Ceremony and Vow Ideas

Complicated Inlaws

My fiance comes from a VERY complicated family. His mom and dad were never married and split up 20+ years ago. His mom was married to another guy for 7 years afterwards and then they divorced. Today, she's been with her current husband for 10+ years. My fiance doesn't have a good relationship with his father at all and he recently got into it with his grandparents over drama with his dad. His dad is also bringing some random date to our wedding, so I ABSOLUTELY do not want her to walk down the aisle. His Dad and his grandparents also aren't invited to the rehearsal dinner per his mom. They also aren't contributing anything to the wedding financially when my parents are contributed most, his mom and her current husband are contributing the whole rehearsal and the a small percentage of the wedding, and we're contributing a small percentage for the wedding. May I'm being crazy, but it's SUPER complicated. 

My family on the other hand is very standard.

My dilemma though is how to do the processional for his side. I was thinking I would have his dad and ex stepfather already sitting on his side and then his grandparents walk down the aisle as mine would. Or the following..

1. My mom be escorted by my brothers.
2. His mom and her current husband walk down the aisle.
3. His dad walk down the aisle. 
4. My grandparents walk down the aisle
5. His Grandparents walk down the aisle
6. Then being wedding party processional

NEED ADVICE!

Re: Complicated Inlaws

  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
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    Personally, I wouldn't have any grandparents walk down the aisle since there is some drama with your FI's grandparents. His Dad doesn't need to walk down the aisle, but if you really want him to, do it as you have it listed above.
    Ditto this. Had my FIL attended our wedding, he wouldn't have been walking down the aisle. 

    CMGragain
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    I would let your FI make the decisions about who should walk for his side. If he wants his dad to walk in the processional, I'd let him do it, but if not, then not.

    If it sounds like there's going to be drama with his dad attending, regardless of whether or not he walks, then I would suggest to your FI that nobody from his dad's side should walk. But again, let him make the decision on that.
    InLoveInQueensMairePoppyKnottie98935522
  • See I would prefer no Grandparents to walk down the aisle, but my Mom is all up in arms about my grandparents.. so I included his.

    Another thing I forgot to add is my fiance's grandparents are OVERLY involved in all of his drama with his dad. We almost weren't going to give his dad a date (bc to our knowledge he wasn't dating anyone since he broke up with the last woman in February) until he wrote one in on the invite without asking us. Then when we confronted it, his grandparents made a stink and said if he couldn't bring the date none of their family would come. It was insane. I left that decision up to my FI for obvious reasons, but I personally think the whole thing gets crazy. We're very lucky our venue and budget allows for an extra few guests. Still I just am having trouble being polite, but still getting the organization and ease of logistics that I want while incorporating his extended family into the wedding. 

    Should I bring my fiance's mom into the decision making process? Technically.. all these people are from their sides guest list.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    In all honesty, the only persons who should be involved in this decision are you and your FI. Not your parents, not your grandparents.

    Everyone you ask is entitled to decide for themselves if they will agree to any requests from you and your FI to walk down the aisle...but nobody is entitled to make that decision for anyone else.

    It sounds like you may need to have a come-to-Jesus talk with your mom about this..and be prepared to pay for your wedding yourself if she insists on making her funding and participation conditional on whether she gets her way about this. The processional is one of the few portions of a wedding where paying does not entitle anyone other than the bridal couple to a say.
    SP29mollybarker11PrettyGirlLost
  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited July 19
    My fiance comes from a VERY complicated family. His mom and dad were never married and split up 20+ years ago. His mom was married to another guy for 7 years afterwards and then they divorced. Today, she's been with her current husband for 10+ years. My fiance doesn't have a good relationship with his father at all and he recently got into it with his grandparents over drama with his dad. His dad is also bringing some random date to our wedding, so I ABSOLUTELY do not want her to walk down the aisle. His Dad and his grandparents also aren't invited to the rehearsal dinner per his mom. They also aren't contributing anything to the wedding financially when my parents are contributed most, his mom and her current husband are contributing the whole rehearsal and the a small percentage of the wedding, and we're contributing a small percentage for the wedding. May I'm being crazy, but it's SUPER complicated. 

