About half of today’s families have experienced a divorce. The challenge of combining families alone is hard enough, let alone trying to coordinate a wedding where things can be awkward. For example, where do stepparents sit at a wedding?
Stepparents who are married to a parent may sit beside their spouse or wherever they feel comfortable. Typically, the front row is where parents sit. Divorced or separated parents may be buffered by seating relatives between them. Including stepparents in the wedding will soften the seating concern.
Weddings can be stressful enough. Adding the worry of where to seat stepparents can add to the wedding planning strain. Sure, planning a wedding is also exciting, but family issues can create worry and dread.
Where Do Stepparents Sit at a Wedding?
Every family has its own personality and complexities. Some families, for example, are extremely respectful of one another.
They recognize that the biological parents are the primary emphasis, but they also honor the Step-Parents.
This can be accomplished by giving stepparents important roles in the wedding to help them feel important and included.
Some families, on the other hand, have a lot more problems to deal with. There could still be a lot of rage or hurt. How can you give everyone the respect they deserve without offending anyone or fueling the flames?
Every family is unique, so the solutions to a smooth wedding may be different for each family.
If your parent has remarried or has a new partner, your stepparent should certainly sit beside him or her at the wedding. If they’re just dating, however, they can sit wherever they want.
They can sit in the second row, directly behind your parents, if you want them to be close, or they can sit wherever they like. Please keep in mind that the ceremony is often a short affair, so anything you choose will be brief.
The front row is usually reserved for parents. However, if the parents are separated and their relationship is strained, you should separate them.
In this instance, I always place the mother on the aisle because she is the one who gave birth to you. To provide a buffer zone, I will occasionally place grandparents or children between divorced couples.
Do whatever you can to make the day simpler for all of you.
Do Stepparents Sit at the Top Table?
It may be viewed as the correct thing to do if you are close with your stepparents or if they have financially contributed to your wedding.
Having stepparents at the head table reduces the likelihood of awkward seating configurations and keeps everyone (or most of them!) pleased on the big day.
It’s also OK if you prefer a smaller top table with only immediate family members.
Traditional top table seating plans pair the bride’s mother with the groom’s father, and vice versa, so don’t worry about sitting your divorced parents next to each other.
If you’re considering this choice, talk to your parents and stepparents about it before the big day to make sure no one is insulted or disturbed by your decision.
At the end of the day, it’s entirely up to you. Every wedding is unique, and you must enjoy yourself on the big day.
If you’re still undecided, consider the following alternatives.
Instead of a top table, where only the newlyweds would sit, many modern weddings opt for a ‘sweetheart table.’ This is a fantastic option that will make seating arrangements much easier.
Plus, following the wedding ceremony, you’ll get some quality time alone with your partner, which will be quite wonderful!
Alternatively, instead of splitting individuals into distinct groups, you might wish to choose large tables at your venue where everyone can sit together.
It makes everyone feel included, and it keeps divorced or remarried parents from causing any stress (or anyone for that matter).
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How to List Stepparents on the Wedding Program
The names of the bride and groom’s parents are usually given in a portion of the wedding program. This section may or may not contain the stepparents.
On one line, for example, the bride’s father and his new wife would be included, and on the following line, her mother and her spouse.
You don’t need to mention that those people are stepparents if you take this technique since guests will figure it out.
Some couples include an “Honorable Mentions” section in their wedding program for close friends or family members who aren’t mentioned anywhere else.
In this section, you could include a list of your stepparents. The person’s name, as well as their relationship to the bride and groom, is frequently stated.
If the stepparent is no longer married to the biological parent but is still close to the couple, this is the best option.
Add the stepparent here if one of the biological parents has a grudge against the stepparent, and only list the biological parents with the rest of the wedding party.
How to Include Stepparents in a Wedding
There are several ways to involve stepparents in a wedding to help them feel important and included in your special day.
Let’s take a look at some ways to include your stepparents in your wedding.
Share a special dance
Include your stepparents in your honor dances if you and your stepparents are exceptionally close.
You can have a separate honor dance with your stepparent, or you can choose a longer song for your parent’s dance and take a spin on the dance floor with your stepparent halfway through.
Give them a present as a token of your appreciation
Include your stepparents in any wedding-day gift-giving, especially if they had a key role in the planning of your big day.
Handkerchiefs embroidered with a special inscription or a picture frame with a family photo are two cute choices. More of our favorite stepfather presents can be seen here.
But what if I don’t get along with my stepparent?
If your relationship with your stepparents hasn’t been the best over the years, try to keep a positive attitude and be as inclusive as you feel comfortable.
Include them in the planning process
Much of this is dependent on your and your family’s connections, but the most essential thing is that you respect your parents’ and stepparents’ feelings—if they want to be engaged, fantastic; if not, they don’t have to.
If everyone gets along (or can at least behave civilly), you can surely invite parents and stepparents to join you on your venue tours, dress shopping, and other activities.
However, it may be more practical to divide responsibilities—for example, you may go dress shopping with your mother while your stepmother attends the meal tasting.
You might also give responsibilities to both parents and stepparents, such as putting together favors or making welcome bags.
Incorporate them into your invitations
Your stepparents can undoubtedly be listed on your wedding invitation, especially if they are financially contributing to the wedding (and thus “hosting” it).
If both parents and stepparents are participating, simply list each party (including stepparents) separately on a different line.
Give them unique clothing or accessories
Help lead your stepparents onto the right path if they have any reservations about what to dress. Give them a color palette to work with, one that complements your wedding’s color scheme but isn’t identical to your bridesmaids, groomsmen, or parents’ outfits.
If additional family members are wearing boutonnieres or corsages, they should receive them as well.
Allow them to proceed down the aisle
You’ve probably seen images of the wedding ceremony where the bride’s father took the bride’s stepfather’s hand and walked her down the aisle together.
Although this was an unplanned (and incredible!) occasion, we encourage planning ahead of time if at all feasible. Stepparents can be included in your profession in a variety of ways.
Your stepfather is the only person who could escort you down the aisle. Your stepfather and father can walk on opposite sides of you, or your stepfather can walk halfway and your father will follow.
You can even have both your mother and father follow you down the aisle together, while your stepparents walk separately, assuming your parents are polite.
Choose the style that best suits your family’s needs.
Take pictures of everyone
Tell the photographer about your family structure ahead of time so he or she can help you create portraits that will work for everyone.
What matters most is to be as inclusive as possible.