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Upcoming Wedding

Stepaside-1987's picture

My oldest SDaughter is getting married.  She is having a very small wedding.  Only the BM and her husband, Grandparents and one or two uncles will be there.  Please before I get any negativity -  I KNOW this day is about her and her fiance as it should be. 

I need advice for the following:  

1) I want to be supportive for my husband but be in the background and let him enjoy his daughter's special day without being accused of being a selfish and jealous by anyone.  

2) I am mentally preparing myself to be excluded from preparation, photos, conversations, etc on that day.  It is what it is...and I recognize that.  

3) I am also worried I am going to be asked to "watch the kids" while they all celebrate. If that happens - any suggestions?  I would feel insulted if that does happen however, I would not be surprised if the BM tries that.

I need advice on how to stay back - let them enjoy the day without feeling "left-out." and truthfully jealous of DH, the BM and her family sharing the day laughing etc. while I sit off quietly in a "corner" and "entertaining" MIL.  This particular SD has never treated me rudely but I am never thanked etc for gifts at Christmas, birthdays, etc. and I expect the same for that day also.  

I want to act like a lady, I don't want to give them anything to "gossip" about, etc.  So as silly as it may seem - I would just like some advice from others who have attended SKids weddings.  

P.S. - My relationship with this particular SD is - I only respond when I am contacted.  I don't reach out but when we have been together she is always pleasant towards me.  



Aniki's picture

I have not attended skid weddings, but have attended 2 graduations. So, my apologies in advance, but this is what I did...

  • Made certain I found outfits that were classy, but not overstated in any way. They made me feel GOOD.
  • Was proud to be on my DH's arm, spoke softly to him, and gave him loving glances ALL DAY LONG.
  • Never initiated conversation, but answered pleasantly when spoken to, with short (polite!) responses.
  • Looked content to remain in the background during photos.
  • And I ALWAYS, even when it pained me, smiled like I had a secret.

As for watching the kids? I would simply say "thank you, but I honestly don't feel comfortable doing that" or any other phrase that is polite, but means NO.

At one point, I overheard BioHo telling SD22, "She's not the bitch you said she was. WTH!!!"

Best of luck to you, stepaside!

Aniki's picture

Almost forgot... Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get your hair and makeup JUST RIGHT. That gives you more confidence about how you look and will carry over into the rest of the day. Maybe even wear something sexy underneath - and make sure you DH knows that. Even if it's just before you get out of the car. "DH, how do you like this new garter belt/teddy/merry widow? I got is especially for you." Give him a sexy little smile while you gently run your hand along his thigh.


Stepaside-1987's picture

I love it and I am going to do just that!  Thank you so much for the confidence already! :)

Rags's picture


Absolutely perfect advice.

Be radiant and approachable.  Good people will recognize your qualities and the cockroaches will run for the dark corners due to your radiance.

Aniki's picture

Rags, that is so true! I cannot tell you how many from SS19's regiment came and spoke with DH and me, while they very obviously avoided BioHo and her loud, obnoxiousness.

Rags's picture

No doubt the Regiment was gravitating to goodness.

As for Regiment, where did your SS graduate from?  My assumption is a Military School.  My dad, my younger brother and I attended Military School as did my Skid.  A great experience.  The school my dad and his boys graduated from closed in 2002 after 158 years.

SS's school won't have to suffer that same fate.  It is a lang grant school.

I will PM you for this conversation.



sandye21's picture

Let them be a happy family on SD's special day, and you can be a happy person  -  take the day off.  Tell them all you have a family emergency and wish them well.  Book a night somewhere you've always wanted to go and spoil yourself.

By the way, not thanking someone for gifts and extra considerations IS rude.


Mountains's picture

I can’t tell you how many times before disengagement things were done for grown skids and gskids where either a) no thank you or acknowledgement received by DH (needless to say me); b) a half a$$ thank you on the phone to DH or text AFTER DH asked if said gift/card, etc, was received; and, my all time favorite C) DH tells skid they were thanking the wrong person to get the “oh, well tell her thanks...”

