Isabella Cruise gets married. But the attention is on who wasn't there.

The pictures are everywhere this week: Isabella Cruise, daughter of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, in a quirky A-line wedding dress, surrounded by bridesmaids in pale pink jumpsuits, celebrating her marriage to IT consultant Max Parker.

But the story isn’t about what she wore or who was there. It’s about who wasn’t there for the bash at London’s posh Dorchester Hotel – and that someone was her mum.

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Reports say Nicole – now married to country music superstar Keith Urban – didn’t even know about the September 18 wedding. If that’s true, it’s heartbreaking.

Isabella with her bridesmaids. Image: Facebook.

There are differing reports on Tom's attendance - some say he was there, others that he wasn't but paid for the wedding.

Isabella and her brother Connor were adopted by Tom and Nicole in 1990. They were largely shielded from the relentless lenses of the paparazzi, but over the years we've seen them grow up, weather their parent's high-profile split in 2001 and endure endless speculation about their relationships with their parents, particularly in the case of Nicole.

"My kids don't call me Mummy," she told GMTV in a 2007 interview. "They don't even call me 'Mum.' They call me 'Nicole,' which I hate and tell them off for it."

Of course, there's no rule that says parents, siblings or anyone else has to be invited to a wedding, birthday or any other big ticket occasion.

I know, because my mum and dad didn't invite their parents to their wedding all those decades ago. They were both from big families, and that was back in the day when every man and his dog were invited to a country union, and would travel for a day to get there if they had to. The thought of all those people descending, when mum had been viewed for years as 'on the shelf' (she was 32) and dad just wanted to get on with it, was all a bit much.

Nicole the day before he daughters wedding. Image: Getty.

They told their families they were getting married and drove to Sydney. It was just them and the minister at a church in Randwick, Sydney - at least until my dad's aunt and uncle showed up in their Sunday best, horrified there would be no family representative at the day.

Mum's mum never forgave her. "Of course, I wasn't at your wedding," she'd say archly, whenever she got the chance.

My mum and dad didn't think they were hurting anyone - in fact, they thought they were sparing themselves and everyone around them a lot of cost and carry-on.

But the thing about weddings is that no matter what anyone says, they are about more than the bride and groom. They're about celebration and love and acknowledgement, and those things spread far beyond the couple at the centre of the big day. All that (hopefully) good feeling is shared, and touches friends and siblings and cousins.

And parents.

Connor and Isabella with their adopted father, Tom.

It's possible Nicole was invited to Isabella and Max's wedding, and chose not to attend, knowing the attention it would draw to her low-key daughter, now a hair and makeup artist at Vidal Sassoon in London. There are reports Connor wasn't there either, and the pair are known to be close.

But either way, it's sad. Because Nicole is her mum and it's a special day, made more special by sharing.