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Wedding Related Questions: Divorced Parents Don’t Get Along

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“How do I handle my divorced parents at the wedding? They don’t get along and I want them both involved.”

Wedding Related Questions, Wedding Planning Q & A, Dealing with Divorced Parents, Alpha Prosperity Events, Missouri City Texas Wedding Planner

Robert DeNiro and Diane Keaton play divorced parents in “The Big Wedding”

Unfortunately, this is a very real issue. Not that the parents are divorced, but that they don’t get along and now the bride or groom is concerned that there may be an ugly scene on the day of their wedding. They have experienced the arguing before and know the signs of when their parents may go at again. And to make matters worse, one parent may have already threatened that there will be some sort of emotional reaction or tantrum, if the other parent sits near them, or brings “a guest”  to the wedding. I have seen this all too often and my heart hurts because that is the last thing a bride or groom should be worrying about on their wedding day. Here are my thoughts and suggestions of how to handle this concern.

First, remember, these are your parents and they will remain your parents long after the wedding festivities are done. If you have a good relationship with them now, you will want to continue to have a relationship with them in the future, for the sake of your own growing family.

Next, try to get with each parent, separately, to listen and understand what the difficulty of your wedding day event may be for them. Be prepared, they may bring up some issues that are very real, for them, but your parent now knows that their issues have been heard. Once you have this understanding, now you can explain to each parent what your wedding day is about, how important it is to you, and how important it is for them to participate. Remind them that the day is not about them, or what happened in the past. The day is about you and your future spouse.

In your talk, discuss what role you want all the parties to play. Let them know that you want to involve a step-parent in the ceremony. It’s your choice. You may need to reassure one or both of your parents that allowing others to participate does not lessen your love for either of them and that you are not favoring one over the other.

Discuss seating arrangements for the ceremony and reception. For the ceremony, there are some traditional rules of what is expected for the seating of divorced parents. Mother of the bride or groom is generally seated on the first row and the father of the bride or groom is seated on the second row. If you are adamant about  both your parents sitting on the first row, this is something you need to discuss and prepare them for.  It is easier to bend more to their wishes for seating at the reception because there are no hard and strict rules. If one parent doesn’t want to be seated near another, you can abide by their wishes and place them on opposite ends of the room.

The key here is to communicate. Listen to their concerns but make your wishes known. People just want to be heard and feel like they are understood. When there has been open communication and expectations made clear, there is less room for misunderstandings. Your parents may not be completely happy about your choices but remember, it’s not about them. With any luck, your parents will be the mature, responsible adults that they tried to teach you to be, and your wedding day will go smoothly. You can enjoy your day as a happy bride or groom with your family relationship intact.

Missouri City Texas Wedding Planner, Alpha Prosperity Events


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