Moms and Maids

Stepmom Issue

Background Information: My father left my mother while I was a young child for my step-mother. My step-mom was my father's mistress for quite some time before my mother found out, so there are obviously some hard feelings there.

I have accepted that my step-mom is a part of my life, and I have no problem including her as a guest at the wedding as well as including her name on the program. My step-mom has already picked out a fancy dress to wear to the wedding, which bothers me because I know she wants to stand out.

I know that it would hurt my mother's feeling if I gave a corsage to my step-mom (even if it was more modest than hers) or had her walk in as part of the processional (seating of the mothers). It's very important to me that my mom feel like she is the mother of the bride and receive that attention because she has always been a loving and faithful mother. I feel that she has put up with a lot of disappointment from what happened in the past and has handled it well, so I feel that she deserves to be the only one recognized as mother of the bride. Thoughts?

 

Re: Stepmom Issue

  • I asked a similar question about the processional on a different board a couple of weeks ago. I get a little confused about processional vs. seating of the mothers, but I believe the takeaway was that steps should process/be seated with their spouse. So, if your dad is not part of the special seating I don't think your SM needs to be either. If he is, she should accompany him.

    Flowers is tougher; most advice I have seen says that steps should get flowers, even if they don't have a parental role. The rationale is that this respects their role as spouse of a parent. My FI struggled with this as well. Maybe one of the etiquette experts can clear up whether this is a rule or a recommendation. We decided to get flowers for FI's step parents in the end, even though he does not consider them to have had a parental role in his life.

    Good luck; this stuff is so tricky to navigate!
  • Oops on mobile and can't edit. Of course your dad will be escorting you; that was silly. It's been a long week.
  • My mother and father split when I was 16.  Even though it's been 10 years I talked to my mother to make sure she was ok with her that she even attend and come early to help me set up.  Granted, his wive wasn't his mistress but my mom (even though it was her fault) was still acting weird.  I am getting her a corsage but she won't be walking in the wedding.  I see her as more of a friend then a step mom or anything like that.  Just talk to your mother an your dad.  If you want her to be a part of your wedding your mom should understand and do something extra for her to let her know she is the ONLY MOB and that you love her very much.  Just discuss all the options and make sure everyone is comfortable with the situation. 
  • @MairePoppy, I for one found that extremely helpful. Thank you!
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited June 2013
    You're welcome. I know these issues can be touchy. One guideline - it shouldn't be obvious to the guests that there are issues between the parents and their spouses. The less fuss made about seating and corsages, the better off everyone will be.

    I thought of something else. There was a bride who posted, a while back, that she didn't include stepmother in any of the photos. She wanted pictures of bio parents only. That didn't turn out well. The SM soothed her hurt feelings with lots of booze and made a scene at the reception. IMO, it was rude on the bride's part not to have a picture taken of her dad and his wife. Of course, the SM's behavior was over the top rude. She had to be escorted out by her husband and it put a damper on the festivities. I would recommend that you get a few pictures of dad and his wife by themselves and with the bride and groom. Later, when your stuck for an idea for a Father's Day or Christmas gift, you can give them the framed wedding picture. 

    Edit- It shouldn't be obvious to the guests that there is friction between either the parents or the new spouses. 
                       
    LakeR2014[Deleted User]s-aries8990
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited June 2013

    Marie, I do not recall that, but I do recall an incident where a SM was not included in ALL pictures and kicked up a fuss. 

                       
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    @NYUgirl100  hmmm, I'm not sure if that's the same one that I was thinking about, but I'm fuzzy on the details. There was also a SM that had a loving relationship with her stepsons and was sad that she was left out of all the wedding pictures and wasn't invited to the shower or RD. 

    Either way, Stepmother shouldn't expect to be included in ALL the photographs. If the couple requests a photo with the bio parents, for posterity's sake, everyone should be a good sport about it. IDK, when I attend any event I can choose to go with the flow and have a good time or I can choose to be a PITA over all the little details that don't matter in the long scheme of things. I'm not going to waste my time or energy on the latter. 
                       
  • Thanks for the advice. What I truly want is for it to be smooth. I am definitely fine with including my stepmom in some of the pictures. I accept that she is a part of my family; I just don't think it would be fair to my mom to give her the same privileges as my mother during the ceremony.

    It's not that I can't stand my step-mom, and I don't intend to treat her poorly. She is just on a completely different level than my mom, especially with the history. I feel like I have forgiven her and tried to live my life in a way that does not dwell on the past, but it is also very important to me to respect my mom's feelings on my wedding day. I think she has put up with a lot, and I don't want her to feel slighted. 

    I think I will talk to my dad in advance about my step-mom not being seated formally with my mom and my FMIL. I don't think I will even bring up the corsage. Hopefully, it will just be a non-issue. I just hope my step-mom doesn't pout or complain to my dad about it. (I honestly don't know how she will act, but I guess I should just stop worrying). Another aspect is that she and my dad have a daughter together, so she will have an opportunity to be the mother of the bride when she gets married as well.

    Again, thanks for the input. Sometimes it helps to hear perspectives from outside of my family.

     

  • Hell, FI and I aren't giving his mother and father corsages/boutonnières (loooong story). You give flowers to the people whom you want to have them and everyone else shuts up. MairePoppy's advice was spot-on.
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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'

  • NYUgirl100 said:
    Retread, yes, we have all heard that story.  BTW, in a Jewish wedding, typically parents stand with bride/groom.  Any steps would typically sit with other guests.
    Did someone with "Random etiquette books XYZ say that it's ok to make unmarried couples feel like their relationship is insignificant so please feel free to insult and separate them to save yourself a few bucks" pretty much glued to their clipboard just get on someone for repeating a story that was actually relevant in this situation? Just checking.

    FWIW I gave my SM a flower along with the other mothers and did have her escorted after the grandparents by an usher. But my mother was escorted by her fiance, last, right before the bridesmaids and gave the first toast at the wedding. There was no one that mistook my SM for the real MOB or would have even without what was listed in the program.

    So you definitely do not need to do anything for your SM that you wouldn't do for any other guest, but I also wouldn't worry about it if you did decide to give her a corsage or some other nice gesture. The real MOB isn't mistaken too easily. :)
    kmmssg
  • @NYUgirl100 - where is the "sit"? at the ceremony or reception? There is a very big difference here.


    Can you get your mom a nosegay instead of a corsage? It might help a teeny bit.
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    RetreadBride
  • Dreamergirl8812Dreamergirl8812 your closet member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    @NYUgirl100  hmmm, I'm not sure if that's the same one that I was thinking about, but I'm fuzzy on the details. There was also a SM that had a loving relationship with her stepsons and was sad that she was left out of all the wedding pictures and wasn't invited to the shower or RD. 

    Either way, Stepmother shouldn't expect to be included in ALL the photographs. If the couple requests a photo with the bio parents, for posterity's sake, everyone should be a good sport about it. IDK, when I attend any event I can choose to go with the flow and have a good time or I can choose to be a PITA over all the little details that don't matter in the long scheme of things. I'm not going to waste my time or energy on the latter. 
    This brings up an interesting question: OP, is your step invited to the RD or any pre-wedding activities?



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