Dealing with divorced parents and step-parents at your wedding

Dealing with divorced parents and step-parents at your wedding

First things first….this is YOURS and your fiance’s wedding day, not your parents! However, it can be tricky to embark on planning your wedding day if one or both of you has divorced or separated parents, especially if the break-up was painful for either party, and/or if either party has remarried or is with a new partner.

It’s important that you speak to your parents initially to gauge what their thoughts and feelings may be regarding seeing their ex-partner at your wedding. This will give you an idea of how far each of them is prepared to compromise (or not, as may be the case). When you know how they feel about this situation, it’s entirely your choice whether or not this knowledge impacts on your own decision-making about the day.

Remember this wedding day is about you and your fiance. Don’t be afraid to make it clear to all involved (including step-parents) what you expect from them on the day in terms of how they conduct themselves, and let them know that childish behaviour will not be tolerated. Tell them how important it is to you that they put their differences aside for the day, and let them know how it will make you feel if they are unable to do so. After all, you and your fiance are the children in this situation, not your parents, so don’t be scared to remind them of this too.

When you’ve got a sense of how your parents are likely to behave, discuss this with your best man and bridesmaids. It may be helpful to ask members of your party to keep an eye on your parents, and try to head off any potential clashes by distracting them or steering them away from each other on the day.

Devise a seating plan, and ensure that your parents (and their families) are kept apart. Look at which will enable you to do this with ease.

Ensure that your photographer is informed about the situation and any potentially explosive situations between your parents so that he/she avoids asking them to pose together.

It would also be a wise measure to stick to wedding party speeches only, and avoid any open-mike speeches or toasts, as innocent remarks could be misconstrued especially once the alcohol has started flowing, and the opening up of old wounds through a flippant comment could also lead to unpleasant scenes you don’t need (or want) on your special day.

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