Let’s Talk About How to Handle Divorced Parents on Your Wedding Day.

I recently attended the wedding of one of my closest friends from college, Brittany. It was a stunning day. Everything was planned to perfection, and my friend seemed to be an expert on everything, including dealing with divorced parents on her wedding day. When we, the girls at the Wedding Shoppe, were talking about divorced parent etiquette and planning a wedding with divorced parents, we decided to ask around and get some real world advice from brides who have been there.

Photos by TGB Photography

Planning a wedding with divorced parents: The invitations.

Most wedding invitations say ‘Mr. and Mrs. Bride’s Last Name invite you to the wedding of their daughter’ or something similar. But what do you do when your parents aren’t together anymore? After consulting some friends and the mistress of all things etiquette, Emily Post, the consensus was to state something like: ‘The family of’ or ‘The parents of’ Jane Smith request your presence at her marriage to John Doe. (“Jane Smith” and “John Doe” are, of course, fictional names used here for demonstration purposes.) Proper divorced parent etiquette calls for discretion. It’s important to not draw attention away from the couple getting married by listing all the hairy details in the first two lines of the invitation.

Photos by TGB Photography

Divorced parent etiquette at your child’s wedding.

Above all, remember who the wedding is about. The wedding is not an event to highlight hurt feelings, animosity, or dirty laundry about a broken union; it’s an opportunity to celebrate the sweet love of the bride and groom. In some cases, it’s not easy being a divorced parent at a child’s wedding. There is nothing wrong with that—just remember to keep the focus where it should be. It’s only one day and you love your child.

Photos by TGB Photography

How to handle divorced parents on your wedding day.

After chatting with my friend Brittany about her wedding day, she had three really great pieces of advice for other brides dealing with divorced parents and planning a wedding with divorced parents.

- If you have any family members who don’t get along (such as a new girlfriend or boyfriend), make sure the conflicting parties each have their own unique projects to work on. Plan ahead.

- If there is going to be any weirdness or awkwardness with photos, prep your photographer! If everyone, including your photographer, is in on the details, it makes it a lot easier for them to help with the process.

- Most importantly, find ways to make sure each parent is appreciated and honored. Sometimes you forget that this day is just as important to them as it is to you.

The most important thing to remember when dealing with divorced parents or planning a wedding with divorced parents is to take a step back and put yourself in their shoes. It’s a huge day for you, but it’s also the day that they send their child into a new life, and that’s a lot to handle. Be sensitive and patient. Enjoy your day—and the people who are a part of it. A huge thanks to my dear friend Brittany and her new studly husband Pat! Brittany is also a killer wedding photographer. Check out her work at Beautiful Era Photography & Design.

Leave a comment

Amy Ottoson
May 16, 2019 07:01

Such valid info for making a potentially awkward situation manageable!

Sarah
May 16, 2019 07:01

My parents got divorced when I was 27. It has made it difficult especially during the planning portion. Even though they remain friends, our family dynamic is so different. Thank you for the great article.

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