Remarriage: Four Tips for Planning a Wedding with Blended, Extended Families

His mom has more ex-husbands than you have wedding guests. Is that a problem? It doesn’t have to be, according to Courtney Hammons a certified Professional Bridal Consultant and owner of A Magical Affair. Today’s families are more blended than ever before with divorce rates hovering near 50 percent for decades. Although that may make wedding etiquette more difficult to stick to, there are ways to make it work.

“The important thing is to include everyone,” explained Courtney, who garnered years of experience executing Disney Corporation events. “Keep everyone in the loop.” If everyone knows what to expect there is less chance for nasty surprises.

“A wedding is about the bride and groom and the love that is being united. It is not the time to settle family feuds or force each other to be together,” says wedding planner Mary Natalie Hester, owner of Weddings by Mary Natalie. Hester also suggests handwriting a letter to each guest and explaining your hopes for the ceremony and their place in it.

Angela Proffitt, wedding planner and owner of Elegant Weddings By Angela, was educated in psychology before graduating from the University of Tennessee and beginning her career in wedding planning. She offers the following tips for keeping your wedding day out of the line of family fire:


If there is someone who just should not be allowed into the ceremony provide your staff with a picture. It’s better to be safe than sorry if you are expecting trouble.


Whoever is footing the bill is the one who calls the shots. If mom and dad are divorced but mom and step-dad have paid for the wedding they will be sitting in the first row.


It is often easier to stick to tradition to avoid arguments. The processional should be kept simple and traditional. For instance, the biological mother is seated first. If you have a special step mother she is seated next but change the song to something specifically for her.


If you have something in mind that is totally nontraditional but solves your worst problem; go for it! It’s ok to have your father and step-father both walk you down the aisle if that is what you want.

About the author: Kelly Sons is a professional writer with more than 15 years experience. She is a regular feature contributor to several newspapers covering state and national events.