I always thought this was a very funny and cautionary tale.
My step-daughter will be getting married on August 3rd. The wedding planning has consumed most of her and her mother's life (I say her mother because we aren't married, though we've lived together for 10 years) for the past six months. My step-daughter graduated last December from University. I paid for her to go to college, though it was a state school, it still ran $40K. She does not have a job and has been living with us for the duration of her college career and since her graduation. I also bought her a car to get back and forth from school when she finished high school. From time to time her deadbeat father would pop into her life and she would fawn all over him. Although he has not contributed a cent to her education or paid any child support, though that is my girlfriend's fault as c.s. was not part of the settlement, she still loves him and wants him in her life. He stays long enough to break her heart by skipping town and breaking some promise that he made her. The wedding venue holds 250 people max. I gave them a list of 20 people that I wanted invited, you know, since I was paying for everything. They told me that was no problem and they'd take care of it. So I let these people know they'd be getting an invite and they should save the date. Saturday, I saw one of my friends on this list at the golf course and asked if he was coming. He told me that he wasn't invited. He told me that he got an announcement, but not an invitation. He had it in his back seat (along with probably six months of mail) and showed it to me. Sure enough, it was just an announcement, and my name was nowhere on it. It had her dad's name and her mom's name and not mine. This led to a pretty big fight with my GF, as I found out that NONE of my list of twenty "made the cut" for the final guest list because "250 people is very tight." I was pissed, but not a hell of a lot I could do because the important people in my life had already been offended. My GF said "if some people didn't rsvp yes, I might be able to get a couple people in." But that is an ultimate slap in the face in my opinion. So, I was boiling on Saturday. Yesterday, we had a Sunday dinner with the future in-law's family and us and a surprise guest, the "Real Dad." At this little dinner my step-daughter announced that her "Real Dad" was going to be able to make it to her wedding and that now he'd be able to give her away. This was greeted with a chorus of "Oh how great" and "How wonderful"s. I don't think I have ever felt so angry and so disrespected. I was shaking. I took a few seconds to gather my composure, because I honestly wasn't sure if I would cry or start throwing punches or both. Once I was sure I'd be able to speak I got up from my chair and said I'd like to make a toast. I can't remember exactly what I said but the gist of it was this: "I'd like to make a toast." The sound of spoons against glasses ring in my years. "It has been my great pleasure to be a part of this family for the past ten years." Awe, how sweet. "At this point in my life I feel I owe a debt of gratitude to bride and groom, because they have opened my eyes to something very important." Confident smiles exchanged. "They have showed me that my position in this family is not what I once thought it was." And now a glimmer of confusion and shock begins to spread on the faces in the room. "Though I once thought of myself as the patriarch or godfather of the family, commanding great respect and sought out for help in times of need, it seems instead that I hold the position of an ATM, good for a stream of money, but not much else. As I have been replaced as host, both on the invitations and in the ceremony, I am resigning my financial duties as host to my successor, Real Dad. So cheers to the happy couple and the path they have chosen." I finished my drink. "You all can let yourselves out." Is this selfish? I'm supposed to shell out 40 - 50 grand for a wedding that I can't invite anyone to? That I am not a part of? I'm so done with this crap. I'm done with my step-daughter, I'm done with my GF. I transferred the money out of our joint account last night. (she has not had a job since she moved in with me) This morning I called all the vendors I had written checks to for deposits to refund my money. At present it looks like I'll lose around 1500, for the venue, but the other vendors have been great about refunding. TLDR: You want your "REAL DAD" to be on the invitation, to give you away and to sit at the head table, fine, your "REAL DAD" can pay for everything too. EDIT: The immediate aftermath was tantrum and people sitting there mumbling while not actually saying anything to me, but to each other. After much yelling with the GF about me being selfish, I spent the night in my home office and no one knocked on my door, not once. Today's aftermath is kind of depressing for me. GF brought me Bride's wedding planner to show me how much work I was ruining. I thumbed through it, found a page in the music section for Father / Daughter dances. All of the songs were catered to Real Dad's taste. So I thought they were just being disrespectful, but now I'm feeling like they never really gave a crap at all, especially since the menu included two ingredients I'm allergic to, that actually made me laugh. Either way, I'm glad to be done, returned the planner and asked her when she and bride could move out. Also, I never promised to pay for the wedding. I offered them the use of my home when they were sure it was going to be small, but other than that, all I've heard is how it's the Bride's family that should pay, so, let it be the bride's family then, aka, not me. EDIT: June 9th 1:15 am. Girlfriend and Bride are now moved out. They are moving in with the groom. It was very hard not to be petty with some of the "belongings" they took with them, but it's done and I switched out the locks and now it's time for a brew. I can't believe how popular this story got, but I feel good to be given support by so many. If I find out what happens with the wedding, I will let you know, but I can't guarantee that I will put in the effort to find out. From what I've heard they are trying to "scale things back" and get his parents to help out. GF burned bridges when I found out she tried to write herself a check on our joint account the day after the unpleasantness. By then I had already moved money, so I guess I'm a bigger ass than her, but I could feel it coming. That's all. Thanks.