(Closed) Divorced parents? aka why can't adults act adult? (sorry, long vent)

posted 6 years ago in Family
Post # 3
4194 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

Ugh! 20 years- get over it! (I have divorced parents, and after all that time, you’re right, they should grow up.)

-what if FOG escorted SOG in? I realize she’s a Bridesmaid or Best Man, but that might be kind of nice. If not, he could walk in alone, or maybe escort an aunt, grandmother, etc?

-seating- what if you do a bridal party table (with SOs)? Or, put SOG with some friends, or other relatives. My parents each had a table, and my brother/nephews ended up at a table with my cousin.

It sounds like you’re doing the right thing- “we expect that they love us more than they dislike one another and expect them to act like adults.” If you have to keep repeating this, do it. 

Post # 5
9955 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

To begin with, some of this is addressed by Rules of Etiquette… so that makes it a tad easier.

Women Wedding Guests coming to the Wedding, be they related to the family or not, are usually escorted to their seats by one of the Groomsmen / Ushers (that solves the Groom’s Sister)

As the Guests are seated / or the majority have taken their seats… and the Ceremony is just minutes away…

The Groom typically enters the venue. He can walk in either on his own, with the Officiant or with his Best Man and take his place at the front. (IF he enters with the Best Man, then the Maid of Honour has the “honor” of walking alone in front of you down the aisle)

The Parents, are ALWAYS the last ones seated… before the Processional begins (with the 2 mothers last as the most honoured).  So the Father of the Groom (and his date) should take his seat, just prior to the Mother of the Groom being walked down the aisle.

In truth, the Mother of the Groom can be walked to her seat by either her now Husband, or a Groomsman / Usher.  The choice is yours / hers / theirs.

Probably, easiest if she is escorted to her seat by her Husband considering the circumstances (otherwise Step Dad is the one-man-out in this scenario where there are 2 Dads on the Grooms side)

Then the Mother of Bride is seated, walked to her seat by a Groomsman / Usher… and she is the last Guest who is seated.

Then the Processional begins… Attendants, followed by Bride and her Father.

— — —

As for the Invitations, the correct Etiquette says that if you are going to list Divorced Parents the order is ALWAYS the Mothers First… followed by the Dads.  Bride’s Family first, followed by the Groom’s.  So in your instance…

Mr. and Mrs. John Brown

request the honour of your presence

at the marriage of their daughter

Sue Brown


Mr. John Smith

son of Mr. and Mrs. Bob Jones


Mr. Paul Smith

Saturday, the twenty-third of February

two thousand and thirteen

at two o’clock

Church of the Saviour

Baltimore, Maryland


— — —

As for introducing (honouring) all the Parents at the Reception, it really would be impolite not to do so.  You can certainly skip the Receiving Line, but you really should have the DJ / MC Introduce them.

As for First Dances… nothing wrong with doing just a Father & Daughter, and Mother & Son… really no reason to do anything here “formally” in regards to your dancing with the Groom’s Dad(s) or he with your Mom.

— — —

So there you have it, some of the family drama you anticipate can be avoided totally because you can rely on Etiquette to see you thru (what Etiquette is really meant to do)

Hope this helps,


Post # 6
1141 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Seat them in opposite corners of the venue for dinner. Put dad with someone you think he may like. And put crazy aunts with MOG, again in opposite corners.

Post # 7
310 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

@soontobeMrsBoo:  That’s unfortunate that he won’t really have anyone to sit next to. I don’t have that problem with my dad. 

I feel you on the divorced parents acting immature bit though…even before I got engaged I got a lot of anxiety over my parents and their beef with each other.

The only advice that I can really give you that I’m trying to give myself is enjoy the day no matter what happens, that could very well include family drama. You’re marrying the person you’re in love with and that’s what matters. 

Post # 9
1810 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I cannot help but sympathize with you! My husband’s parents were quite the same (not as much shit talking though) but his mother even refused to go to the rehersal dinner because she would have to be in the same room as her ex and his new wife. I basically told husband that it meant a lot to me for her to be there and he needs to tell his mother to ‘suck it up for one weekend’. I did little things like made her corsage bigger than the new wife’s and I also let her choose the color of the corsage so she had ‘first choice’. I also just sat them at different tables.

