Post # 1
So my parents were married for almost 30 years, and then got divorced. They started the divorce in summer 2005, but only finalized everything in winter 2009 (oh yeah, and were still living together throughout this all… awkward!), so it’s still really raw for everyone.
Because of this, I don’t really know how to deal with the family issues at the wedding. My mom is now in a semi-serious relationship with a guy I haven’t met (my brothers have but I don’t see my mom regularly… oh yeah, and the guy is my cousin’s cousin). My dad is single. A lot of his family will be in attendance, and they don’t want to talk to my mom b/c of how she treated him over the past 5 years. On my mom’s side the only family coming is her cousin (who is also cousins with her bf)… thanks to the divorce there’s been a good amount of estrangement. 🙁
So the main issues are…
1. My mom asked my brother to ask my dad if he’d feel uncomfortable with her Boyfriend or Best Friend present at the wedding. He said he’d feel a bit uncomfortable but wouldn’t know about his level of discomfort until the day of. Well, her BF’s RSVP came back as a yes. So potential awkwardness.
2. I’ve never met my mom’s Boyfriend or Best Friend. We don’t have a good relationship to start, and my brothers don’t like the Boyfriend or Best Friend. I feel really awkward that the first time I’ll meet my potentially future stepdad is at my wedding. Do I have to include him in family formal pictures? Or can I just tell her that we’ll take pics of me & my brothers and my dad, and then me, my bros and my mom? I don’t want him being introduced or perceived as a father figure while he’s the biggest stranger to me at the wedding.
3. At one point we wanted to have all of our parents at one table. FI’s parents aren’t too keen on my mom (bc of how she’s been treating everyone) and my dad & mom would be miserable sitting together at the wedding. Should I just have one table of FI’s parents and some of his family, one of some of my dad’s family, and one of some of my mom’s family?
FWIW, my mom has been completely uninvolved in the wedding planning. We barely talk to bringing this stuff up to her is pretty much a no-go.
Post # 3
Wow- complicated! So in response to your main points: 1) Not much you can do about the awkardness since mom’s boyfirend is coming, hopefully your dad can just enjoy the day. 2) I would not include him in family pictures- hopefully your mom had no such expectation! But if the photographer took a few pictures of your mom and him, that might suffice and appease your mom. 3) Separate tables. – Good luck!
Post # 4
My FI’s parents had a nasty divorce many years ago and have not seen each other since. They will both be at the wedding, but we are seating each of his parents at separate tables surrounded by their own family and friends. (My parents will be at yet another table with their family/friends.) I think this is probably the best seating situation for you as well, given what you have described…
Post # 5
I’m sorry you have to deal with this!! Personally, I would find a way to ask the Boyfriend or Best Friend to not come. It’s already going to be tense between your family and there’s no need for the “rebound” guy to be in the pictures. Your wedding is about you and your FH starting a life together, your parents’ drama needs to be put on the backburner so that each of them can celebrate your day. It will be very hard to do that with the Boyfriend or Best Friend around.
Post # 6
My FI’s parents divorced over 10 years ago. FI’s sister hates their dad. So our seating arrangements will be as follows;
Fiance Dad + Stepmom, Stepsister + SO, Stepbrother + SO
Fiance Mum + wife, Fiance Sister + Husband, Fiance Uncle+fam
Hopefully at opposite sides of the building.. my family in between, and Future Sister-In-Law already promised me she would be on her best behaviour.
I think maybe mentioning to your parents seperately that you really appreciate them being able to share your special day and that you’re so glad they’re both willing to be in the same place at the same time without incident means a lot to you, might help. And definitely, definitely don’t sit them near each other!!
Post # 7
If you REALLY don’t think you can ask your mom not to bring him, I would at least try to meet him before the wedding. Even if it’s brief, that will help make it less awkward at your wedding. He shouldn’t be in the family pictures, and I’d set up separte family tables (can you put Mom, Boyfriend or Best Friend and brothers at one table? My parents have been divorced since 1975 and we STILL can’t let them sit at the same table, so we’ll have separte tables at our wedding).
I would consider talking to your mom, explain that the divorce is still pretty fresh for everyone in the family and that while you are looking forward to meeting her new Boyfriend or Best Friend, you’d really rather he not come to the wedding (and then you could schedule a lunch with them sometime near the wedding). But obviously, you know your mom, and if that’s not possible then just let him come to the wedding and maybe assign one brother to the task of minimizing the drama associated with it by keeping mom and dad separated.
Post # 8
Thanks for your comments! I won’t be able to meet him beforehand, since I’m in California and they’re in NY. They’ve been dating for a while (I think before the divorce was finalized) but she never mentioned him to me – only my brothers did. I’ll definitely have to separate them, just have to figure out how (since my brothers will likely be at the head table).
Post # 9
Yeah, My FI’s parents HATE each other. They have been divorced for 5 years and barely could stand being together when his sister graduated from high school a couple of years ago. I still have yet to figure out how we are going to make it work out but I got quite a while yet.
1) Not much you can do since you already invited him. Personally I think that is really mature of you that you even thought of inviting him. Your father is an adult and although I am sure it is going to be somewhat awkward I am sure he will push that aside and be there for you on your wedding day.
2) That sucks you can’t meet him at all before hand? How many days are they flying in before the wedding? Maybe you could catch a quick lunch with them or something? Also I would not include him in the family photos. I highly doubt your mom expects it (esp. since you haven’t met him before) and it will keep things from becoming more awkward between your mom and dad.
3) I think if everyone isn’t getting along, sitting people at table with people they get along with is key. It will just make the night less awkward from them and much less stressful for you.
Hope that helps!
Post # 10
I found out today that my mom’s coming up 2 days before the wedding, but her bf isn’t getting there until the morning of. So yeah, I’m not actually even seeing him until I walk down the aisle! I thought I’d get to see him at the rehearsal dinner to reduce some day-of awkwardness. Oops
Post # 11
ugh. i’m sorry.
we have the same issue except its my FI’s parents (and actually its his stepdad who she just divorced but stepdad basically raised FI). I don’t know how we’re going to handle it all.
It looks like you’ve gotten some good advice here though. I agree that you don’t have to include him in photos.
Unfortunately, we’ve actually met mom’s new Boyfriend or Best Friend and he’s the goofiest guy on the planet, with the thick southern accent taboot. Instead of stressing about not meeting him beforehand, I get to stress about how he’ll act around my family while the newly-divorced stepdad watches from the next table over.
Maybe its a blessing that you’re not meeting him first….think of it that way.