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Wedding Q&A: How Do I Handle Seating Divorced Parents at the Ceremony?

During the first planning meeting your Event Specialist will always discuss who will be a part of the formal seating before the bridal party processional.  Sometimes this is the most difficult part of the planning process, especially if parents are divorced.   In fact, one wedding I planned not only were parents divorced and remarried on both sides,  several grandparents were also divorced and remarried.  Pretty complicated!


Most of the time, parents get along or at least resolve to be amiable for the sake of the wedding.   But decisions still have to be made about where will everyone sit.   Who gets to sit on the front row?  If dad isn’t remarried, but has a significant other, do they walk in together or are just seated in advance?  And if parents don’t get along, what then?


The best advice I offer is to have these discussions with your family ahead of time.  Don’t wait until the rehearsal for your step-mom and dad to find out they are seated on the second row.  Emotions are high right before the wedding, no matter what.  Let everyone know the game plan well before the wedding day so there are no surprises and you can settle any disputes or disagreements that may arise.


While there are general “wedding protocols” and etiquette, family dynamics vary for each wedding so I always err on the side of what works best for each couple.  This will make the wedding day less stressful  for everyone and ensure your special day is filled with wonderful memories.




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