Post # 1
Hi all. I’m curious how other people have handled/plan to handle their fiance’s stepmom, when it comes to things like flowers for the mothers, honoring of the mothers ceremonies, etc.
Fiance’s parents divorced when he was in middle school. Both remarried within a few years (so, stepmom has been stepmom since fiance was about 13; he is 29 now). If it makes any difference, stepmom has a couple kids of her own, who are also attending the wedding. He is fairly close to both sets of parents (when I say fairly, I mean: they talk somewhat regularly, we visit them for some holidays, etc.). All are attending the wedding. They are cordial to each other, though it’s made obvious to us that each set of parents doesn’t really care for the other.
At our ceremony, we are planning to get corsages for both of our (actual) moms. There is also an honoring of the mothers, which consists of us presenting them with flowers during the ceremony.
Aside from that, I have invited fiance’s (actual) mom to get her hair and makeup done with us the morning of. (I never would have heard the end of that if I didn’t. She has been a little…overwhelming…with all of this wedding stuff.) She accepted.
So my question — should I be including the stepmom in all of this too? Our wedding is very small (destination wedding in the US), so I feel like we’re getting into the territory of having flowers for everyone, honoring everyone, etc. There’s going to be about 30-35 total people, including us, at the wedding.
And re the hair/makeup, I’m in a big dilemma. I have reached the max that my salon can handle. Even if stepmom wants to be included, I can’t swing it. Do you think it’s okay to not even bring up to her?
Post # 2
- Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise
zpkj : I would say that unless she’s exceptionally close to Fiance or has demonstrated some history of being unreasonable, she’ll understand that not every honor extended to his actual mother, will be offered to her.
I wouldn’t be inviting Future Mother-In-Law to get ready with me, but just because you have doesn’t mean you need to include FSMIL. I doubt she’d be expecting it, and honestly, it might be rather awkward for her to have to hang out in such close quarters with Future Mother-In-Law.
That being said, I do think having Fiance maybe write her a note, or get her a card telling her she is special to him (if she is) is a nice gesture that can make it clear he’s thinking of her and appreciates her being there, without rising to the level of equating her with his mom. Which, from the sounds of things might prompt mom to get mad or feel hurt.
A small gesture should be enough to make her feel acknowledged.
Post # 3
teamroro : Thanks for your input; I agree with everything you’ve said.
Trust me, including Future Mother-In-Law in the getting ready portion of the day was not really my idea. We were pretty convinced that his mother would be very upset if not included. Hell, she got upset when I mentioned a few weeks ago that I don’t want to do a big “salon day” for all the girls to get their nails done the day before the wedding. Yeah, I’ll go to the salon with my mom and sisters, but I’m not opening that up to Future Mother-In-Law, FstepMIL, fiance’s brother’s Girlfriend, etc. She got offended by that and I gave a big old ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ to that.
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Post # 4
It is thoughtful of you to think about this. I am a stepmother of three children and a stepdaughter as well, so I feel as if I’ve been on all sides of this issue. I think this depends on a few things. You say that Fiance was 13 when his father remarried. Did he live half time or more with father and stepmother? Is he close to her or just cordial? Will FI’s mother be upset if stepmother is acknowledged? As a stepmother myself I would be honred and touched to be acknowledged with flowers, but I would not expect it. With respect to the salon, if you have time, you might find out what alternatives there are to the salon you are using and let her know, saying something like, “Hey, I believe that the salon at X is fully booked that day, but I’ve looked into some options for you if you are interested.” That would be a nice gesture. Wishing you well.
Post # 5
We included all step-parents when it came to corsages/boutonnieres, programs, etc. It felt right to include them given their role in our lives. Honestly, if I were the step-mom I’d probably feel a bit hurt that I didn’t get a corsage or any recognition for my role in step-son’s life…but that’s just me.
I agree that there is no need to include her in your getting ready plans. But a corsage is a simple way to include her and avoid hurt feelings.
Post # 6
Unless they are extremely close, I would reserve mother/father things for the bio parents. This is obviously circumstancial, but in your case I wouldn’t invite her to the mother things especially because her and his bio mother don’t get along.
