DEAR MISS MANNERS: My son has a 3-year-old daughter with his fiancee. His fiancee’s mother and father have been divorced for about 12 years and are on very unfriendly terms.
Because the bride doesn’t want her mother to make a scene on her special day, the bride and my son have chosen to marry with only their daughter, the minister and a witness present.
I love my future daughter-in-law very much. But as the mother of the groom, I am very sad that I will not get to see my only son get married. I feel that the bride’s parents could surely get along for an hour for the sake of their daughter’s happiness.
The couple plan to have a luncheon following the ceremony with immediate family only. The bride’s mother has remarried and will be coming with her current husband and her son. There will be a separate luncheon and shower for the bride’s father’s side of the family.
I understand this will be the bride’s day, but my husband and I feel we are being penalized because of issues between her mother and father. I am really sad. I do not want to add drama to the situation and don’t want to cause any hard feelings between anyone, but I am feeling hurt.
GENTLE READER: That it is “the bride’s day,” with the understanding that therefore she can do whatever she wants, is an expression that Miss Manners loathes. No one should have a day off from being considerate of others, and especially not on a family occasion.
But this poor bride, caught between warring forces, is not asking for self-glorification. She only wants a dignified and peaceful ceremony. And no doubt she knows better than you that her parents could not “surely” get along for an hour.
Presumably, you are included in the luncheon afterward, perhaps even both luncheons. What you can do is what the other parents apparently cannot: Enjoy the occasion without tainting it with any hurt feelings of your own.