(Closed) Guidance for Future Stepdaughter's Wedding

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
9139 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

The hat issue is easy, wear a small modest fascinator.

Seating might be an issue at the reception because head tables usually include the parents of the bride (and some brides will insist on mom and dad sitting up there leaving you to sit alone with other guests.)  You might want to ask about this so you can be prepared.  Hopefully she will at least seat you with someone you know or someone who is friendly/chatty.

For dress, find something that looks nice on you but isn’t too elaborate or gaudy (i.e. lace and beading everywhere.)  Try to find out the colors so you don’t clash but don’t try to match either (brides freak out about that too.)  When in doubt look at the colors on the invitation.

As far as the ex-wife goes, have someone introduce you ONLY if it looks like she wants to be introduced.  Otherwise, I would recommend steering clear of the ex-wife completely.  My stepmom had what she thought was a funny conversation with my mom at my first wedding and it ended up with my mother completely insulting/embarassing her in front of other people.  Unless she initiates contact, I would avoid the ex-wife as much as possible during the wedding.

On being lonely, don’t.  Interact with other guests.  If you’re an American at a wedding in the UK I would assume that more than a few guests will be interested in chatting with you (unless you already do, read up on current events/news in the States before you go.)  Some other recs: http://voices.yahoo.com/how-fun-wedding-dont-know-anyone-247734.html?cat=41

Post # 4
2555 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Wear a small modest fascinator, a safe color like blue, pink, green; and be pleasant and nice as if you were meeting your fiance’s cousin. 


good luck!

Post # 6
3461 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Are hats really common in England?  I’ve never really seen people wear hats here.

Just ask the step-daughter.  Tell her you’d like to do whatever you possibly can to make the day comfortable and to go smoothly for her and her mom, but you don’t know what would be preferable.  That you are amenable to any form of seating, escort arrangement etc that she arranges.  etc.

Post # 7
2598 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@chs_sc_bride:  Well, first off – I think you should stop thinking of yourself as the enemy here.  If your FI and his ex-wife divorced amicably over 10 years ago, I doubt she’s going to have the claws out.  I also doubt that anyone who is friends with her is going to feel like they need to snub you in order to be loyal to her.  You’re not rivals.  Stop expecting to be treated like one. 

When you meet her, smile warmly and tell her what wonderful children’s she’s raised and how  much you’ve enjoyed getting to know them.  If she’s wary about meeting you and you show her you’re not there to be catty or try to horn in on her MOB action, or that you think of her as the shrewish ex-wife, that should put her at ease.  Be warm, gracious and outgoing and you’ll be fine.  Even in the event the ex-wife and her friends aren’t warm to you, you’ll still come off looking grand. 

If you’re worried about what to wear and the hat issue – send one brief e-mail to your FDIL and tell her that you know she’s terribly busy, but that you’re a little nervous about English wedding traditions and would like to make sure you dress appropriately.  Tell her what you’re thinking (floral print dress) and just ask if you should wear a hat or not and if so, what should you look for?  Don’t make it long and drawn out and if she tells you what you plan to wear is fine – take her at her word. 

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