Post # 1
Myself and future husband have decided after 9 1/2 years of dating and 1 child together that it is time to get married… I have a 14 1/2 year old daughter and together we have a 2 1/2 year old daughter, from a previous relationship he has a 18 year old daughter and a 20 year old son. We’ve decided to have a small wedding and get-together for our wedding (but we both still want something simple and nice). We are going to get married at a small local church and have the reception in the large shop of his trucking business (we’ve had parties there before and I think it can be transformed into a nice area)… Anyway, we’ve decided to have the kids stand up with us for the ceremony (the older girls will be my co-maid of honors, his son will be his best man and with my youngest daughter being the flower girl). I thought it would be a nice way to start our new family and give everyone an important role to feel special for the wedding.
Well, I decided (to “make it easy”) I would just ask that girls keep the dresses within a cost (around $80 each), have it be the color we chose (purple) and I chose a short dress, because I think it would be appropriate for our “simple, yet nice wedding”… The dress shopping was an absolute nightmare the oldest girl (I’ll call her “E”) hated everything I suggested and got to the point that she would only try on the longer dresses (because she “hates the way her legs look” – even though in the dead of winter she walks around town wearing REALLY short shorts and skirts?). E ended up finding a long dress (extremely formal looking) with a $150 price tag. My daughter (“A”) ended up finding a dress she loved that fit all the requirements that I asked for (however, I think it looks a little to old for her). So, we pretty much ended the trip with me not saying yes or no to either dress. I just said basically we would see.
Once I got home, after I dropped E off at her house, I got a call from her stating that if she didn’t get the dress she wanted that she wasn’t going to be in the wedding.
I did talk with A about her dress choice and told her as beautiful as it looked on her, I know we can find her a better option that she’ll love even more. A is fine with this and I know in the end whatever I pick, she’ll be thrilled with (she’s just so happy to be included). E on the other hand (we’ve had some troubles in the past) I know is going to a pain all the way. I did find a dress very similar to the one she loved (just the shorter length and not so formal looking, and not nearly the cost), but she already said no to that one.
So, HELP!, I just really hate to start our marriage off on a bad note (as far as not including E in the wedding)… I am really debating about just ordering the dresses I like and have them try them on and if I like them, that’s it, take it or leave it (and basically tell them that when they get married they too can make their bridesmaids miserable by picking a dress they hate lol)
Post # 3
Why do they have to wear the same dress? An 18 year old and a 14 year old are most likely going to have very different styles. Let them pick their own dress in the parameters you chose and call it a day. This isnt a battle worth fighting.
Post # 4
@Bostongrl25: If I read correctly, they don’t have to wear the same dress- the older girl just won’t pick a dress within the (quite generous) requirements.
I think you should let your FI handle this one. She’s his daughter and any “bad guy” forcing her to wear a different dress type thing should come from him, not you.
Edit: actually, to avoid her thinking that you “tattled” to him and that he’s the one laying down the law, you should probably all three sit down together and talk about it like adults. She’s acting like a child (heck, I’m only a couple years older than she is!) but she could be resistant to your relationship becoming marriage even though you’ve been together for a long time, so she’s trying to make things difficult. Just lay it down calmly- you want to keep the wedding informal, you want her to be a part of it, etc etc. Hopefully she’ll get that this is her opportunity to decide if she wants to be a child or adult.
Post # 5
@finallytime: Oh boy…step kids are neat, aren’t they? First off, it’s such a kind gesture to include them in your ceremony, I applaud you for that.
But you’ve got a stand off brewing over a dress and that’s got to get handled…I don’t think just buying them will solve anything, since she’s already threatened to throw a fit and boycott the ceremony, if you don’t bow down to her, now, I never advocate indulging bad behavior but let’s not feed the drama llama, it will just keep coming back for more.
