Post # 1
My FH’s parents divorced after 37 years of marriage in 2009. It was devastating to him and most of all, his mother. There were talks and rumors of infidelity and extra marital children on the part of his father, but it was never really discussed. His mother was also depended on his father as the primary breadwinner. Towards the end of their marriage, he stopped paying the mortgage and she lost the house they lived in for 20 years. It marred the relationship my FH had with his father. For years, his number wasn’t even saved to my FH’s phone.
Last year, his mother passed away from cancer. Some speculated it was due to a broken heart as she was very depressed up until her death, often commenting about his father “remarrying”. The FH began to establish some sort of relationship with his father because at this point he only has one parent left. But the relationship never be the same as it was before. His father recently married. She’s a nice woman, however my FH isn’t particularly interested in a relationship with her (he’s very polite and cordial to her though).
We are getting married on his mother’s birthday and will definitely be honoring her throughout the day. His father wants be involved in the wedding along with the step mother. He even offered to contribute to the cost of the wedding. However, the FH is adamant about NOT having the step mother in any of the wedding pictures. I can understand why. It’s his mother’s birthday and how hurt his mother was over the ending of their marriage. The step mother is concerned that FH doesn’t like her, even though he has never been disrespectful or mean towards her. He’s just “neutral” to her.
How do we handle this delicately? They are both invited to the wedding.
Post # 2
Ugh. What an awful situation. I would just have a bunch of different combinations of photos – some with her, some without. Don’t make an issue of it, just do it that way. Then you can choose what photos to buy, put in albums, etc. You don’t have to choose any that she’s in, there will be thousands!
Post # 3
Thank you! You’re right. To clarify, I’m talking the standard “family pictures” with the bride and groom. I’m sure the photographer will have her is some of the other pictures.
Post # 4
What fredthebasil said is what I did. I’m not particularly fond of my stepmother (although I am very fond of my stepfather). I told the photographer how I felt and he was careful to do just a few photos with her in it but the majority without. He also positioned the shots with her in them in such a way that she can be edited out and the photo wouldn’t look funny.
I love my father a lot so I sucked it up for him and just for the sake of being kind on my wedding day–I didn’t want any drama, blatant or even an undercurrent. But you can bet I won’t be framing any of the photos with my stepmother in them.
Post # 5
I was going to say exactly what fredthebasil
said. To keep the peace, let her be in some pictures and only keep the ones without her. I can totally understand why your Fiance wouldn’t want anyone standing in his mother’s rightful place. Especially given the history.
Post # 6
Are you accepting his money? If so, you need to be gracious to the SM, which means including her in some photos.
Actually, scratch that – if you are taking family photos at all, you need to allow her to be in a few. Just do different combinations, and don’t use the ones she’s in. There’s no need to punish her because Father-In-Law was mean to your FI’s mom.
Post # 7
I feel for your FH. Pp’s advice is spot on.
Post # 8
Just tell your photographer exactly what combinations you want. Have them take a picture with her in it and a picture without her. You receive the images, you can delete the one with her or just send it to them and not keep it yourselves, but that way there won’t be drama on the day of your wedding. We knew DH’s family wanted a picture with a combination of people he did not want taken, so we gave our photographer a very clear list and she told anybody who suggested something else during portraits, “I have a list from Bride and Groom and a limited amount of time, sorry!”
Post # 9
- Wedding: September 2015 - Hotel Ballroom
I agree with PP. Have her in some shots and not others, then just only get the short without…but maybe buy ONE with because you never know how you may feel down the road.
Post # 10
I’m going to go against the grain here and say that you do not have to include her in any pictures (and I’m a step-mom as well as a mom). Why should you and your FH have to handle them delicately when they didn’t extend this courtesy to anyone else in FH’s family This step-mother was, by the sounds of it, the other woman, and your FFIL’s dealings with FH’s mother were those of a cad not just because of infidelity but in the way he went about his financial dealings with her even before he had both feet out the door, he planned his escape route at her expense and then blind-sided her with it. The poor woman has passed away now, and it sounds like the father and step-mom want to sweep the past under the carpet so they can play lord and lady of the manor on your wedding day.
Go with DH’s wishes to honour his mother. Since his father and step mother have married, they’ll have to be invited as a couple and you’ll both have to be polite and decent to her, but IMO this is where any obligation ends. I wouldn’t even include the father in many of the pictures, just a few family photographs. The step-mother, at most, I would take one picture only of the two of them as a couple if they wish, but I would not include her in any other photos. If DH’s father and step mother have an ounce of remorse or decency they’ll accept this quietly and not make demands.
I would hesitate to take any offered money from DH’s father, so his dad can’t use it as a power play or feel entitled to make demands.
Post # 11
Thank you all for your comments. I’ll convey them to my FH. He’s very stubborn.
Post # 12
Was the stepmother the other woman? Or did she come along after the divorce? I’m just curious.
Post # 13
You make some great points. However, do you think it is worth potential tension/ friction at the wedding? Doesn’t seem that “remorse or decency” is the Father and MIL’s forte.
Post # 14
His father is very insistent on helping. I really thing he’s trying to build back up the relationship. We haven’t decided if we wanted to accept or not. I’m starting to get a little anxious about family drama taking place.
His of his mother’s family hates his dad. So I don’t even know how that’s all going to go down. :/
Post # 15
it’s honestly not worth the drama to kick her out of photos on the day of the wedding, and he’ll be hard pressed to get any with his dad without her around too. If she wants to pose for a few (or his dad wants her in a few) just suck it up and then don’t order any of them when it’s time to frame/make books. Your fiance never even has to LOOK at them if he doesn’t want to, but it’s going to be a bigger deal to excluder her than it is to stand in 3 photos together.