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Dear Susan,

    My boyfriend's son is getting married.  He has
    been estranged from his wife for over 10 years
    -- long complicated situation. Now, his wife
    has agreed to behave during the wedding.  
    What we would like to know is, where  do we
    sit during the wedding, and what about
    pictures?  He does not want to have his
    picture taken with her, their son and his son's
    new wife. He feels he should be in the picture
    with his son and me, and she should be in one
    with the son also.  What do you say is the
    right thing to do?  Would you be able to
    answer these questions?  Thank you,

-Evelyn


Dear Evelyn,

    These situations can be awkward for everyone. The
    key is for all of the parent's to remember the day is
    about the bride and groom, not them, and to put
    any differences aside for a few hours. While that is
    sometimes easier said than done, it will make for
    better memories later.

    As far as seating is concerned, all parent's and
    his/her significant other, such as yourself should be
    in the front row.
    If that is not possible, sit the mother in the front
    (sorry, tradition says mother gets top billing), with
    you and the father directly behind. Ideally, all
    should be front and center.

    Pictures should be done however the bride and
    groom want them. It would appear there may be a
    lot of conflict between mother and father, so
    together in the same picture would not be the
    preference, that's fine. A picture with the mother,
    and son (and the new wife) and a separate one with
    his father is appropriate. Your inclusion would be
    dependent on your relationship to both the father
    and the groom. How long have you been dating, do
    you live together, are you engaged, etc would all
    be considerations. Do you get along with his son,
    etc.  If you are in a non live-in relationship, or a
    relationship with an uncertain or undetermined
    future, you would be best served to either bow out,
    or have a picture with you included, and one
    without.

    Please remember this is a day for the bridal couple.
    You may have to swallow a few distasteful
    moments, but taking the high road is always best
    for future relations between all parties.

    Thank you so much for visiting Encore Bride.

 -Susan

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