I am fuming. I have a dear friend, “Mary”, whose daughter is getting married. A short background: Several years ago, suddenly and unexpectedly, Mary became a young widow and life since her husband passed has been difficult for her, to say the least. She has always done everything in her power to provide for her children and they have been well taken care of and loved. There were bumps in the road here and there, but overall they remained a loving, close family.
Mary had been dating a “man” (I’ll call him “Bob”) just over a year. A couple of months ago he completely disappeared from her life. There was no communication from him whatsoever to explain his sudden absence. Mary did try to contact him in the beginning, but Bob did not respond to any calls. She got the message and realized Bob was not man enough to end things with her face to face (or even via phone). Mary was very hurt, but is a big girl and knew it was time to move on. She later found out that all the while, he was keeping in touch with her daughter and future son-in-law. There was never a close relationship between them before, but now suddenly Bob wants to be buddies with the kids and they with him.
Mary was just informed by her daughter and FSIL that Bob has been invited to the wedding on his own because they want him to be there. Of course this news was a total blow and hurtful to Mary. In my opinion this is such an insensitive, spiteful thing for them to do. This “man” hurt Mary deeply and was not a significant person in the kids’ lives before all this. Where is their support for Mary? Now she is in the position of attending this wedding, which she has been so looking forward to, with the possibility of having to encounter Bob. If the kids want him to remain in their lives, that is great, have at it, but please do it on the other 364 days of the year and let you mom attend your wedding (that she is paying for) without feeling hurt and awkward. We know it’s your day, you’ve made that loud and clear, but show some consideration for your mom. Mary was told that Bob did plan on attending, which I found shocking (although I shouldn’t be considering his total lack of communication/relationship skills he has demonstrated). A friend of Mary’s (who knows Bob as well) did call him and suggested that he might consider passing on attending the wedding. Of course he was oblivious as to why that would be. We are hoping that he mans up for once and does not attend. I hope I have a happy follow-up story to post in a couple months; one that does not involve Bob. 0522-13
First, you need to calm down and not fume. Etiquette does not extend grace to those who are basically meddling in the affairs of others. And if you get between Bob, the bridal couple and their mom, you are meddling.
Second, the best you can do in this situation is to encourage Mary of the positive attributes of being the mother of the bride. She will be escorted separately to her seat, have a honored seat in the family pew right up front to witness the ceremony, most likely have a corsage, most likely seated at or near the head table at the reception, guests will acknowledge her as the mother of the bride and give her congratulations, if they have a mother-son-in-law dance she’ll do that. Bob is just a guest, one of possibly a hundred or more, with no special privileges or honors.
And for heaven’s sake, do not hype Mary to be emotionally distraught on the wedding day. Bob shouldn’t live in her brain rent free and it would be a gross disservice to Mary if she were not encouraged to don her gracious, big girl pants and act the part of the rational, civil, gracious mother of the bride. Any drama Mary brings to the wedding day will only harm her, possibly irrevocably.