Post # 32
I’m sorry you are in the wrong and causing hurt feelings that could last a lifetime….. Over ap seat? If you can take her money then you should let her sit at the top table. As a step mom I would be so incredibly hurt by what you plan to do.
Post # 33
Ok, Im from the UK and have a step mum and step dad, so I was in the sae position as you. We were going to have the traditional set up like yourself, but seeing as both my step parents also helped contribute financially, we thought it only fair they also have a seat. But then, our Maid/Matron of Honor and Best man had a young son so he would have to sit at the top table too, as his grandparents (my ILs)wouldve been sitting at the top table with us…and so on… it ended up we had more people at the top table than the rest of the room lol!
In the end, we just had to come up with a cut off point, and it ended up being myself,DH,Maid/Matron of Honor and best man. It meant no one got special treatment and nobody had cause for offence, and nobody was “expecting” us to have a a traditional head table.
Also,although your Dad may have only been married to her for two years, she may have contributed financially. Also, how would you feel if in a few years time, your ILs said they didnt count you as family because,after all, you had only been married for two years? How long they have been married really shouldnt matter, the point being is that they ARE married now.
Post # 34
OP….I think the only reasonable thing to do with your seating is to eliminate all parents from your head table and have them seated close to, but with their respective family members, and hope they all agree. Maybe use the explanation of doing it the American way for a change, so as to get them to understand will help?
I saw your followup…has it been decided yet?
Post # 35
I hate to say it, especially after she had such a chiildish tantrum (I would almost seat her separately because of that, lol), but I am also of the opinion that you shouldn’t separate couples. I think your hands are tied on this one.
One of my tables is similarly dysfunctional as we want the groom’s parents to sit together, despite the fact his mother is remarried with a 6 year old (quite against his father’s wishes). However, we have confirmed the seating arrangement with all of them, and trust them to be on their best behaviour. The men behave themselves for our benefit, and hopefully your mom will come to see it as the best solution and be able to put on a happy face. It sucks, but it’s the best you can do.
*Hugs* Good luck.
EDIT: I somehow looked over the fact that they are paying for the majority of the wedding… as much as it sucks, that is definitely a deciding factor. Being the technical ‘hosts’ of your big day, they should probably be somewhat pandered to. Sorry. =/
Post # 36
While it’s certainly not the North American tradition (as evidenced here already), if this is common practice in UK, then why doesn’t she understand? I see several discussion points here:
1. the traditional seating and the bride and groom’s desire to adhere to this tradition even though it doesn’t necessarily fit modern family units.
2. the bride’s feeling that others involved (eg. future ILs) feel the same (ie want to adhere to the tradition)
3. the priority of the mother’s feelings over the step-mother’s/new wife’s. If I was a MOB, I would absolutely not want to be seated at the same table as the man I didn’t want to divorce and his new wife
4. the ill-mannered behaviour she exhibited in response, rather than having an adult discussion like any other rational human being.
At the end of the day, you can either adhere to the tradition in it’s strictest sense and offend your father and his wife, or you can “tweek” the tradition and have both him and her seated together at table # 1. Perhaps give him the option of which he chooses.
p.s. I don’t see what the big deal is about not sitting next to your spouse. Alternate seating such as this was quite commonplace and traditional and helps adults to mingle and carry on conversation with new dinner partners.
Post # 37
I also have stepmom troubles. however mine has been in my life for 20 years. I absolutely hate the woman and only tolerate her once a year. She’s done nothing to endear me to her. If I were having a bigger wedding I would seat her with my dad. I actually originally was planning a bigger wedding and the plan was to have everyone (my mom, dad, stepmom, inlaws, and fiance and myself) all at one table. It would’ve been an obvious slight and very rude to have her sit at another table. Having said that, I was in no way going to give her any special honors. She was not going to receive a mothers corsage and not going to be escorted as a “parent”, and her name was not going to be listed on invitations. She would get to sit on first aisle with my mom and dad, and sit with us at the reception, and included in some, but not all photos. I felt my plan was more than generous. But there was too much drama with her, so we’ve decided to have a very tiny wedding, which of course she’s unhappy about as well.
Post # 38
Update: I ended up calling the venue and they are going to lenthen the top table to allow her to sit up there. We are also adding Fiance brother, as his SO cannot attend so he will be kind of all alone. I gave it to her after okaying it with my mum. She is willing to be the bigger person and just put up with her as she is worried that if she doesn’t get her way she will cause a fuss on the day. I do find this difficult to understand as I feel that a wedding is very much about the bride and groom and I would just go along with whatever they wanted.
A lot of people were wondering about the seating of the families in that arrangement. I think it is meant to be symbolic of the blending of the two families. Does that clarify? I think it is a nice tradition as it will give the parents a chance to talk that they will not otherwise get.
The seating is now going to go as follows:
Best man, Step mum, Groom’s father, My mother, Groom, Bride (me, yay!), My father, Groom’s mother, Groom’s brother, Maid/Matron of Honor.
At least that has been worked out.
