October 14, 2010
He finally proposed, but as you begin to plan, you have concerns about how your divorced parents will behave towards each other on your special day. Here are a few suggestions that may help make your wedding day as special as you have dreamed without any family dramas or confrontations.
As soon as you announce your wedding plans, meet with both parents (together, if possible) and communicate your concerns about possible clashes between them. Remind them that this day is very special to you and your fiancé and they just have to get along for one day. At the very least, explain that you expect them to be civil to one another and maintain a “respectful front” with your wedding guests.
Talk with them, in detail, about your expectations for your wedding day and how you would like them to participate in it. To ensure a smooth running of your day and to avoid confusion or misunderstanding let them know this information as far in advance as possible. Although it is your day, be sensitive to your parents’ apprehensions and try to come up with compromises which address both of their concerns.
During the wedding ceremony, if your parents are civil to each other, seat them together in the front row. There are no rules, however, that state that divorced parents must sit together. So if you think this might be awkward and that they would be more comfortable sitting apart, either seat them in the front row with other relatives in between, or ask your Mom to sit in the front row and your Dad in the row behind.
Another person you should speak with, before the wedding day about your family situation is your photographer. Let s/he know that your parents are divorced. This will greatly assist the photographer in arranging the family photos and photo groupings. And don’t forget to speak with both parents about the group photos so that you have advance warning if a family or group photo is unacceptable or uncomfortable to both or either of them. To avoid an awkward situation on the day of your wedding, it is important that decisions regarding family photos be given to your photographer well in advance.
The wedding of a child is a very emotional event for most parents. An open and honest dialogue with your divorced parents will greatly ease the tension, remove the uncertainty and outline the expectations so that all parties can celebrate your special day.
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