DEAR MISS MANNERS: My father has always been a bully, using money as a way to manipulate us kids and get his way. He is controlling and pushy and does not take “no” well.
He is insisting that I have my wedding at our family’s ranch. The issue is that I was with an ex when I stated that was my dream.
My fiance’s family is not wealthy, and getting to the ranch would require them to take time off work and drive 12 hours -- with children under 2 and grandmothers in their 90s.
My fiance is not opposed to the ranch wedding, but we agree that it would be a logistical nightmare for the guests. I also hate getting bullied, and feel that as a woman in her 30s, I need to set boundaries or this will permeate our marriage.
When I bring this up, my father gets enraged and throws a fit. He has gone so far as to go back on his promise to help pay for the wedding and told me he wouldn’t pay unless I have it at the ranch.
I’m at the point where if he pulls this crap, then I am thinking about having a small backyard wedding and he won’t be invited. My fiance is furious at him for not acting with integrity, and I don’t want to escalate this. I just want to enjoy the process of planning a once-in-a-lifetime ceremony and reception with those I love. I want this to be a reflection of my and my fiance’s ideals, not my father’s. Help!
GENTLE READER: Why do you need help making this decision? Your father will only pay for a wedding at his ranch, and you don’t want it there for good reasons.
As you complain about your father using money to manipulate you, there is an easy way make him stop: Refuse to take his money. Start by declining the money for the ranch wedding, and having the wedding you want that you can afford.
Surely you didn’t think that Miss Manners could bully and manipulate your father into handing over the money for that.