Planning a wedding is an exciting time. However, when parents are divorced and either dating new partners or remarried, it can be stressful. Becoming involved in all aspects of the wedding plans, including those festivities typically arranged by others, such as the bridal shower and bachelorette party, will alleviate a considerable amount of tension. If the bride communicates clearly, plans effectively and exhibits an abundance of patience, the wedding will be more enjoyable for everyone.
Wedding Guest List
Giving the Bride Away
Then there is the matter of choosing who will give the bride away. With a father and stepfather, it might be awkward to choose one over the other if the bride is close to both, and especially if she is closer to her stepdad. Since it’s her day, she should choose the person that she would like to escort her down the aisle, or she could elect to walk down the aisle alone. Alternately, she could decide to have both men escort her, if they have no problem sharing this special moment.
Wedding Seating Plans
There is an accepted protocol regarding the order in which family members are seated for the wedding ceremony. Traditionally, the guests are divided with the bride’s guests on one side and the groom’s on the other. The first three rows are reserved for family members, such as the grandparents, parents, siblings and their companions or spouses. Typically, the groom’s grandparents are seated first, followed by the bride’s grandparents, then the groom’s parents and then the bride’s mother, who should be the last guest seated.
When there are divorced parents with companions or new families, this seating order and location might be uncomfortable, particularly if the relationships are strained. In this situation, the couple can ignore tradition and seat guests so that they will feel important and comfortable. It would be acceptable to commingle the guests from both sides to avoid problems.
Seating at the reception can be tricky. Allowing the parents to each have their own table and sit with other family members with whom they feel at ease will make the event much more enjoyable.
The bride and groom will have to decide how to arrange the wedding dances. If there are parents and stepparents, they will want to make certain no one feels slighted or overshadowed. This is another situation where the couple can choose to abandon tradition and skip the groom/mother and bride/father dances if they will cause hurt feelings.
Planning a wedding when either the bride or groom, or both, have divorced parents can be a challenge. However, with careful planning, the couple can navigate the entire process without a lot of stress. If that seems like too much work, they can always elope and avoid any drama, but that wouldn’t be as much fun.