Weddings and Divorced Parents

If your parents are divorced, several difficult decisions must be made in order to accommodate both parents.

Your invitations

The parent with whom you have been living the longest should issue the invitation. The other parent is not mentioned. However, if both parents agree, the invitations may be in both names.

Introducing future in-laws to each other

Protocol dictates that the first introduction should be to the parent with whom you have been living, followed a week or so later by a visit with your other parent.

Seating at the ceremony

The bride’s mother and her immediate family (parents, husband and children) are seated in the first row. The second row is left empty. The bride’s father, after walking the bride down the aisle, sits with his present wife and parents in the third row. The groom’s family follows a similar seating arrangement.

Giving the bride away

Unless you are personally estranged from your father, it is they who, traditionally, walks you down the aisle and gives you away.

The receiving line

Traditionally, the bride’s mother stands in the receiving line and her father mingles with the guests. However, if you want both parents in the line, separate your divorced parents with the stepparents or grandparents to eliminate confusion among the guests. If you are serving a sit-down dinner, assign separate tables for each of your parents and their spouses.