(Closed) Please help me figure this out! family drama!

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
14494 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

He gets a corsage, she does not.

He should be mentioned in the program, she does not.

They should both be seated in the front row like the rest of the partents.

They should be seated at the reception like the rest of the partents.


Post # 4
3638 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Firstly, are his dad’s siblings being invited? If so, seat the dad with them.

If not I would say to make sure he has a seat up the front (in the first two rows, perhaps put him on your side to be safe?). But don’t give him anything further than that. No flowers etc.

This way he can at least see his son get married, but isn’t in the spotlight/in the way.

In the future your Fiance and his dad may have a better relationship, you want them to be able to reflect on the wedding in a good light.

Post # 5
46647 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

1) Should they get special corsages/bouts? Yes to both. You could make her corsage different from your FI’s mother-?smaller.

2) Should they get special seating at the ceremony/mention in the programs? Yes to both. He is your FI’s father and she is his Dad’s wife. For the reception, you can seat his mother, siblings, grandparents in the first and second  rows and his father and step-mother in the second  or third row.

3) Should they be seated close to us during the reception? Yes. You may have to be creative how you do that as I doubt that your FI’s mother wants him at her table.

As a couple try to stay out of the issues between the FI’s parents. If you have any concerns about their possible behavior, tell them that you are requesting them both to act like mature adults and be civil at the wedding. They don’t have to speak to each other, just not cause a scene.

Post # 6
67 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

1) Should they get special corsages/bouts? No

2) Should they get special seating at the ceremony/mention in the programs? They should sit with the family.  The Dad should get mention in the program but not the step-mother

3) Should they be seated close to us during the reception? I wouldn’t seat them near your Mother.

My FI’s parents are divorced.  His Dad re-married 10 years after the divorce but my Future Mother-In-Law and the step-mom don’t get along.  My Future Mother-In-Law is sitting at a table with her family and my Future Father-In-Law and his wife are sitting with their family.

It’s got to be tough for your Mom to be there with the former Mistress.  It’s your wedding but your Mom should be as comfortable as possible.  I wouldn’t spotlight the former Mistress at all.  I’d treat her as a Guest of your FI’s Dad and that’s it.

Post # 7
3866 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

@julies1949: I agree.  They should get equal treatement despite the dislikes. 

No offense, but simply because she was the mistress and no wife, doesn’t make her a bad person.  For all we know, she could have been the straw that broke the camel’s back in the relationship. 

I say that because you didn’t give any backstory on the parents’ relationship.  Were they having problems before?  did he pursue her? did she chase him?  Were they really happy together or had they fallen apart?  there are many questions to be asked here.  Who knows, maybe she isn’t as bad as everyone thinks she is… 

I’ve known people to give a good “outward” appearance of being happy, but the homelife and relationship is CRAP.  Without knowing more, I can’t judge anyone harshly because I’ve known too many people who have gotten divorced and/or have had mistresses prior to the split.

No matter how you slice it, he’s STILL the father and she is still the new wife.  No matter what you do, there’s going to be hurt feelings.  Me, I’d want both sides of the story and would want to meet the woman before passing judgment. 

Post # 8
858 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I second TKS. But you know your situation better than us. I think the scenarios presented all basically work depending on your family. My situation like that was with grandparents, and we did like what TKS suggested, but our tension wasn’t as raw as it sounds like your’s is.

Post # 10
654 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I think your fiance should make the decision on how his father is treated.  Just looking at it as an objective outsider, I would say he should get the same treatment as any father (as should his wife), because that’s how it’s done.  Wedding etiquette is brutal, but that’s how it is.  It’s still his dad, and if they are repairing the relationship, your fiance should be taking all opportunities to do what he can to make it better.  Excluding him or downplaying his role in the wedding is going to hurt that, and excluding his wife could too if he’s bothered by it.  Which I would be, if it were me. He might understand, but that’s something you’d have to discuss with him.  Like it or not, he loves that woman, and he’s going to be hurt if she’s not treated as his wife should be.

Your fiance’s parents’ relationships have nothing to do with you or your fiance, and at your wedding it’s your responsibility to make them feel welcome.  If they want to have an issue with it or with each other, that’s their problem.  That’s why I say, let your fiance decide.  It’s his father, and what he wants for their future should make this decision for him, not what’s happened in their past.

Hell, I hate the crap out of my mother, and my stepdad will be extremely uncomfortable if my dad actually shows up, but I’m still sending invites to all of them.  That’s my duty.  Coming to the wedding and behaving like adults is theirs.  They’re free to decline if they can’t handle it, but I’m not going to be the one who burns any bridges that might exist in the future.  That would be petty and shortsighted – if those doors are going to be closed, it will be by them, not by me.


Post # 11
2 posts
  • Wedding: September 2011

wow she  seems like a effn bi*ch!

No I dont think they should get any speacial treatment. or corsages either. 

If your not even sure if they would even attend, I say treat them like any other couple comming, tell them to r.s.v.p. & they can sit where ever there is room left.

& If he makes your FH family feel like shi*  why should anyone care about his or the “mistress” feelings? 

that’s just my opinion…

Post # 12
121 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I would give him a flower but not her and mention father of the groom in the program, doing it that way elmiinates the need to list her name bacause it is a single person.  Sit them with his family, not your Fiance mother/family beause that just creates unnecessary tension.  Otherwise no other special treatment needs to be given to the ‘date” which is what she should be considered.  She obviously isn’t family to your FI!

Post # 13
373 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2011


1) Should they get special corsages/bouts?

2) Should they get special seating at the ceremony/mention in the programs?

3) Should they be seated close to us during the reception?



1) He should get a bout. She should not.

2) He should get a mention, and they could have appropriate seating (going into #3) near his side of the family but if they weren’t really that close he doesn’t really have to be right up in the front. 

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