Post # 1
This is my first post to the weddingbee. I’m just 30 short days out from my wedding and couldn’t be more excited! The only stress I’m having is how to deal with my complicated family.
My mother passed away about two years ago. My dad has been seeing someone for about 9 months now, but expects me to include her in the wedding as if she was family. While she is nice, her and my father have tried tirelessly to insert themselves as a couple into my life. I love my dad, but I don’t have to love, or even have a relationship with his girlfriend.
So, I’m not sure how to approch topics with my dad such as not including her and her children in the wedding family portraits. I’ve tried to be understanding and have allowed him to invite her and her family to the wedding, but I don’t want them to be a big part of the day.
Post # 3
Can I ask why you wouldnt want to include her in your life/wedding portraits if your dad loves her?
Post # 4
@jchitzel: I would have the photographer take one photo of her and her family, your dad and you and your husband. They should be happy with that and one photo shouldn’t take too long.
Post # 5
@asscherlover: I agree!
You can always not have it printed or have them print it themselves. I dont see a big deal if she is nice and your dad is happy.
Post # 6
I would suggest a compromise here. Have them in some, but not all (IE pop in the last pic of a series that it makes sense for them to be in). If your dad loves her, she could be his wife someday and your stepmother. If they dont, they are only in a few pictures and no harm no foul.
Not that you have to love her, but you should respect their relationship and what it could turn into as a form of respect for your father.
Didnt you want your fiance before he was your fiance to be included in family functions? You probably didnt expect them to think of him as a son, but you would probably wanted him to be part of Xmas dinner.
Post # 7
@MrsJansen While she is a nice enough person, she has made several comments and actions about my mother’s family I found inappropriate. For example, I took photos at my bridal shower with her and my mom’s sister. When she sent me the photos she cropped my mom’s sister out. I found this so disrespectful. She’s also only been in my father’s life about 9 months and mine even shorter. I don’t mind if they want to take candid pictures together during the ceremony, but I’d perfer to leave her out of the formal family portraits.
Post # 8
Maybe you can include her and her kids in a few and then the rest with just the family you want. You don’t have to order those pictures but I bet it would mean the world to your dad.
ETA: oops seems like PP’s suggested the same thing. It must be great advice. LOL
Post # 9
@asscherlover You’re probably right. One photo wouldn’t hurt and it would make my father and his girlfriend happy.
I’m glad I posted on the weddingbee. Sometimes my emotions get the best. Outside opinions are always helpful.
Post # 10
I understand. I probably wouldn’t want her in most of the family photos but would let her be in a few? I can imagine that I might not be ready just 2 years after my mom’s death. I wouldn’t want her place to be “filled” in every shot where my mom should be. I guess I’d want her absence acknowledged and not imply that a woman I have known for 9 months has taken her place in life. I haven’t even lost my mom yet but just contemplating it hurts my heart. That said, I would make her feel welcome and not begrudge your dad moving on. I’d just want some boundaries. I’m sorry you lost your mom 🙁
Post # 11
Maybe you could get one family group picture done with her and the kids in it (just to keep the peace, you can give the photo to your dad and never have to think about it again) then inform the photographer if they could ask that only your father stay in the picture.
My brother did this at his wedding (my father and his new girlfriend) and it seemed to keep the piece.
Post # 12
The fact is, your father is part of your life and this is his (new) partner. So, excluding them from your day is going to have an eartquake effect on the rest of your lives…are you prepared to deal with the aftermath of that?
If I were you I’d suck it up and just take some photos with them, and some without and when you have the option of which ones to buy later on you don’t have to get those ones. 🙂
Post # 13
@jchitzel: No worries. Its always easier to give advice than it is to receive it. I completely understand how complicated families are. My parents are seperated and I’m 95% sure my dad wants to bring a date to the wedding. The divorce may or may not be final by then, but my rule has been that if he’s not divorced than he can’t bring a date. And if it is finalized it will take a lot of willpower to let him do it, even if it is the right thing to do. And including that theroretical person in pictures would be tough too. I think its perfectly fine to limit the pictures out of respect to your mother’s memory and because honestly, you never know how long relationships will last. I get that when you’re older relationships move more quickly (my grandfather got remarried all of six months after my step grandmother died of cancer) but its still tough to judge other people’s relationships as an outsider. So include her in a few pictures to keep the peace, but please don’t feel obligated to have her in every single one your mother would have been in.
Post # 14
@jchitzel: It’s your wedding so do what feels right for you.
I understand that you want to keep the peace, and if there’s a compromise that you’re comfortable with, go for it. If not, then don’t.
My ex-husband and I try very hard to make sure that our kids’ wishes are respected. If that means excluding our respective partners, so be it. They’re both grown ups and their feelings are their own responsibility.
I imagine that you’re going to miss your mother on your wedding day and people shold be respectful of that. Do what makes you feel good about honouring her memory, because no-one can replace her. Ever. And that’s okay.
Post # 15
I know I’m in the minority here but I agree with you, OP. she shouldnt be in family portraits because she isn’t family. You’ve already been gracious enough to invite someone you don’t really know to your wedding. Yes, compromise is a good thing, and you can have the photographer take a few pictures of your dad and her family, which in my opinion is nice enough.
Post # 16
I personally wouldn’t feel it necessary to include someone’s girlfriend or boyfriend in the formal photos (if they were married than yes) However I can agree that doin one group photo to “keep the peace” is probably the best solution.