Wedding Etiquette Forum

step daughter and her mother

I am including my future stepdaughter in the wedding as a bridesmaid.  When she saw the guest list she was hurt that we had not included her mother and stepfather.  I know its customary to invite the parents of your bridesmaids, but it makes me feel really uncomfortable to have her at the wedding.  We get along for the most part, but this is my day.. not my stepdaughters.  My fiancee is ok with whatever I want, but thinks I am being a little silly.  Suggestions?

Re: step daughter and her mother

  • I have never heard of inviting your bridesmaids parents as an etiquette thing. That definitely wasn't the case with my social network.

    Do you have a good relationship with her mother and stepfather? If so, I think including them to further support your relationship with your SD and them would be a nice gesture. In the end, you really won't be spending any time other than a hello.

    If it's a sore topic and it makes you feel very negative, don't invite them. It's not SD's wedding, her mother doesn't NEED to be there.
  • How old is the future SD?  Who will be taking her home at the end of the night?

    You will most likely spend all of 5 minutes with her mom.  Unless the relationship between the 4 adults is really tense, I would invite her & her husband.
  • So this would be inviting your FI's ex wife?  I'd say no to that.  
  • I've never head of inviting BM's parents.  Only one of my BM's parents was there, and that's cause she is now my MIL - haha.  The other two, I don't know the parents, I know the "kids" and we've been friends since college and after, so I have only met their parents once or twice.  I can see inviting the parents if they are childhood friends and you grew up running in and out of each others homes, cause then the parents are like an extension of your own family.  However, for you, this is not the case.  If the adults all get along and you have room in the budget/head count limits, I'd go ahead and invite them for the sake of family harmony and presenting a united front.  If there's awkwardness and tension and it would be weird, I'd skip it.
  • She is 13 and would go home with her grandparents afterwards.  He was never married to her mom, they had her young.  Its not a bad relationship, but she wasn't overly accepting of me when we first started dating and just makes me not comfortable.
  • When I was 13, I would have been really proud to be a bridesmaid, and would have wanted all my parents to see me. It doesn't sound like this woman is going to cause a scene, so I'd invite her and think of it as one of the many ways you'll put your children before you.
  • We've talked about this exact situation w/ SS's mom. They will likely ask why she isn't there or ask why she wasn't invited etc. Thier mom may even ask us...who knows! We haven't exactly mapped out how we plan on addressing it with them. But it will likely be along the lines of the wedding being for "our" family just like mommy's wedding will be about her family when the time comes.
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  • My only opinion is that you'll be connected to her mom and step dad presumably for the rest of your life, so creating a little good will now may go a long way in the future. Her prom, graduation, college visits, wedding, having kids, etc will be here before you know it, and it may be good for you and FI to extend an olive branch.
  • How does your Fi feel about this? I think this is a decision that you should discuss with him. But I vote invite her. Your SD will appreciate it.
  • Simply FatedSimply Fated member
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    edited March 2013
    Does his ex even expect to be invited? I know I wouldn't want to go to an exhusband's wedding. If she declined, would that make things even worse for their daughter? I think this is a discussion for your fiance to have with his exwife. If they decide to coparent, that's great! But they need to set up boundaries. Thanksgiving and her birthday is one thing, but your wedding is quite another. Was her dad at her mom's wedding to her stepfather?
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  • I invited one of my BM's parents because BM and I have known each other for 18 years, and they are sort of my extended family. I have spent holidays, birthdays, and vacations with them and I wanted them there. BM would not have been upset if they were not invited, and she did not expect it at all. We have three other BMs, and none of their parents are invited. You are not required to invite BM's parents at all!
  • I agree with those who say that if you have a decent relationship with SD's mom and stepdad, inviting them will a good long-term idea to demonstrate that you are all working together for the best of your SD.  It's all well and good to want this to be about your (new) family, but if you all co-parent, knowing there is no animosity will help your step-daughter more than wondering how everyone really feels about each other.  You'll spend at most 10 minutes with these people - but your stepdaughter will remember your kindness longer.

