Monday, December 22, 2008

More Divorce Wedding Etiquette: Remember Whose Wedding It Is

If you and your ex are still fuming at one another, there are bound to be glitches when you both have to share your daughter's or son's wedding day. Here are a few scenarios and suggestions:

"There is no way I will sit next to him".
That's fine. Nowhere is it written that divorced parents have to sit together.If they really can't stand each other, at the ceremony, the mother usually sits in the front row and the father in the row behind her. They can also be separated by seating them both in the front row with other relatives between them (like referees). At the reception, they can be seated at different tables,each with people they like.

What about the receiving line after the ceremony?
Do you have to tolerate your ex’s new spouse standing next to you? The receiving line format is up to bride and groom. Luckily, it is traditional that the only man in the receiving line is the groom, and this idea is the best bet for divorced parents.If both parents want to be in the receiving line but don't want to stand beside each other, then the line should go as follows: bride's mom, her new husband, groom's mom, groom's dad, bride’s dad, his new wife.

“I’m not going if he’s bringing her.”
You don’t want to threaten the kids or make them unhappy on their wedding day, but you truly can’t stand to be in the same room with your ex’s new wife since she's the one who broke up your family and threw your life into chaos. If you are adamant, chances are good that your son or daughter will bow to your wishes. The bridal couple has every right not to invite the "new better half". This is a day for family and if the kids are not close to their parent's new spouse and their inclusion will cause extra problems, then it's not worth it. Also if the bride’s father won't attend the wedding if he can't bring his wife/girlfriend, he has clearly made an unfortunate and rather stupid decision to bow out.

The main point is that the bride or groom lived through a lot of pain because of their parents’ divorce, so both parents should act like grownups, put aside their hostilities and narcissism, and try to do whatever is most important to the kids, even if that means dad has to leave his new wife at home or mom has to tolerate being in the same room with her.

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