    My family on the other hand is very standard.

    My dilemma though is how to do the processional for his side. I was thinking I would have his dad and ex stepfather already sitting on his side and then his grandparents walk down the aisle as mine would. Or the following..

    1. My mom be escorted by my brothers.
    2. His mom and her current husband walk down the aisle.
    3. His dad walk down the aisle. 
    4. My grandparents walk down the aisle
    5. His Grandparents walk down the aisle
    6. Then being wedding party processional

    NEED ADVICE!
    Are you Jewish?  In Jewish weddings, both the bride's parents and the groom's parent walk in the processional.  The grandparents do not.

    In Christian weddings only the bride and the bridal party process.  The father may escort the bride if that is her choice.  The mother is seated quietly just before the procession begins.  The groom and the groomsmen wait quietly at the altar for the bridal part to arrive.  They come in together before the ceremony begins, usually from the side.  They do not process at all.  The other guests, including the groom's parents, are seated during the prelude just like the other guests.  (I used to be a church organist, and I have seen hundreds of weddings.)

    If you are not having a religious wedding, you may do as your please.  There is no reason for family members to be in the processional at all.  It is not traditional.  If you need ammunition for this, just check out a good etiquette book from your library and read it to Mom.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    mollybarker11
  • We almost weren't going to give his dad a date (bc to our knowledge he wasn't dating anyone since he broke up with the last woman in February) until he wrote one in on the invite without asking us. Then when we confronted it, his grandparents made a stink and said if he couldn't bring the date none of their family would come. It was insane.
    It sounds like this piece of drama could have been avoided by confirming his dad's relationship status before sending out invitations. His grandparents were quite right that you should allow his SO to attend. Although, to your point, I don't see why they felt the need to involve themselves. Any etiquette source would have told you the same thing (without posing an ultimatum).

    Should I bring my fiance's mom into the decision making process?
    Absolutely not. It seems to me that you're already juggling too many bizarrely strong opinions on the simple matter of how to get folks in their seats. I would not include any of them in the processional itself. Instead:
    • Your FFIL & his girlfriend can find their spots together on their own.
    • Your FMIL & her husband can find their spots together on their own.
    • Ditto the grandparents, but you could have ushers guide them to their spots if they need special assistance.
    • Your brothers can escort your mother to her spot right before the processional begins.
    All done! I know your mom is "all up in arms" about including the grandparents for whatever reason, but I'm with @Jen4948 in that you just need to tell her you've decided to go in another direction. Those who pay do get a say, but I doubt her contribution is really dependent on whether everyone watches her parents walk down the aisle. I think this is something you're both overthinking and it'll all seem like a silly worry once you move on.

    CMGragainPrettyGirlLost
  • As I posted earlier, the  family members do not progress down the aisle unless they are either escorting the bridal couple (Jewish), or getting married themselves!  If your Grandparents want to have a vow renewal, they are free to plan one, but not during your wedding!  If people see your grandparents parading down the aisle like a bridal couple, they are going to think this is a really weird wedding!
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    CMGragain said:
    My fiance comes from a VERY complicated family. His mom and dad were never married and split up 20+ years ago. His mom was married to another guy for 7 years afterwards and then they divorced. Today, she's been with her current husband for 10+ years. My fiance doesn't have a good relationship with his father at all and he recently got into it with his grandparents over drama with his dad. His dad is also bringing some random date to our wedding, so I ABSOLUTELY do not want her to walk down the aisle. His Dad and his grandparents also aren't invited to the rehearsal dinner per his mom. They also aren't contributing anything to the wedding financially when my parents are contributed most, his mom and her current husband are contributing the whole rehearsal and the a small percentage of the wedding, and we're contributing a small percentage for the wedding. May I'm being crazy, but it's SUPER complicated. 

