Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ask a Planner... Mom hates Dad's new wife! Help!

Help!  I’m trying to figure out seating arrangements for my wedding and it’s proving difficult.  My parents are divorced and my Dad has recently remarried.  My mom does not feel very amicable towards him or his new wife and has asked me not to seat her at the Parent’s table which I understand, but how do I do that without completely offending his wife?

A Loyal Daughter

This is a toughie, but certainly a reality for many these days.  I would like to think that on a special day like your wedding parents would make every effort to remain civil and supportive, but certain circumstances can sometimes prevent even the most well intended and doting of parents from taking the high road. I don’t think asking your Father’s new wife to sit apart from him is appropriate at all so let’s look at some other alternatives that might maintain respect for and appease all involved parties. The first and simplest solution that comes to mind is in having three separate Parent’s Tables.  Your new in-laws would sit at one table, your Dad and his new wife at another table, and your Mom at a third table each surrounded by their family and/or close friends. Problem solved and a very sensible and expected scenario to be sure.

Another option pending the size of your wedding party and room configuration would be to create one large oval head table in the center of the room featuring the bride & groom, parents, the wedding party and even their spouses for a very grand effect. With this set-up the table would be large enough that you could seat your Dad and his wife at one end of the table and your Mom on the other end without them even needing to conduct any "small talk" whatsoever. I’ve included this "table of honour" scenario many times in recent weddings and it’s always a hit!  It's a very social and modern alternative to the traditional one-sided head table and allows everyone to be seated with the one they love.  This suggestion may simply be “too much love too soon” for your situation, but it would be a lovely way to unite your newly cultivated families and set a great example for everyone going forward!  Best of luck with your seating escapades!

Wedding Planner signing off!  Until next week… keep those questions coming in!  Submit your questions by emailing us at


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Genève McNally, Principal Planner, DreamGroup Productions

Genève first began her wedding career in 1999 as the Catering Manager for one of Vancouver’s most sought after wedding venues, Brock House Restaurant.  In 2004 Genève and college friend Sarah Shore ambitiously started up what is now one of Vancouver's longest running and most trusted wedding planning companies, DreamGroup Productions Inc.

These days, in addition to working with her clients in a full planning capacity, Genève focuses her attention on the sales and marketing aspects of the company and is most often the friendly voice you will chat with when first inquiring with DreamGroup.  Genève is known to inspire and excite both clients and industry associates alike with her exuberant personality and joie de vivre!  Her ability to be refreshingly candid and her in depth knowledge of the wedding industry have earned her the friendly moniker “Two-Cents McNally”.  Genève also teaches the Wedding Planning classes offered through the dg Academy and is the chief correspondent behind DreamGroup's weekly Blog feature Ask a Planner.

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