photodune-4902596-wedding--xs Ask Rene:
Should I Ban My Mom From My Wedding?

Hi Rene,

I am getting married in a couple of months and I’m very excited but I’m also worried it’s going to be a disaster.

My mother and father divorced over 10 years ago and while my father has moved on and remarried, my mother remains bitter about their split.

They are both huge parts of my life and I would love for them to both be there on my big day but they can’t get along and it is mostly my mother’s fault. She promised to bury her feelings for my engagement party but she bickered with my father throughout the night, wouldn’t pose in pictures with him and refused to allow me to invite my stepmother even though they have been married for 5 years.

I talked to her about her behavior afterwards and she just became defensive. I don’t think the actual wedding will be any better and since my father insisted on inviting my stepmother, I’m afraid it will be worse.

I really want my wedding day to be stress free and I’m worried my mom will cause a scene. Should I dis-invite her from the wedding for the sake of peace?

I don’t want to but I don’t know what else to do. What would you do Rene?

Pam, Connecticut

Hi Pam:

I have two things to say to you. Congratulations and yes. It’s that simple. Before I give you my reason, let me ask tell you about my own wedding. My husband and I got married 17 years ago overlooking the harbor on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. It was his second marriage, my first, and we wanted it to be special.  So we planned and spent a lot of money to make it that way. When we told my mother what we were doing, she said, “Oh can I come?” Insert the sound of screeching tires here. No. No, no, no! It was MY day.. just as this is yours.  Of course some of  this might be predicated on how much, if any, mom pitched in to the wedding budget. Never-the-less, here’s what I would do if I were in your shoes.

1. THIS IS YOUR DAY

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Listen and listen well. There are only a couple of times in your life where you get to have everything you want. One of those is when you’re in heavy labor and all you can think of is how refreshing one teeny, tiny ice chip dancing on your tongue would be. Trust me when I say this is much more comfortable. Buff and I  eloped so I didn’t WANT my mother at my wedding/honeymoon because IT WAS MY DAY! I didn’t want to have to worry if it was too hot or whether she liked her room. I didn’t want her along for dinner with my new husband and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to relax with her down the hotel hall, if you get my drift. So I said no. Was she hurt? Maybe but if she was she got over it.

(Editor’s note: This piece originally ran 4/15/2011)