    My family on the other hand is very standard.

    My dilemma though is how to do the processional for his side. I was thinking I would have his dad and ex stepfather already sitting on his side and then his grandparents walk down the aisle as mine would. Or the following..

    1. My mom be escorted by my brothers.
    2. His mom and her current husband walk down the aisle.
    3. His dad walk down the aisle. 
    4. My grandparents walk down the aisle
    5. His Grandparents walk down the aisle
    6. Then being wedding party processional

    NEED ADVICE!
    Are you Jewish?  In Jewish weddings, both the bride's parents and the groom's parent walk in the processional.  The grandparents do not.

    In Christian weddings only the bride and the bridal party process.  The father may escort the bride if that is her choice.  The mother is seated quietly just before the procession begins.  The groom and the groomsmen wait quietly at the altar for the bridal part to arrive.  They come in together before the ceremony begins, usually from the side.  They do not process at all.  The other guests, including the groom's parents, are seated during the prelude just like the other guests.  (I used to be a church organist, and I have seen hundreds of weddings.)

    If you are not having a religious wedding, you may do as your please.  There is no reason for family members to be in the processional at all.  It is not traditional.  If you need ammunition for this, just check out a good etiquette book from your library and read it to Mom.
    I agree with most of this except the bolded.

    "Not traditional" =/= "no reason for family members to be in the processional at all."

    Anyone
    the couple wants, whether family members or not, whether otherwise in the wedding party or not, whether "traditional" or not, can be in the processional.

    MairePoppycharlotte989875JediElizabeth
  • CMGragain said:
    My fiance comes from a VERY complicated family. His mom and dad were never married and split up 20+ years ago. His mom was married to another guy for 7 years afterwards and then they divorced. Today, she's been with her current husband for 10+ years. My fiance doesn't have a good relationship with his father at all and he recently got into it with his grandparents over drama with his dad. His dad is also bringing some random date to our wedding, so I ABSOLUTELY do not want her to walk down the aisle. His Dad and his grandparents also aren't invited to the rehearsal dinner per his mom. They also aren't contributing anything to the wedding financially when my parents are contributed most, his mom and her current husband are contributing the whole rehearsal and the a small percentage of the wedding, and we're contributing a small percentage for the wedding. May I'm being crazy, but it's SUPER complicated. 

    My family on the other hand is very standard.

    My dilemma though is how to do the processional for his side. I was thinking I would have his dad and ex stepfather already sitting on his side and then his grandparents walk down the aisle as mine would. Or the following..

    1. My mom be escorted by my brothers.
    2. His mom and her current husband walk down the aisle.
    3. His dad walk down the aisle. 
    4. My grandparents walk down the aisle
    5. His Grandparents walk down the aisle
    6. Then being wedding party processional

    NEED ADVICE!
    Are you Jewish?  In Jewish weddings, both the bride's parents and the groom's parent walk in the processional.  The grandparents do not.

    In Christian weddings only the bride and the bridal party process.  The father may escort the bride if that is her choice.  The mother is seated quietly just before the procession begins.  The groom and the groomsmen wait quietly at the altar for the bridal part to arrive.  They come in together before the ceremony begins, usually from the side.  They do not process at all.  The other guests, including the groom's parents, are seated during the prelude just like the other guests.  (I used to be a church organist, and I have seen hundreds of weddings.)

    If you are not having a religious wedding, you may do as your please.  There is no reason for family members to be in the processional at all.  It is not traditional.  If you need ammunition for this, just check out a good etiquette book from your library and read it to Mom.
    This isn't entirely true.

    1) DH and I are Catholic: We had a pre-processional where my MIL and FIL walked down the aisle (they are married to each other) and my brother escorted my mother down the aisle before the bridal party.

