Step-Mother's and Wedding Etiquette

Yellow - posted on 05/14/2011 ( 94 moms have responded )

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I was reading a few articles online the other day about what proper wedding etiquette a stepmother should follow, if there is any. In both of the articles I read, they mentioned that the step-mother should out of consideration take a step back, as she is not a biological parent to either the bride or groom. I also read that the stepmother should sit a few rows back from her husband while he and his ex wife sit together! I am sorry but I feel that is just a total sign of disrespect to the step-mother. I feel this way because whenever my husband and I have the kids, I treat them like they were my own and love them, I do not call myself "step-mom" and neither do they. One of the things I read that offsets the fairness I suppose, is that it even said if the ex-wife were to remarry, then her new husband would also not be able to sit next to her, and he too would have to sit a few rows back. My husband and his ex do not get along and they speak when spoken to regarding the children, other than that, conversation is very minimal. When we are around the children, her and I can carry on a civil conversation...

I don't know, I just would not feel right about having to sit separated from my husband while he and his ex wife sat together. IMO, we have all been there for the children and loved them, I feel like I should have a right to sit with my husband. When his children were here, their mother would send them sick and without any medicine. I was the one up all night checking fever, giving breathing treatments, taking them to the ER, cleaning up vomit... It was me, I took on that role, because I love them. Their mother was notified that her daughters breathing got so bad we had to take her to the ER, did her mother call and check up? No. She never called once to see how her own daughter was doing, they were here 2 weeks!

Maybe I am overreacting, but just because we are not blood related does not give anyone the right to discriminate and tell me that because I didn't carry the child, I have no rights to be a part of their special day... I would never try and take their mothers place, and that is not my goal. The article even said crap about "It is the brides and mother of the brides day to shine, the stepmother should dress down like any other guest and not try to outshine the Mother of the Bride, because it is her day"...

I would really like some feedback about what ya'll think about this thing people are calling "etiquette".

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Sue - posted on 04/12/2013

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Wow. I have to say I am really surprised at the level of negativity in these comments. I found this post, because my stepdaughter is getting married in July, and I am seeking advice on how to be the best stepmom on the big day. I have known my stepdaughter since she was 6 years old, and although we haven't had the best relationship at times, I want her to have the best day possible, based on what SHE wants. If that means she is going to choose to have her parents sit together, I am a big girl and have no problem sitting by myself for less than an hour. After all, just because my husband is sitting next to his ex-wife as THEIR daughter gets married, I am certain he is coming home with me. No matter how much I have done to help raise her, they gave her life. They should share this special moment together, if that is what is decided. Her mother has never remarried, so there isn't an issue of what to do with her husband, and I think it shows a level of respect for my husband to sit with her while THEIR daughter gets married. Because as much as we may be step moms, it is the bride and groom's day, and they should decide what makes them most happy. Our role should be to honor their wishes to make this the happiest day of their lives, because it isn't about us.

Patti - posted on 06/23/2013

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All this so-called etiquette about the step-mom sitting rows behind the biological parents is crap. I will sit with my husband. Period. If I had believed what everyone told me about being a step parent I would have run - not walked - but run away. It has been the most challenging thing I have done in my entire life. My only hope was that once they become adults, it will get easier.... and now I read all this crap about "taking a back seat" and sitting in rows behind the mother. Who makes this crap up anyway?

Jusmeandben - posted on 04/04/2014

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I am getting married in 2 weeks and my folks are together and have always been together. But my fiance's folks are not together (never been married) and his dad got married when he was young...he has grown up with birth mom and step mom but is much closer to birth mom.

I originally googled gifts for groom's step mom because I have never met her and I don't know what is appropriate and expected. Anyway, I come across this post...and man oh man are these comments super judgmental! Goodness lol

First of all, as a bride, I don't want to celebrate MARRIAGE by requiring married people to not be with their spouse. Who does that??? Forget the step parents being insecure, PERHAPS the bride and groom requesting this need to be evaluated for their selfish behavior. Marriage is covenant with God - let NO man separate those who make that commitment, regardless of history. Those two are supposed to cleave to one another...give no room for the enemy to plant silly thoughts....and trust me, even secure people can having silly thoughts go through their head. Not to mention - who knows the baggage from that previous relationship...weddings are supposed to be fun and joyous, not painful or inconvenient. Everyone should attempt to get along the best the can but this is pushing it to the extreme.

To the original poster - I feel simply bad that this is even what brides/grooms request of their step parents. I really hope and pray they don't make you and your husband separate. This is REAL life - if you want a fairy tale, you are sadly in the wrong world. No bride or groom ought to act like this, now that's POOR etiquette. "Mom and dad aren't married but I need them to sit together at the wedding so everything will be perfect" *barf* have some grace for your parents (ALL your parents) because they probably love the crap out of you and to make them follow these rules is ridiculous.

Nikki - posted on 10/12/2013

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Of course a step-mum is not "mother-of-the-bride/groom". However, the step-mum is often a significant part of the bride/groom's life and should be able to sit at the front with the father, mother and step-dad (if there is one).

If she is not a significant figure to the family or perhaps was abusive, then she should not be at the wedding.

A step-mother has sacrificed so much and has taken on so many challenges and has always been there for her partner and children when she could've taken the easier option and find a partner with no children. The least she should get is a front row seat next to her husband.

Being a step-mum can sometimes make you feel excluded and humiliated. She needn't feel anymore that way by being shoved in the back seat.

Sue - posted on 04/12/2013

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I think that it is being made into a bigger deal than it needs to be. The bride and groom should definitely be respectful of their parents' (and stepparents') wishes. And because it is the bride and groom's day, everyone should be respectful of their wishes, as well. Compromises need to be made. I suspect that there is more insecurity from the stepmom than is stated, and in a lot of responses as well. I did a lot of the same things for my stepdaughter that Yellow Rose and all of the other step moms did. And I assume we all did it without expecting a pat on the back or recognition. So unless there is an issue where the stepparents are expecting recognition for "a job well done", I would expect the bride and groom to be able to say what they feel comfortable with, and the stepparents agree with that decision. If not being able to sit with her husband is being looked on as "discrimination", then it sounds like there are bigger issues here than where she gets to sit in the church. In my case, I have no problem with my husband sitting with his ex during the ceremony. He sat with her during my stepdaughter's college graduation, as well, while I sat with my other stepdaughter in a viewing room off to the side because there weren't enough tickets. And it didn't rain fire because I didn't get to sit next to him. I am just honored that I have had the opportunity to be a part of my stepdaughter's life and I will get to watch her walk down the aisle and marry the man of her dreams. If I do that sitting behind my husband instead of beside him, so what? I will still hold the same place in my stepdaughter's heart that I always have. And that is all that really matters to me.

