Response: Hello Melissa, I sympathize with your situation. Sometimes the best way to handle a situation like this is after the fact. Dont tell your step-mother when you plan to go dress shopping. Rather, plan a time when you and your mom can go together and keep it quiet. Then, when your step-mother mentions shopping, you can tell her that you found a dress you really liked and you bought it/ordered it, or whatever.
Dont make a big deal out of any of the wedding planning and dont discuss it in your step-moms presence unless she brings it up. Otherwise, she will want to be involved in all aspects of the planning. If you avoid discussing wedding details and she is perceptive, she will get it that you dont want help.
One thing to consider is that if your father is helping pay for the wedding, she may feel that she has a right to be involved in how their money is being spent and that is a valid argument. Therefore, you may need to discuss some financial decisons, but preferably with your father alone, if that is possible.
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