View Full Version : Wedding invite etiquette

January 9th, 2011, 10:56 PM

After a bit of feedback relating to wedding invites and Step Parents inclusion. It is unreasonable to insist on biological parents only?

January 10th, 2011, 06:21 AM
I am assuming that this is specifically about invitations. If your biological parents are remarried, it is unreasonable to not invite their spouses. However, if their spouses are going to cause serious drama, I would consider talking with my bio-parent and explaining that it's either you come drama free or you stay away.

Now, if you're talking about participation in the wedding itself, like who helps you dress, who walks you down the aisle, etc, then it is totally your prerogative to insist on your bio-parents fulfilling those traditional roles. Just don't insist that the do a "couples" dance or escort each other rather than their spouses down the aisle.

January 10th, 2011, 09:10 AM
What Lucy said.

But to add... if you mean the wording on the actual invitation itself, I think you'd have to go with what etiquette dictates (which I don't know but I would bet include the step-parents). That acts as an impartial authority to mitigate hurt feelings.

The important thing to remember is that something like leaving a step-parent off of the wedding invite could do permanent damage to the relationship between the steps, and between the bio parent and child. Depending on the circumstances, remember that the child is leaving the nest (even if they've already left) and starting their own family... the bio parent has a family now with the step-parent. It is best (IMHO) if all of that is done graciously. One never knows what the future holds, and it's best to not burn bridges (again, IMHO). That said, if a child did such a thing (I don't know if you're the parent or child in the situation) hopefully it could be forgiven as a folly of youth and a lashing out of an angry/hurt young person.

January 10th, 2011, 09:12 AM
Like Lucy, I am wondering biological parents only for what? Coming to the wedding? Or getting corsages or walking you down the aisle or other ceremonial duties?

I think it is unreasonable to to exclude a stepparent from a wedding invitation, unless you are getting married at the courthouse and only the bio parents are going to be there and nobody else.

For any kind of wedding that is a social event, I think it's unconscionable to invite one half of married couple and not the other. The pressure that would put on the bio parent--imagine being asked to choose between your spouse and your child. It is a serious insult to refuse to attend your child's wedding, and it is a serious insult to go somewhere from which your spouse has been insultingly excluded. It is an absolutely no win situation for the bio parent.

I don't think it is terrible however, to only give corsages to the bio parents, or only have the bio parent(s) walk you down the aisle. That seems pretty normal. Mostly fathers walk daughters down aisles, and nobody thinks it is an insult to the mother that she doesn't do it. If only the "traditional" people fill the traditional roles that is okay. This is a bit tricky because there's a fine line. If it starts to look like you are trying to ritually emphasize how the steps are excluded from your idea of your family, that will look very bad.

If what you have are stepparents who can't behave, or steps who can't behave when combined with bios or vice versa, then you do have a serious problem, and my sympathy, but I don't think the solution is to present the bio parent with an impossible choice.

January 10th, 2011, 10:02 AM
Please provide more details -

I'm a step-mom & have decided I will follow my DSD's lead if/when she gets married (her DM passed away before her dad & I ever met). I want her to remember her (& the groom's) special day fondly...not as stressful.

January 10th, 2011, 10:51 AM
if you mean the wording on the actual invitation itself, I think you'd have to go with what etiquette dictates

Wording depends on who is paying and can be very tricky! If they are all paying then it's:
Mr. and Mrs. Blah
Mr. and Mrs. Blab
cordially invite you to the wedding of their DD to their STBSIL
son of Mr. and Mrs. Bleep
Mr. and Mrs. Bloop

Remember, this is for one day. Don't do something on that one day that will cause you or someone you love heartache for the rest of your life.

January 10th, 2011, 06:44 PM
Some clarification.

Firstly the query was relating to the invitation wording only and inclusion of respective bio parents partners or "step parents". I dont have any issues with inviting anyone, relationship with both sets of "step parents" is fine although neither is a relationship I would call close, rather I respect that both parents have moved on but do not consider either a "step parent" but my parents partner thus the question about inclusion on the invite as it feels to me that this place is reserved for the bio-parents only.

In short I dont feel comfortable with the bio parents partners on the invite as I do not consider the respective partners as "step parents" (if that makes sense). If remarriage had occurred when I was very young things might be different but it occurred in my late teens and had a negative effect on my relationship with one of my parents in particular.

Thanks for the feedback so far

January 10th, 2011, 06:56 PM
I understand exactly what you mean, JD. :) My M died when I was young and my D remarried a wonderful woman to whom I was close. I considered her more of a mother than a step-mother. She also died, and my D remarried another woman that I barely knew (and didn't really like much anyway, although I respected her position as my D's spouse). I was in my 30's and pregnant with my first child by that point. I hardly consider her a SM and I don't consider her my kids' GM. So I understand where you're coming from.

I still don't think I'd exclude her from the wedding invite though. I'd figure out some alternate wording, I think, leaving off all parents -step and bio. Sad for the bios. :(

January 11th, 2011, 04:08 AM
I'm sorry that you're stuck in this predicament.

Are your bio-parents paying for the wedding? If they are, then the wording in the above post stands. Money that comes from one parent's account comes from their households. You can avoid the names with this, though, if you are also paying an equal share or more by stating:

JD70 and FDH
together with their parents
request the honor of your presence
yadda, yadda, yadda

If you are paying for the wedding yourselves, then no one else's names should be on the invitation unless they are hosting in some other way, like providing the space for the reception. If it's just yourselves, then cut out the "together with their parents."

Again, though, don't do anything on that day that will leave you with lasting regrets. A name on the invitation is really a little thing. Twenty years later, you may not even remember your invitations, just the stress over writing them. It's a celebration! Have some fun!

January 26th, 2011, 12:07 PM
I was kinda in the same position as you. My mom married 3 times and then they ( her exs remarried) Lots of steps for me. I just put

The parents of Jane doe and
The parents of bob smith invite you
Blah, blah, blah