Dealing with stepmothers can be a difficult situation. A lot depends on how the stepmother and biological mother get along. If the two mothers get along, then the wedding can be planned however the couple wants. However, this is a rare thing. If there is some problem, the guidelines below can assist the stepmother in following the correct etiquette for the wedding of her stepchild.
Begin by thinking about what the stepmother should wear. Usually, the stepmother should dress in the same way as other guests. The bride may want to include her stepmother in the preparations, so it is proper wedding etiquette for her stepmother to wear similar styles and colors as the other mothers. However, it would not be proper for her to dress in a manner that will overshadow the bride or the biological mother.
The next question is, according to proper etiquette, where should the stepmother sit? The bride chooses this, but usually, the stepmother is seated behind the birth parents, about the third row back. Of course, it will be awkward to have divorced or separated spouses sit on the same row, but the wedding is not about who is the current wife of her father but rather a family-oriented event. Stepmothers do not need to feel bad about their placement in the wedding because wedding etiquette has the birth mother sitting without her current husband if she has remarried.
There may be an etiquette problem when it comes to family photos. Most photographers will arrange different shots for the birth parents and stepparents. You will not usually see stepparents and birth parents in the same photo. If this does happen, however, the mothers should be put on opposite ends of the picture. It is not strange for a stepmother to not be seen in any official wedding photos, so do not take this personally if this occurs. It falls in the range of proper wedding etiquette for stepmothers.
During the reception, etiquette again requires that the stepmother take a back seat unless she and her husband are the hosts of the reception. If the birth mother hosts the wedding and the father hosts the reception, it is proper for the stepmother to take a place in the receiving line if the mother is not present. However, if the birth mother is throwing the reception as well, it is best that the stepmother not attend. Remember that all of these little points are only a guideline, so they can be changed and adjusted as long as it is best suited for the bride.
Lastly, what about the family dance? What does wedding etiquette say about this? Proper etiquette has the stepmother bowing out gracefully and allows the bride to share this day with her biological parents. The bride’s father would dance with her, and the groom’s birth mother would dance with him. Sometimes if a family dance is provided, stepparents can dance with their own mates.
These stepmother etiquette hints will hopefully allow the stepmother to deal with wedding plans without making mistakes that could hurt or embarrass their stepchild.