For many couples, an engagement is a happy thing! You instantly go into wedding planning mode and start creating a guest list. For other couples, however, with parents that have recently split-up and aren’t necessarily on pleasant terms with each other, an engagement can bring about an instant feeling of dread. Just how the heck are you going to get them both in the same place and acting civil for an entire night? With wedding vows and alcohol being thrown into the mix? It can seem like a disaster waiting to happen, but we’ve come up with a few tips that should ensure complete civility at your upcoming nuptials

Surviving Bitter Parents at Your Wedding-Wedding Dresses,Wedding Gowns

1.) Plan your invitations accordingly. If your mother refuses to have her name in the same space as your father’s name, you’re going to have to be a bit creative. Maybe just writing it as, “Along with our parents, we would love to invite you…” would do the trick. Or perhaps your mom just doesn’t want your dad’s new girlfriend to be mentioned (fair enough). Sitting down with everyone (together or separately) will help nip any potential problems in the bud.

2.) Work that seating chart. Not only do you want to seat them far, far away from each other, but it’s also smart to seat them at a great table. Maybe your dad might be a good fit with some of your fiancé’s college buddies. He’ll be drinking and dancing in no time, and will probably forget about your mom on the other side of the room. Do the same with your mom; don’t sit her at a table with your aunt where the two of them can nitpick about your dad’s new girlfriend across the room; sit her with some of your happiest and most welcoming friends and she’ll be in a much better mood by the time the food is served.

Surviving Bitter Parents at Your Wedding-Wedding Dresses,Wedding Gowns

3.) Give your wedding party and vendors a head’s up. Make sure all the necessary people know the situation. There’s nothing more awkward than the photographer asking for a picture with your parents when everyone clearly can’t wait for the picture to be over. Maybe have a set of pictures with just your mom, then have them leave and ask one of the groomsmen to get your dad for the rest of the pictures. Plus, you can have your Maid of Honor and Best Man on the lookout for any potential problems.

5.) Stand your ground. If your parents are just refusing to get along, with your mom refusing to come if your dad is going to be there, tell her too bad. This wedding is not about them; it’s about you and your fiancé starting your lives together. Either they have to grow up and get over their feelings for each other for one night or they can both miss out on one of the biggest milestones of your life. It’s up to them. Now you focus your attention to other things, like your dress.

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