The idea of the evil stepmother from fairy tales has faded considerably over the years, and while there are still plenty of people who have less-than-pleasant relationships with their stepparents, just as many if not more consider them vital members of the family. It, therefore, follows that the stepmother would have a role in the wedding of her stepchild.
How big that role is will depend on the nature of the relationship and the wedding itself, as what works for a huge, lavish wedding may not be applicable to a small, more intimate ceremony.
Regardless, letting the stepmother know that she is is important and therefore a part of the wedding day is a heartfelt, lovely way to show how much you care.
There is no set rule for assigning a wedding role to a stepmother, particularly in today’s world where more and more people are bucking tradition and doing their weddings their way. If you need a little help or inspiration, read on and be enlightened:
What Role Should My Stepmother Play In My Wedding?
I am in the midst of planning my wedding. My parents are divorced and both will be attending with their respective spouses. I am particularly close with my stepmother and would like for her to play a role in my wedding in addition to my mom. Any ideas on how to do this in a tasteful, respectful way? Any help is much appreciated!
Deciding what role your stepmom should play in your wedding depends entirely on your relationship with her and how awkward or not the situation is with your parents and their spouses. Since you are close with your stepmother and hopefully everyone has a good or at least a civil relationship, you can ask her to help you dress shop or plan your engagement party.
Requesting her help with any of your pre-wedding events, such as the bridal shower, bachelorette party, and rehearsal dinner – will make her feel included and appreciated.
You can also give her a big day “assignment,” such as helping you bustle your dress before the reception or giving her a passage to read during the ceremony.
You can also ask her to give a short speech or toast, or make a toast along with your dad.
The bottom line? Do whatever feels right… and comfortable. This is your wedding, so you and your partner get the final say on everything.
Hopefully, everyone is mature and has a decent relationship with one another, and – most importantly – remember that this day is about you and your partner, not them!
Other Experts’ Answers
Your stepmother’s role in the planning process will really come down to what your relationship is like. Has she been married to your dad for 20 years and really taken on the role of Mom Number Two? You may want to involve her in such a momentous occasion.
If the two of you are friendly, but not BFFs, you’re not obligated to include her in the nitty-gritty aspects. You’ll of course want to let her know about the important things (like a bridal shower, rehearsal dinner plans, and what the parents should be wearing), but don’t have to take her along to pick out save the dates.
If your mom still plays a big role in your life, including your stepmom can be a tricky situation to navigate. Be upfront with your mom and let her know if you’d like to include your stepmother in the planning process, and find out if there are some aspects she’s always dreamed of working on, just the two of you.
For example, your mom might want to be the only mother figure around when you’re trying on wedding dresses, or may be more of a foodie than a fashionista and be totally happy to have your stepmother along for an extra opinion (but will want to be your right-hand woman at the tastings). – Jaimie Mackey, Brides.com
Stepmother Wedding Etiquette
You know your personal family situation. Your relationship with your step parent and the length of time that they have been a part of your life along with their involvement in the wedding planning process. A step parent becomes a family member like any other and they have often poured love, sacrifice, time, money into their step child and into the wedding itself.
It is your day but be mindful of the feelings involved and that just as you are about to commit to a whole future life with your spouse and your future children, so too did your step parent. They committed to you and to your parent and they will be there for the rest of your future your spouses future and your children will only ever know them as Grandma or Grandpa.
This day is all about family building.. about becoming family… don’t miss this opportunity to build bridges instead of burning them. This is a very special day for the biological parents of the bride and groom and they do deserve a place of honor but do not sideline the step parents especially if they have played a role in your life (and are helping to pay for your wedding).
Please remember a step parent is a married in and adopted family member. Much like a beloved aunt or uncle or an adopted brother or sister or cousin. They love you, you love them. Depending on what age you were when they entered your life they were likely far more involved in your life than aunts or uncles. They are one more person in life to support you and cheer you on if you let them.
They are not there to replace a parent unless they are needed because of a vacancy physically or emotionally but generally it’s just more people to love you if you let them. Showing gratitude to them as well on this big special day of family building is a beautiful thing. – Wedding Planning Wikia, Stepmother Wedding Etiquette
Martha Stewart Weddings
If you and your new spouse are planning on giving a toast at your wedding reception, don’t forget to include your stepparents when thanking your family for their love and support. – Martha Stewart Weddings
The Pink Bride
Family issues at weddings get the better of all of us from time to time, so don’t feel like you’re alone in the drama.
For starters, deciding to include your stepmother in your wedding was entirely your decision to make. Etiquette exists for both including and excluding stepparents from the bridal lineup. The fact that your stepmother has been in your life since you were a young child further supports your decision to include her in such a big day.
If the relationship between your biological mother and your stepmother is strained, you might want to consider a few simple tweaks and adjustments to try and make the day easier for all involved. Hopefully, once your biological mother understands how important it is for your stepmother to be honored at your wedding as well, she will see the necessity of putting her own opinions aside long enough to celebrate with you during this once-in-a-lifetime event. – The Pink Bride