Divorced Parent Etiquette at Your Wedding: 3 Common Issues
Here are 3 of the most common issues that arise from divorced parents: This can be quite the predicament, especially if you’re closer to your stepdad and have lived with him longer than your father. There’s no right answer to this one, but here are a few thoughts to consider. If your fa
Here are 3 of the most common issues that arise from divorced parents:
Who walks you down the aisle? Your father or your stepdad?
This can be quite the predicament, especially if you’re closer to your stepdad and have lived with him longer than your father. There’s no right answer to this one, but here are a few thoughts to consider. If your father is paying for the wedding, it would be rude to not include him in the walk down the aisle. The start of a new phase in your life isn’t the time for pettiness and old dramas and hurt feelings. If there are reasons that either your father or stepdad shouldn’t be included in the wedding, by all means you shouldn’t invite them. But if everything is amicable, look for solutions that uplift everyone. Have both men walk you down the aisle, or walk yourself.
How do you handle it if your parents can’t be in the same room? Do their new spouses only make it worse?
You might need to sit down with both of them and lay down the law. If they can’t play nice, their priorities are out of whack and they should stay away. It can’t be one of the happiest days of your life if your parents won’t stop arguing. Do what you can to keep contact at a minimum, and yes, spouses are invited. If your parents are not able to occupy the same or adjacent pews, have your father sit on the groom’s side with his new wife. If the main problem is their respective new spouses, have your parents talk to them on your behalf. Now is not the time for divorces to get rehashed. Tell everyone to put on their grown-up pants and endure each other for a few hours.
What do you do if your father is paying for the wedding and your stepmother feels it is within her right to assume the ‘mother of the bride’ planning role?
It’s not unusual for a stepparent to be uncertain about their role in helping you plan your wedding. Especially if they have been married since you were a kid, this is a big day for them too, and most of the time they just want to lend a hand. Find things for them to do that will make them feel included and appreciated. But other times, often when money is involved, a new spouse might take on a role that they shouldn’t. If your mother has an active role in your wedding planning, your stepmom might not appreciate her husband’s ex-wife controlling so much of where her husband’s money is going. If necessary, talk to your father about his wife’s behavior. Be clear, honest, and as diplomatic as possible.
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