Post # 1
We have a daughter of a divorced family. I am actually the new step dad. From all I know the original “Step Dad” caused the break up of the family. Being the new stepdad, I couldn’t love this girl more even if she were mine from birth. She is a pain in the ass sometimes and has a big attitude as well, but she’s mine to love. When her engagement was announced it was so cool. Since I knew what was going on, I snuck to the restaurant ahead of time and left a big bouquet of roses for the couple with a nice card. When we discussed the big day she was worried about money and I assured her it would not be a problem. Her mother and I are let’s say comfortable. Not thinking too much about it at the time the planning started to take place. First slap is the first step dad is asked to play his geeetar at the wedding. The spelling is on purpose! Then at first he will be the one walking her down the aisle. When she discussed her plans, his respoinse was it all sounded nice. I know she was disappointed, but he didn’t offer her one dime to help out. Her mom and him don’t speak, but I kind of thought he might call and say, hey I can’t do much but I’d like to help out somehow…NOPE! No big deal we have it taken care of. Mom and I are hosting the wedding, the reception, the phtographer, the videographer, the reception, the food, the venue and so on and so on. The dress, the bachlorette party in Blank place. His name is going on the invitations? Really? Playing the guitar, walking down the aisle??? Again, really? Hell I don’t even want him there!! Granted he raised her longer than I have so far. But her future is secured by her mom and myself. I could go on and on, like the grooms parents have like 200 people coming to the reception, and our daughter about 60. When my wife had lunch with them about it, their heads just turned away and said yep. the brides parents usually pay for it. I truly do want our daughters wedding to be wonderful, but how much does a parent or step parent need or should have to put up with? I adm it I am not good at just utting on a big smile for events like this. I have taken a stand that there will be no mother father dance! Anyway–here it is. what are the thoughts out there?
Post # 2
The reward of parenting is having the joy of the child being in your life. It is not having your name on an invitation. You certainly do not have to pay for her wedding if you don’t want to, but I don’t think it is nice to pay only if your terms are met.
Post # 3
You said it yourself – you’re well off, so you’re in a place to pay for the wedding. The other step dad probably doesn’t have the means that you do, so it’s absolutely ridiculous for you to think that he should offer to help pay. If he can’t, he can’t. Clearly your step-daughter doesn’t care about that. It sounds like he was there for her when she was growing up, and raised her. If she wants him to be the one to walk her down the aisle, or play in the wedding, you have absolutely no right to be upset about it.
This is about her feelings, not yours. Understand that she appreciates what you and her mom are doing for her, but giving her money doesn’t mean that she has to put you above everyone else.
Post # 4
There’s a reason this man and your wife are divorced.
You said “No big deal we have it taken care of” but clearly you do still have strong feelings about this.
Were you and your wife involved when the guest list was drawn up? It does seem more than a bit unbalanced. Are there people you would like to invite on the bride’s side but were unable to, or was the line drawn the same for both sides? e.g up to and including cousins etc.
I do suggest you make a conscious decision to put aside the hard feelings and just enjoy the wedding.
Post # 5
secondhanddad: What makes your daughter happy? That should be the number one question out of this. If it makes her happy, does it mater how many people her FI’s parents are inviting, or who walks her down the aisle? Worrying about how this is a reflection on you, or burddening the child with how you feel slighted will make them unhappy, which is the last thing you want.
There are so many threads on this site about how parents start attaching strings to the money the provide, or stress their children out with little details (who appears on the invite is very minor, and absolutly no one will remember it even the day of the wedding) or complaining about someone not pulling their weight financially. All of these things will do is make your daughter stressed about her wedding. If what you really want is for her to be happy, let everything slide. Set your budget as to what you will pay, and then give her the wedding of her dreams in that budget.
Post # 6
I understand your feelings since you are paying for the wedding but you do say you are the “new” step dad. Now, I don’t know how “new” that means, it could be years but for the sake of the wedding this is about your daughter (and it is great that you call her that!) and her feelings. If this man is essentially the one who raised her, it doesn’t matter that it didn’t work out between him and her mom, it is her feelings and if she wants him walking her down the aisle than he should- it doesn’t matter who is paying for the wedding. If her and her groom were paying for the wedding he would still be walking her down the aisle.
As for the groom’s parents? That does stink and I know a lot of times now the parents split it etc. and it isn’t all neccessarily on the bride’s family but it doesn’t look like they are going to budge on that. So I would probably just keep my mouth shut and have a good time 🙂
Post # 7
I don’t blame you for being miffed about the invitation wording. The point of listing names is to state who’s hosting the event, and you and your wife are the hosts. Perhaps she can just leave parent names off? It’s not really necessary anyways. At almost every wedding or rehearsal dinner I’ve attended where names were listed on the invite, lots of people made a point to thank whoever was listed for hosting. That could just be my area, but I’ve seen it at weddings outside my area/social circle as well. It might become awkward at the wedding for the first step dad if people are thinking he’s contributed in a way that he hasn’t.
I definitely don’t think it’s a hill worth dying on, though. If she’s seemed genuinely appreciative for your help and involvement, I think that’s what matters most. It seems like she has, but, if she hasn’t, that’s a larger issue that needs to be addressed. No strings doesn’t mean no appreciation.
ETA: I don’t think the other issues should be addressed at all. People contribute if they can and don’t contribute if they don’t. One person being comfortable enough to help doesn’t automatically mean that everyone is that comfortable as well.
Post # 8
OK I have to put some input in because honestly I feel like some people are bashing you. First off you sound like an awesome stepdad 🙂 I have divorced parents since I was 3 and my stepdad has been there ever since. He has really stepped up with the planning and helping and I’m very grateful bc he’s always been a great dad. My real dad..I love him, but he hasn’t been there for me growing up or helping with the wedding as far as I know ( don’t think he can really). Anyway I understand why u are mad my mom said my real dad will have no day since he isn’t contributing. I will list the invites as me and my fiances and our families (no names) would like to invite…I’m having both dads walk me down the aisle and I’ll dance with both dads. Honestly depending on how long u have been in the family and if y’all are really close you could tell her how you feel. She might not know you are upset.