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Jo - posted 4 days ago

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What are your feeling on a mother who was loving and caring, everyday with her daughter,who barely went to visitation and just started having a relationship with her father when she was nearly 20... Her step mother is the other women who stated her not yet step children are spoiled, angry and selfish also violent... Who when it was time for my ex to pay for just one child she suggest he adopts her daughter after 7 years and keeps it from his children... This women hurt my kids, as a matter of fact my son just got married and his father and step mother wasn't invited because of how damaged the father's and child relationship is mostly due to the step mother. The adopted step child had a fake wedding last weekend and is deceiving his family and friends, my exs family and friends and her "siblings" (my children,except the youngest) and this is okay with her mother (my kids step mom) because she is pregnant and wanting to stay on my exs health insurance. 2 child btw. I have never waivered in my unconditional love for my children, I haven't been the crazy ex ... As a matter of fact I have had to share my granddaughters birth with stepmom when she was just 25... She paid no dyes to be a grandmother... I have shared every birthday my grand children have had... and though I'm not all happy about I'm cordial. BUT I GOT BLINDSIDED DAY BEFORE YESTERDAY WHEN I WAS TOLD I WAS GOING TO SHARE BEING MOTHER OF THE BRIDEDUTIES, THAT WE ARE GOING TO BE EQUAL BECAUSE MY DAUGHTER IS GOING TO BE A STEPMOTHER AND SHE WANT TO SHOW HER STEPSON THAT STEP MOTHERS MEAN AS MUCH AS MOTHERS... So the one thing I can and should actually have as my own is now going to be shared.. She will be escorted down to the front row, she will be at the head table, she will be in the bridal parties dressing room helping my daughter get ready.. I'm to just smile and fake joy... So I'm looking for help so I Googled my problem and I have only found step mothers feeling slighted. Most of step mom's have complained because they helped raise the step child, didn't happen here. Some have complained because they put money into the wedding and mom didnt. Again not in my case.. My new husband and I have paid for the dress, vail, jr.bridesmaid dresses, cake, dessert table, hotel rooms before and day of the wedding... Helped with flowers all on a fixed income"my husband us retired and I'm on disability. MY EX IS HAVING THEM STAY AT HIS TIME SHARE FOR 2 DAYS FOR A MINI MOON.HE MAKES WELL OVER 6 FIGURES.
I am 13 yrs older and had a radical dbl mastectomy, so I'm mishapen due to a doctors error. I have thin gray hair and red scars from raditation. I understood I'm not in the ceremony but I thought being mother of the bride I signaled the start of the ceremony, I helped plan which I haven't been able to, every suggestion has been shut down.. the only one excepted wax when I handed my daughter the brides magazine ... I did asked since my ex is walking her down the asile and he had nothing to do with raising her, that I at least get to say "we do" when the officiant asks "who gives this women". And because I asked I have been demanding. So again I'll ask everyone ... How am I to feel as the birthmother who has always been in my daughters life. Who loves her to the moon anx back....How am I suppose to feel while my exs wife who split up our marriage, who had no hand in my child's upbringing, who has been fake and deceitful to me and my children, and who puts her own daughter first, is stand behind my daughter with me helping to put on her vail. That will be a picture I will get to treasure for the rest of my life. I was completely off guard by my daughters statements. Completely Blindsided
I have been in tears for 2 days now... I can't seem to come to terms with this one. :(

Mary - posted on 04/10/2016

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Hi Meredith

Like you, I met my husband long after his divorce but his ex acts like I had an affair with him when they were together. What I find even harder to understand is that my husband, after the break up of that relationship, became involved with another woman in Norway and has an almost 13 year old son with her. I would have thought that the 1st ex would be used to their separation by now. The odd thing is that the 1st ex and her family were rather cordial to the 2nd ex but treat me like dirt. I don't understand. She did everything she could to stop us from getting married, even to the point of threatening to cut off her own son and daughter if they attended our wedding. They did attend as they are adults now but a lot of tension still exists.My husband did not marry the 2nd ex.

My husband and I are together now for 7 years and married for almost 3. Even though there are no plans for our respective children's weddings, we have discussed the etiquette involved if and when it occurs. I do not believe as a step-Mom that I should have a place of prominence at the wedding. That place belongs to their mother. I do not believe that I should sit at the front pew or be seated at the top table. However, I would be sitting a few rows back with my husband. We are married and I do not believe in splitting married couples up. My husband would be at the top table but would not sit next to his ex-partner. Once the meal and speeches are over, my husband would come down to sit with me.

As I thankfully don't have the same acrimony with my ex-partner, both my husband and I would have no problem with my ex and his wife sitting next to us in the top pew if my son was to get married. Saying that I would sit next to my husband, not my ex. Naturally my son's stepmother would be sitting with her husband. I would have no problem either if my son wanted his stepmother's parents and family there. Likewise, at the reception, my ex and his wife would be sitting at the top table but I would not sit next to my ex. That is inappropriate and disrespectful to both our spouses. We would all get along and have a good time for our children on their wedding day, however, we must prioritise our marriages and not act like the ex-partners come first.

As regards photos, I would have no objection to my husband going into a photo with his ex without me, if that is what his children require. He would not however, stand next to her and afterwards would expect a photo be taken with me. I have a wonderful husband who has stated to his children that he loves them dearly and will always be there for them. In his view (and mine) there is no competition between them and me but that his relationship with their mother is over and that his first priority is to me, his wife. They were fine with that and I'm delighted to say that two days before our wedding, his daughter told me how happy she was for us and the difference in her Dad for the better since he met me is quite remarkable. How wonderful to have this affirmation.

Her Dad and Mom were forced to get married at quite a young age due to an unplanned pregnancy, where they hardly knew each other. No wonder it all fell apart. My husband was threatened by the ex's mother that if he did not marry her daughter, that he would never get to see his child. I think that sadly, the ex has some serious issues from her childhood. Before my husband, she was dating a guy for a month when he broke up with her. She took an overdose but her mother wouldn't get her the professional help that she required. In the 17 years since their split, my husband's ex has never met anyone, she seems consumed with hatred for my husband. It's quite sad really. I hope that she will eventually find peace.

Sorry for the ramble and going off topic but hopefully this post can be of help.

Kfkelly - posted on 03/05/2016

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Oh please, another cite to an article by "Dr." Wednesday Martin, whose Dr. is in Comparative Lit (nothing wrong with that, but it doesn't mean your views on stepfamilies are any more valid than anyone else's. She violated her stepkid's privacy by publishing a book, and her latest book is even more ridiculous. But yeah, stepmoms who do not know any better rely on her, because she says what they want to hear.

Kfkelly - posted on 02/16/2016

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Karen P. -- Not certain where you get statistics on percent of second marriages where it started with an affair -- I really doubt there are any reliable stats. Or percent of second marriages where partners do not combine funds. Your complaints about pictures? Yep, sounds like you think that if Stepmom is not beside her DH in every picture, she is being abused.

Meredith - posted on 01/28/2016

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I agree and it is all very sad and makes a hard day for everyone. My stepdaughter will be getting married next summer and because of all of the craziness I am not looking forward to it.

I am in the percentage that met my husband long after the divorce however the bio mother acts like I split them up because she had control over him until I came along. I wish her intentions had been to ALL get along but not the case at all. She would rather I didn't come to the wedding or the rehersal dinner and to be honest if my husband was ok with that I would stay home. I am shy and quiet and don't like confrontation and I am afraid what will happen if I do attend. She is very unkind to both of us and calls yelling and screaming all of the time. My husband through the years has only been trying to do what is best for his children and she has never been a good example for the kids.

As far as pictures I understand my step-daughter might want to have pictures of her and her parents I am totally fine with that. But as for myself, I actually would prefer not to be in any at all. I just want to attend if I can, and sit with my husband and stay as far away from the bio mom as possible.

It all boils down to one thing as I have said Jeolousy, there is no other possible reason why people can not be civil to someone for one day unless they were jeolous. No one is asking anyone to be best of friends. But everyone involved she be able to be civil to eachother for the day.

Karpelt1 - posted on 01/24/2016

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Juanita K. your post sounds full of stereotypes. There may be a few SMs, who are just plain bad people and therefore plain bad SMs. However, for the most part, I know of no SM who thinks that as father's wife she is more important than MOB. Also, even if SM's and dad's money are separate, which is really not all that common, as a couple, they live as a couple, so if dad is paying extra for wedding or whatever, this affects SM's income too. It is less money both she and her husband will have. So, in effect, she is paying for the wedding, regardless. AND, very few SMs would object to a bride wanting pictures with her parents, although I admit there are some. Of course a bride wants pictures of her with her mom and dad. That should be expected. SM has no expectation to be all pictures. No relative is in all pictures at a wedding. This whole thing about: "I'll allow one picture," is ridiculous, although I admit most SMs would be okay with that crumb. Next time you go to a family event with your spouse, allow him to only be in one picture while you are in several and see how that makes him feel. People tend to use etiquette when it suits their purposes. Otherwise, it is considered old-fashioned. Also, although I know just about every non-SM poster loves to bring up the “affair” bit, this is only the case in about 5% of remarriages—where dad had an affair with SM, left BM, and then went on to marry SM. As one might guess, those type of marriages usually don’t last long, nor should they.

Kfkelly - posted on 12/09/2015

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Not certain how many s think they should be treated same as mother of the bride, BUT some think that the father's wife is more important than MOB. Some SMs did not help raise kid, some did not help pay for wedding (many second marriages keep money separate). A bride who wants a picture with both her parents is not necessarily pretending they are still married, but wants a picture with her PARENTS. Yes, she have at least one picture with dad and SM, but that doesn't mean SM gets in all pictures. As to who sits where, tradition is that the parent who was more responsible for raising the bride or groom gets dibs on the front row. That is generally, but not always, the mother. If the mother does not like the SM (particularly likely when the SM had an affair with dad), the mother may say the SM may not sit in her row. Then the dad has a choice of sitting in second or third row or not sitting with SM. His choice, don't blame the bride or the MOB. Now of course, not all SM's had affair with the father, but some did (and some say, well the first marriage was dead, they were "separated," even if that means the wife was visiting her mom for the week.

