What Role Should My Fiancé's Daughter from a Previous Marriage Play in Our Wedding?

Etiquette
pink flower girl basket

Photo: Lisa Lefkowitz

Your wedding should be all about you—well, to a degree. Say your fiancé wants his daughter from a previous marriage to be the center of attention: How do you then balance your special-day needs with his? Our wedding etiquette experts are here to answer this and many more of your toughest questions.

My fiancé has a daughter from a previous marriage. He wants her to be a flower girl, which is fine. But he keeps trying to make her the center of attention. Now he wants her to join us at the sweetheart table. I know we're a family, but am I wrong to want the spotlight for just us?

You have your vows, the first kiss and the first dance. So get over yourself! Your honey wants his child to feel comfortable and included—and you should, too. Now focus on the payoffs: Your man will love you all the more for going out of your way to make his daughter a major participant in your wedding; she will appreciate the extra attention and be more inclined to welcome you with open arms, and you won't look back on this day and think, "Why was I being such a pill?" Betsy Stone, Ph.D., a psychologist in private practice in Stamford, CT, agrees that your fiancé's daughter should have a prominent place at the wedding. "You're marrying a family," she says. "And you need to be especially supportive of this little girl's needs when it comes time for the wedding. Quite honestly, I can't think of a more appropriate place for her to sit than at the sweetheart table." While you're at it, include her as much as possible. She'll be so excited to share a special second dance with you two or to help cut the wedding cake that you'll realize that three isn't a crowd—it's the magic number.

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