Stepparents: Can I Tell My Stepmother What to Wear to My Wedding?

Q:

My divorced parents are both remarried and get along great -- except in the presence of my father's wife. She seems to feel threatened by me, my mom, and my siblings. I found out that she is planning to wear a very revealing red dress to my wedding, probably to upstage my mother. I feel very uncomfortable about this because she will stand out in a sea of black, white, and silver (my colors). I know it sounds childish, but this is my day, and I want her to dress more appropriately. I want to talk to my dad (who will give me away) about this, but I don't know how receptive he'll be. Should I confront him or her, or should I just ignore it?

A:

You may be having doubts about approaching your dad because somehow you know it won't necessarily help; in fact, it might make things worse. It seems clear that your stepmother is feeling threatened, like you said, and looking for a way to get her share of attention at what will be an extremely family-focused event. But the reality is that she will probably embarrass herself more than she will "show up" your mom. Her behavior is childish -- not your reaction. You are justified in feeling uncomfortable in this situation; however, keep in mind that she's trying to call more attention to herself by wearing a red dress. Don't give her any help! The best thing you can do is just ignore it -- and have an amazing time at your wedding!


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