    2) When dear friends of ours (also Catholic) were married, the WP processed and then the groom was escorted by both of his parents and then the bride came down the aisle escorted by both parents.   That's how their priest (who happens to be a distant relative of mine) does weddings and it's how they did theirs.

    holyguacamole79MairePoppy
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
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    edited July 23
    At all the weddings I have attended, the MOG was escorted, then the MOB followed by the wedding party. The mothers weren't escorted to the "processional music" so maybe they weren't considered part of the processional. I can't remember any grandparents being escorted prior to the mothers, but I don't see a problem with that. I have only been to Catholic and Protestant weddings.

    edit to add for clarity.
    JediElizabethCMGragain
  • OMG thank you all for the advice! Not Jewish, actually not very religious at all. We are just having a Methodist pastor do our ceremony outside. What my plan is...
    Without music prior to the processional.
    1. Have the grandparents walk down the aisle before anything during prelude music
    2. Have the girlfriend of my FI father sitting down. Have my fiance's father escorted by his daughter. 
    3. Have both my fiance's parents, then my mom be escorted down.

    Then have processional music.. 
    4. Then wedding party be escorted down.

    Then a separate song for me to walk down the aisle with my dad.

    That way it's kept to only family. I also may not even include my fiance's father. It's too much.
    MairePoppy
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut
    Moderator Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
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    OMG thank you all for the advice! Not Jewish, actually not very religious at all. We are just having a Methodist pastor do our ceremony outside. What my plan is...
    Without music prior to the processional.
    1. Have the grandparents walk down the aisle before anything during prelude music
    2. Have the girlfriend of my FI father sitting down. Have my fiance's father escorted by his daughter. 
    3. Have both my fiance's parents, then my mom be escorted down.

    Then have processional music.. 
    4. Then wedding party be escorted down.

    Then a separate song for me to walk down the aisle with my dad.

    That way it's kept to only family. I also may not even include my fiance's father. It's too much.
    That is exactly how my Catholic family does it. The family members are seated prior to the processional in the order you describe. The grandparents and parents might be escorted by an usher, gm, cousin, if they need assistance. Sometimes, the bride and/or groom are escorted by both parents. 
                
    SP29

  • OMG thank you all for the advice! Not Jewish, actually not very religious at all. We are just having a Methodist pastor do our ceremony outside. What my plan is...
    Without music prior to the processional.
    1. Have the grandparents walk down the aisle before anything during prelude music
    2. Have the girlfriend of my FI father sitting down. Have my fiance's father escorted by his daughter. 
    3. Have both my fiance's parents, then my mom be escorted down.

    Then have processional music.. 
    4. Then wedding party be escorted down.

    Then a separate song for me to walk down the aisle with my dad.

    That way it's kept to only family. I also may not even include my fiance's father. It's too much.
    Nope!  Sorry, but you do not get to choose how your FFIL is seated.  This is HIS choice, not yours.  You do not get to choose who he walks with as he takes his seat along with the other guests.

     You are really overthinking this.  Guests and family members take their seats during the prelude.  This would include FFIL.  The only exception is the MOB, who is escorted just before the processional begins.   Family members are seated in the first row of seats.  It is OK for your FFIL and his girlfriend to be seated in the second row.

    I have to say this.  I think you are being very judgemental about FFIL and his girlfriend.  This is not your family!  You need to stay out of his family squabbles.  This "girlfriend" just might become your relative-in-law someday.  Anything can happen.  If you insult her at your wedding you may regret it later.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    ILoveBeachMusicInLoveInQueensholyguacamole79
  • With all do respect CMGragain you have no idea about the relationship my fiance's dad has with us as a couple. He has a different girlfriend every month, so she may just not even be around for the wedding. In fact, he even brought a different woman to my fiance's brothers funeral in January. 

    Needless to say, thanks for your input. My fiance and I make decisions together on everything, not one or the other. Soo I have to agree to disagree with your stance. 

