Weddi-quette Wednesday!

Even though I am all about weddings and the reason for them- marriage. I have to be sensitive to the fact that some people do have parents who are divorced, remarried, ect. In today's society this is a very prevalent issue. Sometimes this can be a super sticky situation. I am extremely blessed, not only have my parents been together for over 26 years, they are also the most wonderful example of a happy, healthy marriage. I really look up to them and can only hope that I can follow in their footsteps when it comes time for my marriage. So what is the etiquette if you or your spouse does have divorced parents? Lets go through some steps to ensure your day still runs smoothly and that the focus stays on your story, not your parents or in laws.

  • Invitations- Assuming that both of your parents will be printed on the invitation you would write it Mr Frank Smith and Mrs Anne Smith request your presence.... As opposed to Mr & Mrs Smith
  • If you are estranged from a parent, but would like to invite them, I suggest a phone call first. That's a pretty big step you're taking and you're probably going to want to talk it out. That being said it's YOUR wedding, so its YOUR choice whether or not you'd like them there. Don't let anyone else sway your decision on that one, it could make or break your big day.
  • OK, one of the more awkward issues to deal with is who will walk you down the aisle. Assuming that you and your Dad are close, that's probably who will walk you down the aisle, no harm no foul. Things start getting iffy when you're close with both your father and step father, if they're on good terms they might be OK to both walk you down the aisle. If you don't have a relationship with your Father, there are always tons of other options. There is no rule about who, specifically, needs to walk you down the aisle, its just an important person in your life that feels comfortable giving you away.
  • Ceremony seating- typically the brides parents sit on the left side, in the front row, the mother of the bride sits on the aisle (better view to watch her little girl walk down the aisle). Its more then OK if your parents both sit in the first row, together or apart, or they can be in separate rows completely. Just ensure the ushers know who is sitting where, to avoid any awkward moments.
  • The reception is where things get a little be trickier. The key here is constant communication, ensure that everyone knows what is being asked of them, where people are sitting, who is dancing with who, who is making which speech. Make sure your wedding planner knows the situation as well.
  • Just to keep up with the whole communication aspect of the wedding, if your parents really aren't on great terms, ensure each of them knows the other is coming and what their roles will be. I'm sure their not stupid and could guess that they will be seeing each other, but a heads up never hurt anyone. Plus you'll want to tell your Mom that your Dad is walking you down the aisle and perhaps she will be standing with you in the receiving line. Maybe they'll make a speech together, separately or with your step-parents. As for photos, you could ask what every bodies comfort level is and go from there. Just make sure to communicate (are we getting sick of that word yet?) with the photographer in terms of all of this information! Whatever the case may be, make sure everyone is aware of what is needed of them :)
At the end of the day, of course, you just want everyone to be comfortable and have a good time. Your parents should be able to put aside their differences for one night! Just remember, make the decisions based on what you and your spouse think the right thing is and stick to that!

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