Proper Wedding Etiquette

Yellow - posted on 05/14/2011 ( 13 moms have responded )

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What do you think a stepmother's role should be in the wedding of their step-son/daughter?

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Stepmom - posted on 06/01/2011

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Those articles sound a little biased if you ask me. Honestly you have to be a little bit careful with some "Step" articles because I have found that many times biomoms with vendettas are writing them (sometimes not all the time).
I hope everything works out for you and your family has a wonderful blessed wedding day! :)

Karen - posted on 11/05/2015

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To survive it. Newsflash—SMs or dad’s wife are not the docile wallflowers in the year 2015 that everyone thinks they are supposed to be. Most of these so-called etiquette rules were written around the turn of the last century, the 1900s. Time to throw those rules out the window and treat everyone with respect and treat all couples as they couples they are. SM's role at the wedding is to be herself, bless the bride and groom, and hang out with her spouse—just like all the other married couples do at a wedding.

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Ev - posted on 11/25/2016

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I see these posts in here a lot, Becky. I was not trying to sound condescending at all. I was merely trying to make a point. I have only had one child of mine who did marry. Her inlaws took care of planning the wedding down to who sat where. They even did separate tables so that her dad and step mom and their kids (hers and theirs) could sit together. I actually sat with my parents, my former mother inlaw (whom considers me her favorite daughter in law out of 3 that my ex has married and I am his first wife/ex wife now. I had no influence on her thoughts on that that is what she told me), mother inlaws boyfriend at the time, and my son. To this day I am cordial with my ex as far as when we are in the same place and time and polite to his wife. I do not hate them but I did expect more out of the both of them where my children were concerned.

Becky - posted on 11/25/2016

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Your comment: "What I wish step moms would consider is that when they marry a man with kids regardless if she has her own or not is that life is not fair. It was not fair to the kids when their parents broke up and it was not fair to the spouse that stayed faithful or worked on things got the raw end of the deal. But as the SM in the situation you should expect the unexpected at times good or bad."

Sounds very condescending to me, as if we have no idea that life is not fair or do not know how to take the good with the bad! What?

Most women I know who are both bio-moms and step-moms say the step-mom part is the most difficult.

This is why I prefer the term dad's wife to step-mom, because that is her main role, to be a wife to her husband. If there is no way dad's wife is going to be treated like dad's wife or spouse at the wedding, then she should at least be given a heads-up so she can back out, or maybe her husband will want to back out too. I sure would not want to go to a wedding where my spouse was going to be treated like the invisible woman or man.

Ev, don't take it personally. It actually sounds like you did a good job at your children's weddings. Karen was just sounding off or noting that this certainly does not happen at all weddings, where dad's wife is actually treated like dad's wife.

Ev - posted on 11/25/2016

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Karen---I do accept your frame of mind on the idea but not all families are like that with step parents in them. But some people have an awful time with it. I do agree to that. But the step mom needs to realize that her husband has had a past and kids if that is the case. She has to also understand the the lime light is not about the parents or her and the step dads the same thing in their situations. My kids have had two step moms. Neither of them wanted them around and treated them like crap. If it had been different--I might have been friends with the step mom. But she chose to be the hard case about things before I even eventually met her. Both of them.

I know there are great step moms in this world. My kids just ended up with the bad eggs. But when it comes to special life events of the kids involved all should be there for THEM. It is not about the parents. I stepped back and let the wedding plans unfold as they were to do so. I added my talents where they could be of use. I also had the relationship with my daughter that I had worked hard to keep going all those years. Her step mom complained when things did not go her way. She never tried to be a mom to my kids and she expected to be treated like a queen or better than the rest.

Karen - posted on 11/24/2016

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I decided to delete my other posts and offer this advice, instead. Advice I found on another website. That way, I'll fit the stereotype better.

Best thing for step-mom to do at weddings--either go looking like Sofía Vergara in a red dress and play the flaming 2nd wife to the max., or avoid the whole thing and plan a spa day with friends, people who actually care about you.

Ev - posted on 11/24/2016

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The way it read to me was that it happened in all situations. Granted you and your husband were married for 15 years at the point the SD was married. And I can see the disrespect in that last minute detail without discussion. My situation was a lot different. My kids' step mom was their second. She had not bee around as long as you were. She did not know my kids. She never tried to have a relationship with them. She had fits when my daughter's graduation things came around and she was not in the paper under the picture of my daughter with her name because she had only been around barely 3 years. By the time the wedding came around it had been barely 6 years. She made it all about her. She also tried to get into how visitation and such were conducted.

The post just seemed to be angry which I can not blame you for. But I see this kind of post a lot from step moms about BM's and it seems to boil down to anger more than anything. It does not matter that it is a wedding or graduation--it is the same. It is like most of the step moms that post on here think that all BM's are awful.

I am not saying that step moms are all bad or anything like that. I know some great step moms myself. What I wish step moms would consider is that when they marry a man with kids regardless if she has her own or not is that life is not fair. It was not fair to the kids when their parents broke up and it was not fair to the spouse that stayed faithful or worked on things got the raw end of the deal. But as the SM in the situation you should expect the unexpected at times good or bad. You should have your husband speak to your SD or her mother on issues.

Come and vent. That is what this place is for besides advice. I have done my share. But when it comes to a wedding it is the groom and brides' day. They decide what goes on though they should make their plans known to all and what the family members are expected to do.