Becky - posted on 11/06/2015

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I always think, why would you want to even risk offending your SM or dad’s wife? I mean, this is your dad’s wife we are speaking of? Personally, I can’t imagine anyone objecting to a married couple acting like a married couple, especially in the year 2015. I’m thinking at least a few of the ‘SM in the back’ comments are coming from those with ulterior motives pretending to be SMs, but, nonetheless, let’s put the question of whether dad and his wife should act like the married couple they are at an event aside for a sec. and ask a different one: If it could cost you a relationship with your father, why would you want to even risk offending your SM, even if you can’t stand her?

I look at several of these types of forums, and here is what can go on: SM no longer attends these type of “family” events because she doesn't want to be treated like some kind of inferior who doesn’t belong or belongs in the back = bio-dad not wanting to go to events (no fun to go alone, without your partner) = less time with dad = poorer relationship with dad or possibly even zero relationship with dad. Men do want to be with their wives, you know. After all, I’m sure you want to go to events and be a couple with your spouse. Same for dad. And, it doesn’t matter if anyone THINKS dad’s wife or SM shouldn’t be offended or not. If she is, she is. So, if the odds are even 10%, why would you want to risk offending your SM if it could cost you in the long-run a decent relationship with your father?

Wouldn’t it just be easier to treat dad and his wife like the couple they are? Because, yeah, you may even hate your SM, but your dad doesn’t see her as SM and your dad certainly doesn’t hate her. Your dad sees her as his wife. And, for most husbands, if their wives are being or feeling rejected, then they are feeling it too.

Karpelt1 - posted on 11/05/2015

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Hello, I just want to add something to be helpful, although at first it may not seem that way. Very few SMs attend a wedding expecting to be treated like MOB. What they do expect is to be treated like their husband’s/your father’s wife. In some ways, it should really not be all that difficult. Your SM is married to your father, and they are a couple, just like any other couple at the wedding. So, if you are taking pictures of yourself with aunt Judy and her husband uncle Bill, then you should also be taking pictures of yourself with your father Todd and his wife (a/k/a SM) Ann. If aunt Judy and uncle Bill are seated together at the wedding and reception and every other couple is seated together, then father Todd and his wife Ann are seated together too. That is really what most SMs want and expect at a wedding: To be seated with their husbands and be treated just like any other couple. Corsages, etc. are simply icing on the cake or extras.

Pink - posted on 06/13/2015

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I think the main thing is, blended families/step parents, WHATEVER crap is going on in your family, married people should always be able to assume they are sitting together. I am a step-mom and wouldn't care that my husband was sitting by his ex nor would my feelings be hurt to not be in the front row but I would consider it disrespectful of a marriage to ask that. Nothing to do with anyones emotions or what is "right". I mean seriously. I honestly believe that people don't truly respect marriage these days, and I feel bad because I do know a lot of step mothers who already feel as if their marriage is "less". Geez. If your Grandparents got divorced and remarried would you separate them? Probably not. I guess I don't understand why it would be a big deal to someone to separate their father/step mother or mother/step father. Seems odd to me.

Meredith - posted on 06/03/2015

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Thank you for writing Tracy . What your wrote gives perspective from every part of the issue.

I am not sure why it seems to matter so much where and who parents sit with at the wedding. There should be no reason why parents should be asked to sit away from their spouses.

Tracy - posted on 05/22/2015

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I am a mother, a step-mother, and a step-daughter. I have been married before and next year am marrying for the second time. I would never, ever ask my own stepmother to take a back seat or to not sit with my father. I didn't at my first wedding and won't at my second. She has been as much of a part of my life as my mother and I will honour them equally, like I did the first time. When my son and stepdaughters get married I definetly expect that I will sit with my husband at my step daughters weddings and that my ex husband will sit with his wife at my son's. I do think that the order of seating should be either stepmom then mom or (as I did in the first wedding) step mom and mom were seated at the same time.

I think it would be extremely disrespectful for me to treat my stepmother as anything but an important part of my life. It would be disrespectful to my dad if I didn't treat her with the respect that comes with being my father's wife. And respecting my step mom does not take away any respect from my mother.

Weddings are not just about the bride and groom, it's about family. After all these are the people who helped you become who you are and in many cases are paying for the wedding. For my first wedding my dad and step mom paid, with my mom buying my dress. How rude and ungrateful it would have been if I had not included my step mom when it was her income and savings too that went into paying for the wedding? And this time around my dad and step mom have given us a very generous monetary gift towards paying for the wedding (even though we said we were paying for it ourselves as it is a second wedding, they just really wanted to help and contribute), how could I seat her alone and treat her like any other guest? When my step daughters marry we will be paying for the wedding (their mom is very low income) and considering I make three times what my husband to be makes, why would I be treated so disrespectfully.

Essentially step mom should be treated with respect because they raise and love these children, because they contribute to financing the wedding as much if not more than the moms (and often whoever pays makes the decisions) and because these women are the partners of the dads. (Step dads should also get the same respect as dads, but who walks the bride down the aisle is a whole other can of worms - I didn't have that problem as my mom wasn't married so I can't comment on that)

Meredith - posted on 05/16/2015

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As I stated in my post I am not suggesting in any way that it is not about the children's big day. What they want for their day is very important in regards to their wedding and the details of their wedding i.e. food, music dress etc. However, asking either of their parents to sit away from their spouses is ridiculous and I am not even sure why they would be asking this. I would never even have thought about it until I read theses posts and articles I saw online. I would have just assumed I would sit with my husband at both my children's weddings and my husbands children's weddings.

I would never dream of asking to be considered the same as the bio mom at my step children s wedding as far as when I am seated or how much I stand out however I will make sure my children's stepmother does not feel left out and is very comfortably sitting next to my ex-husband at the wedding and the reception. Treating a step-parent any other way is fostering a negative instead of nurturing family relationship. With more 75% of families out there today being blended families this just makes sense.

With all I have read on the topic I do believe that it all boils down to jealously from the bio mom of the step-parent, not with the relationship with the children but with the ex-spouse. I think that it is very important for the bio mother to realize that your ex-husband is there at the wedding as your child's father not as your date and therefore it shouldn't matter who he sits with. If the bio mother is not jealous than she should be able to be around the step-mother and be cordial even if she is not her favorite person in the world. I can not think of any other reason why she would not be able to do this unless she was jealous.

No matter what all of the other plans are for the wedding I think the plans should begin with assuming that parents will sit and be with their spouses (the step-parents) for all of the festivities and if they can all sit together great!!! If not consider the first and second row but it seems ALL of the problems start with assuming in any way they should sit apart. If it starts with that simple fact assumed I think that things would run smoother. I think that people get upset from the beginning when it is decided they will sit apart and then after that they are sensitive to things never would have been.

Tiffany - posted on 05/13/2015

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When did civility go out the window? Seriously, you all need to get over it. You all pretend your own wants and desires are out of a desire to make your kids days wonderful, when in all actuality, its all about jealousy and anger at the disintegration of your own marriages or at the "other woman" or about wanting to make sure that the ex-wife knows that you belong to your husband. Here's an idea: if you want it to be all about the kids, why not ask the child what they want in regards to "their" blended family. All of the "parents" are all a part of what has made them who they are and they deserve to be the ones to determine how involved each of the people they love are. I promise you, no child would exile a stepmother they loved to the back row, no child would place a stepmother above their own mother, no child would be content without a picture of themselves and their mother and father on their wedding day. None of what you have suggested here is even in the realm of whats best for the kids, because, as adults, they know how each of you fit into their special day from the only perspective that matters.....

