- 4 years ago
- Wedding: October 2013 - Dalhousie Castle
I got married about 1.5 months ago and since then have been regularly hearing from my Dad about how upset my step mother is over the whole thing. He is now demanding I apologise to her and tell her I am sorry. I just can’t bring myself to do this, however, as I feel we genuinely didn’t do anything wrong.
I should start by saying that my Dad, and consequently Step Mother (SM), paid for the majority of the wedding expenses (they gave us about $13,000), as they did for her daughter, who was married about a year ago. I should mention here that money was all they contributed to the wedding. They did not help with any arrangements whatsoever, and that was fine. We have told them over and over and over and over we are soo sooo grateful for their financial help, we have sent them a thank you card, and a wedding album as well and we bought a gift for them on the day.
All the running around and planning was done by my mum. She lives in Scotland and did everything I could not get done over email. She gave up many weekends to help with the wedding. She also put in money, while not as much as my dad and SM, it was a more significant % of her much much smaller income (highschool teacher).
Obviously, my parents are divorced and we felt like we had to be quite careful to make everyone feel welcome and appreciated on the day. In terms of my SM, this involved making sure she got a seat at the front of the chapel next to my dad, a mother’s corsage (my mother and MIL also had one), participation for her and her daughter in the family group photos, and a seat at the top table.
It was obvious from the start of the day that SM was not happy. She had a grumpy expression on her face that a lot of people commented on, not knowning who she was. During the speeches it was obvious that she was very upset and afterwards she took my Dad up to their room where she started crying. This lead to the first dance being delayed significantly and the bridesmaids had to be dispatched to find out where they were. Meanwhile, we were left standing awkwardly in the middle of the dance floor like idiots waiting for them.
She won’t actually speak to me herself, but my dad says she is upset because:
1. I did not speak to her enough on the day.
2. She was upset that her name was not specifically mentioned in the groom’s thank you speech.
3. She was upset that she did not receive a gift during the speeches, especially because my mother was given a bunch of flowers.
4. They complained they didn’t know anyone there.
The first one is ridiculous as I know I spoke to her on the day, but I was trying to make sure I spoke to every guest and could not spend hours talking to her. This is typical of every wedding I have been to where you don’t get to spend a huge amount of time with the bride and groom as they are so busy. In fact, this is exactly how it was when my Dad and SM got married. They didn’t talk to me that much and it was fine. I didn’t expect it.
The lack of mention in the speech was a mistake due to nerves. My husband realised this after and went to thank her specifically. I don’t know what else could have been done to fix this. I get the impression that it was not the thank you she wanted, it was the public recognition. I cannot imagine why she is so concerned with impressing a room full of people she’s never met and will never see again.
In terms of gifts, a bunch of flowers was given to my mum to thank her and a bottle of whiskey was given to my Dad and SM. The whiskey was phsyically placed into my Dad’s hands. Apparently she was very upset that she did not receive a personal gift or a bunch of flowers. This seems silly to me as they were getting on a plane the next day and she would not have been able to carry them without a lot of hassle anyway. Again, I don’t think she really wanted a gift, she more wanted people to see her receive something.
Lastly, I am very confused both SM and my Dad complaing that they didn’t know anyone. My Dad’s brother and sister were both there and my SM has met them before. We invited all of SM daughers, but only 1 out of 3 accepted. My Dad’s other guests all declined to attend. I don’t know what else we could have done.
I feel I should mention here that she behaved in an almost identical way at her own daughters wedding. Just prior to the ceremony she was crying in the bathroom, to me, about how unappreciated she was. I was totally shocked as I don’t know what she expected her daughter to be doing to show appreciation? She was busy having her first look with her groom and about 20 mins away from actually getting married. I really think she has a problem handling a situation where she is not the centre of attention. It was made worse at my wedding because she felt like she was in competition with my own mother for attention.
I actually felt quite upset at the way she is acting now. She seems to fail to appreciate that we were trying so hard to keep everyone happy and it actually caused me a great deal of anxiety to try to keep both her and my mum happy. I kind of feel like she was determined to be upset about something on the day. Also, even if she was upset she could have controlled herself and let my Dad enjoy his daughters wedding instead of taking him off to their room to have a tantrum. She’s a 60 year old woman! She completely forgot that the point of the day was to have fun and celebrate our marriage.
She also stood by while her daughter got wasted drunk and made a huge fool out herself. No one else was drunk but she was falling over, spilling wine everywhere, hitting on multiple guys and worse of all telling strangers in an extremely loud voice the details of her sister’s recent miscarriage. Almost every one of my friends commented on her behaviour. I don’t know why her mum didn’t step in and just have a quiet word to her.
Anyway, this whole thing is casting a dark cloud over what was otherwise an amazing day. I don’t know how to deal with this, but I don’t want to apologise as I genuinely feel like we didn’t do anything wrong.