Post # 1
I can’t be the only person that wasn’t raised by their mom and dad, but I can’t find any wedding etiquette for people that weren’t.
When I was growing up my great grandparents (who are only in their late 70s) and my aunt and uncle played the role of my parents. I have two older sisters who were raised by my mom and my dad was never in the picture. There is a big long story behind my mom not raising me, but it all boils down to she just wasn’t ever interested. I see her every so often like on Christmas or one of my nephews birthdays or something like that. She was a very young mom and would always leave my oldest sister to babysit us and what not while she went out. I didn’t live with them, but I would sometimes visit.
My great grandfather has offered to walk me down the isle. Of course this is who I always thought would. Every decision besides that one has been hard. I’ve been avoiding an engagement announcement in the news paper for months. I feel terrible writing the daughter of so and so when.. well.. they don’t deserve the acknowledgement as much as the four people who actually allowed me to live with them and raised me. I tried to think of something that would be short and sweet and leave our details, but I have no idea how to write an engagement announcement. I just don’t want to deal with my mom and the family that she is close to freaking out. “YOU’RE STILL MY DAUGHTER” I wish I was kidding. I’m sure I would get countless phone calls if I didn’t list her as my mother. I wouldn’t list someone else as my mother, I just would like to kind of not list my parents….
Another issue is the wedding procession. I didn’t think to include my mom and step dad. While I do sometimes talk to my mom, we aren’t close. She hasn’t had a part in the wedding planning. She actually refused to come to our engagement party because I didn’t invite her mom. (The party was small and her mom has never been a part of my life) I also didn’t include her in the count for wedding flowers. My aunt is basically my mom. She will be the one filling the role of MOB and matching my fiance’s mom and such.
My mom and I get along, she just wasn’t there while I was growing up so I have someone who was a mother to me..
I don’t want to step on any toes. There has been enough drama already that I just want to honor the people that deserve it and well… not directly hurt the feelings of people that don’t.
Post # 3
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
Emily Post: “It’s not uncommon for…those who do not have close family to make their own announcements.”…
“Ms. Bride and Mr. Groom are pleased to announce their engagement. (May be followed by info about parents or simply about the couple and their planned wedding date.)”
Your library should have an Emily Post wedding etiquette book- I have divorced parents, and have found this really helpful in “how do I deal with the invites, etc.”
(I realize you have close family, but this example gets away from the parent issue.)
Post # 4
Yeah, you’re in a tricky situation. Where possible I would just avoid mentioning relationships. Something like “The family of xxx would like to invite you…”. As far as the procession goes I think it’s totally okay to not involve your mom since she isn’t that involved in your life. Basically you’re switching the roles of most bio mom and aunts. Your aunt is taking the traditional mom role and your mom is really acting in more of an aunt role. So treat them as such. An easy way to make your mom feel included might be to flowers for your mom, but while it is a nice gesture it is certainly not necessary. Good luck and hope it all works out!
Post # 5
Both FH and I have silly family situations – dads have both been married three times, moms have been divorced twice, my mom is now engaged, step siblings, etc. There are no standards or suggestions for people have have anything outside a traditional nuclear family, I swear!
We are using the Emily Post suggestion for just about everything to announce ourselves. We used “together wih our families” blah blah blah for the invites.
Post # 6
I googled the Emily Post. I’m working on navigating the site. Thanks for suggesting it.
I feel like I could name so many people that didn’t have their biological parents raise them, but nothing on how to handle it..
Post # 7
I like the use of “family”. It covers it all
Post # 8
Yeah, my husband was raised by his grandparents, mom is dead and dad is a deadbeat. We went the “together with their families” route – my mother tried to complain because she wanted special acknowledgement but I put that to bed REALLY quickly.
Procession-wise, I say it’s ok not to involve your mother/stepdad. We allowed my Father-In-Law to sit up front with families, but he was already seated when the processional began, he didn’t “make an entrance” – we talked to him beforehand so he wasn’t surprised and he was ok with it.
Post # 9
You could also just skip the engagement announcement. You shouldn’t skip it if it’s important to you, but plenty of people don’t bother with them. Please don’t assume it’s required. My husband and I considered it for approximately half a second and quickly decided it wasn’t important to us. ETA: We both have pretty conventional family structures, so we didn’t decide against this out of discomfort. It just didn’t matter to us.
In terms of the aisle, I think you should just avoid discussing it with your mother and assume that she will be seated as a regular guest. Maybe you can reserve a seat for her in the front row and let her know that in advance so she doesn’t assume she will be part of the processional.
Finally, the invitation does not need to mention anyone who is not a host of — i.e., helping to fund — the reception. If any of your family members are chipping in and you would like to acknowledge their contribution, you could say something like “Together with
[bride] and [groom] request the pleasure of your company at their wedding celebration.” If you want to be more vague, you could use “Together with their families [bride] and [groom] request….” And if you are paying for the entire reception yourselves, you could simply use “[Bride] and [groom] request….” Obviously you will tweak the phrasing to suit the tone of your event, but any of these options should be fine.
Post # 10
@ElbieKay: Your response makes me feel normal! I really appreciate it. 🙂
Post # 11
Sure… though I’m not sure that anyone is actually ever “normal” 😉 But I think I know what you mean!
I just realized that I ignored one case regarding the invitation. If you and your fiance are not chipping in at all, you can use verbiage like “[Person(s) who are the hosts] request the pleasure of your company at the wedding of [bride] and [groom].” If only the bride’s side is hosting but you want to acknowledge the groom’s parents on the invitation, you could do something like this — I’m using the example that assumes your aunt and uncle are the sole hosts: “[Mr. & Mrs. Uncle LastName] request the pleasure of your company at the wedding of their neice [bride] to [groom] son of [Mr. & Mrs. Groom’s Dad LastName].” Or if his parents are divorced you would list them separately instead of as Mr. & Mrs.
At any rate, the point is that the people listed on the invitation are meant to the be the bride, the groom, and the hosts. Mentioning anyone else is simply a courtesy and not required at all.
I ran into this with my mom. My husband and I paid for more than half of our wedding ourselves. (This was fine / expected / agreed upon, and we are in our 30s so having our parents fund the whole thing would have been borderline embarrassing to me.) So, our invitations read — sadly my husband’s father is deceased, hence why only his mom is listed — “Together with [Mr. & Mrs FOB LastName] and [Mrs. MOG LastName] [bride] and [groom] request the pleasure of your company at their wedding celebration.” I sent the wording to my parents to make sure they were ok with it and ask them to check for typos. My mom wrote back and balked at “Together with…” and said she had only ever seen invitations that said “[Mr. & Mrs. FOB LastName] and [Mrs. MOG LastName] request the pleasure of your company at the wedding of their children [bride] & [groom].” I think she just said that out of ignorance — or maybe all of her friends have paid for their childrens’ weddings?! — but I was a little annoyed that she wanted me to send an invitation that implied that our parents were planning and funding the entire reception when that was not close to the real deal.
Post # 12
We used “Together, with their families, Xxxxx and Xxxxxx are pleased to announce their engagement.”