Etiquette for step parents at weddings?

My parents separated when I was 13 and my dad remarried when I was 17. Due to issues with my mum, I moved in with my dad and step mum when I was 16 and only moved out last year when my partner and I bought a house. I have a few questions about wedding etiquette in regards to step parents and their families.

~ I would like my dad and step mum to sit in the front row during the ceremony. Mostly because my half brothers are page boys and will need to sit there until they're up (my step mum is one of the only people who can keep those two in hand). Would it look odd if I had my mum seated in the row directly behind (with her brother, SIL and other close family)?

~ In the wedding program, who should be listed first - my mum or my dad and step mum? Both are contributing financially to the wedding.

~ Would it be strange if I invited my step mum's sister, brother and parents (her parents are also separated and remarried)? She is originally from New Zealand but emigrated to Adelaide as a child. Her sister is the only family that she has living in Melbourne; her mum and step dad live in Adelaide whilst her dad, step mum and brother all live in New Zealand. They have all welcomed my sisters and I with open arms and, whilst I don't want them to feel obligated to come, would it be nice to extend the invite? Perhaps I could get my step mum to pass on the message that I know travel is involved so they don't have to feel obligated to come or anything?


Peggy - I feel I should note that my mother is not remarried and has no plans to even date again; she is a very religious woman and feels that this is sinning.

Update 2:

I feel like I should add a few things that probably should have been included in the original post:

~ I have heard that when separated parents don't overly get along (mine are civil but avoid spending time together at all costs) the parent that you have the better relationship with sits in the front row and the other parents sits directly behind. In my case, my dad would be the parent I have the better relationship with. From the answers received, this doesn't actually appear to be an etiquette thing.

~ The first few rows at our venue are not as long as the rows behind (they kind of taper out from the front). So the front row will only fit about 4 people (5 maximum) and the second row is about the same. If my dad, step mum and brothers sit in the front row, my mum may not want to sit there anyway as she would probably prefer to have her family with her.

6 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Why can't both your step mom and mom sit in the front row? You dad will be sit there, so his wife should. Why can your mom sit next to her? If your mom has a really problem sitting in the front row with your step mom, then tell her to sit in the second row. Is your father walking you down the isle? He gets the front row. Why can your three parents sit in the front row? Close family in the rows behind.

    You could have both your mother and step mother walk down the isle, your mother should be last before the bridal party.

    Your father would be first, it should be Mr and Mrs John Smith in the program

    Your mother next.

    If you would like them ask. We invited people far away, knowing it's most likely a no. Most was.

    It's nice knowing you are wanted at a wedding, even if you could not make the wedding. If they come, it's their choice. You can always say no to an wedding invitation.

  • Amy
    Lv 6
    7 years ago

    Your biological mother should be seated in the front row. Not in the second row. Your step mum can either sit cordially with her in the front row (two seats in, so that your dad is between them) or in the second row. She should be able to control the boys just as well in the second row, it's only another 2 feet away.

    Ladies first, so your bio mom should be listed in the program first.

    Yes, by all means invite your step mom's family to the wedding.

  • 7 years ago

    You mother, father and step-mother should be on the first row. Of course you can invite them and let them know that you will not be offended if they can not travel the distance.

    As for the invitation: Mother and new husband's name first

    Second line father and new wife's name, like this:

    Mr. and Mrs. Edward William Burch

    Mr. and Mrs. John Albert Smith

    request the honor of your presence

    at the marriage of their daughter

    Anna Grace Smith

  • MM
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    You should treat everyone equally. Put all your parents in the front row, list them alphabetically on the same line of the program, and invite your stepfamily and leave it up to them if they want to come.

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  • The very first outside next to the aisle seat on the left side belongs to you Dad...especially if he is escorting you down the aisle....that way, after he escorts you, he can quietly slip into the seat with stepping over feet, etc....

    Now, here comes the sticky part. The seat to his immediate left belongs to your mother. However, he has remarried. Since she is the last person Guest) escorted down the aisle, and the mother of the bride, that is her spot.....but you also have a step mother.

    IF your step mother is NOT into drama, would she be willing to sit to your mother's left (third spot in the first pew)? Or will she insist on sitting next to your Dad. IF she is the type to insist sitting next to your Dad, her husband...or HE insists upon it, or your Mother refuses to sit next to your Dad, then have the first seat, left side, first pew your Mother's, and seat her immediate family after her....Seat your Dad in the first seat, left side SECOND pew, with his wife to his left, and then HIS immediate family after that. Mom is not dissed....Dad & step-mother are not dissed.....

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Your parents should be on the same row, buy there should be distance between them.

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