Top Tips Tuesday… How to deal with conflicts in choosing your seating arrangements & guest list… coping with divorced parents.
The fine truth is that, no matter who you are… choosing your wedding guest list is going to be hard work, and possibly cause a little, or a lot of heart ache. But when the factor of divorced parents, or family come’s into play, it becomes alot harder…
Try not to worry: Brides and grooms, and their parents (and many more family members, and friends), have been battling this one out forever, and their is no easy way of dealing with it, but of course there are ways around it, and people who you can talk to for advice.
Here’s our guide to making the guest list work, and dealing with some conflicts that are faced by many when planning their wedding. Today for our Top Tips we are focusing on how to deal with divorced parents, for many this is a raw, and terrible experience – and when it comes to planning your wedding can cause huge difficulties.
Weddings are (to some) so difficult when you’ve got divorced parents as although divorce isn’t uncommon, there are so many things that your parents are expected to do on your wedding day from the wording on the invitations, to the seating on the table plan. And, by no means is this easy, or are you meant to know exactly how to deal with it. At the end of the day every situation is different, and so is every family.
The earlier you can talk about who you want at your wedding, the more time you give your divorced parent to adjust to seeing ex in-laws they may not have seen for years. At the same time, if there have been cut offs, it’s important to tell both parents who is NOT, or who is being invited to avoid a drama. If you think of your wedding guest list as a tension filled meeting, or incident waiting to happen, then it is up to you to let the people know how you are feeling, as see if you can reason with them.
If your parents have been divorced a long time and have a good, or Ok relationship, you might not have anything to worry about. Plenty of divorced parents get on fine, or at least can do for the wedding, and can be seated right next to each other – sometimes even with new spouses all in the same row. If this is the case, then brilliant!
Table plan – so if this is still not quite resolved, If you don’t know who to have on the top table, or if you just don’t want it to be a focus point on the top table. Potential solutions could be just having the bridal party on the table, with nearest and dearest, or even just the two of you on a sweetheart table. Who said you had to go with tradition…
Speeches – Again, you do not have to go with the tradition here! If you don’t want, say your father to do a speech, then whats to say that your mother might not want to do one? Or, if you aren’t happy with speeches at all, then ditch them! Just because of the whole aspect of ‘Tradition’s’, doesn’t mean that you have to have them. Forget what people think, at the end of the day it is your wedding, so you can do it your way!
Photographs – Whether your parents are still best friends or are barely civil to one another, you’ll want to arrange for pictures with your individual families first and foremost. So, put those at the top of the list. The key to having a successful, happy and respectful family photo session lies, again in the communication that must occur before the wedding day! Fingers crossed these will be done easy peasy, and your wishes will be respected by all members of your family.
For situations that are a little less friendly, you may want to skip the combined family pictures and instead focus solely on taking photos with each individual family i.e mum, and dad seperately. Then combinations of sets of parents (the two of you with your mum with your groom’s parents, then with your dad with your groom’s parents, etc.).
Your wedding day is about you and your other half, regardless of any family tensions. It is your day and so ultimately, regardless of who is financially contributing to your day, it remains your decision which roles your family, and those close to you hold on the day, and ultimately who is invited.
Be open and honest with your family about the situation and your expectations – this way there will be no surprises, and hopefully with a bit of luck everyone will get along well for your special day.
We would love to hear from anyone in similar situations. And, I’m sure our lovely readers would love to hear too!
Have a lovely day x