It’s you and your family marrying him and his family. There are others in the equation, and to ignore that is perilous because not everyone will have the same feelings simultaneously.

I think it would be fab if you could persuade your daughter to meet up, just the two of you, perhaps cook her favourite supper as a peace offering, and say something like: ‘I really thought I was doing the right thing, and the last thing I would want to do is upset you. I truly apologise if I’ve done that. Had I realised how much this would hurt, I would never have done it this way, and I hope you know that.
I can only think I got caught up in the moment, and I’m really sorry. How can I make it right for you? How about if we go away for a treat weekend, you, your sister and me, all together? Come on, let’s be happy for each other.’

See what happens after that. I would be very kind and hugely understanding, however tricky it is.

Of course, if that doesn’t work, and her ‘umbrage’ persists, invite her round to watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, so she can witness for herself that Professor Umbridge is, in fact, a malevolent, uptight villain, as well as an admirer of Voldemort, and then perhaps offer her a mirror…?

Saga readers say...

'Not surprised. Unless there is a good reason!' Shelagh, via Facebook

'I could never exclude my children from such a happy occasion. I’m with the daughter on this.' Christine, via Facebook

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.