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wediquette: seating situation

Periodically Xochitl (pronounced so-cheel), our resident wediquette expert and owner of Always a Bridesmaid Wedding Consulting, answers an etiquette question submitted* by one of our readers. So, (without further ado):

Q: What is the ediquette for seating divorced parents (with
the Dad having remarried) at the ceremony? My fiance's step-mother
is a big part of his life, so how can we properly honor both his
mom and step-mother - without just sticking his dad between them?

A: The key to recognizing her is to have her take part in your procession.
If you're having a Jewish ceremony, then your step mother should be escorted in by the best man just before your fiance enters with his mother and father or just prior to the bridal party. She should be seated in the second row on the groom's side, and his father would join her in that row once he was down the aisle.

If this is a Christian or non-denominational Christian style ceremony, then your father and his wife would walk down the aisle, followed by the groom's mother escorted by a groomsmen or usher (or I like to substitute this with an uncle or special relative if that's appropriate) followed by the Mother of the Bride escorted by the Bestman, (or usher, important relative or sibling of yours if you have one. Again, the Mother of the groom should sit in the first seat of the first row on the groom's side, with your mother opposite her. Your groom's dad and his wife would sit in the 2nd row in the first two seats.

Sometimes,if divorced parents are particularly coridal,we'll just have them all in the front row together, but that is a comfort level that only you and your fiance would know if it exists!

If you are still concerned about her feeling a bit of a second class citizen, you can also consider adding a reading, but be sure that none of the other mothers feel slighted.--Xochitl of Always a Bridesmaid

*If you've got a question for our expert, submit it by clicking "submit your question" in the right hand column, under "wediquette".