Nervous about telling Dad that I'm getting married


My fiance and I are planning to get married in august this year. But we don't want to go through a ceramony and all that fancy least no now anyway.

What we want to do is is just get the license and go to the Justice of the Peace to be married and THEN have a ceramony when we're settled on the east coast.

We've been waiting for 2 years to actually get the chance to get married. He's in the Navy and is on oversea duty right now. He's waiting for the leave to get approved so that he can come out to AZ to see me and FINALLY meet my family. Since I've met his and they like me.

What I'm nervous about is telling my Dad and his side of the famiily that I am getting/ or gotten married (pretty much we're eloping. Since they only heard about him and seen a few pictures of what I had when we were on the same ship together.

My fiance wants to surprise them even though his mom and my mom know about us getting married. I mean how will they take it?

Comments (7)
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Marriage is a joining of families. Suggest you not be leaving people with an insulted/left-out feeling unless there's a better reason than this for doing it. Such "surprises" are often not well received or understood. You know 'em. I don't.

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Even being married before a JP is a ceremony of sorts. Why does your fiance want to surprise your father, and why are you afraid to tell your father? I would have thought you could tell your parents, "We don't want a huge fuss now, but we'll have a big bash later on when we're more settled." That's understandable in your circumstances.
But, springing it on them as a fait accompli is bound to cause some upset, particularly if you're hoping they'll come to the party later when you want your fuss.
Why don't you do the JP thing in your home town, with your immediate family as witnesses (and fiance's family if they wish to come), and have a family meal together? You'll need some witnesses in any case.

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I like Colleen's suggestions. Perhaps by now your mom has clued in your dad too. Why do you have to elope? I would think your parents would love to see you married, even if it is in their own home or before a JP. Then later there's no reason to have another ceremony; you could have a reception instead.

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I get the impression that perhaps your parents are no longer married to each other and you have told your mom but not your dad's side of the family about your engagement. Does your dad live near your mom or near you? If so, I definitely agree with Colleen and SheilaJoyce that your parents should be included, or at least invited, to the ceremony. It is then their decision to attend or not.

It would be respectful to let your dad know that your boy friend is coming and then introduce them and tell your dad of your wedding plans. Because of the Navy issue, your dad should be understanding of the immediacy of your plans.

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I agree with the other posters.

I don't think that this is really a wedding issue at all. The real issues here are family and communication.

Why does your fiance want to "surprise" everyone? Does he think that would make them happier for some reason? If he just thinks it would be funny, that doesn't sound like a very mature way to begin a marriage.

It sounds like it's time for you and your fiance to talk about the real reasons you want to elope. "[W]e don't want to go through a ceramony and all that fancy stuff" doesn't seem to be the real reason when followed by " least no[t] now anyway."

I'm not saying you must have a wedding. Eloping may be the best thing for you. But as others point out, you are joining two families, and others' feelings are likely to be hurt if they are informed after the fact, so if there is not a good reason to elope, do consider a tiny wedding instead, even just a trip to the JP but with your parents along. Even if they dreamt of a big wedding, they will be much more easily reconciled to respecting your choice of a very small, no-fuss City Hall ceremony than to your excluding them entirely.

I know his being in the Navy makes it hard, but if circumstances permit, I would try hard to have him meet your family before you marry, especially if you plan to elope. It will be easier for your family to accept both him and being left out of a wedding.

I also agree that if you elope now, I would have a reception (if anything) later, not a second ceremony -- unless you either aren't planning on telling people that there was a first ceremony (which IMHO is your privilege, if you want to do that!) or you need to have a religious rite, too.

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What we want to do is is just get the license and go to the Justice of the Peace to be married and THEN have a ceramony when we're settled on the east coast.

Please don't do this. This suggestion--which I am seeing more and more of--really bothers me. To have a reception later is fine. To have two ceremonies is not.

You can only, technically, get married once.

That is the REAL wedding. Any other *ceremony* is simply theater. I think it's really disrespectful to the marriage ceremony to repeat it "just for show."

If you have a DIFFERENT ceremony later (the way many Europeans do--a civil ceremony first, a religious one later--that makes sense. Or if you have a small civil ceremony, and then later have a ceremony you call "the blessing by the families" and you make up stuff for your families to promise to support and bless your marriage--that could work.

But if you do it too much later, don't expect other people to get all that terribly excited about it.

I know of people who got married by proxy (husband was in Iraq, she was stateside), and were going to repeat the ceremony in person--that made sense.

I like Gellchom's points, as always. I think you need to talk to your dad. What can he do to you, if he's unhappy?

Yell at you? Hang up the phone.

Ask you some pointed questions about how well you know this guy you're marrying, but that he's never heard of? Be able to answer them--even if the answer is, "I don't speak to you that often, and I don't tell you everything, Dad."

Why is it they haven't heard you mention your boyfriend in the intervening 2 years? Why is it you didn't tell your dad you were planning to get married, back when you decided to, 2 years ago?

That's probably the most sensitive thing--but just get past it. Tell them now, and get it over with. Call them up and say, "remember that guy I mentioned briefly? Well, I wasn't that clear

I have a friend whose dad was SO upset at the idea that his grown-and-living-on-her-own daughter (her sister) would MARRY!!! her long-time, stable, loving boyfriend, whom they had met many times before and apparently liked, that the dad was nasty, refused to go, refused to let my friend go, refused to let the mom go, and refused to speak to the sister for YEARS. I hope your dad isn't like that. But if he is, then I think you should tell him now, and then ignore him until he decides to be sane again. Because if he's going to be mad SIMPLY because you're getting married, then he's insane.

But in general, I really think it's a very bad idea to surprise families with this sort of news. Tell them ahead of time, as soon as you can, now that you realize there's a problem.

And if I were your parent, and you did not offer me the oportunity to be
there when you married, I would be VERY hurt.

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Your father deserves the chance to be present at this important day in your life. To exclude him is like a slap in the face. I don't know your relationship with him or the extent of his involvement in your life, but you owe him the chance to be present, if he wants to be.

Also by telling him after the fact, your are starting your married life on a bad note with one of your parents. If you are old enough to get married, you are old enough to tell your dad, beforehand, like an adult, and to give him the opportunity to be there on that day.

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