Divorced Parents and Weddings: How to Deal

December 6th, 20107:05 am

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Divorced Parents and Weddings: How to Deal

It’s not surprising that between a bride and a groom, at least one has a set of divorced parents.  Having a set of divorced parents at your wedding can make things a bit awkward and strained for you and your parents, but there are things that you can do to help smooth over the entire event.  Here are some of the best divorced parent etiquette tips you can put to use to make sure that everyone is happy on your special day.

The Guest List and Invites

If you are estranged from one of your divorced parents, you are by no means expected to send them an invitation.  If, however, you are on good terms with both, then both will undoubtedly be expecting a wedding invitation.

TIP:  If you do plan on inviting an estranged parent, make sure you tell the other parent that you are inviting them to avoid any surprises or awkwardness.

If you have any step parents or step siblings as a result of the divorce, you can surely invite them along, but it is not necessary if you are not on good terms with them.  If you choose not to invite step parents, brace yourself for a bit of a backlash from your biological parent.

If you are inviting both parents, make sure that both of them are fully aware that the other parent is coming. Though they have probably already suspected their divorcee is attending, it’s always good to make sure that you are all on the same page.

When addressing an invitation to a divorced parent, it is a good idea to write your invitations as “Mrs. Sara Brown and Mr. Bob Brown request the honor of…” as opposed to “Mr. and Mrs. Bob Brown request the honor of…”

The Ceremony and the Bridal Party

Almost all family will want to be a part of your bridal party, which may include any step parents and step siblings if you are close to them.  The key thing here is to make sure that you include everyone in your wedding in one way or another.  You want to make sure that you discuss all of your bridal party plans with biological parents and siblings before you give the plans the big stamp of approval and move forward with it.

If you happen to have a father and a step father, it can be a bit awkward deciding who is going to walk you down the aisle, especially if you are close to both.  You can discuss this with both of them, or even make a compromise and have them both walk you down the aisle if they are okay with that idea.

TIP:  Another way to avoid any sort of fights, or if you do not currently have your biological father there due to a death or estrangement, you can have your mother give you away on your wedding day.

Seating a set of divorced parents can be a bit tricky, but it can be done.  Traditionally the bride’s mother will sit in the front pew by her side, and the father is right behind the mother in the second pew.  As they are divorced, you can have them either sit at opposite ends of the front pew or one parent can sit in the front while the other sits in the second pew behind the bride.

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Categories: Budget and Basics