What to Do When Your Divorced Parents Don't Get Along

Etiquette, Moms

Your wedding day is about bringing two families together — you just never imagined the two families you'd be (forcing) to join would be your mom and your dad. "I think every bride whose parents divorced will feel an understandable fear as her wedding day approaches," says licensed marriage therapist Alisa Ruby Bash. "And in situations where her parents don't get along, there are even more concerns, such as how to make the whole experience positive, cordial and comfortable for everyone."

So to hit that positive, cordial mark — and get through your big day with parents who can't seem to stand each other — here's your action plan:

Remember, you're not responsible for your parent's happiness.
"Meditate on this, journal, use it as your mantra, talk about in therapy, and whatever else it takes for you this concept to truly sink in," Bash says. "No matter how hard you try, you will never be able to please everyone all the time. So, decide to do your best, let it go and then focus on your happiness."

See More: Three Ways to Improve Your Marriage Today

Have a heart-to-heart with both parents.
"Explain that you understand their feelings, but you just ask for peace and for civilized behavior at your wedding," Bash says. "Start having this conversation way in advance so they have time to work on their feelings and process them."

When it comes to who walks you down the aisle, do what feels right for you.
"There are no easy answers, and no right or wrong," says Bash. "Some people choose to have neither parent walk them down the aisle so no one feels slighted. But in cases where divorced parents are civil, it can be very touching to have them both walk you down the aisle."

Give a Subscription to Brides Magazine as a Gift

Get personalized planning advice, exclusive offers and must-read wedding news.

Thank You
for Signing Up!

Check your e-mail inbox for the latest updates from brides.com