Divorced Parents: How to Handle Them At Your Wedding

Outdoor Wedding Ceremony in Maryland

Photo: Heidi Geldhauser of Our Labor of Love

Weddings bring out the best — and worst — in people. You have to diplomatically handle bridesmaids who are making you crazy, groomsmen's fashion emergencies, and, in some cases, divorced parents. No matter how bitter the split, your wedding will probably bring them together — at least for a few hours. To ease tension and sidestep problems, you'll need a plan. Here are some etiquette guidelines for doing so.

Who walks me down the aisle?
Ask your father to do the honors if you're close to him. If you have a better relationship with your stepfather, ask him to escort you. This is, of course, if your mother is re-married — if she has not, then ask her to walk you.

Who sits where during the ceremony?
That depends on your family situation. If your parents have remained friendly and neither is remarried, they may sit together in the first pew. If there's tension between them or one or the other has remarried, seat the parent who you're closer to or who raised you (and his/her spouse) in the first pew, your other parent (and his/her spouse) in the third pew.

Who gets photographed with whom?
Using index cards, write each posed photo you want your photographer to take and who should be in it. If you will be doing shots with both parents together, inform them beforehand, so no one is caught off-guard.

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