Modern families are rarely straightforward, with divorce and remarriage now very common, so you’ll often have step-parents or other family members involved in your wedding. Depending on your family situation this can cause awkwardness or bad feeling so here is a little step parent advice that relates to weddings.
Inviting new partners to the wedding
Should you invite your mother or father’s new partner to your wedding if your parents have only recently split up? This can be a difficult problem to overcome, especially if the new partner was directly implicated in the breakdown of the marriage or if only one of your parents has found a new love. Always communicate with all parties and explain your position, most people will understand your difficulties and endeavour to make things as easy as possible for you.
What you decide to do will depend on your family’s personal circumstances. You may feel it disrespectful to your mother to invite the woman your father has left her for to the ceremony, so perhaps you could compromise by asking her to the evening reception where they can easily stay out of each other’s’ way.
It is important to do what you think is right even if you feel your parents are being unreasonable. Maybe your dad is threatening not to pay for the wedding if your mum’s new partner is invited, in which case you may have to scale down your plans and foot the bill yourself if it’s really important to you that he can be there. It is your special occasion, and you should be able to invite whoever you want without any emotional pressure from outside parties.
Having two fathers of the bride
Being as close to your stepfather as your biological father is now quite common but it can make it difficult when deciding who you would like to perform the traditional duties at your wedding. Firstly, always communicate with your fathers if you are struggling to accommodate them in your plans. Unless the circumstances are particularly fragile they will both understand your situation and will do their utmost to not to spoil your celebration.
Is there any way of having the duties split between your dads? Would it be possible for one of them to give you away while the other gives the speech at the wedding? You may ask them both to walk you down the aisle if they get on well, though it may be easier to ask your mother or brother to give you away instead if they don’t.
Be careful to consider who is paying for the celebration and ask the father who is footing the lion’s share of the bill which functions he would like to fulfil. Don’t allow this to be an excuse to ignore or exclude your other dad though.
In the case of your receiving line or your top table at your reception, ensure that both, or neither, are included. Perhaps the trickiest aspect to negotiate is the father and daughter dance, and while you can easily take to the floor with both – always consider the order in which you dance with them. Maybe you could avoid this formality altogether, instead focusing on your dance with your new husband and just dance with your dads as and when the chance presents itself.