Post # 1
My parents are divorced – have been for 25 years. My mom is single, my dad is married to the woman who helped break up his marriage. I had hoped that my mom would never have to meet my stepmother, but it’s unavoidable because of my wedding. I know both women will keep it classy. The drama lies in my programs. Listed under ‘parents of the bride’, I wrote my mom, then my dad and stepmother. when my mom saw the program a couple days ago, she expressed a lot of hurt and frustration that my stepmother was included as a parent. She came into my life when I was 16 and we spent the first 6 years of our relationship screaming at each other. She never parented me, and that is my mom’s point. I thought etiquette dictates that step-parents should be named in these instances, but if it upsets my mom this much, I’m wondering if I should take the stepmother’s name out. Might ruffle her feathers (she has not seen the program and would never know there was a change made), but my relationship with my mom matters most to me. I have the ability to change and reprint the programs in the time I have left before Friday…should I? Really need some perspective here…Thank you
Post # 2
Nope, you don’t have to include your stepmother. She didn’t help to raise you. However, you have to keep it the same for the groom’s side of the family – only his biological parents. I’ve frequently seen ceremonies where the mother sits in the first row, with the grandmothers, and the father sits in the 2nd, with his wife. And I wouldn’t do the thing where they introduce the parents and have them enter the reception room, ahead of the bridal party. I can’t imagine your mother would want to walk-in with your father, and the stepmother might insist she enters with him.
My 1st daughter to marry listed all four parents and 3 grandmothers. My 2nd daughter had a longer musical prelude, and wanted to thank guests for traveling (the sides were either 1.5 or 3.5 hours away), so she didn’t include parents or grandmothers. At that point, I agreed, since we were 100% hosting and I got nothing but aggravation, from his side.
Post # 3
I not list “parents” then you won’t offend your mother or your step-mother. Is your step-mother going to be walkking in during the processional? I’d just list people who are in the processional and list them in order with their relationship
Laura Carpenter, bridesmaid
Janet Kim, step-mother of the bride
John and Sarah Brown, parents of the groom
Susan Baum, mother of the bride
Post # 4
Our program is non-traditional in that it has more info than just what’s happening for the ceremony. There is a fun facts section, graphics of the bridal party, etc. parents of both bride and groom are named so people know their names, not because they are part of the processional. Thanks for the input – I feel better about taking my stepmother off the program now.
Post # 5
I would definitely not list your stepmother if your mom is going to be so upset about it. At the end of the day, she’s your mom and if she’s upset on the day, it’s only going to trickle down to you. You won’t want to deal with that on your wedding day. I probably wouldn’t list parents on your FI’s side either though… just to avoid any talk.
Post # 6
Toronto2014: My mother passed away when I was a child and my dad has an awesome lady friend who he has been with for the past 7 years but they aren’t married – I had a similar dilemma – do I list her under “parents” because she is not my mom (even though she’s wonderful!). I ended up listing “Father of the Bride: Mr. WeatherBugsDad, accompanied by Ms. Girlfriend”.
Would this be an option for you? List your mom under “Mother of the Bride” and your dad + wife under: “Father of the Bride: Mr. Torontos Dad, accompanied by StepMom”. That way she’s not getting the parent title, but you are acknowledging her – she is your step mom after all.
Post # 7
weatherbug: I think that’s a great compromise! Acknowledges her, without drawing too much attention to her. In the end, I think it’s more important to honor and keep your mom happy, unless you had a really great relationship with your stepmom. But it would be nice to name her in some way, so this could be a good compromise!
Post # 8
weatherbug: I really like this suggestion, +1 to ” accompanied by”
Post # 9
weatherbug: That is a really nice idea, and if the space on the program allowed me to write it that way I would. Unfortunately the layout isclouded columns and I can’t change it (etsy PDF). It will be clear to everyone that my parents are not together and that my dad is with someone else…hopefully my stepmother isn’t offended that she is not named. When I think about what she represents in my life and my family, I think putting her on the program is more of an honour than she really deserves. I know that must sound really mean, but taking her off feels right to me now. (Especially since she just told me that there is no way in hell that my dad can dance with my mom at the reception!)
Post # 10
Toronto2014: It sounds like you’ve already made your decision, but I just also wanted to add more support to leaving your stepmother’s name off the program. I think that should be fine.
My parents have been divorced for 9 years and my Dad is remarried. My stepmother is a lovely woman who I get along with, but I was a grown-up by the time she came into our lives. Under parents in the program I just put my Mum and Dad, and there was no drama (at least that I was aware of!).
I think the important thing is that you don’t blanketly exclude her from all family activities (i.e. family photos etc.). So long as it’s just the particular ‘parental’ column of the program, I think that in the event anyone does take offense you can readily explain why there was this one and only exception, but hopefully it’s just a big non-issue.
Hope your next 6 days go nice and smoothly and you have an amazing wedding 🙂