Wedding Etiquette Forum

Fiance's Children in the Wedding Party

My fiance has two children; girl, 18 and boy 11. This is my first wedding and his second. He wants his son to be his best man and would really like for me to have his daughter has my MOH. The kids and I have a good relationship but I have a girlfriend and a sister-in-law I am much closer to and had envisioned asking one of them to be my MOH. He is offended at this. I am not crazy about an 11 year old being the best man since he cannot do anything the best man is supposed to do.  I know this marriage will be creating a new family and I know I need to allow a place for the relationships he has with his kids at our wedding, so am I being unreasonable and selfish to only want them in the wedding party? 

Re: Fiance's Children in the Wedding Party

  • Your FI can have his son AND daughter on his side. The son could be "best man" and the daughter a "groomswoman". Since the daughter is 18, she could sign the marriage license as a witness.

    You can have whomever you like stand on your side.
  • He gets to pick his side, you get to pick yours.  Don't worry about an 11-yo being adequate as a best man--there is nothing he has to do aside from show up in the right outfit and stand there.  (Although if you need witnesses on your marriage license, you should figure out whether a minor can be a witness, but I don't think that was the kind of responsibilities you were talking about and it doesn't mean he can't be best man.)  Would your husband be amenable to having his daughter on his side?  She could wear what the bridesmaids are wearing, or something that is the same color as what the guys are wearing (like a black cocktail dress if the men on his side will be in black suits). 

  • The fixation on gender here is manufacturing unecessary drama. There is no anti ovary forcefield on the groom's side of the altar. Have the poor girl stand with her father, it's probably where she wants to be anyway, not exhiled just because she's female, that's silly.
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  • While I agree with the others that it's totally fine to have her on his side, I also think it would be nice gesture for you to have her on yours. Is this really a battle that you want to pick? I imagine it's a sensitive one since it involves kids. Can you guys compromise and have her on your side as a co-MOH with your MOH of choice?
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_fiances-children-in-the-wedding-party?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:b7ad61a5-3909-4cd0-93e8-659200ccfcdcPost:00c540af-ea03-4a88-a876-b78d7023e330">Re: Fiance's Children in the Wedding Party</a>:
    [QUOTE]While I agree with the others that it's totally fine to have her on his side, I also think it would be nice gesture for you to have her on yours. Is this really a battle that you want to pick? I imagine it's a sensitive one since it involves kids. Can you guys compromise and have her on your side as a co-MOH with your MOH of choice?
    Posted by cew515[/QUOTE]



    This. I would have her as a bm but pick a MOH of your own.






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  • itzMSitzMS member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    edited October 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_fiances-children-in-the-wedding-party?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:b7ad61a5-3909-4cd0-93e8-659200ccfcdcPost:00c540af-ea03-4a88-a876-b78d7023e330">Re: Fiance's Children in the Wedding Party</a>:
    [QUOTE]While I agree with the others that it's totally fine to have her on his side, I also think it would be nice gesture for you to have her on yours. Is this really a battle that you want to pick? I imagine it's a sensitive one since it involves kids. Can you guys compromise and have her on your side as a co-MOH with your MOH of choice?
    Posted by cew515[/QUOTE]

    The daughter is 18...she doesn't need to be coddled, or awarded with a "co-MOH" title just because.
    I can understand being careful with the 11 year old son, as that is a very impressionable age and the OP will have a key role in his teenage years. With the 18 y/o daughter, why not just ask her what her preference is? It's entirely possible that she'll (hopefully) be in college and not want to participate in the wedding party activities due to exams, etc.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_fiances-children-in-the-wedding-party?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:b7ad61a5-3909-4cd0-93e8-659200ccfcdcPost:843d8765-5b49-473e-9ec6-03f6c6c6905c">Re: Fiance's Children in the Wedding Party</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Fiance's Children in the Wedding Party : The daughter is 18...she doesn't need to be coddled, or awarded with a "co-MOH" title just because. I can understand being careful with the 11 year old son, as that is a very impressionable age and the OP will have a key role in his teenage years. With the 18 y/o daughter, why not just ask her what her preference is? It's entirely possible that she'll (hopefully) be in college and not want to participate in the wedding party activities due to exams, etc.
    Posted by itzMS[/QUOTE]