J - posted on 04/16/2015

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Here we are talking about etiquette on which parent sits with mom of bride or step mother of bride. All I know is that as a stepmother I had tried everything to make it easy and right, but with one request that her dad and I had. "please do not ask me to take a picture of your mother and I together, I have been married for 21 years and any pictures of parents will be either your step-mom and me, and your mother and whom ever she may be with that day." For months my step-daughter had reassured my husband that he will be walking her down the aisle even though she was getting harrassed by her own mother that she was "offended" that her own daughter would pick her father over her mother to walk her down the aisle. Go figure. This so called mother had no regards in keeping her mouth shut (to put it briefly and into perspective, we had to have a restraining order on this woman for years, but that is another story) and allow her daughter to have the decency to have the traditional way of dad walking down the aisle with the bride. Well, nothing like finding out 2 days prior to the wedding at rehearsal that the bride decided on her own to have both mom and dad walk her down the aisle. Needless to say, I lost it. I confronted the bride as to how long she had known that she was going to do this? Her comment "for quite a while". So even though we had seen her the weekend before the wedding, nothing was said. I was getting text messages from her soon to be husband questioning what I had said to upset her so much. I was totally stumped at the question. Had no clue as to what he was referring to. Thought we had an awesome day together making gifts for the guests. My husband was there the whole time and he even questioned what the groom was referring to. It made sense after the rehearsal. The bride probably told the groom that she had discussed the idea of "mom" and "dad" walking her down the aisle. Well let me tell you, not so!!!! Not to use this as an excuse but I have a neurological disorder and stress can have a major impact on my physical well being. I told my husband that I was stepping back from the wedding. He knew that his ex wife can send my body into major contortions. I had so much anger for the ex and what she had done to those children over the years that I just can not control my anger. I don't say anything but my body sure does. My husband said that he was not going to the wedding without me. He took the high road so to speak. If his ex wife was once again guilting the bride on who was going to walk his daughter down the isle then let her have it. My husband chose to walk with me by my side. The brides siblings were so upset with their mother (but also realised at the same time that this did not surprise them in the least). Yes, I do agree it is the "brides" day, but you don't play games with people emotions and lie to them just to get your own way. If you are old enough to get married you should be old enough to understand that your parents were not together since she was 2 years old. Mommy and Daddy are no longer a family just because they had children together. Would you ask the sperm donor to walk you down the isle?

Connie - posted on 04/07/2015

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My daughter's wedding was so horrible for me and it is painful for me to remember because the SM threw fits constantly until she was equal with me in every way. The minister argued with her over giving the bio mother a rose when the daughter walks past her in the isle. The SM threw a fit because she thought she should get a rose too. So my daughter who meant her at 6 years old did not give me a rose at all. The step Mother bought the cake and I the bio mother bought the dress. The daughter and her fiance (husband) payed for the rest of the Wedding and afterward I received a call from SM and father wanting 300.00 from me. She did not think I covered my fair share. The SM sat right next to me during the Wedding and without notice her Father called out when asked "Who gives this woman away" "Her Mothers and I do" PLURAL. Sm actually threw a little fit because she had to come down the isle to be seated first. I guess it is custom to seat the bio mother of the bride last. When the professional pictures came back there was somehow there was no picture of the bride and her real mother together and no picture of the bride and her bio parents standing beside her, although they were taken. However all other combinations seemed to exist. Unfortunately the picture negatives went to the SM house first. The SM bought a white wedding dress for her daughter(1/2 sister to the bride) the flower girl to wear walking down the Isle. The dress out shined the Wedding dress.
I think that the Father of the bride and mother of the bride should sit with their spouses together at the Wedding, but it is supposed to be the Bride and her parents special day and the step parents should take a back seat some even if they have been a big part of their life. However in my case my daughter can't stand conflict and all the special of the day and memory of it was taken from me. SM went on to have the perfect day for herself when her bio daughter was married and there was no bad memory for her!

Meredith - posted on 03/22/2015

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I am a bio mom and a step-mom and I disagree with all the Etiquette I have read so far on this issue.

First I must say that I think Etiquette rules in general need a little jolt into he 21st century. We seem to have dropped good manners and re-vamped good taste to suit a misguided society but this post is not all about Etiquette in general. :)

I think with as many blended families as there are today, I think there needs to be more sensitivity and encouragement for those family bonds. So with that said, I think that the step-mom should sit with her husband after-all he is her date and the reason she is there, he is escorting her. If the mother is remarried her husband should sit with her. It doesn't change who the biological parents are just because of where they sit. I think it is ridiculous to assume otherwise. It doesn't mean the step-mom is stealing anything from the bio-mom it means she is attending a wedding and she should never be asked not to sit with her husband. I think they should sit together, in the church and at the reception be announced together. There may be pictures the family is in that she is not but for the most part she should be with her husband.

As I said I am both a bio mom and a step-mom. When my children get married I don't plan to sit with my ex-husband and leave my husband behind somewhere else. When his kids get married I don't expect to be seated away from him while he sits with his ex-wife. I am not sure I even understand the reasoning unless again it jealously of the step-mom and Step-fathers. It may be the bride and grooms day but the main part of etiquette is how you treat your guests and making your guests uncomfortable and asking them to sit away from their spouse at an already awkward event (In many cases) is to me the epitome of bad etiquette. And I am not clear why it matters why they sit together. The parents are not married to each other any longer and out of respect for their parents they need to not segregate their step-parent.

When my son graduated from college I sat at the ceremony between my husband and my ex-husband. They leaned in front of me talking to each other so much I finally asked them if they wanted me to move so they could sit together. :)

Everyone needs to get a long for the day and asking someone to not sit with their spouse is ridiculous. I would never do it to my sons step-mother. She will sit in the row next to me with my ex-husband and my husband. I am not sure what etiquette person thought that up but it needs to have a very new spin put on it. Acceptance for blended families.

Sarah - posted on 09/07/2014

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My 28 year old daughter is getting married.

I am divorced from her father after 30 years of marriage. We got divorced because he had an affair with a woman in his office for two years before I found out.

Now of course the holier than thou woman who have no problem will ask - what did you do wrong to make him look elsewhere. My answer - I was a normal person, a loving, caring, loyal wife and mother and tried to be the best I knew how. Had my husband talked about his unmet needs I might not have wasted all these years trying to satisfy them.

Now he is still with his "significant other" - coming up 7 years if I include the 2 years of lying, cheating and filth.

I am very fortunate - our daughter, who is a beautiful young woman on the threshold of a dream- has told her father that his SO will not be invited. Kudos to him - he agreed that this was best.

I will make my daughter's wedding the best day of her life but had she decided to invite the SO I am afraid I would have stepped away. I will not be in the same place as that woman and she will have no part in my life. Hard one for our daughter but life is full of hard choices. I would spoil the day more by being in the same place as that tramp than I would by staying away.

I have never asked her to not have her father as part of her life but is she chooses to make hos SO part of it she is telling me that she condones that woman sleeping with her father inside of our marriage, of destroying our family and of causing me the heartbreak she has.

No I don't think that any woman who has caused a break up of a family should attend any family function let alone expect a place of honour.

If you caused the divorce - stay at home and allow the MOTHER of the bide / groom to at least enjoy the special day because having you there WILL spoil it for them.

Jenny - posted on 08/26/2014

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My sd is only 4 so I do have a long long way before this is an issue. And I hope all 4 of us(her mom and dad, stepdad and myself) can teach her to respect all 4 of us as parents, to know who her mom and dad are but to also know who her stepdad and stepmom are and the role they play in their lives and upbringing.

I would like to ask, for those of you who are stating a stepmom should sit separately from her husband or long time partner, just because the child requests(which I find extremely disrespectful and hurtful if that step parent contributed to raising you, you do not separate a spouse at a wedding! come on now!)

What role did your stepkid play in your wedding?
If you have bio children of your own and are remarried, what role did your bio children play in your wedding. Where they included, acknowledged?
Did you pretend like your step child or bio child did not exist through out the day?
Did you ask them to sit a few rows down, I mean they should right since the day is not about them, its about you and your new husband/wife.

Honestly, I have had one exstepmother who I despise, but if my dad and her where still together, I would have offered her an invitation to my wedding(if I where to ever want one lol) And not a separate invitation she would have been invited as my fathers wife(even thought they where not married, they where together for 17 years). As much as it would have pained me to see her sitting in the front row that is where she belonged next to my father. You don't have to like your parents significant other but you sure do have to respect them. Mind you, I am saying this as a stepdaughter who was beaten, abused, starved for 14 years and thrown out on the street the second I turned 18 by this woman. She would not have walked down the isle as MOB, but she most likely wouldn't have wanted that anyways. I would have asked my aunt or my grampas late second wife to take that place, in honor of my mom who passed away when I was 3.