The day of she frowned a lot, but no drama went down and I thanked her for being there for us.

Post # 10
11234 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

@This Time Round:  Man, I wish this helped me…at all. 

I feel you, OP. I’m worried that FI’s mom and dad (and possibly her family) are going to start shit at our wedding, although he said they were fine at his brother’s wedding. They’ve been divorced for 25 years and his mom is still really bitter about it (like, she tries to guilt us out of going to his dad’s house). Dad is remarried with two kids, although I’ve never heard him say anything bad (in fact, he asks how Future Mother-In-Law is doing), but apparently, he does when we aren’t around. Seriously, Future Mother-In-Law almost started crying at the grocery store once because “there are things don’t even know about [their] relationship!” Awkward. Honestly, they’re just going to have to suck it up and play nice because I refuse to deal with this shit.

My solution was that we just aren’t mentioning the parents at all. I basically raised myself and would rather not invite my mother and her POS boyfriend. We’re not doing a father/daughter dance or a mother/son dance (or an anniversary dance), no parents listed on the invitations or being introduced or a receiving line or having the mothers escorted. They can come in and sit just like everyone else, or more towards the end of the seating. Problem solved.

Post # 11
437 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I’m sorry to hear your frustration- I am also in a very similar position. Though FH’s parents have only been divorced for 6 years so it’s def more fresh. Future Father-In-Law got remarried 3 years ago but Future Mother-In-Law will never remarry. She still feels bitter, sad, and refuses to be cordial in any way. Future Father-In-Law left her so he would never bad mouth her or make us feel like we ever had to choose. 

One of my biggest frustrations now is that she keeps focusin on what she is going to do at the wedding and where she will be. She wants to be with FH while he gets ready but doesn’t want Future Father-In-Law to be there too. She doesn’t seem to understand that this day is not about her. 

My wedding is before your so I suppose I will let you know how it goes. I’m planning to have them sit at different tables with their own families and my motto is going to be “Grow up- I’m not going to worry about your shit on my day :)” 

Good luck!

Post # 13
924 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

My mother has been divorced from my father for 24 years…one year longer than she was married to him.  And she still talks trash about him every single day.  

I solved the problem of what do to by not inviting either of my parents to my last wedding.  My father – because I’ve not seen him in 24 years (thanks to mother) and my mother, because I just didn’t want her and her never ending negativity there. 

Same thing will happen when I marry Fiance. 

I’m afraid in this situation asking them to behave and act like adults rarely works – as their behavour regarding a simple BBQ seems to indicate. 

I suppose you could warn them both that at the first trash talking or trouble you will have them removed….

Honestly, it is this sort of thing that makes me want to have nothing to do with families.

Post # 14
731 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

you’ve got some good advice from PP’s above! πŸ™‚ the bees here are awesome.

All I can say is… I feel ya, girl. My own parents have been divorced since I was three, and they still despise each other. When my dad gave us some money to help with the wedding, his first words were “I don’t want to be seated anywhere NEAR your mother. FAR FAR AWAY.” Luckily, they don’t mention each other hatefully on a daily basis, but whenever the other comes up, they always have something evil to say. It scares me how much hate they have sometimes. πŸ™ You’d think that after 20 years of not seeing or talking to each other, they’d get over it, right? *sigh*

Post # 15
390 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I also understand OP, I feel like what you were writing came right out of my mouth.  My Fiance parents were divorced almost 15 years ago and still can’t stand to be around each other.  They are both remarried now so I thought things would be better but Future Mother-In-Law and FSMIL can’t stand to be around each other.  Future Mother-In-Law doesn’t want her to be at my showers, participate in the rehearsal, invitations had to be listed a certain way. seating and receiving lines are a big issue.  It’s truly a stressful situation!

Post # 16
437 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

@missbumblebee:  Awww I’m sorry. It’s so hard isn’t it. I’m also struggling with the fact that I connect so much more with FSMIL. She’s a lot more like my own mom whereas I feel like I have nothing in common with Future Mother-In-Law. I would never choose one over the other- it just makes it hard. I start thinking about future things too… like when babies come along. I really don’t want our kids affected by that negativity. 

Good luck to you too! Keep us posted. 

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