Wedding2point0: Divorced Parents at your Wedding

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Divorced Parents at Your Wedding

You don't want drama at your wedding.  If your parents are fairly amicably divorced, you will be able to work out wedding protocols, ceremony processions, receiving line and seating problems by asking each of them what they are willing to do to make the wedding go smoothly.  The mother of the bride should usually be seated in the first seat in the ceremony area, and the father of the bride can certainly walk his daughter down the aisle, and sit behind his former wife, or in another row. 

In a Jewish wedding, both parents can walk their daughter/son to the front. This is not a day for the parents to revisit their own weddings/ divorces, it is the wedding of their child, and the protocol should focus on the parents' relationship to their children, not to each other.  If the parents don't wish to sit together, they can sit with their new spouses/ partners/ other relatives, on either side of the aisle, or in rows behind each other.

If the parent's separation is full of angst (still not talking to each other, upset about new partners), you'll need to speak to each parent separately and offer your 'conditions' for them being invited to your wedding.  You can always elope, or have a wedding with friends and other family, and you can remind them this is an option.  They can agree to sit on opposite sides of the aisle, at opposite tables (not at the head table) and generally manage to avoid each other at the wedding.  It's a good idea to assign relatives or friends as 'minders', to keep each faction occupied, and feeling attended to, so the bride and groom don't have to play therapist.Here's a good discussion of various scenarios, with some etiquette on how to handle divorced parents, and step-parents:

If you remind them how much you love them both, and how it important it is for them to be at your wedding, and tell them to 'let you know their decision', it should give them a platform to retain their dignity and make the right choice.  

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