Post # 1
My FI’s parents have been divorced for a very long time both and remarried for a long time but still hate each other and can barely be in the same room together. I’ve already talked to the photographer about photographing them separately (1 set before ceremony and 1 set after) but what about some of these other things?:
Ceremony- thinking about just telling them ahead of time which side to sit on (we’re not doing bride/groom sides). they can sit opposite sides in a good row. How does it work for them going down the aisle? My parents are fine.. but his can’t even be within several feet of one another. So his parents can’t be standing in line waiting to go down the aisle. I want them nowhere near me because of this. What to do?
Reception introductions – My DJ has a list for all parents to be introduced. Is that normal to introduce parents? Anyway, they won’t be civil even standing near each other waiting to go in–much less standing on the dancefloor after being introduced. Nix this altogether? Not fair to my parents though.. or could we do a seated introduction? DJ just says their names and they stand up when named called to be recognized (from a very safe distance from one another)?
Thanks for any suggestions! Please don’t suggest saying “talk to them before to tell them it’s not about them and they must be civil” because nope, they are too immature to handle it! as seen from events in the past.
Post # 3
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
Sorry you have to deal with their immaturity. I would ask your parents to be a buffer between his sets of parents and yes, talk to them ahead of time to request that they avoid each other as much as possible.
I would have ushers seat them on opposite sides of the venue during the ceremony (do assigned seating for the parents and grandparents since I assume you will want them in the front row anyway; let the rest of the guests sit on either side.)
Do assigned seating for parents at the reception so you can again seat them on opposite sides of the venue. I wouldn’t have the DJ introduce them unless you use your parents again as a buffer.
Otherwise you only have two other options: 1) elope so you don’t have to deal with any of the parents; or 2) don’t invite one or both sets of his parents since they cannot behave and will likely embarass you and themselves at the wedding.
Post # 4
Not certain what you mean by seating, but both mothers generally get dibs on front row, and then if not married, fathers sit at mothers discretion in their row or behind. If fiance lived with dad while growing up, reverse.
I would skip intros.
Post # 5
They are adults, they can sit together at the ceremony and be introduced at the reception for their son’s sake for just one night. My parents did it, and they went through a nasty divorce. But they got along just for their kids sakes. They wiill or should know how to act in situations like that, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it.
Post # 6
Yeah we’ve got divorced parents here too… my fiance’s parents divorced and both remarried… and our bridal table holds 10 people maximum… we have 2 attendants each… so that’s one set of parents per bride/groom… and he has 2 sets. My parents called me last night demanding they get to sit at the bridal table and FI will just have to ‘choose’ between his mum and her partner and his dad and his partner, or else they will just have to sit together for the meals, but they dont WANT to sit together. Argh! so now we have to boot 2nd BM and GM to a ‘normal’ table… wtf much!
Post # 7
I’m sorry you’re dealing with this! What have they done to each other that is so bad they can’t even be civil at their son’s wedding?
I don’t think it’s compulsary for parents to be introduced at the reception, so if you’re worried that may be an issue, it can be scrapped pretty easily. In my experience, it’s usually just the bridal party that get introduced. I also think your fiance should sit down with each of his parents and let them know about these concerns. Perhaps create a rule where, if either of them start any fuss, they will be asked to leave. They are old enough to know that this behaviour is unacceptable and that it will not be tolerated by you or your fiance.
Post # 8
Remember this may not be a situation for your wedding but, also potentially for every big event in your lives you would like them to attend. My parents are divorced and have issues being civil at times,particularly my mother. Before Thanksgiving a couple years ago, I gave them an ultimatum, either act like adults and be civil or never be invited to family events again. It has worked well so far. Your wedding planning shoul not have to revolve around accommodating their childish behavior and their participation should be a reflection off their involvement in your lives. It may be harsh, but maybe your fiancé letting them know that you are not willing to continue to deal with the situation will knock a little sense into them.
Post # 9
@WeddingInVegas14: Remember this may not be a situation for your wedding but, also potentially for every big event in your lives you would like them to attend.
This is very true! What are they going to do at the birth of grandchildren and birthday parties and such?
Post # 10
I wish it was easy to just tell them to suck it up, and be mature on their son’s wedding day, but sadly that’s not always the case with divorced parents.
My FI’s parents divorced about 14 years ago, but the divorce took about 10 years to happen with a lot of bitterness from all sides amongst many people. However, as we will be having a traditional Jewish ceremony, his parents are actually standing up at the chuppah with us. They were able to be civil at his sister’s wedding, so we’re hoping they’ll be civil at ours. We’re also hoping that FMIL doesn’t want her husband up there as my FI has no warm feelings to him (doesn’t even like calling him stepfather) and doesn’t want him to have any honourable positions at our wedding.
We were a little worried about introductions, since I felt weird giving them 2 moments to shine, while my parents are rewarded for their 30+ years of happy marriage with being overshadowed at their only child’s wedding. So, we decided we’ll have all the parents introduced together and enter all at once. Basically as “Introducting the parents of the bride Mr. and Mrs X, and parents of the groom Mrs. Y, escorted by Mr. Z (her new husband), and Mr. A, (escorting Miss B, if he is with anyone at the time or wants one of his close female friends)” With his parents coming in on either side of my parents.
If his parents can’t be civil for one evening to celebrate their son’s happiness, than I would say just introduce them from their seats, and if the ceremony rows are long enough, seat them in the same row with enough important buffer people between them (ie. grandparents, parents of FG or RB if applicable, god parents, etc.) It keeps them further apart than one behind the other, without having to make your parents suffer.
Post # 11
Thank you all — we’ll see how this goes!