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. So an engagement can bring about an instant feeling of dread. How will you get them both in the same place and act 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 developed a few tips that should ensure complete civility at your upcoming nuptials. Surviving Bitter Parents while planning your wedding can be tough. Here are some tips.

Top Tips

1.) Plan your invitations accordingly. If your mother refuses to have her name in the same space as your father’s, you’ll have to be a bit creative. Maybe writing it as, “Along with our parents, we would love to invite you…” would do the trick. Or perhaps your mom 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 on 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. Your dad might be a good fit with your fiancé’s college buddies. He’ll drink and dance in no time and 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.

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 potential problems.

Final Tip

5.) Stand your ground. If your bitter parents are refusing to get along, with your mom refusing to come, if your dad is going to be there, tell her too badly. 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 miss out on one of the biggest milestones of their life. It’s up to them. Now you focus your attention on other things, like your dress.

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