Q: What is the proper seating at the church and reception for a wedding with one set of parents divorced? The groom’s parents are a couple and the bride’s parents are divorces, both with other partners.
A: When parents are divorced, the mother of the bride or groom most usually is seated in the front row or pew either alone or with her spouse or a companion of her choice. Members of her immediate family are seated behind her, and the father is seated three or so rows back with his spouse, alone, or with a companion of his choice. At the reception, divorced parents are not seated at the same table. Rather each “hosts” his or her own table of friends/relatives. Divorced parents should not be treated as a couple, including in photographs. It is fine for the bride to have a picture taken with her father alone, and her father and stepmother, if he is remarried; and another with her mother alone, and her mother and stepfather, if she is remarried. But, if the bride feels that she would like to have a photograph with both of her birth parents together for sentimental reasons, this is also perfectly acceptable.
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