Post # 1
I have a question that I’ve been wanting to find the answer to for 5 years now. I hope someone knows the answer to this. I’ve been happily married to my husband now for 22 years. He was divorced when we met so I had nothing to do with it. When we were first married, we had custody of his 3 teenage children although they were free to spend as much time with their mother as they wanted to and I also get along with his ex wife very well. I have a good relationship with the children too, I love them as my own. BTW, I am also 16 years younger than my husband and only 3 years older than his eldest son. He started early!
OK, to my question. My stepdaughter got married 5 years ago and my husband gave her away. I was seated next to my husband and his ex wife on the front pew, we get along well enough for this. During the ceremony the MOB and MOG were obviously escorted down the aisle and one of the grooms favorite aunt was too. My husband was with his daughter for her big appearance. In the meantime I was left to my own device to seat myself on the front pew, alone. I felt very conspicous and odd. I felt that I should have at least been escorted to my seat from the side aisle (not center) from a groomsman or someone else such as a male family friend. Am I wrong? Is it the norm for the stepmom to seat herself in a formal wedding, especially when everyone gets along so well? Let me also state that I had recently just gone through 3 major back surgeries and am disabled, a little unsteady on my feet especially during this time.
I would truly appreciate your input as I am not sure what the proper etiquette was for this situation. If this was a mistep on my stepdaughters part while planning the wedding I’m sure it was an innocent mistake. Thank you!
Post # 3
I’m not sure what the etiquette rules are, but I am sorry you’ve been frustrated by this for the past five years. Have you tried talking to your stepdaughter about it? If you have a good relationship, then this might be a better solution to your frustration. Good luck!
Post # 4
I know at some weddings the mothers are escorted by their sons, and if an aunt was escorted down the aisle then I think you should have been too…esp if you get along great with everyone. But if it was 5 yrs ago…and everything is still well with you and your stepchildren then I wouldnt worry about it. Im sure she meant nothing by it and just didnt know. My own future step children are actually in our wedding…my fiance’s two daughters are my bridesmaids and his son is a groomsmen…we are all very excited!
Post # 5
jewelsfn, in a situation like you describe (married for 22 years, good relations between all), I would have expected someone to escort you. Is it possible that your stepdaughter thought you would be uncomfortable standing around and waiting to walk down the aisle due to your surgery? Maybe she thought you’d be more comfortable if you took your seat immediately. (This is what my FI’s grandfather has asked to do — we asked if he’d like to process in before the groomsmen but he said he would be more comfortable just sitting right away.)
If this still bothers you, I would ask your husband about it.
Post # 6
I don’t think that there is a standard answer to this question. I think it really depends on the total number of groomsmen, their relationship tot he bride and groom how everyone else is getting up to the aisle, etc.
MOB and MOG should definitely be escorted down the aisle, of course. And perhaps they "broke" a bit of etiquette by escorting one aunt down, and not all of them (if there were more in attendance). The situation gets a little tough, because you are the wife of the FATHER of the bride, who is walking down the aisle with the bride. If you were married to the father of the groom, you probably would have been escorted by your husband, father of the groom, while the mother of the groom was escorted by an usher or groomsmen.
My thought is that the bride was probably trying to do the "standard" escorts, and thought you would prefer to go straight to your seat due to your surgeries, rather than stand around in the back waiting for the processional. However, she probably should have mentioned it to you husband just to check and see (and maybe she did- maybe he told her that you’d be better of going straight to your seat). The good part is that you were able to sit in the front pew– which is a huge honor. That means she thinks of you like true family
I personally would just think that this isn’t a "standard etiquette procedure" so if you WERE supposed to be ushered down the aisle, she probably didn’t even realize it at all. And I think being in the front pew means the world, so I would focus on that! (I have seen many step parents that are asked to sit in the second row, or even the third row behind aunts/uncles!)
Post # 7
Thank you everyone for your input! I do know that she never meant any harm by this, she does love me and feels as though I’m very much a part of the family. I do have to say that it had nothing to do with my surgeries though, while her own mother was busy chatting with friends, I was running up and down stairs getting things for the bride and all of the bridal party. I ran my tushy off! I even helped to finish dressing my stepdaughter, putting on her garter, her veil, etc.. Her mother was MIA. I found that to be very odd. What mother would want to miss that?
I have discussed this with my husband and he doesn’t know anymore than I do and I don’t want to bring it up to my stepdaughter. It’s really more of an etiquette question than something that bothers me. I don’t want her to feel badly over something she can’t change now. I do wonder though if it was a slight on her grooms end, it was his aunt who was escorted down the aisle and he has a tendency to put his family ahead of our daughters family. This is something we’ve learned over the years.
I also want to add that when my husband and I married, we had all three of his children in our wedding. His two sons were groomsman, and his daughter a bridesmaid. The rest of our party was made up of my sister and my best friend (MOH), and his brother as his best man. One of his sons passed away quite suddenly a couple of years after we were married and our wedding video is the only video that we have of him. You never realize how precious something so small will turn out to be.
