(Closed) Welcome to Awkward City! I mean, Welcome to my wedding weekend!

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
190 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

It can’t be easy for your Future Mother-In-Law, but part of her self-improvement kick really needs to be putting on her big girl panties and getting over it, if only for one weekend.

Etiquette wise, the 2nd wife should really be invited to everything. It’s not like she’s his mistress-they’ve been married for 8 years.

Since it sounds like she’ll be coming even if she’s not invited, the easiest thing would be to just add her to the head count. If there’s a way to do this without involving Future Mother-In-Law, then you’d let Future Mother-In-Law hang on to her stubborn pride, but still make a place for FIL’s wife.

Post # 4
1418 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Tough situation!  My heart goes out to your FMIL!  I agree that you cannot disregard your FFIL’s marriage of 8 years…and as such good for you inviting her to the ceremony and reception.  I am sure your Future Mother-In-Law will be able to cope as there will be many other people and things going on – like your marriage!  

As for whether your FFIL’s wife should come to the Rehearsal Dinner, well that is up to you.  You would hope that – even with the awkwardness that WILL happen, everyone will be civil and focus on the matters at hand and not the unfortunate events from 10 years ago.  That said, look at who else is coming to your Rehearsal Dinner.  If you are permitting all the parents and members of the bridal party to bring their significant other, I think it would be a bit rude to not invite your FFIL’s wife.  Yes – it will be awkward.  But at the same time, an 8 year marriage is not just a “new girlfriend”, so I would probably invite her.  I believe that people are capable of behaving themselves and being reasonable, especially given that this is YOUR big day(s) and everyone should realize that this is the time to be happy and celebrate you – not dwell on the past.

Best of luck to you with this decision!

Post # 5
10851 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

While I certainly agree that this can’t be easy on your Future Mother-In-Law, and I totally see how uncomfortable this will be for her, I can tell you what I told my Future Mother-In-Law regarding her ex and his new wife: All you have to do is sit in the same room and breathe the same air. You don’t have to talk, you don’t have to hold hands, you don’t have to be BFF by the end of the night. You are coming to support Fiance and I, so even if it sounds a bit harsh, you’re going to have to leave your own issues at the door for a few hours of your life. End of story.

The wedding is about celebrating you and Fiance, not about tip toe-ing around everyone else’s politics and issues. There needs to be sensitivity, absolutely, but I think not inviting FFIL’s new wife to the rehearsal would be really rude. It would make FMIL’s life easier, but Future Father-In-Law would probably be really upset, and I’m sure his wife would be really hurt.

Post # 7
1763 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I don’t know if there is really any sound etiquette rules on inviting cheating mistresses. With that being said, I think most people would agree that the wife should be invited to the ceremony and reception. If the rehersal dinner is a large group then she should be included, if it is more intimate I would talk with Future Father-In-Law and ask that she not attend, in order to keep others comofrtable.

Post # 8
195 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010


Yeah, awkward town, no doubt. I’m sure it hurt, but… 8 years plus however longer it was is while. Time to be adults I say. It sucks, but if she doesn’t want to host a dinner for her son and his family (including cheater cheater pumkin eater father-of-her-son), then she needs to not host dinner.

I don’t know if you can make it comfortable for her. It is time to move on, for sure. BUT you can sit them far apart from each other, and just be encouraging as to how great a party she’s going to throw and how gracious and mature to invite her ex- and his wife. You can be supportive of her and give her a little ego boost if she needs it. Good luck!

Post # 9
78 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2008

Yikes, what a difficult situation. I think you can help by reinforcing to Future Mother-In-Law that you know it won’t be easy but that you really appreciate her being there to support you and your fiance. And I actually think it will be good for the new wife to be at the rehearsal dinner because that awkward first sighting will be out of the way before the wedding day and then your Future Mother-In-Law can hopefully just enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Post # 10
4001 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Well, if this was fresh, as in had happened more recently, then I’d say screw etiquette or appropriate-ness and say the wife isn’t welcome.  But since she’s been married to your Future Father-In-Law, its tough to say that.  I’m sure its hard to find closure.  And for the record, I think she should be the one to feel awkward.  She may be a decent person but- yuck!  Anyway, your Future Mother-In-Law owes it to herself to rise above it all.  She should be able to see those two and be ok.  Living well is the best revenge, right?  So she should show off the new and improved version of herself.  And enjoy her sons wedding.

Post # 11
624 posts
Busy bee

We were in the same situation but Father-In-Law has been married to his wife for almost 20 years.  We invited them both to the Rehearsal Dinner, ceremony and reception. Yes, Future Mother-In-Law needs to put her big girl panties on…this event isn’t about her, it’s about you two.  Period. 

Speaking from experience, let your Fiance handle his family and you handle yours.  If your Fiance doesn’t want the wife there then try to support him, even if you don’t think it’s right.  I think you should tell him how you feel but leave the decision up to him.  We had several issues regarding Mother-In-Law and SMIL and while I don’t feel it was handled right, it was up to Darling Husband as it was his family and when I did try to do the right thing, WW3 broke out and now Mother-In-Law hates me.

Good luck!

Post # 12
18643 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

I agree with the others that I don’t think that you can really not include her in these events without completely alienating your Future Father-In-Law.  I know it’s hard for your Future Mother-In-Law but I think she should just be in the same room with them and she doesn’t even need to talk to them if she is uncomfortable with it.  As long as everyone will be civil, there really wouldn’t be any problems with them being together.  It will just be uncomfortable but a lot of people have to deal with uncomfortable things.  They are both parts of your FI’s family and you would like them both to be there.

Post # 13
1269 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

Your poor Future Mother-In-Law.  I don’t think that’s something I would ever get over but it is right that the new wife be invited to everything.  If I was in your shoes, I would probably stay out of it and not do anything out of the ordinary or make a big deal.  That way this can be between them and maybe your Future Mother-In-Law can finish healing. 

I was in a situation once where there was a group of friends and I started seeing one of the guys.  It didn’t work out (both of us honestly thought oh well) but some of the others were afraid to invite us both to stuff or thought it would be awkward.  I was so annoyed because neither of us cared.  I realize that isn’t the same situation but I still think it would be helpful to be aware, but not make a big deal. 

What a snake.  Both of them.  Not your Future Mother-In-Law. 

Post # 14
124 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

How many people are going to be at the RD? If it’s small, it’s going to be awkward. Can FH, talk to dad about sitting this one out?? Or just don’t tell them about the dinner and do something with him and the new wife?

But if there is 25+ people can you just sit them away from each other. Maybe stick your Future Mother-In-Law sitting next to your parents?

I’m so sorry for you and your Future Mother-In-Law having to deal with all this. I would be crushed to come home and find my FH in bed with a younger, fit 20something year old.. I don’t think 8 years would be enough time to get over not wanting to kick him in the you-know-where..

Good luck and keep us posted!


Post # 15
529 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Ugh, that’s a tough situation.  A lot worse than what I had to deal with.

My husband’s parents are divorced and his father has remarried.  Husband’s Mom can’t stand the new wife (though I love her).  Since they’re married, I think you really need to invite the new wife to all the events your inviting the father to.  It would be extremely rude not to, even though it’s a tough situation.

With my husband’s parents, I just tried not to seat them anywhere near them.  So at the wedding, my husband’s Mom went at one table, his Dad at another.  The only difficulty was where to put my husband’s sister!  I ended up just asking her which parent she wanted to sit with, haha.

Good luck to you!  Hopefully you can just seat the two parents as far away from each other as possible, and hopefully they can all just suck-it-up and be polite to each other!

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