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Bill
Bill, LCSW, Consultant, Expert Witness
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3706
Experience:  35 years treating individuals, couples, families with mental health and substance abuse prob's
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What is the proper etiquette for the mother of the bride and

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What is the proper etiquette for the mother of the bride and step-mother to be in the bridal suite preparing for the wedding? Bride met the step-daughter at age 17. What is the proper answer to "who gives this woman to marry this man" when there is a step mom who met her when she was a senior in highschool. Do I tell my daughter that I lashed out to the step-mom after the wedding. I apologized but no response except from my ex-husband saying she is very hurt and doesn't feel comfortable being around me at future occassions such as birth of grandchildren. My daughter doesn't know anything about my hurt feelings on the wedding day. But I believe her father and stepmother will eventually let her know as indicated to me by her dad. I don't want to ruin the memory she has of her beautiful day.

Bill :

Hello- Thank you for asking the question. I have over 30 years of experience working with individuals, couples and families & am happy to reply.

Bill :

I am sorry to hear about the stress associated with this event.

Bill :

Obviously, it is well understood in most circles that the Wedding is the Brides Day and all should yield to her decisions when it comes down to final decisions about who she wants to do what, when etc.

Bill :

In blended families such as yours, it is typically the step mothers role to take a step back and allow the biological mother to be "the mother of the bride"

Bill :

You are correct that when it comes to the clergy or official asks, "Who gives this woman in marriage?" or a similar question, her actual father and mother are most likely to answer. However, in certain cases, the bride may ask a stepparent to join the affirmation.

Bill :

The etiquette can obviously be changed to accommodate the myriad of issues that present when there is a bride from a blended family.

Bill :

The following may help you understand this in greater detail:

Bill :

I think it is good that you were able to express your feelings and that they were received with what sound to be appropriate respect.

Bill :

Are you still upset about this?

Bill :

Are you able to chat now?

Bill :

I trust this information will is helpful and welcome your follow up questions.

Bill :

Bill

Bill :

Before RATING please CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION if you have further questions.

Bill :

Otherwise, I APPRECIATE YOUR POSITIVE RATING and wish you the very best.

Bill :

-THANKS-

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I am still upset and need direction on whether to tell my daughter about all of the events that took place after the wedding. The step-mother was not receptive of my apology.
Hi Tammy-

I would approach this the following way.
First- Write down the issues that you are upset about in a line item fashion.
Wait 24 hours and re- read the list.
Remove items that may not seem to be as emotionally disturbing (unless they are still bothersome)

You know your daughter best. If you feel she will be responsive to your concerns, then I would tell her that you have some "feelings" about events that occurred after the wedding (or associated with the wedding). ASK her if she is interested in hearing about your feelings and if she says yes, share what you have written on your list and try not to be judgmental and speak from a feeling perceptive....i.e. "I felt hurt when" .........
You may also want to ask her if there were any concerns she experienced prior to sharing yours and it may "open the door" for you to more easily identify your issues of concern.

If your daughter says that she does not want to hear your concerns, albeit it difficult, respect her choice.

Again, this is the brides day and it is difficult for everyone at a wedding when there is a blended family.

If there is more that you wish to share, continue the conversation.

Otherwise, I wish you the very best at this difficult time.

Bill

I APPRECIATE YOUR POSITIVE RATING SO THAT I RECEIVE CREDIT FOR MY TIME.

-THANKS-

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you. That seems like good advise. One more question....do I continue to reach out to the step-mother in apologizing. I want us all to be able to be together in the future on special occassions...i.e., birth of grandchildren.

Tammy-

I would let this cool of a little and then send the step mother a card declaring your desire to maintain a good relationship (acknowledging how overwhelming a wedding can be)and expressing interest of looking forward to future special occasions.

With this, you have done all that you can. You have taken the "high road" which is the way to do it. If she cannot see the positive in this.........let it be her problem.

I wish you the very best,

Bill

I APPRECIATE YOUR POSITIVE RATING SO THAT I CAN RECEIVE CREDIT FOR MY TIME.

Always feel free to reach out to me in the future if needed.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks so much. I will do as you have suggested.

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