Q: My father has never taken responsibility for me, except when it was convenient for him. Should I invite him?

A: If you don't feel comfortable inviting him, you shouldn't feel pressure to do it. "You don't have to invite him just because he's your father," says long-time family therapist Sylvia Bigelsen, author of The Ties That Bind. And Bind. And Bind (Element Books, 1999). "He hasn't earned the dad role. A biological connection is not what being a dad is all about." If you decide not to invite him, just be sure to let him know your decision before the invitations go out. "Tell him that it's best if he not come, but if he really wants a relationship with you, you'll be willing to give him a chance after the wedding," Bigelsen advises. That way, you can enjoy your day without having anxiety about his presence. Then, when you're back from your honeymoon, you can start working on your relationship with him—if he's game.

See all questions about family, friends, and guests etiquette

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