I may be old fashioned but I do believe in thank yours when someone goes out of their way or does something nice.  The form of thank you depends on the person, relationship, and/or thoughtful gift or action, BUT it is never through a 3rd person!

Stepaside-1987's picture

Thank you sandye21 but I do believe in supporting my DH.  I know it would hurt him if I were to do that, plus it would cause further trouble with certain ones.  Good point about not saying Thank you.

lieutenant_dad's picture

Then makw sure your DH supports you in return. He can pull you into conversations. Ask you to dance. Make his daughter recognize your presence, like she would any other guest. Shield you from BM and her ilk. You shouldn't be fed to the lion's den just because your DH needs "support".

Stepaside-1987's picture

I agree with you 100%.  This will be the first wedding so I will be waiting to see how he handles it.  Right now, I am giving him the benefit of the doubt that he will "remember" I am there.

lieutenant_dad's picture

This sets him up for failure without realizing he is being tested.

Talk to him BEFORE what you'd like to see him treat you at the wedding. You can do this kindly.

"Sweetie, I'm looking forward to spending SD's wedding with you. I'm excited that we'll get to dance, chat with friends/family, get dressed up, <insert whatever seems interesting here>. It will be a great day for SD, and I'm glad we'll get to enjoy it together as a couple."

Stepaside-1987's picture

Oh Geez!! I didn't think of it like that.  Thank you for pointing that out.  I will do exactly that. 

Stepaside-1987's picture

LT Dad,  We were just talking last night about a number of things and I saw an "in" to bringing up the wedding.  He seemed to understand my worries - apparently he has some of his own but that is another story of which I do not play a part.  (Old ex-family stuff that does not concern me.)  

So Thank you again for opening my eyes.  



lieutenant_dad's picture

I wouldn't sit myself in the corner. I would be at my husband's side.

What I mean by that isn't that I'd hang on him like I can't stand on my own two feet. However, if they are taking pictures, I'll stand behind the photographer and smile. He sits in a pew at the front? My seat is next to him. Walking around chatting with folks? I'd ask him to introduce me to them. Then do everything Aniki said.

I'm not a fan of being pushed to the side because that's what people want. If my DH wants me in a corner, at an engagement that is his "bag of crazy", then he can sit in the corner with me or I won't go. I'm not a comfort object like a teddy bear. I'm a real, live human being. If my DH said that he just wanted my presence for comfort, and his plan was to ignore me the rest of the time, I'd buy him a baby blanket and tell him to have fun.

Being expected to be treated like a guest is not the same thing as expecting to be at the center of attention. If you being treated like a person will make people's tongues way, I'd decline the invite and find something else to do. At that point, they're already going to talk about me. Might as well do something enjoyable.

Aniki's picture

Lt Dad, I totally agree that you don't stand in a corner. When pictures were taken, I was only a few feet away. I never expected to be included and was very surprised when asked to be in pics with DH and SS19 and DH and SDthen21. When I was looking on, DH immediately returned to my side and guided my hand to hold his arm. We were very much a poised, loving couple while BioHo was sloppy, loud, and obnoxious.

Stepaside-1987's picture

Aniki - I will do the same and I am expecting my DH will do the same as yours - if not, as I said in another post - it will be my last wedding with them.


ldvilen's picture

Are you also prepared to be seperated from your husband?  To have to find your own seat?  To watch him and BM walk down the aisle hand in hand, while he sits up front next to her and next to her at the reception?  You'd better be.  Just because it is someone's special day it doesn't mean they get to put on a fantasy/ freak show for everyone.  Remember that.  If they decided to have a nudist wedding, would you be okay stripping for the wedding just because it is their "special day"? 

And, this may be just me, but personally I don't like it when SMs suck it up and take it re: being left out of literally everything, incl. pictures with their own spouse, as you say.  Others see SMs bowing out or cowering in the corner, and that gives everyone the sign that it is OK.  To me, it'd be like a while person getting on a bus, and a black person automatically giving up their seat up front and moving to the back.  SMs going along with this type of exclusionary action sends the wrong message to everyone.

