So your parents are divorced and your mom is NOT HAPPY that dad is planning to bring his new wife or girlfriend to your wedding. She might even be mad at you for allowing it even though you couldn't exactly say no when your dad was picking up a chunk of the tab for your big day.
Especially when the divorce is fairly recent, if your dad has a new significant other and your mom does not, she might not be happy about sharing the spotlight with another woman on her child's wedding day. Some mothers can handle themselves and keep it all together, but some cannot. You know what you're dealing with — so plan accordingly.
Some solutions are easy — have each parent host their own table at dinner and don't seat either of them with the bride and groom. Other situations take a little more finesse. Check out these five suggestions to help your mother enjoy the day:
1. Give mom her rightful spot in the limelight. She's in the first chair in the first row on your side, and dad goes into the second row with his date or new wife. If they're not married, you don't have to seat his guest formally.
2. If your mom has a male best friend, suggest that she bring him as her "date" to your wedding so that she has somebody to dance with and doesn't have to wait and hope that a polite guest or family member asks her.
3. Put together your mom's support team for her — talk to her sisters, best friends, or whomever else she loves that will be there and share your concerns. Let them know you want them to play buffer.
4. Talk to your father, especially if his new love has a penchant for attracting attention or causing the drama. He was married to your mother, so he gets it when you tell him that you're afraid she'll freak. If he loves you, he will understand and take a firm hand with his own date if he needs to do so.
5. Pay attention to your mother on your wedding day. Mom is always there for you and her love is unconditional, so many brides either ignore or take out their frustrations on her because she is an easy target on a stressful day. But if your mom is battling her own demons to be there for you, give her a little extra attention. Plan a massage together that morning. Get your pedicures together. And make sure to mention her repeatedly when the bride and groom toast and thank their guests.
Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events, a full-service traditional and destination wedding planning company and Do-It-Yourself wedding planning consulting service for DIY brides and grooms based in the Washington, DC area. Sandy is the star of TLC's reality show "Wedding Island," about her destination wedding planning company, Weddings in Vieques. Sandy's book "How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional," will be released on March 1st, but is available online for pre-orders now where books are sold.