There are so many things to think about and plan for your wedding day. Who will be on your guest list? What wedding dress will you choose? And oh dear, do stepparents sit at the top table?
Stepparents may be seated at the top table, especially if they have financially contributed to your wedding. Traditionally, the bride’s mother sits next to the groom’s father at the top table, and vice versa, so don’t be concerned about your divorced parents sitting close to each other.
And maybe you and your new spouse would prefer to only have a bride and groom table and avoid a potentially awkward ‘Top Table’ situation.
Do Stepparents Sit at the Top Table?
If you are close with your stepparents or they have financially contributed to your wedding, it may be the right thing to do.
Having stepparents at the head table eliminates uncomfortable seating arrangements and ensures that everyone (or most of them!) is happy on the big day.
It’s also fine if you want to sit at a smaller top table with only your immediate family.
Traditionally, the bride’s mother sits next to the groom’s father at the top table, and vice versa, so don’t be concerned about your divorced parents sitting close to each other.
If you’re thinking about doing this, chat to your parents and stepparents about it before the big day to make sure no one is offended or upset.
It’s entirely up to you at the end of the day. Every wedding is different, and you must have a good time on your special day.
Consider the following options if you’re still undecided.
Many modern weddings choose a ‘sweetheart table instead of a top table where only the newlyweds sit. This is a superb choice that will greatly simplify seating configurations.
You’ll also get some quality time alone with your partner after the wedding ceremony, which will be lovely!
Alternatively, rather than dividing people into separate groups, large tables at your venue where everyone can sit together would be a better option.
It makes everyone feel included, and it prevents tension from being caused by divorced or remarried parents (or anyone for that matter).
How to Include Stepparents in a Wedding
Stepparents can be involved in a wedding in a variety of ways to make them feel valued and included in your big day.
Let’s look at some ideas for including your stepparents in your wedding.
Share a special dance with your friends
If you and your stepparents are particularly close, include them in your honor dances.
You can have a separate honor dance with your stepparent, or you can choose a longer song for your parent’s dance and join them halfway through for a spin on the dance floor.
As a mark of your gratitude, give them a gift
Include your stepparents in any wedding-day gift-giving, especially if they had a vital role in your big day’s planning.
Two lovely options are embroidered handkerchiefs with a special inscription or a picture frame with a family photo. Here are some more of our favorite stepfather gifts.
But what if my stepparent and I don’t get along?
If your relationship with your stepparents hasn’t always been smooth, try to have a good outlook and be as open as you feel comfortable.
Participate in the planning process with them.
Much of this depends on your and your family’s relationships, but the most important thing is that you accept your parents’ and stepparents’ feelings—if they want to be engaged, that’s great; if they don’t, that’s fine too.
You can certainly invite parents and stepparents to join you on venue visits, dress shopping, and other events if everyone gets along (or can at least behave civilly).
It may be more practical, though, to share responsibilities—for example, you and your mother may go dress shopping while your stepmother attends the dish tasting.
You might also assign tasks to both parents and stepparents, such as sewing welcome bags or putting together favors.
- How to Include Stepparents in a Wedding: Wonderful Ideas
- How to List Stepparents on a Wedding Program
- Where Do Stepparents Sit at a Wedding? Your Questions Answered
- Can a Stepparent Attend Doctor Appointments? Stepparent Rights
Make them a part of your invitations
Your stepparents will almost certainly be named on your wedding invitation, especially if they are financially supporting the event (and thus “hosting” it).
If both parents and stepparents are involved, simply write each party (including stepparents) on a separate line.
Provide them with one-of-a-kind clothing or accessories
If your stepparents are unsure about how to dress, guide them in the proper direction.
Give them a color palette to work with that complements your wedding’s color scheme but isn’t the same as your bridesmaids’, groomsmen’s, or parents’ attire.
If any other family members are wearing boutonnieres or corsages, they should also be given boutonnieres or corsages.
Permit them to walk down the aisle
You’ve probably seen photos of the bride’s father taking her stepfather’s hand and walking her down the aisle together during the wedding ceremony.
We recommend planning ahead of time if at all possible, even if this was an unanticipated (and fantastic!) event. Stepparents can be incorporated into your career in several ways.
Only your stepfather has the authority to walk you down the aisle. Your stepfather and father can stroll side by side, or your stepfather can walk halfway and your father will follow.
If your parents are courteous, you can have both your mother and father walk down the aisle with you, while your stepparents walk separately.
Choose the style that best meets the demands of your family.
Take a photo of everyone
Inform the photographer ahead of time about your family structure so that he or she can assist you in creating photos that will appeal to everyone.
The most important thing is to be as inclusive as possible.
How to List Stepparents on the Wedding Program
A component of the wedding program normally includes the names of the bride and groom’s parents. The stepparents may or may not be included in this section.
The bride’s father and his new wife, for example, would be listed on one line, and her mother and her spouse on the next.
If you use this strategy, you won’t have to say that those folks are stepparents because your guests will figure it out.
Some couples include a section in their wedding program called “Honorable Mentions” for close friends or family members who aren’t recognized anywhere else.
You could provide a list of your stepparents in this section. The name of the person and their link to the bride and groom are commonly mentioned.
This is the ideal option if the stepparent is no longer married to the biological parent but is still close to the pair.
If one of the biological parents has a grudge against the stepparent, include him or her here, and only the biological parents with the rest of the wedding party.
Where Do Stepparents Sit at a Wedding
Every family has its unique personality and set of problems. Some families, for example, have a high level of mutual regard.
They acknowledge that the biological parents are the most important, but they also value the contributions of the step-parents.
This can be accomplished by assigning major duties to stepparents in the wedding to make them feel important and involved.
On the other hand, other families have a lot more issues to deal with. There may still be a lot of fury or hurt in the air. How do you treat everyone with the respect they deserve without insulting them or adding fuel to the fire?
Because each family is distinct, the solutions to a pleasant wedding may be varied as well.
Your stepparent should sit beside your parent at the wedding if he or she has remarried or has a new partner. They can, however, sit wherever they want if they’re just dating.
If you want them to be near to your parents, they can sit in the second row, just behind them, or they can sit wherever they wish. Please bear in mind that the ceremony is usually brief, so whatever you choose will be brief as well.
Parents are normally seated in the front row. You should, however, separate the parents if they are divorced and their connection is strained.
Because she is the one who gave birth to you, I always place the mother on the aisle in this situation. I will occasionally arrange grandparents or children between divorced couples to offer a buffer zone.
Make every effort to make the day easier for everyone.