    Who said anything about coddling anyone? It's not about coddling the daughter as much as it's about stepping outside of your own little world and realizing that you are forming a new family and that it's wise to pick your battles. It's obvious that her FI was bothered by her reluctance to have her in the WP. For me, this wouldn't be a battle I would pick. If it is for her, then so be it.
  • Your fiance does not get to pick your  bridal party. He has no right to be mad at you for wanting someone you are close to as your MOH. If you want to keep the peace I would consider making her a bridemaid though my inclination personally would be to have her stand on her father's side since he is the on that wants her in the wedding party.
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  • You don't have to designate anyone in your WP as MOH - you can simply have whoever you want stand with you. (on either side)  I had my two daughters and my stepdaughter as BMs, but no one was MOH. 

    FI's daughter can stand on either side; why don't you ask her what she would like to do?  I bet all of you can come up with a solution together.
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Well, who he picks as his attendants is strictly up to him.  If he wants to include his children on his side, that's for him to decide but not you.

    On the other hand, who you pick as your attendants is strictly up to you.  If you don't want his daughter as your MOH, that's your decision to make.  if you don't want her on your side, she can be on his side.

    I'd ask the kids in question if they want to be in the wedding and what roles they want before you decide anything.
  • edited October 2012
    I agree with the PP that you should pick who's on your side. I can't fathom why he's offended by you not choosing his daughter as your MOH.

    Also, it's kinda weird that you phrased your issue with this as " envisioned asking one of them to be my MOH. He is offended at this. I am not crazy about an 11 year old being the best man since he cannot do anything the best man is supposed to do."

    Why are you taking issue with that he's chosen for his side? When you brought it up to him is this how your phrased it instead of mentioning how you dreamed of your friends by your side? The isssue should be you not having the right to pick your own WP but you don't get that across to him by taking away his right to pick his.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_fiances-children-in-the-wedding-party?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:b7ad61a5-3909-4cd0-93e8-659200ccfcdcPost:693af45f-419a-4ec9-a693-b784caad7d1d">Re: Fiance's Children in the Wedding Party</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Fiance's Children in the Wedding Party : Who said anything about coddling anyone? It's not about coddling the daughter as much as it's about stepping outside of your own little world and realizing that you are forming a new family and that it's wise to pick your battles. It's obvious that her FI was bothered by her reluctance to have her in the WP. For me, this wouldn't be a battle I would pick. If it is for her, then so be it.
    Posted by cew515[/QUOTE]

    My point was it seems like the OP doesn't realize his daughter is 18, not eight. She is an adult and can and should be <em>asked</em> to be in the wedding party. Thus, not be obligated to be by daddy and future stepmommy to be a bridesmaid or groomswoman or whatever.
  • I think the subtextual messages being sent to this girl are depressing. Her father inherantly values her little brother enougb to place him right by his side, and give him a title of honor because of his genetilia. But SHE has to be forced onto the new stepmother to the point where it causes a family argument. It's messages like these that errode young female identities. Her brother is automatically worth honoring, no questions, no fuss. It might be unintentional, but it's something she'll pick up on.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_fiances-children-in-the-wedding-party?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:b7ad61a5-3909-4cd0-93e8-659200ccfcdcPost:8b790f60-1b18-4f91-ac4e-c75a542988cc">Re:Fiance's Children in the Wedding Party</a>:
    [QUOTE]I think the subtextual messages being sent to this girl are depressing. Her father inherantly values her little brother enougb to place him right by his side, and give him a title of honor because of his genetilia. But SHE has to be forced onto the new stepmother to the point where it causes a family argument. It's messages like these that errode young female identities. Her brother is automatically worth honoring, no questions, no fuss. It might be unintentional, but it's something she'll pick up on.
    Posted by Peledreamsofrain[/QUOTE]

