If your parents are divorced there are probably several difficult decisions you must make in order to accommodate, as smoothly as possible, several potentially explosive situations. We offer the following suggestions as alternatives to established tradition.
Your invitations: It would be proper for the parent with whom you have been living the longest to issue the invitation. The other parent is not mentioned. However, if both parents agree the invitations may be in both names.
Introducing the future in-laws to each other: Protocol would dictate the first introduction should be to the parent with whom you have been living, followed a week or so later by a visit with your other parent.
Accompanying the bride down the aisle: Your father, mother or both if they are in agreement, or choose a brother, uncle, aunt or grandparent.
Seating at the ceremony: The bride’s mother and her immediate family (parents, husband and children) sit in the first row. The bride’s father sits with his present wife and parents in the second or third row.
The reception line: Traditionally the bride’s mother stands in the receiving line and her father mingles with the guests. However, if the bride wants both parents in the line, be sure to separate your divorced parents with the stepparents or grandparents in order to eliminate confusion among the guests. If you are serving a sit-down dinner be sure to assign separate tables for your parents and their spouses.