Etiquette

Future Stepdaughter at Wedding

My FI has a daughter, whom I really adore. She's a great kid and I'm excited to have her be part of our family. That being said, I don't think I want children at the wedding. On one hand I want this to be a family event- I love FI's family and am excited to be a part of it and vice versa- but I also kind of want this day to just be about us. I would love ideas of how to reach a happy medium where she can either be there and I don't have to invite everyone's kids or she doesn't attend the wedding/ reception but we do something to make her feel a part of it (not just the wedding but what it all means, etc.) 
If it comes down to it, my relationship with her is more important than having kids at the wedding or the day exactly how I want. 
As a note, she will be a bit old to be a flower girl at the time of our wedding (10 or 11) and I really don't like the idea of Junior Bridesmaids. 
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Re: Future Stepdaughter at Wedding

  • I think she should be invited to the wedding.

    My dad remarried when I was younger than your step-daughter and I was devastated when I was not invited to the wedding (and it was only the two of them eloping). Please include her.
    Simky906s-aries8990grumbledore
  • Simply because you're having your FI's daughter does not mean that you have to invite everyone's child. She's the daughter of the groom; I'm sure people will understand.

    That said, have you considered inviting her cousins (if she has any)? Being the only kid at a wedding can be a little boring and it might be nice to have someone her age to hang out with.

    Regarding her role in the wedding (and I speak as a stepdaughter when I say this) I would ask her what, if any, role she would like to have. Then I would roll with that.

    And for the record, if my stepmother had not even invited me to the wedding & reception, I would have been PISSED. That really would have made me feel that I wasn't wanted, no matter how many times she would have insisted to the contrary.

    I'm glad that you recognize that you relationship with FSD is the most important thing. Please continue to keep that in mind as the plans progress.
    grumbledoreMairePoppyMitch617
  • chibiyuichibiyui The Boring Part of MD member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    OMG yes invite her. You can make exceptions for whoever you want, and anyone who wants to get all "OH my child wasn't invited, but your future step-daughter was" is a fucking asshole and you should cut them out of your life. 

    Seriously, invite her. Both ceremony and reception. Not inviting her will fuck up your relationship.
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    grumbledore
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I guess I don't understand why this is even a question.   Unless there is an elopement, I don't know why you would exclude one of your own children to a wedding.  I would find that very hurtful.










    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
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  • MNVegasMNVegas member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 250 Love Its Name Dropper
    Of course you invite your FI's daughter. I can't even imagine why you wouldn't. You do not need to invite other children if that is what you want, but FI's daughter isn't some random other child.

    As for her role, what would your FI like for her? What would she like? It is time to sit down and communicate.
    grumbledore
  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    Speaking as a step-daughter myself: of course you invite her!!!  I was 20 and my sister was 16 when my dad got remarried and we would have been extremely hurt not to be invited.  It might have been a relationship-ending or at least extremely damaging move.  I think a 10 year old would have been even more upset.  And no, we weren't BMs and didn't have any special role.  That was totally fine.  

    You can just have FSD be the only exception.  Don't invite any other kids, just her.  That's a perfectly OK line to draw.  Everyone will understand.
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  • KGold80KGold80 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper

    My FI has a daughter, whom I really adore. She's a great kid and I'm excited to have her be part of our family. That being said, I don't think I want children at the wedding. On one hand I want this to be a family event- I love FI's family and am excited to be a part of it and vice versa- but I also kind of want this day to just be about us. I would love ideas of how to reach a happy medium where she can either be there and I don't have to invite everyone's kids or she doesn't attend the wedding/ reception but we do something to make her feel a part of it (not just the wedding but what it all means, etc.) 
    If it comes down to it, my relationship with her is more important than having kids at the wedding or the day exactly how I want. 
    As a note, she will be a bit old to be a flower girl at the time of our wedding (10 or 11) and I really don't like the idea of Junior Bridesmaids. 
    I think you absolutely have to include her - either as a guest or with a special role. I would strongly recommend that you avoid even suggesting to your fiance that his daughter should not be invited to the wedding in any capacity. That would be a dealbreaker for me personally, as I think it would be (and should be) for any parent. You can absolutely have your future stepdaughter at the wedding (OF COURSE!) without inviting other kids.
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    grumbledore
  • If you don't invite her, you will alienate her.
    Look at it from her perspective...the first official 'family' moment and she's excluded? Regardless of whether or not you and FI agree on this, she will view it as your decision and at the age of 10/11 she is VERY impressionable and the choices you make regarding yours and her relationship WILL resonate for the rest of her life.