Our relationship was civil by the time her and my dad broke up, and had it continued that way I would have asked her to take part in what she would have liked to take part in, dress shopping, showers. She would have sat next to my dad at the reception. Although I do doubt she would have wanted to partake in anything other than going to the wedding and reception.

I would hope that I can do right by my SD to the point that she feels she wants me to take part in the planning, especially if she see's me as a mom, enough to pay for things. I am extremely crafty and her mom is not, so I am pretty sure I would be very helpful. I am not her mother, and her bio mom is alive and in the picture so, I would never ask to be trotted down the isle as MOB. I wouldn't ask to be included in any way in the ceremony unless it was her wish...but I WILL be sitting next to her father! That much respect I do deserve.

gosh I complain so much about her mom being neglectful of her and always looking for others to take over her responsibilities as a mom, but am now starting to think I am very lucky she doesn't act so insecure about my relationship with her daughter, the way some of these comments sound.

I should add, I think all 4 parents should be on their best behavior, should not bicker and make it stressful for the B and G on the day and just be civil. You don't have to chat up a storm with each other but at least be cordial enough to make the day a great day for the couple.

Karpelt1 - posted on 08/26/2014

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Some step-parents can suck it up and take it, but not many. Just because you can, don't expect all of them to. The statement, "am a big girl and have no problem sitting by myself for less than an hour," isn't even close to reality. Before attending my step-daughter’s wedding, I read all of these “suck it up and take it comments,” and am still reeling from the pain and sorrow I experienced. If I HAD NOT read this so-called take-it advice, I probably would have stuck up for myself and my husband belonging together at her wedding and been fine. A couple is a couple, and they belong together period! If anyone should realize that, it should be a couple getting ready to get married. After all, how would one of them like if their spouse was invited to a huge event and escorted someone else but not them. No way that would go over, right? So, the thought that the bride and groom have the right to break up ANY couple, is absolutely ridiculous. Dad and step-mom belong together, period. Mom and step-dad belong together, period. None of this bio-mom and dad have to walk down together stuff, when they probably can’t even stand to be in the same room together.

Denice - posted on 07/31/2014

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I have a step-daughter and I have daughters of my own. My SD is getting married next year. I offered to help only after my SD complained that her bio mom didn't want to go shopping with her for her wedding. (Bio mom has a busy social life.) Her dad and I are paying for her gown and doing what we can when asked. Even so, I try not to over-step my bounds out of respect. It was after her daughter and I went dress shopping (not buying: just shopping at SD's request) that bio-mom told her daughter that she felt left out and couldn't sleep the whole night before we went shopping. Wait...what?! Anyhow, SD would not ask me and her Dad to sit separately, and he wouldn't if she did. A wedding is to celebrate the and her groom's future; noone should care where the parents sit if it IS about the bride and groom. Likewise, when my daughters get married I would not want to sit with my ex! He's free to sit with his GF, wife, or whoever he wants. Yes, I will always be a mom and so will my SD's mom. That has nothing to do with seating arrangements, though.

Evelyn - posted on 07/17/2014

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What do you do when the step parent has not been around that long? Just a few years for example when your child who is getting married was a teenager? Its like the step parent expects to be in the middle of it all. At least in the case I am speaking of. The young woman of this family was getting married and her step mother was not happy that her two younger boys at the time were not getting parts in the wedding party. SHe and dad had two girls together the bride used as her flower girls, the youngest step brother became ring bearer after the groom's nephew could not attend, and the bride's brother was an usher for the wedding (he and sis are very close), The step mom complained about where she sat a few rows back because of the mistake in seating. All after the groom's family had not been offered help by the father of the bride for anything. The mother chipped in her time and talents with things for the wedding, went along to see what her daughter chose for the dress, did her daughter's hair and makeup for the wedding, and helped with other needed things. What is to be said for that? It behooves me that step parents that have not been around long and do not know the kids well have such high expectations to be part of big things like this. Yes, they are part of the family, but they should stop and think that this is the bride's day not theirs. That they should take the seat they are given, the place they are alloted, or what have you by the bride and groom. The same with everyone else. Its different if a step parent has been there since the child was small or young. I can see them wanting to have a big part in that day too.

Sharon - posted on 07/15/2014

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My step-daughter's wedding is July 24, 2014 and I am dreading it. I do not want to go but I am basically being made to go by my husband. I have been married for 8 years. We met later in life after his daughter was already an adult. She is now 28 years old. We do not get along. Her mother died this year, so, it is not a matter of who is going to sit next to him. When my husband and I got married we were married in his parents house with just family and closest friends. At our reception, my step-daughter played her LVN graduation DVD. We spent our 'honeymoon' with her bugging my husband to go play tennis and to keep her entertained. I still haven't gotten over it. Many other incidences like this have happened over the years of her being very inconsiderate towards me, and I feel it would just be best if I didn't go. Thanks for letting me vent.

JONNIE - posted on 06/25/2014

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My son (stepson) is 36 years old. He has been "my son" since he was two. His biological mother was not interested in having a son until a few years ago when she found herself alone for the first time in her life. I have done everything within my power to bring about a relationship between my son and his biological mother from day one. I felt it was my responsibility to both of them. My son is getting married and yes, I am wondering how it is all going to work. He has asked his father, whom he adores, to be his best man.

He would never ask me to take a step back, so my suggestion was that both mothers walk down the isle together. I have also let it be known that I am more than happy to do anything to make their day a happy one, including sitting in the back of the church (although truth be known it would be painful.) But I would do it in a heartbeat if it would make him happy. It's all about the bride and groom!!!

Marian - posted on 06/24/2014

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For me I do not think it is right that I have to sit a few rows back. It is disrespectful in my opinion and my husband agrees. My step-daughter is 5 and I have known her since she was 3 years old. I give baths to this child, dry her off, dress her up, brush her hair and actually do up her hair nice and pretty (the ex's family only started to do her hair when I started doing it), buy clothes and toys for her, I play with her, cook food for her because she is a picky eater, do her laundry (wash and fold), clean up after her, clean her room, all that shiz just like a real mother and I have to sit a few rows back? Excuse me, I might as well not come to the wedding.

I am grown up enough and responsible enough to know that my step-daughter will always need her mother and I am in no need to compete with that person.
I know very well that the most I will be for this child is a "friend" but as of this moment, I love her. We have a great relationship to the point she wanted to call me mummy. It was her choice.

In my opinion, if you helped raised the child there is no need for you to sit "a few rows back". My husband has stated many times, his life has become much, much easier now that I am in his and his daughters life and that I am a great inspiration and influence on her.

Lorna - posted on 06/24/2014

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Hello Ladies,
I have just returned from my step daughter's lovely wedding. I am sitting her reading step mom thoughts on etiquette while crying my eyes out. I allowed my feelings to be hurt by forgetting who I am. Who I am is the step mother.

My step daughter came into my life at age eight, she is 28, has a PHD.,lovely and has the most wonderful husband who has the most wonderful wife. She has always been my shinning star.

Her father, my husband, and I raised her and her brother. My daughter I had when I was a teenager, I raised alone and she was grown when I met My Husband. My husband and ex wife had 50/50 custody of the children and the mother lived five miles away and didn't work. The mother chose to spend her time somewhere else. I forgot who I was because for many years I did mothering gladly. In the past few years the mother has become ill and my step daughter has been concerned. My step daughter doesn't live in the same state as my husband and I, and her Mother does, so my step daughter called and asked if I would take her mother shopping for a dress and shoes for the wedding when I went to look for my dress. I said I was going to sew my dress and that I had work with deadlines, but that I could find time in April to take her mother. She said that would be fine. It was January at the time. A few days latter she called and asked if I would help her mother figure out how to get a traveling oxygen machine I said yes. Latter a more detailed request was made in regards to her mother. I asked my step daughter if she had anyone available to see to her mother when her mother arrived. She said yes, one of her attendants and her future in laws. I clearly stated I did not want to be responsible for her mother as I would have my hands full with my 93 year old mom-in-law, my step daughter's grandmother. I bought a beautiful dress her mother picked out, a dress for the rehearsal dinner, and all the trimmings. My husband, mom-in-law, and I arrived earlier but there was a coolness from my step daughter I had never felt before. When her mother arrived I felt under attack. My step daughter was very disrespectful to me. I felt I tried to go with the flow and account it to pre- wedding stress.

