Where Do I Seat My Divorced Parents For the Wedding Ceremony?

Ceremony & Vows, Etiquette
rustic outdoor wedding ceremony sign

Photo: Katy Gray

Wedding ceremony traditions, such as seating and receiving lines, are tricky to navigate. In our daily etiquette post, our experts help brides-to-be answer the toughest questions.

My divorced parents are both remarried. How do I work the ceremony seating and the receiving line?

If everyone's comfortable with it, your mother and father can sit in the first row with their respective spouses. But if they need a little space between them, put Mom in the first row with her hubby, and your dad and his wife in the second row. If relations between the two parents are particularly tense, put Mom in the front row, some of her close relatives in the second (your grandparents, for example) and your father and his wife in the third. The purpose of a receiving line is to be gracious hosts and hostesses, and meet and greet your guests. Having a large group of VIPs means that the receiving line drags on, keeping everyone standing—which is not exactly gracious entertaining. So keep the line lean. Some couples, even those with intact families, choose to have just the mothers of the bride and groom in line; fathers and stepparents mingle with the crowd, greeting guests as they go.

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