    Choose wisely.
    grumbledore
  • I am going to share a story about my daughter's experience with her step mom. It is not wedding related but I think it can apply here. My daughter's bio dad married her step mother in 2006. My daughter liked her but they just became close this past summer. They had her little brother in 2009. He was a premie around 8 weeks early. While I fully understand this emergency situation they had while my daughter was up visiting for the summer. Instead of calling me asking me to come get her to allow them the time to spend at the hospital, they passed her off on to multiple different family members. Most of whom were her step-mother's family and not really my daughter's family. This ruined my daughter's relationship with her step-mother. She felt unwanted and in the way.

    If you don't invite your future step-daughter to the wedding, this is how she will feel toward you. At minimum she should get an automatic invite to the event where the three of you become a family in front of the rest of your family and friends. She doesn't need to be a BM, or you can ask her to be a BM just avoid the "junior" title. That is what I did last year when I got remarried. My daughter and niece were bridesmaids and my nephew was a groomsman.

     *Formerly ctexasgurl26 and mrsridings061513*

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    grumbledorechibiyui
  • BlergbotBlergbot An enchanted land member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary First Answer
    FWIW my flower girls will both be 12. I don't think 10 is too old as long as she's cool with it, so ask her what role she would like to have.
    chibiyuiSKPM
  • ei34ei34 member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I'd absolutely invite her and ask her what role she'd like, if any. Guests with children will not question why their child wasn't invited when the daughter of the groom was.
    I know you want the day to be about the two of you, but once you're a parent, nothing is solely about you, it's also about your kid(s)...the man you're marrying is a parent.
    KGold80grumbledore
  • As pps suggested, because you are having a more traditional type wedding, you should absolutely have her there.

     

    That being said, I married my DH and he has two children from his previous relationship. We eloped, so the daughters were not present. We did celebrate with them after we returned from the trip. They were both over the age of 18 when we married. I do think it's unfair that some posters issued a strong blanket statement that not inviting someone's kids from a previous relationship is a total dealbreaker or the relationship between the new spouse and kids will be forever tarnished. I think things will vary by situation and I know in my case, they were mature enough to understand the situation. DH also agreed it was best to not include them. Again, I believe in OP's case, the daughter should be included.

     

    As someone who has a stepmother and is a stepmother, I understand there are instances when being a part of a blended family complicates things and decisions and actions will cause issues. However, I just wanted to remind everyone that it's always not completely black and white.

    You raise a good point. I can't speak for anyone else, but I know the reason I said what I did is that OP seemed to be planning to include OTHER guests, just not FSD, and that would have been an issue. A true elopement, of course, means something different.
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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its

    As pps suggested, because you are having a more traditional type wedding, you should absolutely have her there.

     

    That being said, I married my DH and he has two children from his previous relationship. We eloped, so the daughters were not present. We did celebrate with them after we returned from the trip. They were both over the age of 18 when we married. I do think it's unfair that some posters issued a strong blanket statement that not inviting someone's kids from a previous relationship is a total dealbreaker or the relationship between the new spouse and kids will be forever tarnished. I think things will vary by situation and I know in my case, they were mature enough to understand the situation. DH also agreed it was best to not include them. Again, I believe in OP's case, the daughter should be included.

     

    As someone who has a stepmother and is a stepmother, I understand there are instances when being a part of a blended family complicates things and decisions and actions will cause issues. However, I just wanted to remind everyone that it's always not completely black and white.



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    I thought  of you when I said "unless you elope".  But I should have added minor children to the mix.  Adult children can had a completely different dynamic than minor children.  So you are correct it's not fair to say absolutely.  Every situation is different.  


