One Bride. Two Dads. Three Smiles.

Wedding Planner in Toronto, GTA, Creemore& GTA

Photo by Marta Hewson Photography


Of the many delicate situations couples have to stick handle during their wedding preparations few have the potential to cause hurt and anguish like dealing with stepparents.

In a perfect world all family members will rise to the occasion, put the happy couple’s needs first, and keep their private issues private.

Alas, we do not live in a perfect world.

From wording on your wedding stationery, to budget considerations, to seating plans, to first dances, successfully working with stepparents and siblings can be tricky. Feelings can be hurt. Old wounds re-opened. Egos bruised. (Remember, we truly never leave high school…sigh.)

Earlier this year I worked with a bride who worried about how to best accommodate her “two Dads”. Though raised by her stepfather and mother (who married when she was very small), this bride yearned to reach out to her biological Dad, despite having been estranged for a number of years, when she became engaged.

There were many keys to this successful family détente. In fact, this family presented all of us with a Master Class in Managing Delicate Family Dynamics. First and foremost, the top priority of all the parents (step and otherwise) was to ensure the bride and her groom had a happy day, as free of family drama as possible. The bride always referred to her “two Dads.” She referred to all her siblings as her brothers and sister. No steps or halves. (In total there were five children, from four marriages in total.) The Mother-of-the Bride greeted her ex-husband and his two children with warmth and kindness.

Both Dads proudly walked this beaming bride down the aisle. She enjoyed a first dance with each of her Dads and both delivered a heartwarming toast to the bride during the reception. If there were hurt feelings or bruised egos, they were put on a very distant back burner.

A wedding not only joins together a man and woman, it also unites their families. This bride recognized that her wedding was the perfect opportunity to bring her somewhat fractured family together. Clear, open communication by all parties allowed old hurts to be forgotten – temporarily at least – keeping the focus on creating a happy, loving and inclusive wedding day.

Look at the photo at the top of this post. We see one Bride, two Dads and three smiles. Exactly as it should be.


Click here  for more tips on dealing with stepparents.


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