Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Celebrate all that love

Dear Ella,

I’m getting married in October and my guest list is a bit unusual.

In attendance will be my two mothers and three fathers. This happy bunch is the result of my mom’s three marriages and my dad’s two marriages.

Let me explain.

My mom, Linda, and dad, Paul, divorced when I was five years old.

My mom remarried, and I was primarily raised by her and my stepfather, Brian. Three years ago, my mom and Brian split up, and she’s now with her new partner, Rob. My dad, Paul, remarried Eve when I was a little girl, and I spent a lot of time with them over the years. What’s funny about all this is that I love them all. They are all wonderful people and are important in my life. What’s even more unusual is that they all like each other and get along very well at family functions.

Now that you know the background, here’s the problem: I want them all to play an important role in my wedding. Larry, my fiancé, is fine with whatever I decide.

Who walks me down the aisle? Can they all be in my wedding party? What about the head table and the speeches? The invitation is a whole other nightmare!

It’s very complicated, and I don’t want to hurt anyone, as I love them all.

Lots of Lovin’

Dear Lots of Lovin’,

The addition of stepparents is not so unusual. What makes this unique is that they all get along. Of course, this works in your favour.

For the invitation, the phrase “together with their families,” could be used, as there may be too many names to mention. A professional invitation person will have options for you to choose so your wording can reflect exactly what you want.

Now let’s tackle the wedding party. Since they’re all very special to you, you may want them all to take part in your ceremony. Perhaps the married couples could each march down the aisle and Brian, whom I assume did not remarry, can walk down on his own. Both Linda and Paul will stop in the centre of the aisle while their spouses continue to their seats in the front row or stand under the chupah –your choice. Linda and Paul, your biological parents will wait for you to come down the aisle, and they should walk you up to the chupah.

For the head table, if you want them there with you, just add more chairs. Remember: this is your wedding and you can do it your way.

Speeches can be a little tricky. For the sake of the guests, you don’t want too many speeches. Possibly a short toast from some could be an alternative? How about having a pre-wedding meeting with everyone and do a little brainstorming? All the “steps” may even come up with a cute group speech.

An experienced wedding consultant can help with suggestions and proper execution. The most important thing to remember is this is your day. It can be as creative and meaningful as you and Larry want it to be. You don’t have to follow “wedding etiquette.” You’re a lucky woman to have so much love in your life.

Celebrate it!

Readers may submit their questions to Ella at But Ella is not a professional counsellor. She brings to the questions posed by readers her unique brand of earthy wisdom. Her advice is not a replacement for medical, legal or any other advice. For serious problems, consult a professional.

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