How to satisfy separated parents at your wedding

Mother of the bride mug

These days, it’s not uncommon for one, or even both newlyweds to have parents who are separated and this is often something that can make organising the day that little bit more complicated. Like A Practical Wedding says “When both your parents and your future in-laws are divorced, planning a wedding sometimes feels like walking through a minefield.” To help you navigate the potential pitfalls, here’s our guide to satisfying separated parents at your wedding.

Talk to them in advance

Before you even send out the invitations, sit each of your separated parents down individually and talk to them about what you want from your wedding. Make it clear that you want everyone to be there on your big day and remind them it’s about you, not them. If there’s still bad blood between exes, it’s even more important to smooth things over before the date rolls around.

Make sure everyone has a role

If you want the day to go smoothly, you need to make sure that all of your parents feel included in the proceedings. When planning the ceremony, sit down and think about the different roles your mums and dads could take on, and try not to give one parent a job that seems more important than the others. If your parents have remarried, creating a token role for their new partner will help them to feel welcome. Though you don’t want to upset your other parent, it’s a good idea to make it clear that they are all important to you.

Wedding seating


The seating plan is one of the most dangerous minefields of a wedding with separated in-laws. When making a seating plan, make sure you don’t sit exes, or new spouses, next to each other. You should also ensure that your mums and dads are sitting equidistantly away from you so that no one feels left out.


Though your biological dad will probably want to give the father of the bride speech, there are no firm rules to say he has to. Give the honour to whomever you want, whether that’s your dad, your step dad or even your mum. If you can’t decide who should make the toast, ask each of your parents to make a short speech, that way, everyone feels like part of the day.

Don’t put any pressure on them

One of the most important things to remember when dealing with divorced parents at your wedding is not to put any more pressure on the situation. Don’t expect them to get along like a house on fire just cause it’s your wedding day and don’t force them into situations they’re not comfortable with. Instead, simply let them enjoy it and make sure they know how much you appreciate them being there.

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