Divorced Parents on Wedding Program


I know this is a common issue, but I couldn’t find a question or response that quite fit my situation. My parents have been divorced for 14 years. My father has been remarried for 10 yrs. There has been no communication between my parents since the divorce. My mom (not re-married) will be offended if I put my dad’s wife on the ceremony program because she is not technically a parent, but my dad might be offended if I don’t. What do I do?!

Also, my fiance’s father is deceased, and his mother is remarried. How should the program be worded on this part?

Thank you so much for your expert advise!

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Dear Bride,

Perhaps you could just inform your father that only the parents will be mentioned on the program, except for your fiance’s stepfather. Only those people who will be directly in the ceremony or honored in some way need to be mentioned anyway. This is so the guests know who this person is.

More than likely your father will be sitting in the third row with his wife. There will be no special seating of his wife or him. So, she really doesn’t need to be mentioned.

Now if it was the other way around, where your mother’s escort needed to be mentioned, it may be different. This is because she is seated specially. The guests may wonder who this person is following her up the aisle. This of course is optional.

Your fiance’s father may be mention ‘In Memoriam’. His mother will be seated specially, so as it would be with your mother, her escort (husband) may be mentioned. He could be mentioned as just her husband.

This may be a problem for your father, but hopefully he will understand why when you give him the reasoning behind it.

It is typically difficult with divorced parents 🙂

Good luck!