Everyone else will be seated as husband and wife and pretty much every other husband and wife family member will be in pictures as well.  Why should anyone even begin to assume that is should be different for SM and her husband?  However, I respect your decision and best of luck to you.

SacrificialLamb's picture

If it is that small of a wedding, I would bow out.  I will never go to a special event of my SD's or their children again. It just won't end well, no matter what you do. 

You had mentioned wanting to be supportive for your DH.....this is not a funeral - it's his DD's wedding and he's a big boy. Tell him you know he would feel pulled in multiple directions. Since it's such a small affair, you would like to stay home.

Stepaside-1987's picture

She asked me to be there - so this being the first wedding or "test wedding" I will go.  If the worst happens - it will be my last.  I believe if I follow Aniki's advice and am treated poorly by the rest I will have firm ground to stand on when I decline future invitations.

SacrificialLamb's picture

Yours is a rational might be surprised and experience some civility. I wish I had my eyes wide open at that time, but the wedding was the event that showed me how things really are.

Siemprematahari's picture

I like Aniki's suggestion and/or how would you feel about not going altogether? Is this an option? Do you want to be there?

I'd take the day and book a spa day and after that treat myself to the movies or dinner. I'd make the day all about ME and allow your H to enjoy his daughters special day. He may want you there for support but if you don't feel comfortable, he should take your feelings into consideration.

Either way, wishing you the best and that all goes well that day.

Stepaside-1987's picture

She asked for the both of us to be there.  She didn't just ask him.  So that being said I accepted her invitation to her wedding.  

I really liked Aniki's advice also.  I'd rather go - be a lady - and if I am ignored by DH, or mistreated then I will not be attending future events from that side.

tog redux's picture

If she invited you, I have to assume she isn't going to ask for you to "watch the kids" at the last minute?

It's a small wedding and you were invited. I assume if you aren't in any pictures, that BM's husband won't be either? Or maybe there will be some with spouses and some without?  Would she really ask the other 6 people to be in pictures and then leave you out? If so, is DH prepared to ask for one with you in it with him?

Either way, I'd go, just be pleasant and supportive of DH. She invited you, that means something.

Siemprematahari's picture

Stepaside, sounds like a plan to me. Make sure you turn heads that day Biggrin

Hope you have a wonderful time!

Stepaside-1987's picture

I hope so too and I will definitely have something sexy underneath my dress Smile

still learning's picture

I would go to the ceremony but bow out of the reception early because that's where all the drama will take place.  You went to the wedding and looked fabulous, you were supportive, congratulated everyone in line, took a piece of cake to go and went home to a nice long bath in preparation for hubby to come home.  Taking this route would get you out of childcare and clean up duties.  

CANYOUHELP's picture

This is nothing but a stressful event for you --if your dadddeeee (DH), is wimped out by his adult daughter and family. He will not change at this wedding if so, and you will definitely feel left out because they can demonstrate one more time, how much you do not matter. No pill, no dress, no anything can take that sick feeling in your stomach away. Hopefully your DH is a better parent and husband than most here.

Every situation is different, you know if he will support your inclusion or bow to excluding you (treating you like the hired help).

I would not go, regardless of what daddee decides to do, I know what I am working with here though----I do not hate myself that badly ;-).


Aniki's picture

Stepaside's husband may very well "have her back".

Going to the graduations was stressful for me, but they were important to my DH, he wanted his wife with him, and I was invited.

And the sick feeling in my stomach DID go away. Why/how? Because DH stayed by my side. Because the longer I presented that calm, pleasant facade, I began to FEEL calm and it wasn't bad at all. Because I was willing, like stepaside, to give it a chance and, if it went to sh!t, I would never go again. And also because I was a LADY. BioHo was loud, vulgar, and obnoxious. Damn if that wasn't a BIG confidence boost.

Anyhoo, stepaside wants to go this one time. So. Let's give her all the help we can to make HER feel better and more confident. Smile

CANYOUHELP's picture

I agree if her DH" has her back", she will be fine...that is the most important element!

Aniki's picture

It certainly is!! If my DH would not have had my back, I would not have gone to the second graduation!

