Hannah Hart has been planning all aspects of her wedding to Ella Mielniczenko, but she just discovered how the engagement process can sometimes take a painful turn. In a no-holds-barred YouTube video posted Friday, February 28, the My Drunk Kitchen creator revealed why her own father is not attending her nuptials.
“This is the most vulnerable I’ve ever felt online,” Hart expressed in the caption of the video. She also penned an emotional story to accompany the raw reaction in the video. “I can’t describe what it feels like to be a child rejected by their parent. It strips you of your humanity. It makes you a shell. Nothing more than an object someone can opt-in to cherish and love when convenient for them and their beliefs. It reduces you to a choice. I am not a choice. I am a person deserving of love and respect,” she writes.
Hart wrote about how she struggled with her choice to vocalize this uncomfortable family situation at least three times. “Back in August, my Dad and [stepmom] pulled me aside to tell me that they would not be coming to my wedding,” she added in the caption portion of her video diary. “I had included them on a list of ‘family’ e-mails my wedding planner asked for, but had assumed we would all silently agree not to discuss it. That surely I had suffered enough. That I had struggled enough. That I had lost enough family already. But they needed to remind me that my love was unnatural, immoral, and a crime within their organization.”
In Hart’s video, the YouTube star gets rather emotional while speaking to the topic. “I just need to say this so that I don’t internalize it,” she says. “I’m hurting about this a lot right now. It is really devastating to me. It has really hurt me… Now that I’ve gotten this off my chest, I’ll feel comfortable posting all the happy wedding content again. Because I have nothing to be ashamed of. That’s all.”
“My dad isn’t coming to my wedding because he’s a Jehovah’s Witness… They are more like the kind of organization that consumes your entire life and controls all your relationships. Some people may refer to this as a cult and that’s what it is. That’s that,” she says. “I’ve tried to make this video a couple times before. And it’s been really hard to make because I keep getting to a point of what I have to address… When your parent continually rejects you and doesn’t choose you.”
Hart also disclosed in the video that her mother was previously part of the organization and pulled both Hannah and her sister out when they were younger. “I’m so grateful that I’m not a part of the witnesses,” she states at one point, while also disclosing that her book publisher removed the word “cult” from Hart’s book to avoid any legal issues.
For Hart, it was important to talk through the various stages of confusion, especially as she prepares for the most important day of her life. “Why would you want someone at your wedding that doesn’t believe in you? Or your love? Or that? That’s not who you want there,” she continues. “My stepmom won’t even make eye contact with Ella. Of course, this couple won’t be coming to my wedding. That’s not my fault, that’s not my choice, that’s not what I signed up for when I was born. But that is their choice.”
“This video feels really hard to film because I don’t have a story to tell here… some sort of narrative to carry it through. I’m really surprised and I’m sad that my dad isn’t coming to my wedding… I can’t believe I care. I shouldn’t care.”
She did want to encourage other couples grappling with potential fallout from their family members as they’re wedding planning. “If you have a parent that doesn’t choose you, I want you to know you are worthy of so much,” she adds. “Just because they’re rejecting the moments of joy in your life… doesn’t have to mean you have to live your life rejecting them.”
If you’re dealing with family issues while planning your wedding, read this article for ways to address concerns.