From the perspective of a step daughter.
My wedding was on the horizon; my parents had been divorced for 10 years following a very stormy marriage. My mother, still angry about the divorce, was refusing to have ‘that woman’ at the wedding. That woman was my father second wife, she had nothing to do with my parents’ divorce, and in fact my father met her 2 years after leaving my mother.
I was feeling so stressed about this, my father was paying for the wedding so felt I couldn’t tell him not to bring his wife. On a weekend visit to my father and step mother I became visibly distressed. They asked me what was wrong and I explained how my mother was feeling and how difficult she was making this whole thing. I wanted my father to give me away and wanted my mother to be there especially as I would be leaving form her house to get married. I felt torn and split in 2. My step mother, with whom I had a lovely relationship, stepped in and said of course my father should give me away, it, was something that was also important to him. She understood that a daughter should have both parents at their wedding and very graciously took herself out of the equation.
She said that she would not attend the ceremony or reception not because she wouldn’t like to see me get married but because she wanted me to have a perfect stress free day. She wanted my father to be able to concentrate on me for the day and not to worry about the reactions of others. My father and stepmother said they would like to take myself and new husband away for a weekend after the wedding and we would have our celebration then.
My stepmother is an amazing woman and this was the most wonderful wedding present that I received.