Family dynamics are always interesting when planning a wedding. Things can become even more dicey when step-parents become involved. Let these hints make your wedding experience go as smoothly as possible for you and your step-mom.
First things first: you cannot leave your dad’s spouse out of your wedding, whether you get along with her or not. As the wife of the bride’s father, she simply cannot be excluded. Married couples sit together at weddings, so your step-mother should sit with your dad. If your parents and step-parents are not one big happy family, seat your mother in the first row, with her husband if she is re-married. It is perfectly fine for the father of the bride to sit in the second row, along with his wife. The same idea will apply for the dinner table seating. It is a simple matter to have a couple of head tables so that dueling exes and their new mates aren’t seated at the same table. The trick is to separate them while still making everyone feel important.
You would not be the first bride who did not want to invite her step-mother to all of the wedding festivities. Think about the terrible position this would put your father in. Naturally, if she and your mom do not get along, they shouldn’t be expected to attend intimate events like a bridal shower at the same time. But if you are having two showers, invite your step-mother to the one your mother will not be attending. Sometimes both moms will attend the same party, in which case they should be warned in advance to be on their best behavior. In an ideal world, grown ups can put aside their differences for at least one day!
One cause of awkwardness with the bride’s step-mother can be her wedding attire and jewelry for the wedding. Don’t stress too much over what your father’s wife will choose to wear to the wedding; it’s not worth losing your sanity over it. Traditionally, the bride’s mother chooses her outfit first, followed by the groom’s mom. If you are following that custom, your step-mother would select third. Since the mothers of the bride and groom really do not need to match, it truly isn’t that important who shops first, second, or third. Sometimes brides worry that their father’s second wife will dress inappropriately. Maybe you think she is likely to show up in a scene-stealing dress and dramatic wedding jewelry that will overshadow your mom, or maybe even you. You could speak to your dad privately and ask him to keep her behavior under control, but if your step-mother always wants to be the center of attention, there isn’t much you can do. Ultimately, anyone who tries to upstage the bride will be the one who looks foolish.
When the bride and her step-mother get along like best friends, it can cause some friction with the mother of the bride. They actually like them so much that their mothers are jealous. It is unfortunate when the bride gets caught between her mom and her dad’s new wife. The best advice is to understand that most mothers have looked forward to planning their daughter’s weddings since they were little girls. Because of this, it is not unusual for moms to want to have those special moments like wedding gown shopping all to themselves. If you explain it nicely to your step-mom, she will get it. While keeping everyone happy can be challenging, if you can keep all the family relationships under control, it will make your wedding much more enjoyable.
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