How to Handle Divorced Parents During the Wedding Planning Process

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Unbridely.com

Your entire wedding is meant to be a joyous occasion from start to finish, but divorced parents can sometimes throw a spanner in the works. I have seen it all out there in the wedding world, from divorced parents who can’t even be in the same room without a fight erupting to ones who stayed friend friends and get along just fine. If you are planning your wedding, now is the time to assess these relationships and your expectations of your parents and their current spouses. Don’t be afraid to keep your wedding planner and Officiant in the loop – great ones will be skilled at navigating and negotiating challenging relationships. Here are some tips that will help you navigate having divorced parents at your wedding:

Speak to your parents

One of the best ways to avoid drama is to speak to your parents individually prior to your wedding. Communicate your expectations so that everyone is doing their part to keep your day peaceful and happy. Discuss who will be involved in different parts of the day, including the first look and walking the bride down the aisle. This way, there are no arguments or hurt feelings later on in the planning process. If you aren’t sure how to incorporate 4 parents into your ceremony and wedding day, ask your Officiant – as I said the great ones have seen it all and will have lots of ideas for you.

There are no hard and fast rules

When it comes to deciding which parent will be involved with what, there are no distinct rules. For example, if you have a better relationship with your stepfather, it’s perfectly fine to have him walk you down the aisle instead. You could even have both fathers walk you down the aisle if they are open to it. I often have couples ask me to include a parents’ blessing before we begin the ceremony but they don’t know how that works with divorced parents – don’t worry, I’ve got the solution!

Let everyone help

In most instances, all parents will want to help out. To avoid disagreements, find a way to give everyone a job. This way, each parent feels included in your big day and there’s no reason for anyone to fight at the wedding. Often it’s the step-mother/father who are left out even though they took part in raising you and they spend the day unsure of what their role is at your wedding. Including them the same way you would include your wedding party and friends is perfectly fine and will go a long way in making sure they are part of the love and celebrations. Ask them to hand our programs, do readings, give toasts, include them in your photos…there are so many little things that will mean a lot!

Plan your photos ahead of time

Instead of things being awkward on the day of your wedding, carefully plan out family photos ahead of time. Give your photographer a clear list of who should be included in each photo so that things run as smoothly as possible. You may even want to separate certain parents by taking family photos with each at different times. Click HERE to get my list of weddings shots – it’s a great collection that will help you create your own list based on your family’s needs.

With these tips in mind, divorced parents are not something extra you need to worry about as you plan one of the biggest, most joyful days of your life.

Dealing with parental or family estrangement while planning your wedding? I wrote a blog post about this as well and many people have found it very helpful. Parental estrangement and wedding drama has all of my best tip for getting married when you might not be able to include someone the world expects should be there.

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