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Grooms Family Not Attending Wedding! What Should I Do?

It can be devastating to find out that the groom’s family will not be attending your wedding. You’re left wondering what to do and how to not make their absence too obvious.

So, what should you do if the groom’s family isn’t attending the wedding? First, don’t panic. There are options of how to rearrange your wedding to make the groom’s parents’ absence not so obvious. Second, try to find a compromise with the groom’s family to see if they will change their minds.

This is a common issue that arises when you have a destination wedding or if there are hard feelings and situations in the family.

What Should You Do if the Groom’s Family Says They’re Not Coming to Wedding?

The most obvious place where the groom’s family will be is missed is the seating arrangement for the ceremony. Instead of leaving the first row empty on the groom’s side, ask close friends to sit there. This way, there is not an empty space where guests will instinctively expect the groom’s family to sit.

Make sure to let your ushers know that the groom’s family will not be there. You want to ensure that everyone is aware of the issue so there is no confusion when it comes time for everyone to be seated. This way you can avoid any awkward moments before the ceremony. That’s the last thing you need to worry about on your special day!

Instead of traditionally seeing the bride’s friends and family on one side and the groom’s friends and family on the other side, allow guests to sit where ever they want. This also takes away the need for ushers, as guests can seat themselves as they arrive. This will take out any awkward spaces or making one side look more full than another.

Make sure your DJ knows that the groom’s family is missing so he/she doesn’t have a mother/son dance or play a song such as “We Are Family” when half the family is missing. That would be awkward. Most DJs have a “do not play” list of songs so make sure to add any songs that you do not want at your reception.

If the groom’s side is not represented, make sure you don’t have too many toasts from the bride’s side. It will be noticeable that the bride’s family is making toasts but the groom’s family isn’t (because they aren’t there).

Try to Find a Compromise for the Groom’s Family

There are various reasons why the groom’s family may not be able to attend. Many times there are ways you can compromise to make sure they are able to come.

Financial help. Maybe they legitimately can’t make it because they can’t afford the travel expenses. Some family members could pool together some money to fit the bill. Or, exchange their travel expenses for help with wedding planning. This might not always be an option for various personal reasons, but if it feels appropriate to you to cover their expenses so that they’ll be there, it might be the best option.

Change the date. If there is a scheduling conflict, and it’s early enough in the planning process, maybe you can change the date of your wedding by a few weeks to accommodate the groom’s family’s availability. Yes, it’s your wedding, but if you really want all of your family to be there, it might be worth changing things up a little bit to accommodate everyone.

The family is deceased. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon that the groom’s parents and grandparents are already deceased. You could do something to honor their memory by leaving empty chairs for them, lighting candles, and displaying pictures that will represent their presence at your wedding.

Physical ailments. Maybe the groom’s family has physical ailments or they are caretakers for someone who can’t be left alone. In this case, maybe you could enlist someone to help them around the ceremony and reception. You could also ask someone to hold a camera and live stream the wedding for the groom’s family who cannot attend.

Please share your advice in the comments that might help other people who are stressed out about the groom’s family not being in attendance at their wedding.

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Hi, I’m Kristin. While I haven’t found my Prince Charming yet, I’ve been dreaming of getting married for a long long time. I started this site as a place to record all the things I’ve found and researched in preparation for my own wedding someday. I can’t wait to share it all with you!

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