Was it fair that the other two boys of my kids' SM did not get to be in the wedding?----Maybe not. But both were too old for some things and too young for others. Their younger brother only got to be the ring bearer because the groom's nephew could not be in the wedding because he was not there. The daughters she hand with the EX were the flower girls. My son was an usher. Now, in the wedding my son walked me down the aisle not my EX. And my ex and his wife had to sit about 4 rows back because of the seating arrangements and the number of people there. She complained about that. She complained about other things. Nothing satisfied her.
Again a woman who was about herself until this day. The last major family events we shared were the birth of my grandkids. It was important to me to be the first of us to hold those babies. And I did. The second time one came my ex husband was not thrilled that I made the extra trip to get our son to meet his new nephew and he asked about his step kids and daughters and wife....I said I was sorry but he knew how close our son and daughter were and that they both wanted to be there for that. He knew this. He should have known that his daughter wanted her brother there for that big event in her life and in his.

Those are examples of what I had to deal with and my kids as well.

Ev - posted on 11/23/2016

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{{Considering some adult step-kids think nothing of having dad's wife/SM sit in some other row or table away from her husband at the ceremony and/or reception, I don't think it all depends on the relationship with the stepchild. You may not see your aunt Marie, who is married to your Uncle Ron, much, but it is still expected that you treat her like his wife and that they be seated together.}}
---That is not always the case. My kids tried to like their step mom and she just did not think much of them. When it came to my daughter's wedding neither she nor dad offered help with anything....nothing. The groom's family paid for it all. They did not offer to help get it ready nor did they offer to stay and clean up after. Step mom had a fit because not all of her boys were in the wedding. She had a fit about the seating arrangements. She also made some off comments that did not get back to my daughter. During the ceremony and the reception my ex did sit with her. At the wedding when asked who gave the bride away, he said me and her mother. Nothing was done to make the step mother feel out of place or bad. She was the one that brought it on herself.

{{Some stepkids, even as adults, don't understand or get it that SM is dad's wife or SO. So, they have a husband and wife relationship. SM is not a servant on the side who is supposed to keep her distance and act like she is invisible when the kids or BM is around. No one, no one gets to decide, even for one day, that they can break up a marriage, and pretend someone else's spouse doesn't exist.}}
---My kids understood their dad and step mom were married and a couple. Nothing was expected out of the ordinary for her to feel uncomfortable about things. And it is not like the marriage is broken up because the wedding or any other major life event is happening. And the bride and groom do get to decide how they want their wedding.

{On the other hand, as long as dad and his wife are kept together during the ceremony and the reception, just like ALL the other married couples, and no surprises are pulled without any kind of warning to step-mom and dad, such as insisting dad French-kiss BM during the wedding dance, then, like any other wedding, it is up to the couple to decide what they want and what level of participation they wantl.}
---Where do you get the idea that dad and BM would even kiss like that? Where do you get that the step mom is left out of things? I have never heard of the father of the bride kissing his ex wife!

{Good advice: Have bio-dad check with the couple prior to the reception and ceremony what the expectations are for him and SM. Believe me, from my own personal experiences, no matter how well a SM may think she gets along with her stepkids, you can never just assume you are going to be treated like your husband's spouse. You may instead, wind up being treated like a piece of gum on the bottom of someone's shoe.}

Good advice is that the kids who are getting married should play out the roles of the family members and seat people accordingly. And all people step family members included should be treated with respect.

Kfkelly - posted on 03/06/2016

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It really depends on the relationship with the stepchild. Etiquette would say that the stepparent, as spouse of parent, is invited if parent invited. Everything else depends. Some stepparents have been accepted as family by the child, some not so much. Some stepkids were grown and out of the house before stepparent came along, some saw the spouse of the stepparent infrequently.

Ev - posted on 12/01/2015

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What do the rest of you think a step mom or step dad should be role wise in a wedding?

Lori - posted on 08/25/2013

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Parents of the groom host the rehersal dinner. The MOB AND FOB need to be gracious.

Ev - posted on 12/09/2012

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My daughter's wedding was planned and paid for by the groom's family. His father married them and he set the plan of seating for everyone on both sides of the aisle. And, her step mom and the two step brothers who were not in the wedding party were seated a couple rows back of the me, mother of the bride. My daughter's half sisters were the flower girls and the youngest step brother was a ring bearer. My son was an usher. Her father sat with his wife after he escorted her to the front to her husband. It all turned out quite nice. THe reception was a meal and cake. There were two tables set up for the bride's family, one for her father and step mom and the kids. The other table was set up for me and the rest of the family and her brother. My former mother in law sat with me as well. That went well out of ettiquette rules. But it was nice.

Yellow - posted on 05/19/2011

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I guess both. I have just read a couple of online articles that a stepmother/stepfather should just take the backseat to the entire wedding and the mother and father of the bride/groom are the only ones that really should be apart of it... including seating during the ceremony... the articles state that the stepmother/stepfather should sit a few rows back without the birth mother/father... even if they are remarried, which to me is a little rude. Even though the stepmother/stepfather are not biological parents to the children, they should not asked to be sit separate and away from their spouse, I feel it is disrespectful. ALL parties should put whatever BS and hate aside for that one day for their children... I also agree that it is whatever the bride/groom would like... I just wanted some feedback

Stepmom - posted on 05/18/2011

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Whatever role your stepchild wants it to be.
I've seen the groom walk both his mom and then his stepmother up the aisle as part of the wedding.
Are you asking in regards to the actual wedding or the preparations?

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