Wedding Etiquette Forum

Not wanting dad's significant other to feel like a substitute mom

I need advice on how to include my dad's significant other in my wedding without it feeling like she is a fill-in for "mother of the bride."  My mom passed away a few years ago, and my dad is now in a committed relationship. I can't figure out how to include his gf without it feeling like she's filling in for my mom, and I also dont want my dad to feel awkward either.

For example, at the beginning of the reception when the parents and bridal party are all introduced while walking into the reception, if I have my dad walk in alone I'm afraid of it feeling uncomfortable for him. But if I have them walk in together, I dont like the idea of it being "introducing the father of the bride...and Cindy!"

I dont want her to feel left out or to make my dad feel weird, but I am adamant about her not being a replacement for my mother. Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated!!

Re: Not wanting dad's significant other to feel like a substitute mom

  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited January 17
    I'm sorry for your loss. Of course no one can replace your mom.

    Your father and his SO should be treated like the social unit they are. They should enter the reception together, introduced as FOB Name, escorted by Cindy Smith. No one will think she is a mom substitute. 

    My daughter asked the parents to go ahead to the cocktail hour to greet the guests as they arrived, while the WP had a quick photo session. After cocktail hour, we went to our tables. The wedding party was introduced as they entered the dining room, then the master of ceremonies introduced the parents from their seats and then the bride and groom entered. If you do that, you could introduce just the parents of the B & G. 

    They should also sit together during the ceremony, although she can be escorted to her seat by someone else if your dad is walking you down the aisle.  He can sit with her after doing the honors.

                       
    knottiea38737019c07a7e8short+sassy
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I've never heard of parents being introduced into the reception. If that's something you want to do, have him introduced as FOB and his s/o. If you're doing a program, I would list him as FOB, and list her as his partner or escort. I would give her a corsage and have her seated in the front with your father at both the ceremony and reception. Obviously she wouldn't be called MOB. I probably wouldn't include her in any of the typical mother things like getting ready unless you just happen to be really close to her. 
    charlotte989875short+sassy
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I need advice on how to include my dad's significant other in my wedding without it feeling like she is a fill-in for "mother of the bride."  My mom passed away a few years ago, and my dad is now in a committed relationship. I can't figure out how to include his gf without it feeling like she's filling in for my mom, and I also dont want my dad to feel awkward either.

    For example, at the beginning of the reception when the parents and bridal party are all introduced while walking into the reception, if I have my dad walk in alone I'm afraid of it feeling uncomfortable for him. But if I have them walk in together, I dont like the idea of it being "introducing the father of the bride...and Cindy!"

    I dont want her to feel left out or to make my dad feel weird, but I am adamant about her not being a replacement for my mother. Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated!!
    I'm sorry for your loss.  These milestone events are very bittersweet. 
    My guess is your dad and his S/O are also feeling uneasy about their respective roles.  If you have a good relationship with your dad, I think an honest conversation might relieve everyone.
    Neither my daughter or son introduced parents at their receptions.  If your dad offers a toast, he can always begin it with, "As most of you know, I am .......", or "As the father of the bride......".
    Regardless of what you decide, neither your dad or his S/O should be separated at any time throughout the day and evening. 
    knottiea38737019c07a7e8MesmrEweMairePoppycharlotte989875
  • downtondivadowntondiva member
    Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited January 18
    I'm sorry for your loss. I'm sure this is a bittersweet time for you.

    You don't have to have the parents introduced; it's totally optional, and it may be best to skip it if you can't come up with a solution that's comfortable for everyone. At my wedding, we only did introductions for our wedding party and for my husband and me. 




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  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I agree with skipping the introduction of parents. Most people will be able to figure out who the parents are based on when they are seated during the ceremony. Your Dad's SO should be seated with him during the ceremony and reception. However, she doesn't have to be nor should she be part of the processional unless you want her to be part of it. My DD didn't have parents introduced, only the wedding party.
  • I'm going to agree with the others.   The easiest way to fix this is to skip parent introductions at the reception.

    If that's not something that you want to do (we did have the parents announced at our reception) then simply use the phrasing above, "Father of the bride escorted by (name of SO).

    Honestly, this is also probably a new thing for her too.   So you can always talk to your dad and ask if there is a way that they would prefer to be comfortable. 
    charlotte989875
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