Post # 1
Fiance and I are getting married in just over one week, and I desperately need to print our programs and assemble them into fans ASAP. BUT, we’ve run into a slightly tricky situation.
Background: Fiance’s parents were married for almost 50 years before his dad died about 7 years ago. His mom remarried a little over 2 years ago; we all adore her new husband and are glad to see her happy again.
Problem: How do we indicate the relationship between Fiance and his mom’s husband on our programs? “Stepfather” almost seems too intimate since we’ve only known him for 3 years (but we do love him dearly) and Fiance is a grown man with grown kids of his own. And “stepfather” is not the role he plays in our lives.
Example (names changed to protect privacy):
Troy and Maggie = Bride’s Parents (or Bride’s Father and Mother)
Paula and Derek = Groom’s ??? (HELP! Mother and Stepfather? Mother and her husband? And yes, we are purposely listing his mom’s name first).
Does anyone have any ideas on how to address this sticky issue? Thanks!!
Post # 3
I would word it like this
Bride’s parents – Troy & Maggie
Groom’s mother and her husband – Paula & Derek
Post # 4
He is your FI’s stepfather, whether they have a parent-son relationship or not thats what this guy is.
Also, chances are you will offend someone if you say groom’s mom and husband, that wording is reserved for a step-parent that is dispised.
Post # 5
Stepfather seems appropriate. I bet he acts as a stepgrandfather to your FI’s kids. I know my parents parents are divorced and remarried, all after my parents were grown. Yet I call them my step grandparents not my grandmothers husband ect. Even for the one who married into the family a couple years ago (the others have been married for 10-20+ years. Yes I have 4 sets of grandparents bc of their 2nd marraiges).
Post # 6
@drummerbride: um that is really not true. my father has a girlfriend that he started dating when i was already graduated from high school and living away from home. if they get married, she will never be my stepmother as she never did any mothering for me. my mother did that just fine until she died. no matter how much you like or dislike someone, they arent entitled to the step parent title. i would even venture to say it would be odd given the situation and ages of all involved.
@Miss Mauverick: i think GroovyHippieChick‘s waty works just fine!
Post # 7
@bostongirl27: So someone only gets a familial title if they earn it and you like them? These titles have definitions and exist for a reason. For example, your mom’s siblings’ offspring are your cousins whether you know/like them or not.
My stepfather didn’t raise me at all. He married my mom when I was 22 and well out of their home. He’s still my stepfather AND I don’t like the guy.
I don’t care for my FI’s father (in fact, he and FI aren’t on speaking terms) but he will still be my FIL. I’m not going to say “DH’s father” instead.
Post # 8
@the boss of you: i didnt put it the way you put it, but yeah i guess so. someone only gets a familial title if they are a true member of your family (which has nothing to do with genetics). if OPs FI was comfortable with calling this man his step father, then great! problem solved. but OP and her FI were not comfortable with that term and therefore that designation wasnt an option. are you saying that if my grandmother remarried at age 75, my 51-year-old father should call the new husband his step-father? you don’t find that even slightly absurd?
Post # 9
Ask his mom and her husband how they wish to be referred to in the program. Can’t go wrong with that…
Post # 10
Could you list your parents and his mom only. Make an additional remark about all other friends and family current and past ( honor his real dad too ). That way everyone feels special and there is no title issues.
Post # 11
@bostongirl27: Whether you like the title or want to “give them” that title. That is their title by law. So saying you don’t like someone and don’t want to call them that is fine. As long as you understand that it is a legal title and not one that is just bestowed upon a person.
I would just list them as GroovyHippieChick suggested. That seems to be less offensive.
Post # 12
@always_the_bridesmaid: I’m inclined to agree. Or can you list all of them?
Grooms mother, father and stepfather
Post # 13
@StormyRose: I agree.
The titles exist for a reason.
Post # 14
@StormyRose: & @the boss of you: I understand the term is offically or legally correct but a wedding doesn’t have to be legal. It is their special day and not about “what is technically right” but “what feels right” or better yet “what they want”.
Post # 15
As a guest, if I read a program that said, Paula and Derek – Mother of the Groom and her husband, I’d probably assume that there was some bad blood between Derek and the groom. The wording implies that Derek’s only relationship is with Paula; that the rest of the family tolerates him only because he is her husband. Maybe I am reading too much into it, but whenever I have seen that wording, that is what the situation is.
I agree that he is FI’s stepfather, no matter what their personal relationship. By refusing to refer to him as such, you run the risk of hurting both him as well as FI’s mother. If he was a nasty person and you both disliked him and wanted to omit him, that would be a different situation. But it sounds like he’s a good guy, FI’s mother loves him, and he is part of your family…even if he ddidn’t raise FI or play a fatherly role. It is always better to err on the side of being gracious and generous when in doubt.
Post # 16