You’ll be surprised how much parents are willing to give up when it comes to their making sure their child has a perfect wedding day. I know of couples who have been at daggers for years, but who will come together to give a child a very special gift, by being parents together if only for a day. If this is to happen, then it is up to you to ensure that any partner is also taken care of that day, and not left out in the cold. Perhaps the help of a cousin or close friend can be enlisted?
The golden rule for the smooth running on “the day” is that everything is discussed in good time before the event (that really does go for everything you’re planning!) Don’t get all British and avoid facing up to issues, they will only raise their head on the very day you don’t want them to. At all costs embarrassment must be avoided by ‘grasping the nettle well in advance’, and if your father wants to bring along his new wife and this is against the expressed wishes of your mother, then a decision must be made, and notice given, early on in the planning stage.
So what are you to do if one parent will not attend if a former spouse wants to bring a partner? What if you have to decide who will “give away” the bride – a father not really involved over the years, or a loved stepfather? Where will everybody be placed in the photographs or in the table plan? The first step is to talk to the parent you’re closest to. Discuss your problems and air your worries, see if weeks of worry can be banished in just one conversation.
If a mother or father begins to lay down the law about who plays a major part and who does not, it may be time to say that although you can understand their position, it is your wedding day and you want it planned in such a way. If a parent finds it impossible to bend at all, then sadly it must be their loss. Your wedding day is not a day for old grievances to be reopened. So be up front with all the people who will be affected and tell them what you have planned in the greatest detail.
The day may be hard for divorced parents. Perhaps they will remember the hopes and joy on their own wedding day, and the sadness of the dream shattered. But, I repeat, this is your wedding day and a time for looking forward. Good luck!