If it were me, and I have wrangled two of the wildest, craziest, nastiest step children god ever put on this Earth into adorable, polite and down right lovely teenagers through diligent work and guerilla parenting….I would try one more time to go shopping, but I would reiterate what I was looking for AND I would bring along one of their favorite aunts or adult friends of the family to equalize and regulate the stream of crap that only an 18 year old girl can generate when she’s decided to be a pain in the ass…don’t tell them who’s coming, just have them be there.
I’ll bet a compliment from this third party on a dress that fits your criteria will go a hell of a lot farther than it will from you, because it’s her job to be a sulky pain in the ass who thinks she’s Cinderella and YOUR job is to fullfill the villainous role of Evil Step Mother in her mind…embrace that…she needs a villian, give it to her.
For the first three years of our marriage, Mr. 99’s kids loved and feared me like some Evil Queen, and while I wasnt really doing anything other than playing into their fantasy that I was some awful woman who made them clean their rooms and say please…I’ll admit, it worked.
Either way, I’m sure it will be fine and your day will be lovely, good luck!
Post # 6
She is 18, so age can buy the dress herself. (Or she can pay the difference) or she can not be in the wedding. Family or not you want loving supportive people around you. Not adult-children being divas. Good luck.
Post # 7
@Bostongrl25: I was letting them chose their own dress (I obviously don’t want my 14 year old in a dress that the 18 year old would wear). The whole problem here is the dress length for E (which I think makes it look really formal, plus way over our budget). I know as far as my daughter is concerned that she’ll love whatever I pick (like I said, the dress she picked is a little too mature looking for my liking).
Post # 8
Can you find her an informal longer dress like a maxi dress? Might make her more comfortable and less bitchy. However, if in the end she still wants to threaten to not be in the wedding let her sit on the side lines and watch you and the younger girls have fun. I think that might be a nice wake up call.
Post # 9
Personally, I would relent and let her wear a long dress if she picked one in your price range. That, or she can pay the price between your budget and her dream dress. Both are good compromises.
Do you think she may believe that a short dress will make her look more like your daughter’s age? I could see how she would want to go more formal to stand out from the obviously younger sibling.
Post # 10
Thanks for lots of great suggestions… I am really thinking of having another shopping trip and talk with them beforehand and basically give them one more chance. If they can’t find anything within the parimeters that I gave them, then get to chose the dress (since I’m the one buying – really wish E had a job so if she REALLY wanted the one twice as expensive, she could pay for it). And, like Nona99 suggested, probably would be a good idea to take someone else along (so maybe it won’t be such a nightmare this time)… And, we might just finally be getting married, but pretty sure I’ve been the Evil Step Mother all these years (even though I REALLY try with both his kids). So glad that maybe they’ll both start to mature (pretty bad when my 14 year old is more mature than the 18 & 20 year old lol)
Post # 11
My advice — pretend the step-daughter is your daughter, and you want her to be happy about being in the wedding and with the dress she wears. Focus on the cost of the dress, not the length — why does it matter if it’s a long dress instead of a short one, if that’s what she wants to wear? As long as the dress is within the budget (and isn’t inappropriate in cut/design) let her choose.
Post # 12
@ohmybears48: I don’t know if that is what she’s trying to go for as demanding the long dress. She just keeps saying that her legs are ugly. But, like I said, it doesn’t stop her from walking all over our small town with REALLY short shorts and dresses? It just makes no sense to me at all. Not sure I’ll ever understand her teenage thinking… And, she was trying to talk my daughter into the long dress too (prob. thinking that then I would go for it).
Post # 13
Post # 14
@finallytime: I would let her buy a long dress within your price limit.You’ve compromised on the length, she compromises on the dress.
When she looks silly dressed more formally than anyone else, including the bride, she might learn a lesson.
Post # 15
@Sweet_Tea: I already tried the tea-length and I’ve pretty much been told, it’s the dress she picked or nothing… I am hoping that if I wait maybe a week or so to even bring it up again that she’ll be a little more rational to talk to.
Post # 16
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@Bostongrl25: “This isnt a battle worth fighting.”