My step daughter had scheduled a time for me to have my make up even though I had not requested it and insisted that I go. The make up was being done in her mother's hotel room. When I was finished she said she was going to ride in the car with her dad, grandmother, and I, so to make sure they were ready and to have him call before leaving the hotel room, which I did. All the wedding party was out in front of the hotel at the same time. I told my step daughter to set up front with her father and helped my mom-in-law get in and then I went to get in and shut the door and my step daughter yelled loudly at me "My Mom is riding with me." I had no idea she was riding with us, if I had I would have never offered the front seat. I am a large woman, I have size 12 feet, I have severe restless leg syndrome, the bump in the middle of the back seat floor does not work for me, I am not able to get my legs in a position where they will not painfully cramp, and shake in a manner I can not bare. So I told my step daughter I would need the front seat, we exchanged seats, my step daughter was angry I could see it in her eyes and I was irritated for not knowing her mother was going to be riding with us, had I known her mother was riding with us I would have never offered the front seat. We have not exchanged words since then. I was not acknowledged at the wedding. I sat when the guest set. I did sit with my husband and family on the front row. At the reception my step daughter came over to our table and would not even look at me.

Over the years I always wanted to be fair. There were times I rescheduled trips to visit my own daughter in order to be there for my step daughter, I never thought I did it for any reason other than to be fair to all my children, however now I know I did it because I forgot who I was and for a few fast moving years I thought I was the Mom. Now I remember I'm just the Step Mom. Step Mothers just because you are kind, loving, and helpful, it does not always reap the same feeling from the step children as someone above said they didn't ask for their parents to divorce.

Above there was a great deal of thought about insecurities step mothers have. I can understand. I never felt as insecure as I did this past week. I feel like something has changed between my step daughter and I down deep inside of me. I feel like a step mother for the first time in twenty years. "Cinderella" gave such a bad connotation to the image of step mother.I didn't deserve what was sent my way in the form of disrespect I received from my step daughter. I felt she was being mean to me in front of her mother to prove to her mother she loved her. And as I ramble I really don't understand what happened. But it feels different for me and not in a good way.
Thank you for listening.

Carole - posted on 06/23/2014

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Here is the thing, stepmothers and stepdaughters: If your stepmother really loves you, then she'll know it's about YOUR day and she'll do what you ask her to do. But if she really loves you and you put her in the second row, leave her out completely of the planning, etc., it will break her heart. HOWEVER, stepmothering is about breaking your own heart on purpose because these girls will NEVER be your daughters if you do it right and help them create a meaningful relationship with their biological mothers. The happiest, healthiest girls have happy, healthy relationships with their mothers. Period. And if you love your stepdaughter, you'll let her plan this wedding with her mother, work hard to make sure her father is involved to the degree he can/wishes to be, and be happy that you did the absolute best thing for your daughter that you possibly could have done.
I'm watching my girls (who are my stepdaughters) get ready for dances and grow up doing things I would LOVE to be doing with them with their mother who loves them instead of me and I wish I could do these things with them. Unfortunately for me, it's best for them to do them with their mother. Fortunately for them, they have a mother to do them with. I may not like her, but she's their mother and they'll be better, happier, healthier women because she is in their life in the role that she is traditionally meant to play.

Emily - posted on 06/18/2014

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I have a stepmother of 20+ years. She married my dad when I was a preteen, but really had no part in raising me, and is always claiming to be a "parent" which is very insulting to my mom who struggled a lot as a single mom. My stepmother spent years badmouthing my mother, refused to even meet my mother for over 10 years. We've gotten past the really bad stuff, and I've done a good acting job of pretending to like her. I can be friendly towards her, but truthfully she is not someone I like. I will never think of her as a parent, but that doesn't mean I can't treat her as family. There's a difference between honoring your parents on your wedding day and including a stepparent as family. Many times stepparents feel they must be treated as equal to the bioparents. Well if your stepchild isn't that close to you, it puts them in an uncomfortable situation. Being treated as family is the best compromise. A stepmom doesn't have to have all the same honors as the Mother of the Bride in order to be treated as family. Think of how aunts and grandparents are treated at weddings and treat the stepparent the same.

Having said that its still all about manners. You don't have to treat the stepmom as a mother in order to be polite. Include the stepmom in some photos, not all. Not everyone will be in every shot. Do some shots that include Dad & Stepmom, some that include Mom & Dad with the bride (thats no disrespect to the stepmom, Mom & Dad are after all your parents), do a photo with Bride & Groom and all biological and all stepparents. That way everyone feels included. Different photo combinations with all different relatives and hopefully nobody will feel slighted.

Stepmoms should most certainly sit with their husbands, and its ideal on the front row. Only exception I could see is if Mom is remarried and she's got a lot of kids from that marriage that would take up an entire row. And then Dad & Stepmom and their family sit on the second row. But its ideal if Mom, Stepdad, Dad, and Stepmom can all sit on the front row together.

Invitations. To me it doesn't matter who is paying. Its about who you feel close to. If you don't feel close to a stepparent even after 10, 20 years don't include them on an invitation. But do seperate lines for your parents. Mom on the first line, Dad on second line so there is the indication that they aren't a married couple. Or just omit names and do "Together with our parents" if you don't want to include a stepparent but know there will be drama if you don't include them.

Corsages/Bouts. I do believe all parents/stepparents should get a corsage/bout even if you dislike the stepparent. It shows respect to your biodad by giving his wife a corsage even if you don't like her. But the corsage doesn't have to be the same as the Mothers. For instance if you are doing roses, you could give 2 rose corsage to the moms, and a 1 rose corsage to the stepmoms. Or if you have different flowers in your bouquet (say roses and daisies) give Moms the rose corsages and give stepmoms the daisy corsages. Florists do similiar for grandmothers as grandmothers many times get the less elaborate corsages as the mothers do.

Escorting: A stepmother doesn't have to be part of the precessional when the music is played. But have her escorted by an usher before the music is played. She won't feel like she's just a guest, but at the same time the Mothers of the bride/groom get the honor of being escorted when the ceremony begins. However if its a very casual wedding I could see where you might not escort the stepmom.

Reception: If possible have all parents/stepparents sitting at the same table. If they can't be civil, have seperate tables for Mom and her family, Dad and his family, but have the tables up front so neither feels slighted. Again its ideal if all parents/stepparents can set aside their differences for a few hours and sit at the same table together.

Attendants: Bridesmaids/groomsmen are all up to the bride and groom. Just cause someone is a sister, brother, half sibling, stepsibling does not guarantee a part in the wedding. If you aren't close to a certain sibling, why put them in the wedding just cause they are "family". I say you have to really take a look at the relationship you have siblings and decide for yourself. Even in nuclear families siblings aren't a guarantee as attendants. My mom and her sister (full blood siblings) don't have any kind of relationship, and neither were in eachother's weddings. There was no relationship there so it would have just been all for show to have eachother as bridesmaids.

Guests: If you are having a larger wedding and inviting friends, extended family, distant relatives, it would be polite to invite some of stepmom's extended family (siblings, her parents) as well. It would make Stepmom feel good to have some of her relatives there, and if you don't get along with her would add some people to keep her occupied. If you are trying to have a limited # of people and want something more intimiate its fine to say no to that, as long as you're the one paying.

Jules0247 - posted on 05/11/2014

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It's kind of a catch 22. Being a Mother to a future Groom I see no reason why my son's step mom can't sit with his Dad. I would appreciate it, though, if she step back from some of the other events ie... showers (attend but don't upstage the real Mom) things of that nature. I have experienced much hurt by my ex's wife as she swoops in and tries to turn my Son's future brides against me like it has to be one or the other. So I do recommend some respect be given during this time but, of course, do sit with your husband. Just don't create tension between yourself and the Biological Parent. It's not like they are coming to your child's big day and hurting you that way. Just respects some boundaries and everyone should have a great time.