    I just feel that when it comes to minor children I think one should err on the side of inviting the child so they are included.  Excluding a FSD simply because you don't want any children doesn't sit right with me.  







    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • mysticlmysticl member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer

    As pps suggested, because you are having a more traditional type wedding, you should absolutely have her there.

     

    That being said, I married my DH and he has two children from his previous relationship. We eloped, so the daughters were not present. We did celebrate with them after we returned from the trip. They were both over the age of 18 when we married. I do think it's unfair that some posters issued a strong blanket statement that not inviting someone's kids from a previous relationship is a total dealbreaker or the relationship between the new spouse and kids will be forever tarnished. I think things will vary by situation and I know in my case, they were mature enough to understand the situation. DH also agreed it was best to not include them. Again, I believe in OP's case, the daughter should be included.

     

    As someone who has a stepmother and is a stepmother, I understand there are instances when being a part of a blended family complicates things and decisions and actions will cause issues. However, I just wanted to remind everyone that it's always not completely black and white.

    My step-sister and her husband basically eloped, they took the kids with them.  I think the real key in your situation is that they were adults.  Adults understand eloping and there is a different dynamic in the relationship between adult children and their step-parents.  As well as a different dynamic between adult children and their biological parents.  

    In the OP's case the child will still be relatively young at the time of the marriage.  A child that age is less likely to understand the concept of eloping and will just see that they weren't included (i.e. wanted).  
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  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    @Jells2dot0 Yeah, I think it's a bit different when you're eloping and the children involved aren't minors.

    My mom is not planning on marrying her boyfriend, who has three children from previous relationships. One of them is still a minor (14 years old). Meanwhile, my siblings and I are much older (24, 27, and almost 30). If my mom eloped, I don't know if I'd really be that upset about being excluded. However, her boyfriend had eloped for his second marriage, and his 14-year-old was very sad about it. She's actually asked him if she can come to the wedding if he ever gets married again. It's worth noting that this girl is currently 14; my mom has been dating her boyfriend for almost 3 years, and I'm pretty sure he had been divorced for a while before that. So she was maybe 8 or 9 when he eloped, and she's still sad about it.
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  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    lyndausvi said:

    As pps suggested, because you are having a more traditional type wedding, you should absolutely have her there.

     

    That being said, I married my DH and he has two children from his previous relationship. We eloped, so the daughters were not present. We did celebrate with them after we returned from the trip. They were both over the age of 18 when we married. I do think it's unfair that some posters issued a strong blanket statement that not inviting someone's kids from a previous relationship is a total dealbreaker or the relationship between the new spouse and kids will be forever tarnished. I think things will vary by situation and I know in my case, they were mature enough to understand the situation. DH also agreed it was best to not include them. Again, I believe in OP's case, the daughter should be included.

     

    As someone who has a stepmother and is a stepmother, I understand there are instances when being a part of a blended family complicates things and decisions and actions will cause issues. However, I just wanted to remind everyone that it's always not completely black and white.



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    I thought  of you when I said "unless you elope".  But I should have added minor children to the mix.  Adult children can had a completely different dynamic than minor children.  So you are correct it's not fair to say absolutely.  Every situation is different.  


    I just feel that when it comes to minor children I think one should err on the side of inviting the child so they are included.  Excluding a FSD simply because you don't want any children doesn't sit right with me.  

    I 100% agree with this. The OP hinted at having a more traditional wedidng and mentioned the FSD was a minor. I would have had my SDs at my wedding if they were younger or we had more traditional plans. I have a completely different type of relationship with them because of their age. It is certainly not parental in any way and I do not have any children of my own. In fact, both of them agreed that what we did was the right thing for our situation and thought we would have experienced a lot of extra drama if we attempted to involve anyone in our plans.

    Basically, when it's all adults in the mix, it's essentially the same as eloping and not including your parents. Someone might be upset about it, but we made an adult decision and affected only adults.

     







    countrygirl061513lyndausvi
  • Sugargirl1019Sugargirl1019 Deep in the Heart of Texas member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    I would treat her as a VIP (like mom or dad) and give her a corsage and she can sit in the front row. You don't need to make her part of the wedding party, but definitely allow her to come!

