Etiquette

Where to seat Dad's new girlfriend?

Hello ladies! I have been lurking for a few weeks while also turning this question over in my mind. It finally occurred to me today that I should ask for some advice from the other brides who seem to have good answers for everything.

My mom and dad went through a rough divorce 4 years ago. They get along well now, but to be honest I still have a bit of a hard time with the divorce. My mom is single and is not planning on bringing anyone to our wedding (of course this may change, it's 8 months away). My dad has been seeing a very nice lady for a few months now, and I assume (and hope) they are still together come wedding time. This is the first time I have seen him truly happy in 4 years. However, I feel uncomfortable at the thought of her sitting with my immediate family at the ceremony. Our church has no center aisle, so there is a set of pews immediately in front of the altar. Our entire immediate families (those who are not WP) will all fit together in that first pew- two sets of parents, my grandma, my brother, and his sister-in-law and baby neice.

Is it ok for me to have dad's girlfriend seated a few rows back? I would certainly discuss this with my dad beforehand and make sure the ushers knew to avoid any awkward situations. I know that my personal feelings about the divorce (still) are perhaps clouding my judgment some, so I am interested in some other opinions. Sorry so long!

edited for spelling :)
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Re: Where to seat Dad's new girlfriend?

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
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    edited January 2013
    Edited to: It really would be ideal and best if your mother could tolerate her, in which case the girlfriend should sit with your family in the front rows.  If that's not the case, your mother is paying, and she's threatening to pull the plug on you if this girlfriend is allowed to sit in the front rows...you'll have to decide if it's a hill you want to die on.
  • I disagree with the PP. If your dad is in a relationship his SO should be seated with him.
  • Thanks for the input. My mom would probably not be thrilled, but she is always gracious and accepting. I honestly think it is more my issue. My parents did not separate until I was 23 and I am uncomfortable with anyone being viewed as my step-parent. My mom and dad raised me. I think they should get the honor of sitting in the front over someone I will have known for less than a year at that time. It sounds silly, right?

     Seating her with my dad's family is not possible because we are estranged from them, and no one from his side is invited- a decision we both agree on. I definitely need to talk to my dad about this when the wedding gets closer.

    If I do seat her with immediate family, when does she get seated? I would absolutely be uncomfortable having her seated in the same manner as my mom, grandma, and his mom, because she isn't family and no one will really even know her since dad's family won't be there. This divorced parent stuff is complicated.
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  • QueerFemmeQueerFemme
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    edited February 2013
    In Response to Where to seat Dad's new girlfriend?:
    Hello ladies! I have been lurking for a few weeks while also turning this question over in my mind. It finally occurred to me today that I should ask for some advice from the other brides who seem to have good answers for everything. My mom and dad went through a rough divorce 4 years ago. They get along well now, but to be honest I still have a bit of a hard time with the divorce. My mom is single and is not planning on bringing anyone to our wedding (of course this may change, it's 8 months away). My dad has been seeing a very nice lady for a few months now, and I assume (and hope) they are still together come wedding time. This is the first time I have seen him truly happy in 4 years. However, I feel uncomfortable at the thought of her sitting with my immediate family at the ceremony. Our church has no center aisle, so there is a set of pews immediately in front of the altar. Our entire immediate families (those who are not WP) will all fit together in that first pew- two sets of parents, my grandma, my brother, and his sister-in-law and baby neice. Is it ok for me to have dad's girlfriend seated a few rows back? I would certainly discuss this with my dad beforehand and make sure the ushers knew to avoid any awkward situations. I know that my personal feelings about the divorce (still) are perhaps clouding my judgment some, so I am interested in some other opinions. Sorry so long! edited for spelling :)
    Posted by cbrown828
    I really feel like she should absolutely be seated with your father.  She doesnt' have to be ushered in like a mother or step mother, but she should at least be seated where your father will be seated after he walks you down the aisle (assuming he is doing that part). 
  • In Response to Re: Where to seat Dad's new girlfriend?:
    Are any friends of your father invited? It would make the most sense to me to seat dad and his gf with his friends if his family isn't invited. Does he get along well with any of FI's relatives? That might be a good option too.
    Posted by Liatris2010
    I really disagree. Her father belongs with her immediate family. And his SO belongs next to him. 
  • Our guest list is pretty small (70)- all family and a few close friends. Fortunately my dad still gets along great with my mom's uncles (he was very close with my late grandfather) and also with my future FIL. I am not worried about the reception. They can all sit together, no problems. I guess my concern was mostly related to that front row at the wedding. KindaSparkly, thank you for that idea. In reading the responses I realized our entire immediate families will not, in fact, fit in that front row. They will need to take up the first two rows. Dad is walking me down the aisle, so he and his girlfriend can sit right behind my mom and grandma. I think everyone will be agreeable to that.

    Thank you all so much. Just typing all this out has helped me think through it much better. At the end of the day, I am fortunate that both of my parents are able to be at my wedding, as my mom is a brain aneurysm survivor and my dad almost lost a battle with pneumonia and multiple organ failures just last year. I will stay focused on what is really important, and I hope you all will help me remember that :)
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  • Me too! Thanks for all your input, Liatris. I agree my dad should be happy wherever he is sitting. My grandma still loves him very much. Sitting with her and my mom will be fine. Knowing my family, after dinner everyone will move around and visit/socialize. The reception is in the banquet room of a favorite local restaurant, so there won't be dancing or too much traditional formality. There's a deck on the back with a gorgeous view where people can go hang out, so everyone will have some space.
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  • rajahmdrajahmd Galifrey
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    member
    In Response to Re: Where to seat Dad's new girlfriend?:
    Thanks for the input. My mom would probably not be thrilled, but she is always gracious and accepting. I honestly think it is more my issue. My parents did not separate until I was 23 and I am uncomfortable with anyone being viewed as my step-parent. My mom and dad raised me. I think they should get the honor of sitting in the front over someone I will have known for less than a year at that time. It sounds silly, right?  Seating her with my dad's family is not possible because we are estranged from them, and no one from his side is invited- a decision we both agree on. I definitely need to talk to my dad about this when the wedding gets closer. If I do seat her with immediate family, when does she get seated? I would absolutely be uncomfortable having her seated in the same manner as my mom, grandma, and his mom, because she isn't family and no one will really even know her since dad's family won't be there. This divorced parent stuff is complicated.
    Posted by cbrown828

    I just wanted to say I completely understand how you feel.  I'm 24, and my parents have been divorced for not quite two years.  I totally see where you are coming from, and have wondered the same thing about my mother's fiance.  As much as I would like to have a row just for our parents, as a way to honor them at the ceremony, that would require placing my mom's fiance there, which just didn't feel right (I agree with what you said above about step-parents).  I think at this point, in order to satisfy etiquette and limit the uncomfortableness of the situation, we'll have close family members in the front row (parents and SO"s, and grandparents).  I think the solution you came up with for your situation will work really well for all involved.

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