Bride Refuses Her Stepfather for Father of Bride Role. Was She Wrong?

By: Elizabeth Ervin
| Published:
February 4, 2023

When it comes to weddings, emotions tend to run high. As a result, every decision can feel like a delicate balancing act between tradition and personal preference, from the dress to the guest list.

But what happens when a bride has to choose between family and duty? A recent controversy revolved around this question when a bride-to-be refused her stepfather the role of “Father of the Bride.” For the sake of her story, we’ll call her Debbie.

Debbie’s Backstory

Debbie, the only child of a divorced couple, has a close relationship with her father. When she was four, their mother remarried a man named Adam, and custody of Debbie split between both parents. As a result, she spent a week with her mother and another week with her father.

Debbie’s mother and Adam have five half-siblings together. Despite having a good relationship with Adam when they were younger, Debbie never considered Adam as her father.

It caused tension in their relationship, mainly when her father was in an accident and unable to take care of them for three years. Adam stepped up during this time but also expressed resentment that Debbie did not treat him like a father figure.

It led to issues with the child’s mother and siblings, who also took issue with Debbie’s lack of relationship with Adam. Now, as she is getting married, she wants her father to be the father of the Bride. However, this is controversial as Adam wants the same title and considers himself just as much of a father figure.

Debbie’s siblings and mother are also upset about the situation, with Adam calling her an ingrate. Here is how the internet responded.

The Stepdad Sounds Entitled

Many agreed that Debbie has a father with whom they have a positive relationship and have consistently acknowledged as such. One further noted that the stepfather, Adam, was exhibiting entitlement, and the real issue was the mother not asserting the significance of the biological father in Debbie’s life.

Role of a Stepparent

Someone suggested that when one marries a person with children and the other parent is still alive and present, they accept the role of being a stepparent. It means treating the child as if they were their own, understanding that they will never fully take on the role of a parent.

Bride Is Not at Fault

Many in the thread agreed that the Bride is not at fault for not considering Adam as their father. Furthermore, the stepfather will have three daughters of his own to be the father of the Bride exclusively. In contrast, the birth father only has one daughter.

Several also criticized the stepfather’s reaction, stating that it only proves why Debbie should not consider him as their father. The stepfather is mistreating her because he’s not getting his way. This behavior is unacceptable.

Another disagreed entirely with the stepfather’s claim. He thinks her biological dad deserves to be the only father of the Bride. Concluding the stepfather is lucky if he even gets an invite.

Popular Reading: Wedding Freebies: A Huge List of Free Wedding Stuff for Your Big Day

She Should Be the One to Choose. It’s Her Wedding Day

Finally, one shared that it is surprising how stepparents often believe they can make a child forget about their natural parents and their love for them.

Debbie has her memories and emotions and is entitled to love whoever they choose, whether their biological parent or the stepparent. The stepdad’s desire to be the father of the bride may stem from a desire to win.

But he already has the opportunity to walk three natural daughters down the aisle. One advised her to have her wedding precisely as she pleased and not let any potentially hurt feelings from relatives stop her. Debbie should handle any attempts to control the wedding party roster with maturity and confidence and enjoy their special day.

What do you think? Is this Reddit bride wrong for excluding her stepdad, or do you completely see and respect her point?


This article was inspired by the internet and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Budget Savvy Bride.


Get the Wedding Planning Quick Start Guide! 📋

Sign up for our wedding planning jumpstart series and we’ll send you a FREE copy of our wedding planning timeline and checklist!

🎉 Awesome!

Check your email to confirm your subscription, and then we’ll send over your FREE wedding planning timeline + checklist!

wedding planning community