You Want Me to Sit Where?

Authored by: Rinette Emerson
January 28, 2015

Your wedding day can be everything you’ve dreamed of, even with “complicated” family backgrounds. But it does require planning, co-operation and open communications. Here are a few suggestions to help you navigate through a potentially explosive mine field.

If your parents are divorced but still friendly, or at least civil, the only decision to be made is whether or not to sit them at the same table. Our advice – don’t. They will probably enjoy the evening more if they sit with friends and family members at different tables.

If you have a dad and a step-dad, who escorts the bride to the front? Usually the birth father, but nothing’s etched in stone. After you and your fiancée have decided what you would like, speak with both your birth father and step-dad and tell them your preference. Hopefully, they will respect your decision.

Wedding day can also be difficult for the bride’s step-mom. All those special mother-daughter photos can leave her feeling left out. Talk with your step-mom and tell her that you want her to be part of your special day. Ask her to help you with some shopping, arrange some of the reception details, and most importantly, make sure that you get some special photos with her alone. And don’t forget your step-siblings. If children are invited, it is quite a snub to leave out the children of dad’s new wife. 

Divorced yet friendly parents of the groom are easier to accommodate, as they have less visible roles in the ceremony. Many times it’s as simple as seating them at separate tables and making sure they all get sufficient photos taken with the newlyweds.

If divorced parents are less-than-friendly, tell them what to expect and what is expected of them. If they know the plans for your rehearsal, ceremony, and reception, they will be less apprehensive and more comfortable in dealing with “those moments” that inevitably occur between ex-spouses.

Unfortunately, some families just can’t pull themselves together, even for a family wedding celebration. In which case, you need to make some difficult decisions. Whatever you do, don’t pressure a parent to attend or invite a parent without inviting their new partner.

Keep the lines of communication open, and everyone will enjoy the celebration with smiles intact!

As always, follow along at our blog.  We post lots of content that will help you create your perfect, hopefully stress-free, wedding day.

Go, check out our Tips and Suggestions and we’ll catch up with you next time!

About the Author: Rinette Emerson

Prior to Enduring Promises, Rinette worked with clients on strategic communications, online development programs, corporate branding and helping clients “get found” online. After officiating her first wedding, many years ago, Rinette was hooked – and now she is a sought after wedding Officiant. A little-known fact about Rinette…she is an amazing artist! You can follow her on LinkedIn.


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