Mom, Step-Dad, Dad, and Step-Mom At Your Wedding

Posted by Dave

In theory, no matter how much your divorced parents may dislike each other, they love you more. The question is: do they love you enough more to not only behave themselves, but to put your happiness first?

Weddings are stressful, even when all family members are on good terms. The additional element of divorced parents (especially if one or both currently have “significant others”) is enough to make elopement seem like a really good idea. Here are a few more ideas that have proved their merit in blended-family nuptials.

1. Hire a wedding coordinator. Experienced professional wedding planners are valuable at any wedding. But when divorced parents are involved, they are absolutely indispensible. It is far better that they be put in the middle of any dispute than the bride or groom. Pros know the proper etiquette, have probably been through similar situations in the past, and are being well-paid to take the heat. Let them.

2. Communicate your expectations clearly. Sometimes, feuding parents simply need a timely reminder that you have no intention of letting them make their problems into your problem – not at your wedding, anyway. Get a commitment from them in advance that they will stay on good behavior – no matter what the other parental unit does to stir things up. (You might allow them to believe that the other parent has already agreed to your terms. No divorced parent wants to be seen as doing less than the other.)

3. Stay out of any squabble. Families that put the “fun” in dysfunctional know which emotional buttons to push to trigger reactions in you and others. When the hook is dangled in front of you, don’t bite! Do not respond to the stimulus, no matter how tempting it is. Instead, remind the offending parent (or step-parent) of item number 2 above – their promise not to do anything that will ruin your special day.

With luck, all your moms and dads will keep their priorities straight. But, if things get tense, just remember that you hold the ultimate trump card: visitation rights with any future grandchildren. That should snap them to attention for the duration. Good luck!


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