Ashley - posted on 04/07/2014

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When my brother got married, my stepmom sat in the front row with my mom and my dad. They had all of the brides siblings and husbands siblings in the wedding whether they were blood, half or step, it didnt matter, we all had our part. That is what family does. Me and my mom lived 4 states away so my stepmom got to help with the planning more than my mom did but she still involved my mom and even saved a few things for my mom to do when we got there a few days before the wedding. My mom and my dad also pitched in on paying for things. My mom and my stepmom, along with the brides mom were all there when we had the final dress fittings and all were happy with it and even went to lunch after. My mom and stepmom even went together by themselves to get some things and we were all there to set up and decorate and they both also helped us all get dressed. They got pictures with the whole family, some with just my brother his wife my dad and stepmom amd some with my mom in them with all of them, also with them and just my mom and some with them and my mom and dad without my stepmom. Thays because it wasnt about them and my mom and dad are exes for a reason but they still love all their kids just the same, and my stepmom is very secure in her marriage to my dad and knew he was going home with her when it was over so it did not bother her. Me and my mom were not able to be there for the bachelorette party, so the night before the wedding, my dad and stepmom agreed to keep my kids since they are not partiers and are in bed by 9 every nght, and me, my mom, my brothers and the wife and my other sister in law and some of the wedding party went out to a bar to celebrate. It was an awesome time, a great wedding. It was beautiful and everyone was happy. My mom my dad and my stepmom cried together and shared stories about us kids growing up and all thanked each other for the part they all played in all of our lives. My mom and stepmom even hugged at one point. My mom knows my stepmom loves us and was good to us and never wanted to take her place. Yes, she overstepped her boundaries at times in all them years, but it was never anything that hurt us kids physically or emotionally or left any of us hurt or scarred so they were always able to work it out and move forward in co-parenting us kids the best they could. And when my mom and dad and stepmom had problems with each other, they never argued in front of us, or even discussed it in front of us as far as I can remember. I have heard the stories as I have gotten older but back then I had no idea and neither did my 3 brothers or my sister. During my brothers wedding reception, my brother danced with my mom and then danced with my stepmom because they were both a very big part of our lives. When it was over, my mom and stepmom are the ones who stayed and cleaned up.
When I got married, we only had 4 hours to plan because my husband couldnt imagine getting married without his mom there and she was in the hospital and they told us she was most likely not going to make it, so we decided at 10 that morning and were being married at 2 that afternoon. We already planned on getting married, but werent going to start planning until 4 months later when we had the money to have our dream wedding. But anyways, we had a very small, quickly planned, but very intimate and beautiful wedding in my mother in laws hospital room while she laid in what we thought to be her death bed watching. Thank god she is still here today (more than a year later), I work hard every day taking care of her so we can have as much time as possible with her. My mom was there and brought a cake, grape juice (no champagne since we were in the hospital), she got me a thing for my head since I had a dress but no veil. And she brought some other things. Between her and my husbands stepmom, they made sure I had all the important traditional things like something blue, and new, etc. My brother was the best man because hes the only brother my husband claims and his sister was my maid of honor because shes my best friend and my sister didnt have enough notice to travel 4 states. His stepmom came and got pictures with all of us and there was no problem between his mom and stepmom because they both love him ( and me), and they get along for him and the grandkids. His sister picked our kids up from school and brought them for us and we had about 5 close friends there. Oh and my brother is also the one who gave me away since my dad didnt have time to make it. When I knew we were doing it, I called my dad and stepmom and although they were a little upset they couldnt be there, they understood and were happy for us. My dad said he was fine with it as long as it was one of his boys giving me away since he couldnt. They said they love me and to send pics and video when we were done. When they watched the video that night, they called me and my stepmom was still crying and she said my dad cried too, but hw wont admit it. We still wanted our dream wedding, not huge, but with all our family there and a reception and my dad to walk me down the aisle. So my mom and stepmom already know and have plans to work together to plan our wedding along with my mother in law, when we decide when we want to do it, and nobody has a problem with it. My stepmom even wants to come down for a week or 2 by herself a couple months before so she can help b us with dresses and everything else in person instead of over the phone. And on my (big) wedding day, my mom stepmom and dad will be setting in the front row together and my oldest brother will walk my mom and stepmom down the aisle together since my moms husband passed away. And my moms ex, who was my stepdad the majority of my life will also be in the front row with them and possibly even his new wife. And my mother -in-law, my step-mother-in-law and my father-in-law will also be in ths front row together on my husbands side. (Husbands mom is also a widow, or he would be in the front row too.). And everyone will be happy and get along because they all love us and even though we are already married, it will still be our special day to share with all of our loved ones that were not able to make it the first time. I have no doubt in my mind that they will all respect our decisions on that day and just enjoy it and have fun because we are all family and love each other. We may have divoced parents, but my husband and I were both lucky enough to say we have several people in our lives who have made huge impacts on our lives all in their own way and each and every one of them did everything they could for us and all had a helping hand in the way we were raised and in becoming the people we are today and with the values and morals we have. And we go together as young teenagers and became parents and were even friends before ever dating, so it wasnt just my family i learned from, his family has also taught me alot of things and were there for me when I became a young mom and really grew up. And the same for him with my family. My family has also taught him alot of things and were there for him when he became a young a dad and really had to grow up. There were things that I learned from his family that I never learned from mine, and things he learned from my family that he never learned from his. And that just makes our family that much stronger and full of love. And those are the reasons why we dont have step and half parents or siblings in our families. We are just family, and everyone is equal because they all did their part in making us both who we are today. So they all deserve to sit in the front row when we have our big wedding and they all have just as much right as the next to be proud and keep doing their part like they always have. Sorry I just rambled and its so long, i just think people should think twice before making a final decision on anything. Hopefully I have said something that will somebody or open somebodys eyes to what they really have in their life. Good luck to everyone.

Jake - posted on 04/01/2014

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lol...this has been super fun to read! I am the bio mom. Bio dad and I are both re-married. First I want to say to all step moms...if you are guilty of stating the following on this forum "I WILL SIT", "I WILL WALK OUT", "I WILL CHOOSE NOT TO GO", all “I” statements meaning you are all about you and your insecurities and you probably should have made better decisions about marring a man with existing children. Those of you that whined about the bill…giggle giggle…its called parenting! REMINDER...he made a promise to another before you regardless of who's fault it was the marriage/relationship ended and that promise must be upheld...most of you think I am talking about the ex-wife (hence the issue is with you) THE PROMISE WAS MADE TO THE CHILD!
Now that being said...our daughter loves loves loves both of her "step" (such an ugly word) parents and we will sit together as one and share the experience and the deserved honor of being parents to OUR beautiful daughter. REASON: if EVERYONE had not put our daughter first, created a family bond at each home and together she certainly wouldn't be the healthy minded woman she is today.
Story: Our daughter is a type one diabetic and was diagnosed at age 13. We spent 3 full days in the hospital to receive diabetic education. Now imagine if we had argued over who deserved to be there while she was absorbing a major life change. All four parents spent 3 days in classes, in a hospital room… together. When leaving the hospital the social worker stopped us and said “it has been a privilege to witness such a healthy blended family, to know that this is indeed a possibility, that this young lady will grow in to a fine healthy minded woman because you all loved her enough to put her first”. As a parent could you ask for a better complement?
Ask yourselves what a social worker would say to you? Do you think things are really that great with me and the ex? Do you really think there have not been issues with step mom? Please ladies we all know the answers to those questions…we ALL need to put the child that is the victim of a failed marriage/relationship first. They didn’t ask to be born in to this situation, or to be guilted or tortured with others insecurities, they have the right to a family or families. Suck it up girls these are our very adult choice they have been plagued with.
BTW: I am aware there are lots of bad bio moms, but that is where you made a life choice to marry in to that mess.

Carla - posted on 03/23/2014

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My son was a grown man when his father remarried. I feel that the step-mom since she had job in raising him should set in the 2nd row. while the sons biological parents sit in the front row. After all it is their sons wedding and as a a step i should take my rightful setting in the second row out of respect. after all the sons father will spend the rest of the time with his wife and be going home with her.