Stepaside-1987's picture

THANK YOU!!! This is exactly why I came to this site for help.  DH being by my side will make all the difference in the world - if he doesn't you're right - I will decline future invites.  I suffer from anxiety and getting advice like this helps me to think calmly and clearly.  

disrestep's picture

Having the pleasure...not really...of attending a couple skid weddings, this is what I've learned:

keep in mind the adult skids were never nice to me unless they wanted me to convince DH to do something that benefits them. Your SD sounds like she has been cordial to you.

Make sure your DH has your back 100%. Very important in case there is adult skid and company disrespect. If your DH ignores something on purpose they do, how will that make you feel? I'd talk to my DH first about it...something like -"if they pull any hateful stunts and we ignore it and hope it goes away, I am outta there and you can stay behind."

Take 2 cars if you can, so you have a means to leave if it gets that bad. Not to say it will, but it is something I wish I did at adult skid weddings I went to.

Your DH should make an effort to include you in photos, conversations, etc. I would talk to him about that and ask him how'd he feel if that was done to him. That whole photo game they pull is not right. The first skid wedding I went to, DH was asked at the reception to travel a few miles away for pictures right in front of me. I didn't know many people at the wedding. DH went along with their plan like a little lost dog and I asked him for his car keys and sat in the car crying. This came after a couple of other adult skid wedding stunts, so I was pretty fed up by then.

What I am getting at is to maybe expect the unexpected. I was naive about mean adult skids games at the time, and never expected to have to sit in the back row while DH sat up front with a momento he was forced to carry down the isle of his late wife. Yes, I say forced, as DH swears they sprung this on him and he feels that is why he was never invited to rehearsal, because if knew about it, he never would of agreed to walk down isle with something from a deceased person, let me sit in the back or play the picture game. I still hold DH accountable for his actions though, no one forced him, as he tells me. He is a big boy and went along with their silly games. Sure he feels bad, but he could of said something. They are his brood, not mine. All the games caught me by surprise, as I never felt more excluded at anything in my life. 

Come up with a good NO answer to being asked to watch the kids. You are not a babysitter, are you? I'd tell them my babysitting days were done in my teens or suggest that so and so relative would be happy to babysit or I think I am coming down with a cold.

good luck

STaround's picture

IME, people can be VERY sneaky about dumping their kids on others.  Like the -- oh just going to the ladies room, and then they go have pictures taken, dance, get a drink, etc.  I wouldn't describe that as hateful, just really annoying.  Be prepaered as to how to extricate  yourself.  

Ispofacto's picture

Having an escape plan might make you feel more at ease.  Either drive separate, or have cash ready for an uber or lyft, just in case.


marblefawn's picture

I went through exactly what you're going through. If you plan as if one misstep could kill you, you'll be fine!

Absolutely tell your husband what you are and aren't willing to do (i.e. watching the kids). Tell him how you expect him to act. Try to think of every possible scenario and address it with him often and early! Let him know you're worried and what you're planning should anything go wrong.

It's good to acknowledge that he also feels uneasy about the wedding. Try to keep that in mind if he screws up that day. My own husband was a mess on SD's wedding day because he was so scared BM might make a scene.

I also did a few other things because I've only experienced BM twice and she was nutty as a bat both times.

- Face the wall as often as possible so there are no accusations of "giving dirty looks." Think of BM as an animal who may misread any expression on your face -- so don't give her any openings to cause conflict.

- Have an exit plan if things get ugly -- Uber, taxi, however you can do it, have a plan to exit if it gets ugly and if it gets ugly, just slip out. Know where your bag is and head home without fanfare. You can send a text to your husband to let him know you've gone. Let him know ahead of time that you plan to exit if you sense danger.

- I did not wait to be told where to sit. I planned to sit in the back, apart from my husband who was up front, to avoid all the BS that goes with seating. Some on this site will tell you that's wrong. But what the hell did I care where I sat for something that was akin to a trip to the gynecologist? I just wanted it to be over. Only a few noticed I was not up front and I simply said "It's her big day. I'm happy to take a backseat." You'll look like Mother Theresa AND you'll avoid a lot of BS.

