What do you do when your father and stepfather each has his heart set on walking you down the aisle? What if your biological parents refuse to be in the same photograph? Drama surrounding divorced parents can put a damper on any day, let alone the big one but you don't have to stress out.
'My Mum can't stand my Dad's partner because she effectively broke up their marriage. Mum says she won't attend the wedding if “she’s” there, but Dad says he'll pay only if she’s is invited.'
Suggestion: Your Mum may still be living in the past and having a hard time moving forward, while your father is getting on with his life which could seriously resent. Could she still be harbouring thoughts of a reconciliation?
In a situation like this, in which someone is going to get hurt, we've got to side with Mum. First, if you can, take control of the finances, which gives you power over the guest list. If neither of them will concede, invite each parent to attend without a date & ask for one day could they please respect you and your husband & be civil to each other as it’s your day – not theirs! There’s nothing wrong with some straight talking when it’s required.
How do I choose between my biological father & my stepfather?
'I'm close to my biological father, but I adore my stepdad. Who should walk me down the aisle?'
A biological father will always has a special place in your heart. It's natural to love both of them and to be torn. Whatever you decide, talk openly to them about it communication is key here in preventing unnecessary hurt feelings.
Suggestion: Have an open and honest conversation with each man and find out who this honour means more to. If you give the privilege to your stepfather, let your father have the father-daughter dance or allow him to give the first toast at the reception. If both of them are equally interested in giving you away, you could give each of them an arm and walk down the aisle as a trio! You could always stroll down the aisle by yourself and give each of the fathers a different role to play at the ceremony…….
Who Does The Asking??
'My fiancé and I each have two sets of parents. What's the best way to word our wedding invitation? Do we have to list all eight of them?'
Goodness no! Remember that a wedding is a family affair it's not just about the bride and groom. Listing all the names is not appropriate, but acknowledging your families is important.
Suggestion: Putting that many names on the invitation would not only confuse your guests, it would also point out the complications in your family history which you don't want to focus on. Keep things simple and go with your name and your fiancé's only. For example: 'Samantha Jones and Gabriel Aubrey request the pleasure of your company at their wedding' OR 'The families of Samantha Jones & Gabriel Aubrey request the pleasure of your company at their wedding.'
'How do I handle the table seating when my parents aren't capable of being civil to one another?'
Don’t make a bad situation any more explosive or it will blow up in your face & you don’t want that memory from your Wedding. Your parents are still dealing with their divorce conflict, so be considerate and respect their desire to be separate. Seating them at different tables allows them more space, which makes it easier for them to focus on your wedding rather than on their own discomfort.
Suggestion: Reserve the head table for you, your groom, and the bridal party, and have each of your parents host a table with his or her spouse, family, and friends.
The First Dance – Who Too Chose? Help!
'Who do I dance with during the father-daughter song—my biological father, whom I love but have never really spent a lot of time with, or my stepfather, who's generously paying for the entire wedding?'
This can be an awkward one! Each of your fathers wants to feel special and it's up to you to make that happen. With some consideration and a little effort, you can include both of them.
Suggestion: One idea is to balance their roles. If one is walking you down the aisle, ask the other to join you for the first dance. Alternatively, you could change partners halfway through the dance.
Editor: Hope this helps!