The process of planning a wedding is complex enough, but including a feuding mom and stepmom into the mix can create an infinitely more stressful situation. Between attempting to appease both parties and avoiding hurt feelings, wedding planning with stepparents in tow is an incredibly delicate operation. So how can a bride include both mothers in the wedding without stepping on any toes? Our etiquette experts weigh in on pleasing a sparring mom and stepmom en route to the big day.
Before you make any concrete plans, take the time to understand the situation from both your mother and stepmother's perspective. Does your mom wish to minimize the time you spend with your stepmom? Does your stepmother have a specific vision of your wedding that conflicts with that of your mother? Answering these fundamental questions will help you maintain the peace between both parties. Next, determine what facets of the wedding your mom and stepmom feel most strongly about planning. Since their relationship is contentious, you should divvy up tasks instead of encouraging your mother and stepmother to work on the wedding plans as a team. Entrust them with separate projects so each feels involved in the planning process without crossing any boundaries. For example, your mother might take the lead on tablescapes while your stepmother focuses her attention on assisting in the band selection.
Ascertain if there are any planning steps in which your stepmother and mother will overlap, and anticipate which situations may cause friction. If you foresee situations in which your stepmother and mother will be forced to interact, inform both parties of the circumstances well in advance. Maintaining significant separation between the two is essential to maintaining a drama-free wedding. Finally, inform both of them how important their presence is in your wedding, and express your hope that the pair will set aside their differences for the sake of your big day.