Annie Lane: (Step) father of the bride

Published 5:52 pm Friday, November 12, 2021

Dear Annie: My fiance and I are well underway in planning our wedding with less than two months to go.

During our planning process, my mom got engaged to a wonderful man. They had been living together for several years, and I never lived with them, nor have I spent more than holidays and a few social gatherings at their home.

I have known of this man from my past and know he treats my mom incredibly well. I am absolutely delighted for her. However, I don’t have much of a relationship with him.

In the wedding plans, I informed my mom I would like her to walk me down the aisle as well as my current boss. This boss has been a father figure to me for nine years. He has helped me financially and emotionally, and we spend time working together nearly every day. He even refers to me as his daughter to everyone, and I call him my dad.

When I told my mom my wedding plans, she became upset about how it would bother her fiance. She claims he cares for me more than I know.

A week ago, she gifted me the remaining money I needed for my wedding, about a third of the total cost. The card was signed by her and her fiance’s name in her writing. She has been trying to volunteer her fiance for anything possible for the wedding, such as readings, being an usher or even giving a speech.

While I am not opposed to him having a role — and I have told her this — I feel like she is trying to force a relationship on me with her fiance. I haven’t even had time to speak to him because we both work seven days a week right now, and he works nights while I work days.

I politely asked my mom to back off a bit and said that he and I will have to build a relationship on our own, but she keeps having ideas on how to involve him. None of these ideas came up before I told her about my boss walking me down the aisle.

I feel guilty about something that originally made me happy and felt perfect. Now I feel like I’m going to cause a rift in my mom’s life. What’s a bride to do?

— Knot My Mother’s Wedding

Dear Knot My: Let your mom know that as much as you appreciate her good intentions, ultimately, all wedding decisions will be up to you and your groom.

Your wedding day should be focused entirely on you and your soon-to-be-husband, celebrating the love you have for one another and merging your two families into one. Don’t assign your mom’s fiance a wedding role that he hasn’t truly fulfilled in real life if it doesn’t feel right. It’s your day, and just by going, he will be part of it and these memories forever.

You have a lifetime to build a strong, loving relationship with your mom’s fiance, but for it to be meaningful, it can’t be forced.

When you talk to your mom, make sure to address the elephant in the room: the check. If it was given with strings attached and expectations in mind, let her and her fiance know you cannot accept it.

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