(Closed) A Stepmother of the Bride Question……..

posted 12 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
231 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

Hi Jewelsfn,

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
1481 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

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
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

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
813 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2020

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 # 8
7081 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2009

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 # 10
7052 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

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
2434 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

At my wedding, the only grandparent present was my husbands step grandmother. She attended with her daughters (my Future In-Laws 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
1032 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

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 Fiance 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 Fiance 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
1078 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2009

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.


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