Post # 7
Normally I would say just do the parents, it’s not like you’d be acknowledging the step dad either. I would only say to include her if they’re close.. but given that she’s been around for 16 years she may have some justified hurt for being left out.
Post # 8
Hello! I definitely understand your situation!
I am also in a similar situation but with two step moms! One is the ex step mom (who is also our DJ). Apparently the ex step mom wanted a special dance with Fiance. His real mom approched me at my bridal shower and asked for the ex step mom, but in the same breath said that she would prefer if I told her no. (I would have said no anyways, I thought it was odd to even be asked that) If the ex step mom gets a dance then current step mom would need one. Before you know it Fiance would have a special dance with all three “moms” on top of the other traditional first dances….Because of this my policy is going to be only the biological mothers are going to be honored and given flowers and or speacial dances. It just gets to be too much when there are that many people involved. I am hoping everyone can be an adult and understand. I hope the same for your wedding too!
If I were you I just wouldn’t even bring it up. It is supposed to be about you and your Fiance. I hate the fact that weddings turn in to accomodating everyone else. It’s too stressful!
Post # 9
My Future Mother-In-Law and FSMIL are not on speaking terms.
FI’s mother has been fighting some demons the past few years and as a result has shown little interest in our wedding. My FSMIL has really stepped up in a lot ways. She’s planning the rehearsal dinner with FI’s father, made food for our engagement party, and always asks how things are going with the wedding. A day or two before the wedding, I am treating her and her daughters (FI’s half sisters and junior bridesmaids) to mani/pedis with me. She will also be part of the wedding procession walking down with FI’s father and will recieive an equal gift as any of the other parents. Had we been giving corsages to the mothers, she’d get one too.
That being said, I don’t think it’s a big deal to not include her in getting ready (I’m not including anyone other than my mother and bridesmaids), but I gave a few suggestions on alternative ways to include or honor her.
Post # 10
I kind of think if its a childhood stepmom (which 13 would fall under), I would include them. If a more recent step mother, like his father remarried when he was 25, I would not.
I think she might be hurt if she’s been in his life for 16 years and not included, but of course no one HAS to be included.
Post # 11
Get her a flower, don’t invite to makeup (with such an intimate setting it will be awkward to have Mil and smil there).
Post # 12
I don’t think getting ready plans is necessary. I invited my Future Mother-In-Law, but mainly because her two daughters are in the wedding party.
We’ll be including his step-mom in all the flowers and ‘parent’ things though.
I think it depends on the relationship between your fi and his step-mom. My fi lived with his dad and step-mom in his teenage years and I’m actually closer to his step-mom because she lives a lot closer to us so we do holidays with her. I think in some situations the step-parent came into their lives later so they didn’t really feel like a ‘parent’ so much as your parent’s partner.
Post # 13
My step mother’s involvement was limited, and she seemed fine with that (she didn’t even come to my bridal shower for example). I didn’t get her a corsage but she did have a reserved seat at the ceremony (next to my dad) and I took a formal picture with her, my dad, and my new husband but she wasn’t included in any of the other family shots. This made sense for our relationship.
Post # 14
We did flowers and seating for the actual mothers and my grandmother, but not my stepmother. We did do a corsage for her, as well as for the mothers and my grandmother. She’s been my stepmother for 20 years, even though we didn’t see them often and we aren’t particularly close. I thought she should get some form of acknowledgement, just not the same as the mothers and grandmother. Darling Husband and I had a little back-and-forth about the corsages because he didn’t want his father’s new girlfriend to have one, (obviously!) but I explained to him that it wasn’t the same at all.
Post # 15
I would include her in the flowers and anything of that nature. My cousin is remarried and she’s a step-parent to his and he’s a step-parent to her (in addition to having their own) and they work very hard to ensure the word step is never used in their home. The kids call them mom and dad even though the other biological parent is involved on each side. They work so hard at co-parenting that I think it would tear them up to not even be acknowledged. Unless his relationship with step-mom is acrimonious (i.e. she was abusive to him), then I would absolutely include her. Step-parenting is tough enough as it is assuming a role midway through and marrying into a family, not just a spouse. I don’t know that the getting ready thing is necessary (though would be nice), but for sure anything else that you may be giving the biological mothers, like corsages.