    <div>
    </div><div>I think you're reading into this a bit much. It's a wedding, not a line of succession to the throne. </div><div>
    </div><div>OP, if it would mean a lot to your FI and to his daughter, I'd just call her a MOH, and have a second MOH of your choosing, or just have everyone be a groomsman or bridesmaid, no "honorary" titles. </div>
  • My only attendants are my 3 children, two girls and a boy. I gave them all honor attendant titles, and am dividing up the "duties". My son is the only one over 18, so he will sign the liscense, older daughter is holding fi's ring and my bouquet, and youngest is standing next to me. I know fi would have gladly had my son on his side had I asked, but I want him on mine. Those kids are my nearest and dearest, and I want them standing with me.

    Now, that does mean I don't get any kind of parties or anything, but I could care less. Have you suggested his daughter stand with him too? If he's not into that, please let her be on your side, even just as a bridesmaid or co-moh. I would have been crushed as a young adult to be left out, and I can't possibly see what would be hurt by having her there with you.
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  • My parents are divorced and both remarried. Personally, even though I like my step-mother and have a good relationship with her, I would have been very uncomfortable being her MOH. You and/or your fiance should really talk to his kids about how involved they want to be in the wedding. It might help too if your fiance has his son stand on his side, but not title him as best man so then there doesnt have to be an "equal" title of MOH for his daughter.
    Hope this helps!
  • CA.GiraffeCA.Giraffe Whine Country member
    Seventh Anniversary 100 Comments 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    I think it depends on OP's relationship with the girl. If they're close, I could see her standing as a BM, but not MOH if OP has someone else she's closer to. If they're not close, OP's FI can have his daughter stand on his side. In my first wedding, exFI begged me to include his teenage daughter as a BM even though we weren't close. It was awkward for both of us. Fast forward to now I've asked FI's daughter 17 to be my sole BM, and FI asked my son 15 to be BM. We're close to each other's kids, there was no discussion and we both asked whoever we wanted.
  • To me, this is exactly like when brides are "expected" to ask their FI's female siblings to be bridesmaids in the wedding party.   The concept is outdated and silly, but in many circles is still very much the reality. 

    OP, my advice is suggest that she be a Groom's Attendant on his side.  If that meets with resistance from your FI, just make her BM (not the MOH).  It's not worth the future issues to not include her in the WP, but she really ought to be on his side.  
  • I think it'll be awkward and sad for her not to be in the wedding, especially if her brother is. I don't feel as strongly as Peledreamsofrain, but I think it definitely could make her feel like the second-rate sibling. Make her a bridesmaid, groomswoman or co-MOH. It really doesn't matter which, as long as she isn't excluded from her new family.
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  • OP, I think that you and FI need to talk about this more- he can have a Best man and a Best woman- having both of them on his side, but if he refuses to have her on his side (which, if that is the case, you need to have a deeper talk) then just ask her to be a bridesmaid. She is an adult and would understand if you didn't have her as MOH.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_fiances-children-in-the-wedding-party?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:b7ad61a5-3909-4cd0-93e8-659200ccfcdcPost:8b790f60-1b18-4f91-ac4e-c75a542988cc">Re:Fiance's Children in the Wedding Party</a>:
    [QUOTE]I think the subtextual messages being sent to this girl are depressing. Her father inherantly values her little brother enougb to place him right by his side, and give him a title of honor because of his genetilia. But SHE has to be forced onto the new stepmother to the point where it causes a family argument. It's messages like these that errode young female identities. Her brother is automatically worth honoring, no questions, no fuss. It might be unintentional, but it's something she'll pick up on.
    Posted by Peledreamsofrain[/QUOTE]

    WTF???

    This is ridiculous.