    I would hit anyone who asks why she is coming and not their speshul snowflake children :) As your FIs daughter, she is special to this day still!

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    grumbledore
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited May 2014
    Yeah, invite her.  You're going to be a member of her family so not inviting her would be really cruel.  But beyond that, don't pressure her to fill some pre-conceived "role" by way of "involving" her.  Let her figure out what her involvement will be.
    grumbledore
  • KDM323KDM323 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    Has anyone thought to ask the kid what she would want?

    Does she want to be a part of the wedding in any way or does she just want to attend?

    I think her Dad should take HER out to dinner one night (not OP...just his daughter) and have a conversation with her and find out what SHE wants, what her level of comfort is (ie. does she want to participate or just attend) and then take it from there.
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  • My FI has a daughter, whom I really adore. She's a great kid and I'm excited to have her be part of our family. That being said, I don't think I want children at the wedding. On one hand I want this to be a family event- I love FI's family and am excited to be a part of it and vice versa- but I also kind of want this day to just be about us. I would love ideas of how to reach a happy medium where she can either be there and I don't have to invite everyone's kids or she doesn't attend the wedding/ reception but we do something to make her feel a part of it (not just the wedding but what it all means, etc.) 
    If it comes down to it, my relationship with her is more important than having kids at the wedding or the day exactly how I want. 
    As a note, she will be a bit old to be a flower girl at the time of our wedding (10 or 11) and I really don't like the idea of Junior Bridesmaids. 
    She's immediate family.  It's fine to invite her and not invite other kids.  She doesn't have to participate in the wedding to be present.  However, a 10 year old is perfectly capable of being a bridesmaid.  My 10-year old daughter will be a BM in my wedding in November.

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    KGold80
  • My FI has a daughter, whom I really adore. She's a great kid and I'm excited to have her be part of our family. That being said, I don't think I want children at the wedding. On one hand I want this to be a family event- I love FI's family and am excited to be a part of it and vice versa- but I also kind of want this day to just be about us. I would love ideas of how to reach a happy medium where she can either be there and I don't have to invite everyone's kids or she doesn't attend the wedding/ reception but we do something to make her feel a part of it (not just the wedding but what it all means, etc.) 
    If it comes down to it, my relationship with her is more important than having kids at the wedding or the day exactly how I want. 
    As a note, she will be a bit old to be a flower girl at the time of our wedding (10 or 11) and I really don't like the idea of Junior Bridesmaids. 
    you are becoming a part of her family. This is your fiance's DAUGHTER-- she should most definitely be at the wedding if you having guests.  You say you are excited to be celebrating with family, yet you are not inviting your FSD!?  It is totally ok to have your FSD at the wedding and still not invite guest's children.
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  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    Has anyone thought to ask the kid what she would want?

    Does she want to be a part of the wedding in any way or does she just want to attend?

    I think her Dad should take HER out to dinner one night (not OP...just his daughter) and have a conversation with her and find out what SHE wants, what her level of comfort is (ie. does she want to participate or just attend) and then take it from there.
    Issue isn't whether or not the OP's future step-daughter would participate in the wedding. It's whether or not she'll be invited.
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  • My SD was the only child at our wedding. She had a great time, and nobody questioned it. During the ceremony she stood up on her dad's side with her uncle and cousin. In the program I didn't have her listed with the groomsmen though. Instead I listed her below the parents as the daughter of the Groom. That way if she changed her mind about participating closer to the event I didn't have to change anything. 

    You should definitely invite her, but I do understand what you mean by having the day be for you as a couple. Leading up to our wedding my SIL made comments like how she wasn't even excited for DH and myself, but she was only excited for SD, and how great a day it would be for SD and how pretty SD would look in her dress. Don't get me wrong; I wanted her to have a great time, and of course the day of I brought her with me to get her hair done and everything but I would be lying to myself if I didn't admit that a small part of me wished that we could have a "normal wedding" where people would be focused on the two of us beginning our lives together.

    My advice to you is to acknowledge your feelings, talk it out with your FDH (I did and he was very understanding), and then move past it and make her feel included. In the end we all had a great time and I wouldn't have changed anything about the day!
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