As for the temper tantrum part: Yes, I very much agree this was wrong. I would have been much more willing to sort this out straight away if she was not trying to a) get her way like a five year old and b) try to turn the attention on to her. Unfortunately she has raised her three girls to be the exact same way and almost every event involving them is something I dread because it always involves a lot of drama, tears, shouting, and fighting. This is not me at all. I don’t feel that I go out of my way to hurt people’s feelings and any offence caused was not intended. I really wish we could have had a rational discussion before she decided to be offended.
I do understand that she is feeling insecure as my mum will be there and will has had much more of a roll in the wedding. I think she finds it difficult to deal with a situation where she does not have complete control, and that is just her personality. Strangly enough, I felt like she was trying to get me to say that I love her like a mother. It was very awkward as I don’t feel like that about her at all. I only met her when I was 25 and although we get along fine normally she did not raise me and had no part in my childhood. I see her more as my Dad’s wife than as any kind of mother. I have a mother that I am perfectly happy with. I suppose she just wants to feel accepted and feel we are all a big family, but trying to force that with emotional blackmail just makes me want to get far away from her.
Post # 39
@gingernutjo: I’m glad you’ve found a compromise.
I 100% agree that she is not any kind of mother figure. My situation is somewhat similar. In the years since I married, my parents separated and both remarried. Do I accept their new spouses as family? Absolutely. Do I think of them as mother and father figures? Not at all. (In fact I don’t even think of them as stepfather and stepmother, though technically they are; I just refer to them by their first names). And I think there’s nothing with me thinking like that, since they had no part in raising me.
Post # 40
I can’t even believe it would be a question to NOT seat your dad’s wife with him for dinner? Really? Regardless of how much you like her, how long they’ve been married, or if it will offend your mother, it’s his wife. Yes, as an adult she should be able to sit alone for one meal, however, this day is just as important to your dad as it is to you and your mom – shouldn’t he be able to enjoy himself with his wife? I’m sure she’s legitimately upset because you’re intention was to treat her as if she was insignificant in your family (even if she isn’t important to you, she clearly is to your dad). I’d be upset too.
I’m honestly shocked at the number of people who think your stepmom is being out of line. Is it a little dramatic? Yes, but I’d be super offended too. To me, that’s no different that if your FH got an invite to a wedding and you aren’t invited. You’d probably be super hurt, offended, upset. How would your mom feel if she was remarried and told her husband could not sit with her?
I’m glad to see you’ve found a solution, and I hope that everyone can keep things civil for the wedding so you can continue to have as little stress as possible.
Post # 41
The seating seems very strange cause yeah the parents should talk to each other at some point but it shouldn’t be forced upon them so awkwardly. This is their kids’ wedding reception, I’d def want to be seated next to my hubby if our kid (currently non-existant) was to get married, I def know that. I feel particularly bad for poor best man there at the end next to step mom and your hubby’s dad inbetween step and non step mom, talk about awkward. I can only see that leading to pleasent conversations *not*.
But if everyone is on board and happy then YeY, just sucks you had to give cry baby her way and she’ll proabably use the tactic again since well low and behold it works!
Post # 42
@gingernutjo: Hold on, I thought the whole debacle happend becasue your step mom wanted to sit NEXT to your dad. They aren’t even sitting next to each other!
Is she really on board with the new seating arrangement?
Post # 43
@Atalanta: I think her step-mother is beyond ridiculous, she still doesn’t end up sitting next to her husband in this set up. If she’s suddenly happy just because she is at the head table then it was never about sitting with her spouse, but rather about her being treated like the bride’s mother which she is not.
What I don’t understand is people who expect the OP to put her step-mother’s feelings before her own mother’s.
Post # 44
@starfish0116: But the groom’s parents are sitting apart and not complaining. It’s not like FH being invited to a wedding without her. It’s like FH being best man in a wedding and being seated apart from her – and that happens all the time.
Post # 45
@Atalanta: I think the real issue was not being honoured enough. She is happish with sitting at the top table I think. I am not really sure what she wants. I dunno if she just wants me to make a huge fuss of her so she feels really loved and included?!? That might be at the real heart of it.
Post # 46
I know I’m really late but the OP has the same venue as me &it looks like similar family dynamic.
I just wanted to say, it may seem really rude to those in the US but this “head table” set up us the expected norm here in the Uk. If your lucky enough for divorce not to be an issue it means your parents and Chief bridesmaid/MOH and Best man are all seated – if the Maid/Matron of Honor or best man have SO’s they are generally put on a table of people they know – this is expected and traditional.
I’ve got to commend OP for sticking with it and finding a solution we gave up as Fiance is not close to his mum (drama queen) and her husband is lovely but Fiance felt wrong having him up on the top table but not his grandad. In the end we’ve just gone for the US vetsion and sat our bridal party of 2best men, 2bridesmaids, &2ushers up with us. This includes all our siblings but not their partners or infant childeren who are on tables directly in front of them with people they know. – this has really really upset mine and his mothers, mine understands but his can’t get past the “why are you hurting me” to see how awkward Fiance thinks it would be. We now have a top table and 3 tables in front with bridal party SO’s and my folks, his dad and His mum+stepdad.
Blended families are really hard-