- I asked the bride months ahead of time to ask her mother what level of interaction BM wanted with me -- "Should I greet your mom? Should I talk to her? Should I ignore her? Whatever she wants, I'll do to make her comfortable. Just let me know." This was my way of minimizing conflict and covering my ass. As expected, I was told her mom wanted no contact with me, so I avoided her and did not even sit facing BM just to be sure there was no chance for me to be accused of anything. Sure enough, months after the wedding, SD said, "My mom came over to talk to you and she was mad because you turned your head away." I knew this was BS because I had the idea to ask ahead of time about BM's wishes. I really thought this was a brilliant move on my part so that when I walked away at the end of the day, I knew I did exactly as I was told.

- I know you don't want to watch the kids and I don't blame you. Ugh, kids. However, it's not a bad idea to have some "job" to turn to when you're standing there all alone watching the happy first family pose for pictures. I was in charge of half my SD's wedding and I was happy to have flower arranging duties, sign making duties, balloons to arrange, etc., to keep me busy when things got awkward.

- I wore Navy blue. It's as close as I could get to a color that would make me invisible without being accused of wearing black to the princess's wedding. I covered up from head to toe -- think 'head of catering' clothes so you're not accused of stealing anyone's limelight.

- Knowing I'd be left alone at specific times (pictures, etc.), I found another guest who was relatively distant from the events and I glommed onto him like a barnacle. Find someone who's just happy to be having a few drinks and has no horse in the race, be sure he or she is a talker, then return to that person every time you start to feel uneasy. It's best to find another guest who's also alone because they'll also feel awkward and be grateful to talk to someone.

The key is to be sure you're busy the entire time with your own thing, whether it's talking to someone, cleaning up a mess, arranging something that's out of place, whatever. Offer help to anyone doing anything for the wedding so you look like you're all in on the wedding thing.

You can do this. No matter how bad anything is, remember it will all be over in a day. Make this a challenge for yourself. If your SD was at your wedding and she didn't cause any problems, remember that when you're slighted or feel angry. And no matter what, remember that this SD has been OK to you and therefore, she deserves you to do whatever you can to not be a problem on her big day. Ha, ha...let her mom do that!

marblefawn's picture

Oh, I forgot...

Don't drink. Don't take anything to calm your nerves. It's too easy for it to get away from you! You can reward yourself with a big fat drink when it's over, but don't risk anything during the wedding. If someone sees you drinking, and anything goes wrong, it's too easy for someone to bring up you having a few drinks as the possible cause for a blowup.

Also, if you have a camera, take it. I spent a lot of time behind my camera avoiding the awkwardness. You look invested in the event when you have a camera and you can hide behind it when you need to!

Aniki's picture

I agree! Don't drink and don't take meds. If you NEED anxiety meds, take a quarter or half of one.

I sipped ONE glass of wine over a 2-hour period. BioHo drank an entire bottle. I say again: loud, vuglar, obnoxious.

Stepaside-1987's picture

Thank you marblefawn!  You gave me a lot of great advice and support.  I agree - no drinks or valium that day!  I am pretty good at slipping away so I will do just that if need be.  This BM can sometimes "flirt" or she will make jokes with DH that she knows is something from their past, and can be "touchy-feely" - she may not pull that on that day.  We shall see.  Thank you also for the wardrobe advice.  I am already searching for something that is comfortable, makes me feel attractive without bringing any attention away or could cause comments to be made.  

Aniki's picture

You've got this, Stepaside! I'm sure you will glide through this event with style and class. Take comfort knowing that some of us will be there with you in spirit. Give rose

marblefawn's picture

Oh yea, lot of people been there and know your pain. I swear it felt like I'd graduated from law school or gave birth to triplets when I was on the plane back home from SD's wedding. I was so glad it was over, it took me months to actually be annoyed at some of the details of that day. But by then, it just didn't matter.


Aniki's picture

It's funny (to me), but PigPen had claimed to DH months before that BioHo had cut waaaaaay back on drinking. Hogwash. IMO, she was either drinking in secret or drinking from a container that APPEARED to be non-alcoholic. When SS19 graduated, 'Ho drank 2 bottles of wine every single day. That is NOT someone who has cut waaaaaay back. Then again, maybe 2 bottles a day IS a lot less for 'Ho...

