How to Arrange Divorced Parents at Your Wedding


When it comes to your wedding day, you want everyone to have fun and take part in the celebrating of your new union. However, this can sometimes be a struggle for those brides and grooms who have divorced or separated parents. This article will go into further details about how to plan and handle a number of the sensitive areas in divorced parents at wedding.

How to Arrange Divorced Parents at Your Wedding

Here we will talk about how brides can handle some of the choices needed to be made with divorced parents at wedding, but the grooms can also take these tips and suggestion to use for themselves if they have divorced or separated parents.

Walking Down the Aisle

The first divorced parents wedding concern is who will walk the bride down the aisle. Here are some scenarios you may find yourself in:

  • Brides who are close with their father’s will have less difficulty deciding who walks them down the aisle, of course ask your father first. For brides who may not be very close with their fathers, there are other choices.

  • It is appropriate for you to ask your stepfather to walk you down the aisles if you were raised by him.

  • It is also appropriate for brides to be accompanied by both, the father and stepfather, if you feel they both deserve this honor.

  • You can also ask your grandfather or brothers to do you the honors of walking you down the aisle.

  • There are also no rules stating that you cannot walk yourself down the aisle or have the groom escort you.

Go with what you feel will be the best options for you. It is always best, however, to inform your father or other relatives in advance of your decision.


  • At the ceremony. Divorced parents wedding seating is a big problem. For divorced parent that have no interest in being with others, it is proper etiquette to place the mother in the first row and the father in the second. They do not have to sit together whether they have dates or not. You can fill in the rows with their own immediate families accompanied.

  • At the reception. Unless your parents retained a good friendship after the divorce, they should not be seated at the bridal table. They will both be expecting a place of honor at your wedding, but this can be done by setting them up at their own tables. You can choose some of your friends they know well or the individuals they invited to sit with them. This reduces any awkward tension that could arise from seating arrangements.

Receiving Line

This is not necessary for your wedding, but if you are planning on conducting a receiving line, there are some general rules to follow for divorced parents wedding etiquette. Typically, the parents that are hosting the reception will be the ones to take a place in the receiving line. If the mother and stepfather are hosting, they would stand together in the receiving line. In this condition, the father would therefore be considered a guest and not be included in the receiving line.

Presenting Toasts

Some weddings will have the father present a toast at the wedding, but more often it is both parents that will toast the newlyweds and guests. If your parents are divorced, they should be given the option to present their own toasts or do one together. Make sure you double check with both parents that doing a toast together is something they will be able to do together. Ask ahead of time, so they have time to prepare and know what to expect when it comes time to presenting the toast.


You want to make sure that you let your DJ or MC know how you would like the announcements of the dances to be done. You may decide that you want to do your father/daughter dance with your stepfather, or you may want to begin the dance with your father and then let your stepfather cut in mid song. It is your choice who you want to have this honor, but be careful and avoid hurting anyone’s feelings. When it comes the time for parent dance, invite both of your parents on the dance floor with their spouses or dates.

You can also chose to skip of this dance when considering divorced parents wedding dance, if you feel it is stressed or unnecessary drama on your big day. You can easily explain this to your DJ or MC, so they know to simply skip of the father/daughter or parent dance.

Taking Wedding Photos

Discuss the situation to your photographer ahead of time. Let them know the important family images you want them to capture, as well as the candid shots they should try to capture. Besides divorced parents wedding seating, this can also be a sensitive area. Some divorced parents will avoid the traditional family photos. Know how your parents will feel about these family photos and know when it will be appropriate to include you step parents into the family focused images.

Thinking about these problems may seem overwhelming at the moment, but with the proper consideration ahead of time, this can be an easy to handle scenario. Knowing how to approach these wedding day situation before they occur will help you avoid any stressful situations.