    (Full disclaimer: I say this as someone with step-parents; my mom and stepdad attended my dad's wedding - and my sister and I were adults!)
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  • edited March 2013
    I disagree with many pp on the thought you should extend the invite to show a united front or to keep the peace. That is what you do when the event is focused on your skids. Like their own graduation or sporting event or birthday or wedding. Not your own wedding. You've said the idea makes you uncomfortable so there is your answer. In my situation I would have felt very awkward to have DHs ex wife at our wedding. My skids we very involved in the wedding, felt important and loved through the whole process, and were thrilled about our wedding. They didn't need their mom there for that. It wasn't "my" day but it was "our" day to mark the start of our family. Saying you will only see this person for 10 min to say hello is not an accurate representation of what would occur with a 13 yr old in this situation. She will want to sit with her mom or have everyone sit together. If there are family photos if she does not mention her mom being in the pictures then it will be on her mind. And so on and so forth throughout the entire day. I know because I deal with this on a regular basis with my own skids. I have no issues making my skids as comfortable as possible in situations when we are all together and I always put them first when appropriate, but that was one day it is not necessary. They too asked when we were first engaged if their mom would come and DH nicely explained to them that it wasn't usually done that way and that was the end of it. Sorry for long response. I obviously have a strong opinion on it. I don't want you to get pushed into doing something you don't feel comfortable doing. Your SD will be fine assuming you show respect towards her mother on a regular basis. ETA: no paragraphs on mobile! And pp hit the nail on the head about boundaries.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_step-daughter-and-her-mother?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:f0447337-090e-4b9a-8a6a-36e1a22638bfPost:12c77e85-d2b4-4567-a80a-a2b85d57562c">step daughter and her mother</a>:
    [QUOTE]I am including my future stepdaughter in the wedding as a bridesmaid.  When she saw the guest list she was hurt that we had not included her mother and stepfather.  I know its customary to invite the parents of your bridesmaids, but it makes me feel really uncomfortable to have her at the wedding.  We get along for the most part, but this is my day.. not my stepdaughters.  My fiancee is ok with whatever I want, but thinks I am being a little silly.  Suggestions?
    Posted by ally1486[/QUOTE]

    I have a daughter from a previous relationship. My daughter will be my flower girl in my wedding coming up in June. I would not even ASK my fiance if my daughter's father could come(and her dad and I  have actually been on pretty good terms for a year now, taking her to a professional hockey games once, taking her to the park together once in a while, etc). If neither of you are friends with the daughters mom, why would she be invited? Is he friends with her otherwise? Unless they have a good friendship going, I would so absolutely not.
    Your step daughter's mother will see her in pictures and that is enough.
    Just as my daughter's father will see her in pictures and that is plenty for his as well.
  • edited March 2013
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_step-daughter-and-her-mother?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:f0447337-090e-4b9a-8a6a-36e1a22638bfPost:83780b7c-b836-4722-b80e-45c91a169044">Re: step daughter and her mother</a>:
    [QUOTE]I agree with those who say that if you have a decent relationship with SD's mom and stepdad, inviting them will a good long-term idea to demonstrate that you are all working together for the best of your SD.  It's all well and good to want this to be about your (new) family, but if you all co-parent, knowing there is no animosity will help your step-daughter more than wondering how everyone really feels about each other.  You'll spend at most 10 minutes with these people - but your stepdaughter will remember your kindness longer. (Full disclaimer: I say this as someone with step-parents; my mom and stepdad attended my dad's wedding - and my sister and I were adults!)
    Posted by JaclyneD[/QUOTE]

    I dont really agree with this. I think its important to show a united front, but being invited to an exes wedding isnt the only thing that would demonstrate this. The mother and step dad talking about her dad and step mothers wedding is just as good.  The event is not just about the child, (yes it should include the child and the child should know that this is a only a portion of their family/extended family), etc, but this is a union of a man and wife and that does not have to include ex's of the people getting married. Children or not. You can show a united front without extending them an invite- ESPECIALLY if the OP doesnt feel comfortable with it.
    My daughter's dad will be talking to my daughter about how she feels about it, he will let her know that he is happy for me and her soon to be step dad, and she should be happy about it too, etc. THAT is a united front. Simply extending him an invite to my wedding isnt necessarily that.
  • My SD is 14 and will be in our wedding, but there is no way in hell that I'm inviting her mom! She can see the pictures of her daughter later, but she is not going to be at our wedding and I don't think this will cause any sort of life-long damage to my SD.
  • You don't need to invite her mom and step dad. I'm talking from the point of view of the step daughter. If my dad's fiance decided to invite my mother to their wedding, I would have thought her to be a moron, at any point in the 10 years they've been engaged. And my mother didn't invite my father to her wedding either. You shouldn't be expected to invite anyone by anyone to your wedding.
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