Catherine - posted on 03/01/2014

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I'm a step mom of 2 and my 26 year old step son is getting married. His mother passed away 12 years ago. He has been a part of my life for 11 years. I see him maybe once or twice a year, He is getting married this year and has invited me to the wedding. How do I feel? I'm nervous yet at the same time happy that he decided to invite me. I would have respected his decision no matter what he decided for you see the daughter when she was getting married was adamant that I was Not invited at first it was difficult for me but then I stopped to think, this was not my wedding but hers and if she found it difficult for me to be there then who I was I to judge and I respected her decision. I have mixed emotions about the upcoming wedding but I have spoken to my husband and I have told him I will Not sit up at the front with him. That is the place where my stepsons mother would have sat, if she was alive. I believe that my place is a back a few pews with our daughter. I don't expect a corsage and I don't expect a dance. This upcoming day is not about ME but about my stepson and his Bride. The fact that he invited me is a gift in its self and I'm not about to step on anyones toes or have anyone talk about me behind their backs. I have Respect for the late mother and hopefully the family will see that also.

Darlenemcgurk - posted on 02/22/2014

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I am the step mother of a son that is getting married. His mother died about 15 yrs ago. ours is a unique story. His mother was my best friend and his father was my late husbands best friend. That said, the kids grew up as cousins, and we all were very close. Well life took its own path and we are married for 10 yrs now. the kids all consider each other as brother and sisters, I have tried to honor his mother in making a wedding purse with a heart charm tacked inside for his bride to represent his mother being with them. He is doing his part in keeping his mother's memory at the wedding. I have known my step children from the second they came into this world and love them like my own. my concern is I walk a fine line to what position is at the wedding. He is having a lovely song for the two of us to dance to, his sister will going in the second half of the song. I have been reading a lot of comments about step mothers and there are none about if a biological mother has passed. the brides side has made It clear that I am almost family, and has made it clear that I am really not the mother of the groom. As far as I am feel I am the mother of the groom. Is my role the same as the mother of the groom, or am I just a step-mother that should step back. I need some guidance here.

Elisheva - posted on 02/14/2014

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this is crazy, I am not that friendly with my ex, but whenever there are functions involving our sons we step it up and act like parents. I really like his wife, so perhaps that helps. I was actually looking for ways that my sons' stepmother would be included fully as she has done nothing but loved my boys and been decent to me. She was included equally in their bar mitzvahs.

Keltara - posted on 02/08/2014

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I do not think I have ever been exposed to this type of immaturity before and I hope I never am again. Let me set a few things straight as a woman who has been it all. I am a mom, step-mother, daughter, and step-daughter, as well as a biological and adopted daughter. I've seen this issue from all sides of the coin and I am going to make this really simple for everyone here...

It is the BRIDE'S day... Let her decide what SHE wants. If you are a mother and she wants her step-mom to play an equal role, then shut up and let your love for her make it ok. If you are a step mom and she hates you, shut up and think about what you could have done to make your relationship better. If you are a step mom and she loves you, then feel honored that you have that type of relationship, but remember... it is HER day... not yours. You do what SHE wants to make the day easier on HER.

When I got married for the second time, I got to have the wedding I wanted but never had with my first husband. My adopted parents who are my mom and dad were both there and are still married to each other. That made things easy. My biological mom was there with my step-dad. My biological dad was there with my step-mom. My step-mom hates me for existing, and Im not sure what my step-dad feels as he is a very private person. My biological parents and their new spouses made the day a living nightmare for me with the bickering and the crap. Despite my step mom hating me, she wanted to be honored as one of my mothers (I have known the woman for about 2 years) and was pissed when I didn't allow it.

My adopted mother, who is also the oldest of the three of them, was fine. She did everything I requested from her along with trying to ease tension, but it didn't help. I wish my step mother hadn't come, but that would have kept my biological father away, along with my sisters.

As for the mom/step-mom thing... I have a son who is getting married next year. I am remarried legally, his father is a bigamist and his step-mother doesn't know it. I made one request of them for the wedding and that was to consider who played a more important part in his life; me or his father (note: his father hasn't seen him in 6 years and his dad's mistress despises the fact that he and his sister exist and she WAS the reason we broke up), when making the choices of who does what. I will abide by whatever they decide and I will do it with every ounce of grace that I have in me because I do not want to ruin that day for him or my future daughter.

So that's my story and why I say that step parents and parents alike need to give the bride whatever she wants and remember that it is her day... and to the pathetic step moms I saw on here who said "Im sitting with my husband"... sorry ladies, that crap doesn't fly with me. If you care at all about your new spouse you will honor what their children want on that day instead of trying to be all bad about it. After all, you get to go home with him at night, what difference does one day make if it makes his child, who is a part of him, happy?

Keltara - posted on 02/08/2014

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Seriously? Patti, I do not know your situation or your family, but your attitude is horrible. First off, think about your step-child and not ruining their big day. This wedding is not about you and you should gracefully put yourself aside and allow this younger person to have the day as they want it; after all it is about them and their future. Secondly, not sitting next to your husband shouldn't be a problem at all and if you were mature enough to handle marrying a man with children, then you should be mature enough to realize that YOU are not that child's parent.

Mindy - posted on 01/23/2014

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Just a switch up! My step daughter is getting married in September. Our relationship has always has been toxic. She blames me for breaking up the original marriage and the friendship between her parents. (They were divorced three years prior to me coming into the relationship)! Well, she (bride decided she liked me enough when I offered to pay for the disc jockey, but totally disrespected me when she went to pick out her wedding dresses, with her mother, friends and bridesmaids. What is the proper etiquette for me wear as the step mother. I picked out a sheath, champagne color and very low in back. I'm thinking that is inappropriate. Additionally, her father agrees with me as far as the disrespect. Any help would be appreciated.

User - posted on 01/17/2014

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Unless she asks for it, don't bother. This is a special time for bonding between Mother and child only, it's not your place.

Dusty - posted on 01/15/2014

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As I am soon faced with two stepsons getting married, I do not want to step on their mother's toes but would like to offer help as well. What does etiquette say about offering help to the mother? My husband was not married to her although they had three children together. He is more of a "not doing anything unless I am asked or told" laid back kind of person. He will do anything for his children but isn't very take charge and that is why I would like to offer so she doesn't claim he didn't do anything. Opinions?

User - posted on 01/14/2014

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A Mother is a Mother. You CANNOT change that fact! men come and go, but a Mother and child is forever. take your deserving step back.

Lynns-paws-n-claws - posted on 01/05/2014

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I totally agree with Yellow Rose and know exactly what your talking about and insecurity has nothing to do with it.its about the union between husband and wife.

Lynns-paws-n-claws - posted on 01/05/2014

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I think its total disrespect to the step mother or step father to not be able to sit with her/ his husband/wife on any day. Mom and Dad got a divorce for a reason and that union was broken and another union was formed.leave it at that.

Evelyn - posted on 11/07/2013

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Nikki-What do you do in the case of the step mom only having been part of the family for a short, short time of a few years. She does not know the kids that well as of yet. And she has not bonded with the kids either but she expects all her kids to be in the wedding party (all 3 boys who are step brothers) when there is not such there. She complains when this does not happen. She complains about seating when it was set up by the minister rather than the families?

DivaSpark - posted on 11/07/2013

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I totally agree with Sue. The issue of not sitting with a husband is some personal insecurity on the step-mums part. Mothering is never about a pat on the back, so why bring up all the things you have done? Yellow: You don't know what the wife has put up with in her marriage, especially to knock her about not calling for two weeks.it sounds like you want to share the spotlight cause you contributed to parenting. Has it Dawned on you that you're the only on jockeying for position? Chill out please. You will still be married to him at the end of the night.

Staci - posted on 10/12/2013

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He got a beautiful engraved gift for his son. My suggestion. I paid for it also because he is unemployed. Waiting for disability claim. I just can't tolerate the disrespect on so many levels. Pray for my marriage because my doubts are now there.

Staci - posted on 10/11/2013

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I just went through the steps parent seating etiquette. I was sat five seats down from my husband even after he requested that the seats be moved. In this day and age of divorce there is printed etiquette. For second spouses. I was very upset and did not go to the reception. My husband stayed and regrets it. I am his wife and expect to be treated as such. It was a rude act by his son and was intended to send a message.

Deb - posted on 08/07/2013

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Thank you so much, you gently salved something that was a bit shocking. That woman can never change the fact that my daughter is my daughter. I am slightly sad that her apparent self absorption could mar a day I had dreamed of since my daughter's birth, but over and done, and I handled it with grace. Oddly enough, with my beloved stepchildren, we even put on their weddings at our beautiful home, killer for work, but this woman did pretty much zero, fine enough, but now suddenly she's trying to take over being Mother of the Bride?

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