Tuesday, September 19, 2006

DILEMMAS RE: DIVORCED/SEPARATED PARENTS: HOW TO DEAL: PART VI

There are a couple of other issues related to this topic that are worth mentioning--particularly because all eyes will be on you and your parents during this part of your celebration.

I've ruminated on the trickiness of walking down the aisle when it comes to brides/bridesmaids - but what about divorced/separated parents? THAT'S even trickier.

Do both parents have to walk down the aisle together (with dad then returning to walk the bride-to-be to her groom)? Does your divorced mom (who has remarried) get escorted by her new husband? What are the "rules"?

As I've said before, there are no "rules", and you have to do what you are comfortable with.... but the main issue is that no matter how you spin it, you have to do what's comfortable for those involved-- what's best for them is best for your other guests (who will be none the wiser!)

Take, for example, this scenario (and I'm looking at this from the perspective of the groom - they are his parents): Divorced parents. Mother doesn't talk to father. Mother hasn't remarried. Father has. Stepmother has pleasant relationship with groom, though they aren't particularly close.

The groom's father/stepmother didn't participate in the ceremony (and sat in the front row of seats close to the chuppah)-- and the groom's mother was escorted down the aisle by the groom's brother.

Is that normal? Is it "right"? I don't know. And I don't care. The point of the matter is that the mother/father were comfortable doing it this way--and isn't that the bottom line? During the ceremony, the guests (I was one of them, along with TallGuy) didn't notice. Those that did (if any) really didn't seem to care all that much.

It's best that, no matter what the etiquette books tell you, the people involved (or who could be involved) in the ceremony are happy and doing what they feel comfortable doing -- if that father ended up walking down the aisle with the mother (if, hypothetically, that's what the etiquette books say is "correct"), the tension between them may have been a lot more obvious to guests at the ceremony than the absence of the groom's father participating.

Therefore, use your best judgment when figuring out the procession for the ceremony, particularly when it comes to divorced/separated parents. No matter what the circumstance, never forget that what is "right" may not always be "right" for you or your guests.

Stay tuned!

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