Blog for Pamela’s Event Design

42-15618365It is rare, in today’s society, to have only two sets of parents.  Most brides and grooms have multiple sets.  In fact, when a minister says, “Who gives this woman in marriage.”  an entire town could stand and say, “We do!”

In a fairy tale world, all blended families are loving and unselfish, but in reality, attempting to bring the negative forces together in one accord can be one of the major stressors of planning a wedding, and of living happily ever after.

It is hurtful for a mother to sit alone, while her ex-husband walks down the aisle with his secretary, twenty years his junior.  It’s difficult to swallow our pride and invite the step-parent who has been less than supportive, or against whom we harbor bad feelings, but it is often necessary to promote peace and good will.

It is not unreasonable to meet with these relatives and in a kind, but firm way, explain that your wedding is not the time to air differences, and that you expect from them model behavior.  Don’t be unkind to anyone.  If at all possible, swallow your pride and find some sort of common ground to begin to develop and grow a friendship with that step-parent.

Do not seat adversaries at the same table!  Allow each set of parents to host their own table.  There’s no need to invite trouble by placing them in an uncomfortable situation.  This is not the time to air grievances or seek revenge.

Discuss it with your fiance, if you are uncomfortable inviting ex-girlfriends and boyfriends, or ex-spouses.

If you are serving alcohol, you would be well served not to extend an invitation to a heavy drinker.  Not so much because of how much they might drink, though their welfare should be of concern to you, but because of their behavior when they become intoxicated.

One bridesmaid had a flask of spirits tucked in her garter.  Between taking puffs of her marijuana and drinking, she was ushering groomsmen to the parking lot to enjoy fringe benefits.  The photographer had to keep sending someone to retrieve her for pictures.  She looked terrible in the pictures, and was an embarrassment to the bride.

With a little compromise, and a long hard look at your guest list, you can avoid any unpleasant incidents that could spoil your day.

Comments on: "Wedding In-laws and Outlaws" (4)

  1. These are good tips Pam. I dread the thought of my ex attending our daughter’s wedding some day. But with Nate by my side I should be OK.

  2. […] Archer from I Do Weddings explains in here article, Wedding In-laws and Outlaws, that with a little compromise, and a hard look at your guest list, you can avoid any unpleasant […]

  3. My step daughter let me know that she really doesn’t want me at her wedding. Her father will walk her down the isle and her Mother’s boyfriend will be there. I have always been respectful to her and although my feelings are hurt, I can resprct her wishes. My husband says he will not go to her wedding if I don’t. His daughter is 26 and I am 50 years old. Any comments?

    • This is an all too common problem in today’s weddings. I am sorry that your feelings are hurt. Though I am not Dear Abby, I will say that your step-daughter-in-law to be needs to come to the realization that if she wants her father in her life, this includes you. This would be the perfect time to put aside differences and begin to build a relationship with each other.
      May I suggest inviting her over for dinner and a respectful conversation with you and her father, regarding the future of your relationship and how you can work on it? If she isn’t receptive to this, give her time. Meanwhile, respect her wishes and don’t attend the wedding.

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