BTW, I’m really happy to have found this site as my husband and I plan on renewing our vows someday soon. I’m sure I will find a lot of help here when needed.
Post # 8
I think that this is a tough one that there is no standard etiquette to use as a guide… But… You highlight an important issue for us brides to be mindful of, and that is that we should really consider all of the relatives and relations in the wedding and be mindful of their feelings as they go through the day. Anything we do to make people feel more comfortable is good, and so it would have been great if one of the ushers escorted you to your seat or some other arrangement was made.
I’m glad your blended family gets along so well, though!
Welcome to Weddingbee! You’ll find lots of good information and support here!
Post # 9
Thank you ‘Doctorgirl’! Are you a doctor or are you marrying one? I’m so curious! Yes, I am greatful that we do get along very well. I considor my husbands ex wife to be a freind of mine. She has a great personality and is really fun (and silly) to be around. My husband is incredibly funny and all of the kids came by their hilarity rather honest.
I’m happy to know that I have brought this to the attention of new brides. Yes, step-parents can feel like the odd man out and don’t know what to do with themselves if they are left to their own device as I was. My stepson and his wife sat in the pew behind us and I would have been very happy for him to have seated me, again down the side aisle, not the middle. I was uncomfortable walking to my seat alone and being the last person to sit before the ceremony.
In the end the ceremony was beautiful and the bride glowed. I was so incredibly proud. Not to mention how handsome my husband looked in his tux while he walked my stepdaughter down the aisle. Proud as punch!
I’ve noticed some questions on the color of dress for the stepmother. I spoke with my daughter (step) and found out what colors the mothers were wearing first and asked if she had any preference. She didn’t. I ended up wearing a beautiful black dress with a fishtail hem and ivory lace running down the entire back. My dress was incredible. I had looked for just the right one for a year and this was ‘it’. The black went really well with my husbands black tux and I blended in perfectly. Also, because I felt really good in this dress I was able to enjoy myself without any discomfort or concern and looked my age. It also showed really well in the pictures. Luckily in these more modern times black is an appropriate color for a wedding.
Post # 10
I believe it would have been most courteous to you to have a proper escort bring you down the aisle to your seat.
I’ve been to many weddings where the ladies were escorted (all of them) to their seats if they were unescorted or if their spouse was in the wedding by the ushers.
It’s wonderful you’re surrounded by a loving blended family. I know I’ll hit this problem in many years when my son marries (he’s just 10 now). His stepmom was an active part of our marriage’s demise and although I doubt they’ll be married by then (he’s doing the same thing sadly now), I will still treat her decently when my son marries one day.
So glad you’re here and planning a vow renewal. I would embrace all of your family and maybe let this event just pass b/c it might have been not discussed or assumed by your immediate family (stepdaughter, her fiance and your H) that you’d be seated with an escort and not meant in any way to slight you at all. I am sure they felt horrible when they found out what had happened.
Since this did give you bad feelings, I would simply make sure when you and your H have a vow renewal, that you use this situation as a way to make sure it doesn’t happen again! Make sure all groomsmen or escorts escort any…ANY unescorted ladies to their seat and seat the family of the bride and groom first. This way if it’s communicated clearly there won’t be any issues.
I believe clear communication is the key to solving most issues and preventing them from happening over and over again.
Post # 11
At my wedding, the only grandparent present was my husbands step grandmother. She attended with her daughters (my FILs step sister).
We didn’t give her a corsage, reserve her a seat or escort her down the aisle.
However, the relationship wasn’t very close.
At my cousins wedding, her step mom did as you did- she was seated in the front, but found her own seat- she wasn’t part of the processional or anything.
In your case, I think you should have spoken up at the time if it bothered you or you needed help getting to your seat. At the very least, an usher should have seated you as a guest- regardless of being the stepmom.
Overall, I would say that 5 years is a long time to dwell on this imagined slight. If you have a good relationship with your step children and your husband’s ex, be grateful and try to let this go.
Post # 12
I don’t know what the rules are..but I am in the same spot…meaning I HAVE a stepmom. I am not close with her..but she has been married to my father for 25 years. Her sons/ my half-brothers are my ushers. We are going to have her walk with her sons…..so FI parents….stepmom and ushers…and mom nad her husband
I am sorry that you are hurt by this. I almost did the same thing to my stepmom. I just didn’t think about it. But my FI mentioned that he thought it "only seemed right"
But before that….it didn’t even cross my mind. I am sorry that you felt really hurt and out of place. The "rules" are so fuzzy about this type of thing..I am sure it was not meant to intentionally hurt you
Post # 13
I don’t think she meant to slight you. Most etiquette only calls for the two mothers to be escorted down, and often times, the grandparents are even left out of the "processional." I would not take offense to it at all.