August 6

The Divorced Parents Dilemma: Today’s Diva Dish

Did your parents seem sane and well adjusted right up until you started the wedding planning process? This letter from a reader might just speak to you:

Dear Divas,

I’m currently planning my wedding, but everything seems to have ground to a halt over the invitation wording. My parents are divorced, and my mother remarried but my father has not. My mom wants to include her new husband’s name on the invitations, but my dad won’t hear of it. They are at a complete standstill!

Please help. Any advice you can offer will be greatly appreciated.


Under Invitation Arrest

The Divas’ Response:

You poor thing! It sounds like the stress of the wedding planning process is taking its toll already, but the good news is that you have some options:

  1. You can list your parents separately with their distinct last names. For instance, it’s perfectly acceptable to write, “Mr. Tom Smith and Mrs. Jane Jones…
  2. Most etiquette books will tell you to include your stepfather only if he had a hand in raising you. If you choose this option, the text would read, “Mr. Tom Smith and Mr. and Mrs. Dan and Jane Jones…
  3. Our personal favorite—simply write, “Together with their parents…

To be frank, if your parents can agree on so small a detail, you are completely justified in bypassing the situation entirely with the “Together with their parents…” option. You aren’t leaving anyone out, it’s perfectly acceptable in terms of etiquette and it might help diffuse and otherwise stressful scenario.

Thanks for writing in, and best of luck with the rest of your wedding planning!

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6 Comments   |   Posted in: Diva Dish, Invitations & Stationery, Wedding Etiquette & Etiquette Tips
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About Katie

Katie M. is a Writer at Wedding Paper Divas. She has the privilege of viewing nearly every piece of stationery before it goes up on the website, giving her the ultimate inside scoop on upcoming trends in the stationery world. She loves classic designs with a surprising twist, and enjoys finding new ways to express her ever-evolving personal style—a blend of traditional glamour and bohemian whimsy that makes Wedding Paper Divas a perfect fit! In addition to her love for writing, Katie is obsessed with health and fitness, skincare, UC Santa Barbara, all things adorable, the beach, dancing, cooking, getting real mail, fresh flowers, discount shopping, and shoes (who isn’t?). Katie is a contributing editor to Diva Dialogue. Be sure to check out her recurring feature, “Rant or Rave.”

6 thoughts on “The Divorced Parents Dilemma: Today’s Diva Dish

  1. Christine

    I totally understand and had EXACTLY the same situation. I ended up pulling rank as the bride and went with “together with their parents…” on invitations. It was a good compromise because then neither set of parents (my husband nor mine) had their names listed. Tell your mom you will compromise and put “together with their parents” on the invitations but list full names on the program. Good luck!

  2. Pingback: The Divorced Parents Dilemma: Today's Diva Dish « Wedding … | Divorce Information

  3. Jessica

    Again, my parent dynamics are the same. Fortunately, none have specified how they want their names, so I’m totally going to with the “together with their parents…”. If your mom and dad are each still insisting on having one way or the other, pick your “easier” parent and have a heart-to-heart…the options listed above all look and sound very nice. Best of luck to you!

  4. Pingback: Single dads are better dads (and control freak moms ruin fatherhood) - Wealthy Single Mommy

  5. Jet Cook

    I am the brides mother and raised my daughter mostly. I get along fine with my ex husband. What is the proper way to handle? The grooms parents are the opposite. Should I sit with my ex? And I will not have a date but I will have a few of my best friends there.

  6. Alyssa

    So my parents are divorced and my fiance’s parents are deceased. My father and stepmother are helping host our wedding. My mother may help a little but she doesn’t live in the area. I don’t know how to word our Invitations!!! Please help!!!


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