Post # 1
My parents had a messy and hurtful divorce years ago, instigated by my dad’s serious theft. It has taken a lot of reconciliation for me to feel o.k. with him at our wedding. Now, I am wondering, what techniques did you use to successfully manage divorced parents? I don’t like the idea of a freind being their “babysitter” I am just thinking of other logistics and ways to help my mom feel special and like this is HER show and HER family, not my Dad’s. Yes I know its “My day” but anyone else with family drama knows that “my day my way” is not the rhythm we typically march to.
I am nervous, unsettled, and looking for support for how to make this work! Thank you!
Post # 2
lizziebee33 : honestly – just don’t worry about it. They are adults and they can manage to be civil for the sake of their child for a few hours. My parents are divorced and at the end of the night they danced together to their own wedding song when the band played it. If youREALLY anticipate drama just say to each of them “listen I know it might be uncomfortable to be around mom/dad, but I’d appreciate it if you could be polite and drama free for one day. If that’s not possible then please just ignore each other. This is the last I’ll say about it”.
Post # 3
I am putting my divorced parents on the opposite sides of the room and his as well. It’s your day so do not stress it to much.
Post # 4
lizziebee33 : If your parents are anything like mine, you are probably worried that even if you have a heart-to-heart with them about behaving, they might let their emotions get the best of them. Especially on a day where they are already high strung.
Here are some of the strategies I’m considering!
– Even if it feels like you are having friends babysit, consider letting one or two close friends in on the situation. It might help you relax if you know that YOU don’t have to keep an eye on them because someone else is.
– Seat your mom at the important table and your dad at a table further away. If your mom has table #1 or the table closest to head table that gets dismissed first to eat she will feel special. These things are likely less important to your dad.
-Would you be open to letting your mom give you away? If your relationship with your dad is just OK, mom might be an appropriate person to give this honor to.
-Make her feel special with a gift before the ceremony thanking her for all she’s done or an extra beautiful bouquet/crosage/hand written note. Even a hankerchief with ‘mother of the bride’ or something embroidered on it might make her happy.
-Let your photographer know ahead of time about the potential drama so they know not to stick your parents right next to each other. Also let your wedding coordinator know. These people are being paid to make sure your day runs smoothly so it’s less like having a friend babysit.
Post # 5
My parents divorced when I was 10, and for years it was pretty messy. My dad remarried (within like 3 years) and my mom has had the same boyfriend for the past 20 years. I set the tone at my high school graduation by telling them that it was going to be a peaceful day (we were all going to lunch after) and anyone who felt like they couldn’t be civil and act like an adult was not welcome to come. That basically set the bar for the rest of time. Thankfully they’ve all gotten past it and actually now can be around each other and talk and have a good time.
DH’s parents are also divorced, but get along just fine. At our wedding each parent was given their own table to host whomever they wanted at. We did a seating chart, and let them know there were 8 seats at each table and who did they want at theirs. We did a sweetheart table way there was no drama over who got to sit with us or that any one parent had more important guests at their table.
At my brother’s wedding, which was very small and mostly immediate family and a few close friends, they opted to have a head (farmhouse) table that seated them and both sets of parents. It was our mom/boyfriend, dad/wife, and SIL’s married parrents. Ironically my SIL’s parents are such assholes with no personality that our parents spent most of the night talking to each other rather than her parents…haha.
Seriously though I would talk to each of your parents and let them know that this will be a no drama event. If you’re worried about your dad make sure to tell him that his antics won’t be tolorated and if he can’t behave, he can’t come. One thing I can tell you as a wedding photographer is to make sure you key in your important vendors to the family drama (aka: photographer & planner). My stepmom is very important to me and we’re super close, so I made sure the key vendors knew that she wasn’t just “stepmom of the bride”. She’s shy and so I made sure my bridal party knew to include her and actively engage her – especially during getting ready when my mom would also be there.
Post # 6
I am currently in that same situation with my Fiance’s parents and alcohol does NOT help the situation at all so we are planning on having them sit in separate sides like moussegirl had mentioned and like lizziebee33 said let at least 2 other people know. I have my SIL and her husband keeping an eye on for FIL hes the one we are most concerned about. All you really can is tell them that they other is going to be there and the options is to act like a mature adult or to be asked to leave.
Post # 7
My SIL had a short, terrible abusive marriage long before I met DH, she had 2 kids. When her son got married they seated the 2 parents across the room from each other. She behaved like he wasn’t there. There was no question of dancing together.
Even so, her ex was still an idiot. Me, DH and his sister were sitting talking, and the ex comes up to us and makes a stupid crack. We just sat there like 3 dummies, and he walked away.