Answer to question from Help A Reporter Out. "How to Handle Divorced Parents While Planning a Wedding"
If the divorced parents are still angry/unhappy at each other:
1. Establish a specific, primary goal. Happy couple? Happy parents? Happy guests? Photos? Party?
2. Tell the Master of Ceremonies for the reception to not do/say anything that would require the divorced parents (DP) to interact.
3. Make a seating chart for the first rows of the ceremony. Place people between the DP as buffers. Perhaps they would be more comfortable sitting across the aisle with the other family.
4. If DP are acting out, making demands/threats.
a. Take a deep breath
b. Remember Primary Goal
c. Address the issue immediately. Don’t wait until the wedding rehearsal. Get all emotions on the table, out in the open between parent and child. A private conversation.
d. Explain the primary goal.
e. Explain the plan to keep DP separated all day
f. If absolutely necessary, ask the DP if they can support the wedding couple on their wedding day. Be happy. Share joy and happiness with the guests. If not, tough love, hard choices might be needed.
The couple’s married life continues the day after the wedding and beyond. So will their relationship with DP. Not everything begins and ends at the wedding.
If harmony cannot be promised by the DP, their absence can be requested, even demanded.
The couple should have brilliant memories of their wedding day. One would hope a loving parent shares that desire.