Anyhoo, my point is that I never had more than one glass of wine on 2 different days and drank no alco-bevs the rest of the time. Each day, 'Ho got louder and sloppier as she drank.

I was very glad when that week was over, but I can honestly say that there was really nothing that annoyed me.

TooManyStepsBetween's picture

I wanted to share my experience in case you are still looking for input.

SD27 got married 4 or so years ago and I planned it all as we were still getting along and I was wanting DH to be happy at all costs, big mistake.

I organized and paid for the Dj, photographer and wedding dress and hosted the engagement party.

The day of while everyone “important” got to get dressed and spend the day with the wedding party, I ran around making sure everything was going smoothly, and all guests and hired people (DJ and photo) were in the right areas. I even had to tie all of the men’s ties because none of them knew how.

SD , DH and BM were all in the spotlight which was fine I preferred to be in the shadow to avoid BM and her family, but I was exhausted.

This was a completely thankless job as I’ve now learned being a SM usually is. Fast forward to today and I’m completely disengaged From SD27 because beginning with her wedding, life has been all about her and getting closer to DH but I’ve finally had enough.

Maybe you can find your spot somewhere between what I did and doing absolutely nothing, but you may be disappointed regardless, just try not to get your heart broken over it, and expect the worst (no thank yous, no introductions, no acknowledgement at all) and if anything extra happens than it’s a bonus.

Good luck to you.

Stepaside-1987's picture

Thank you for your advice.  At this point in time - I plan on doing nothing and I have not offered to do anything to help.  I am staying quiet and out of the way.  She has sisters, cousins, aunts to help - I will just sit back and be a quiet guest with a smile on my face.  I don't plan on any drinking, valium, etc.  Just sitting back and observing and hopefully enjoying the day with my DH.  IF I volunteered I could very well see me doing everything you did and never hearing a thank you.  

TooManyStepsBetween's picture

I wore a dress that matched my DHs vest, it was a different color than the wedding colors, so we coordinated on our own to unity among the bio clan.

Stepaside-1987's picture

I made it through.  I stayed out of the way and let the bride shine with the BM running the show.  

I was not made to sit alone - I was included just enough to not be obvious but that was FINE by me.

A couple of times I was left sitting by myself it was mentioned to me that I could mingle - I reminded my DH that I don't know anyone nor will I chase him down to stand by his side to be included in conversations.  

I noticed the pictures that were posted that had me in them - were ALL shots where my eyes were closed or I looked ridiculous.  WHATEVER!  

I was asked if I would watch the SKids the day before so the bride could meet with caterers and last minute errands that needed to be done.  I gladly watched them - but as we all know as stepmothers - I was not thanked.  When leaving the reception hall - I tried twice to say goodbye and SD just walked away.  She said her goodbye to DH, DH mother(Grandmother), DH's brother and sisters but walked away.  That.  Hurt.  Did DH notice - no when I said something he just played it off as her being caught up in the festivities.  Maybe....but it didn't feel like that.  

NOW - I do also need to DH was not included in a lot of things either.  Photos, acknowledgements, etc. 

I am happy the weekend is over.  Will I be babysitting anytime soon? Nope.

Thank you to all who gave me advice!

Petronella's picture

Thanks for the update! I’m glad you got through it. Sounds as though the bride was extremely rude to you. Good for you for declining to be anyone’s unpaid maid or babysitter!

Stepaside-1987's picture

You know it's funny - each time something like this is done to me, I become stronger in my version of disengagement.  

Rags's picture

Disengagement just leaves the toxic poised to resurect itself.  This is why I am all for confrontation, baring toxic ass, and destroying it every time it raises it's head.

If your DH learns to confront his daughter's toxic manipulative crap... she will notice in a hurry and that will set her back on her heels.  She will whimper rather than bark and growling as she has been doing.

United you and your DH will keep her in her place.

What are the odds of DH gaining clarity and putting and keeping her in her place.