    My fiance and I have talked about it and decided that his father mentioned above will walk with my fiance's half sister (his fathers daughter) and my Mom will be escorted by my grandpa instead of my brothers who are in the wedding party. Then his girlfriend also will not be included as my grandmother who passed away will not be to share with us.


    To everyone else - Thanks so much for the advice! My fiance and I really feel we have a great plan together that honors all of our family members.
  • CMGragain also to your other responses I could care less about if people think this is a "weird wedding" in your terms. That's actually pretty rude. If you think that's weird I'm sure you'd hate the Phish cover band we're having:wink:
    Weddings are supposed to be for the couple and their family and friends. Thanks!
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston
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    With all do respect CMGragain you have no idea about the relationship my fiance's dad has with us as a couple. He has a different girlfriend every month, so she may just not even be around for the wedding. In fact, he even brought a different woman to my fiance's brothers funeral in January. 

    Needless to say, thanks for your input. My fiance and I make decisions together on everything, not one or the other. Soo I have to agree to disagree with your stance. 

    My fiance and I have talked about it and decided that his father mentioned above will walk with my fiance's half sister (his fathers daughter) and my Mom will be escorted by my grandpa instead of my brothers who are in the wedding party. Then his girlfriend also will not be included as my grandmother who passed away will not be to share with us.


    To everyone else - Thanks so much for the advice! My fiance and I really feel we have a great plan together that honors all of our family members.
    CMGragain also to your other responses I could care less about if people think this is a "weird wedding" in your terms. That's actually pretty rude. If you think that's weird I'm sure you'd hate the Phish cover band we're having:wink:
    Weddings are supposed to be for the couple and their family and friends. Thanks!
    Even if the bolded statements are true, this shows a very judgmental attitude towards your FFIL.  Despite his relationship history, his current girlfriend may be a part of the family for longer than you expect.  

    Relationships with your in-laws can be one of the most complicated parts of a marriage.  My FIL and I are very different people and often don't see eye-to-eye.  But, I still keep my opinions to myself and do not perpetuate them.  The point remains, he is now in my life whether I like it or not.  I also caution you against speaking negatively about your FFIL with your FI or his family.  Family dynamics change and you don't want to be known as the new wife who doesn't like his dad.  

    I don't understand the correlation between your deceased grandmother & your FFIL's girlfriend.  I encourage you to reconsider.  Letting your FFIL escort his girlfriend will not affect your marriage and would likely prevent friction within his family.  Trust me, you'll be so overcome with joy that you won't notice her unless you decide to allow it to ruin your wedding day.  



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    mollybarker11InLoveInQueenslovesclimbing
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston
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    CMGragain also to your other responses I could care less about if people think this is a "weird wedding" in your terms. That's actually pretty rude. If you think that's weird I'm sure you'd hate the Phish cover band we're having:wink:
    Weddings are supposed to be for the couple and their family and friends. Thanks!
    The proper expression is "I couldn't care less."



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    LadyCatherineDB
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta
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    With all do respect CMGragain you have no idea about the relationship my fiance's dad has with us as a couple. He has a different girlfriend every month, so she may just not even be around for the wedding. In fact, he even brought a different woman to my fiance's brothers funeral in January. 

    Needless to say, thanks for your input. My fiance and I make decisions together on everything, not one or the other. Soo I have to agree to disagree with your stance. 

    My fiance and I have talked about it and decided that his father mentioned above will walk with my fiance's half sister (his fathers daughter) and my Mom will be escorted by my grandpa instead of my brothers who are in the wedding party. Then his girlfriend also will not be included as my grandmother who passed away will not be to share with us.


    To everyone else - Thanks so much for the advice! My fiance and I really feel we have a great plan together that honors all of our family members.
    This is so gross. Judging his relationships and putting him down for it is horrible. Does it make you feel better about yourself to put down his relationship?   

    You should be ashamed of yourself for even thinking this, much less saying it. 
    justsieInLoveInQueens
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