    She is 18 years old.  Ask her where she wants to stand.  The emphasis on CHOOSING SIDES like it is a civil war are a bit much.  Good grief.
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  • edited November 2012
    In Response to Re:Fiance's Children in the Wedding Party:In Response to Re:Fiance's Children in the Wedding Party:I think the subtextual messages being sent to this girl are depressing. Her father inherantly values her little brother enougb to place him right by his side, and give him a title of honor because of his genetilia. But SHE has to be forced onto the new stepmother to the point where it causes a family argument. It's messages like these that errode young female identities. Her brother is automatically worth honoring, no questions, no fuss. It might be unintentional, but it's something she'll pick up on.Posted by PeledreamsofrainWTF???This is ridiculous.She is 18 years old.nbsp; Ask her where she wants to stand.nbsp; The emphasis on CHOOSING SIDES like it is a civil war are a bit much.nbsp; Good grief. Posted by LesPaul

    I agree completely, it is ridiculous that it has developed into a family argument, and that was my point. 

    All because she's female.  Too much emphasis on gender, it's creating weird and ridiculous artificial drama that isn't necessary in modern society.  Let her decide where she wants to stand.  If I was her, and my father told me that I couldn't stand by his side just because I was the wrong gender, I'd be devistated, and confused.  My father would have never done that to me.

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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_fiances-children-in-the-wedding-party?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:b7ad61a5-3909-4cd0-93e8-659200ccfcdcPost:818fb585-6cbd-4422-85cb-eece4a57cbe4">Re: Fiance's Children in the Wedding Party</a>:
    [QUOTE]My parents are divorced and both remarried.<strong> Personally, even though I like my step-mother and have a good relationship with her, I would have been very uncomfortable being her MOH. </strong>You and/or your fiance should really talk to his kids about how involved they want to be in the wedding. It might help too if your fiance has his son stand on his side, but not title him as best man so then there doesnt have to be an "equal" title of MOH for his daughter. Hope this helps!
    Posted by bucky2012[/QUOTE]


    This. My Dad got married when I was 16, My step-mom's MOH was her best friend, and then her daughter, my sister, and my-self were BMs. I would've felt weird if my sister or I were the MOH (though it would've been even more weird in our situation if one of us were the MOH over step-sister). And, if I remember, I don't think my dad had any GM besides my 2 step-brothers.

    I mean, we probably could've had my sister and I on my dad's side, with step-siblings all on step-mom's side, but we just went girls with the bride and boys with the groom, because it wasn't really about the 2 separate familes for us, my dad and step-mom have been together since I was 7, so we were all used to being part of one family when my sister and I were there.

     It's not like anyone maliciously banished us to stay with our gender, it's just something that's been up until recently, a pretty common construct of society. It's like when people by blue/pink clothes for babies. They're most likely not TRYING to be mean or force the children into gender roles, they're just doing it because it's a construct of society, (though one that's wonderfully being challenged much more often).

    (I've clearly been in to many sociology classes this semester...yipes).

    To OP-I agree with PP that you should ask FI's daughter how she feels about it, and just try to talk it out with FI.
  • Good lord - just ask the girl (young lady at 18) what she feels comfortable doing.  The last thing you want to do is force her into a role that she may be uncomfortable with, but she may be reluctant to tell you and her dad for fear of hurting your feelings once you've asked.  And you don't want to draw a line in the sand with your future husband over his kids- not a good way to start your marriage and new family. 

    Tell your FI that you would like to speak to your soon to be step-daughter about her take on the situation and if she would even like to be in the wedding party, and if so, does she have a preference as to which side (it doesn't mean she has to be your MOH).  IMO, if you are smart, you will let her do the choosing about if and how she participates and it will all work out.  I have 2 step-children...letting them participate in decisions like this, and acknowledging their potentially conflicting emotions, goes a very, very long way. 
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  • She is 18, ask her what she wants.  However, make sure you do it in a way that doesn't read, "I really don't want you to be my MOH, so please choose not to be."

    Whoever your FI has in his wedding party is his choice.

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