How To Introduce Divorced Parents At Wedding Reception

Story Amour
Written by Story Amour · Posted in Advice Last Updated April 7, 2023 · minute read
In This Article

    Having divorced parents can be challenging enough for any child and no more so than when planning a wedding.

    It’s tough, isn’t it thinking about your grand entrance to the wedding reception? Not only do you want to create the perfect entrance for you and your partner but also for your parents and wedding party.

    This is a chance to make your parents known to everyone and show some respect to them for bringing you into the world. And let’s be honest, they’ve probably contributed a lot financially towards the wedding.

    groom introduces parents at wedding reception

    How to introduce divorced parents at your wedding reception

    If you’re reading this you might be wondering how to introduce divorced parents at a wedding reception. Does it differ from if they were still together? What special considerations do I need to prepare for? And how can I make it so everyone feels included and welcome?

    Well, you’re in the right place because that’s exactly what we’re talking about in this article. 

    We’re going to provide you with the information you need to make your divorced parents’ entrance hassle free.

    So without further adieu let’s get into it!

    How to Introduce Divorced Parents at Your Wedding Reception

    We understand how tricky it can be having divorced parents at your wedding. 

    We’ve seen it in full force at a number of the weddings we’ve photographed over the years. 

    Perhaps your parents no longer get along and you’re worried about things getting tense on your special day.

    In a previous post, we covered how to seat your divorced parents at the ceremony which is another bone of contention. Today, however, we’re looking exclusively at the reception intros.

    So let’s discuss some tips and tricks on the best ways to go about it.

    Plan well in advance

    You’re no doubt a pro by now and understand that a wedding requires a lot of planning. 

    A good plan can save a lot of future aggravation and that’s especially true when it comes to introducing divorced parents.

    We suggest you speak to them and find out how they’d like to be introduced. Equally, ask them their opinion on who they should walk in with. This is just to get a flavor of how they see things in relation to this topic.

    You don’t have to make any decisions at this point but just put your cards on the table.

    You don’t want to surprise your divorced parents on the day of the wedding by saying “Oh, by the way, you two are walking in together” That’s a recipe for disaster especially if your parents dislike one another.

    Just simply have a discussion with them and ask if they’d be comfortable walking in together. Or ask if they’d prefer to walk in alone, with another family member, or with their new partner or spouse.

    You should look to respect their wishes and not force them to do anything they’re uncomfortable with.

    Be Careful with the Wording

    Who are you tasking with the introduction of your divorced parents? Are you doing it yourself or having a dedicated Emcee?

    Getting the wording correct can be crucial to not upset anyone leaving them feeling unwelcome at your wedding.

    Just make sure that you instruct your Emcee on the correct wording if you are delegating this role. Have them say something like “And now we welcome Jane the mother of the bride and stepfather of the bride, Gordon” Rather than referring to Gordon as simply Jane’s partner you’re giving him his proper title.

    Make the Entrance Fun and Unique

    Another trick to ease any tensions is to make the introduction to your wedding party fun and upbeat. We’ve seen this in action a few times and it goes down a treat with the guests.

    Having music and asking your parents to dance into the venue will have your guests in stitches. It’s become popular for the whole wedding party to take part in this and is definitely fun to photograph.

    Obviously, you’ll have to assess whether your parents are happy to embrace this. For those of a more conservative nature, you’re likely to get a short and sharp “no chance!”

    Keep it short and sweet

    Sometimes it’s best to keep these things simple. 

    You don’t need to overcomplicate your parent’s intro with an elaborate story of what they mean to you etc. Save that for the speeches or toasts. 

    A simple “The mother of the bride, Pamela” will do just the trick.

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    Are You Having Speeches at Your Reception?

    Typically a wedding reception is a time for formal speeches. These will usually be given by the groom, the father of the bride, and the best man.

    More recently however it’s become common for anyone at the top table to give a speech. 

    Perhaps the mother of the bride wants to say a few words about her daughter and new son in law.

    At the same time if your stepfather has been in your life for a number of years he might want to say a few words about his stepdaughter. 

    This will all have been sorted before the wedding but you still want to get the introduction correct. 

    It’s sometimes the last person who gives a speech that introduces the next speaker but other times it’s an Emcee. 

    Just make sure to brief them beforehand on how you want your divorced parents to be referred to in any announcements. 

    Related Reading: Who Gives Speeches at a Wedding?

    Your Guests Won’t Care

    We’re sorry to tell you but your guests won’t be as invested in this decision as you are. If your introduction to your divorced parents doesn’t go quite to plan it’s unlikely anyone will even notice.

    If they do notice what are they going to say? They’re just there to have a good time and celebrate your love for each other.

    Unless you do something drastically wrong (and you won’t because you’re reading this) then no one will even bat an eyelid at your divorced parent’s introduction. 

    What About Skipping the Intro Altogether?

    Another option is to not introduce your parents at all. You could instead leave the intros exclusively for you as the happy couple or the bridesmaids and groomsmen.

    There’s no rule that says you have to introduce your parents at the wedding reception. That being said, it is a nice touch. 

    Perhaps once everyone is seated you and your partner could do a quick toast thanking your parents for everything. You could choose to generalize the term “parents” to include step-parents or alternatively single them out for thanks. Each family dynamic is unique so this will really come down to your own personal preferences.

    We have seen this at a lot of weddings and it does seem a more personal and respectful way of doing things.

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    FAQs about Introducing Divorced Parents

    Introducing divorced parents at a wedding reception can be tricky, but it is not impossible. 

    Here are some frequently asked questions and answers to help you navigate this situation with ease.

    What if Dad has remarried but Mom is single?

    When one parent gets remarried but the other is still single it can make the introductions a bit problematic.

    However, we don’t think you should make a big deal about it. If you’re happy to introduce your Dad’s new wife then do just that. 

    Say something like “And now let us introduce the bride’s father Ian and his wife Cassandra” followed by something like “And now let us introduce the bride’s mother Amelia”. 

    Almost everyone at the wedding will know that your parents are divorced. They won’t be shocked in the slightest that they’ve chosen to be introduced separately.

    What if Fiance’s parents are married and insist on coming in together? 

    Ultimately this is your day so if you disagree with something it’s best to speak up. However, we also understand that you don’t want to be embroiled in arguments about your wedding day.

    We really don’t think this is a big deal though. If your fiance’s parents are still happily married, introduce them as such. “Please now welcome the parents of the groom, Mr and Mrs Belgrave” and then introduce your parents singularly or with their new partners.

    Equally, perhaps your parents could be introduced with a chaperone of their choice. Maybe one of their other children or one of your uncles. Whatever works best for you and your family.

    What should I do if my parents are still friends but separated?

    This will probably be the answer you were looking for when you started reading this article. We think it’s fine that they are introduced together. 

    Most people at your wedding will probably know the deal when it comes to their relationship status anyway.

    However, you could still say something like “We would now like to introduce you to the mother and father of the bride, even though they are no longer husband and wife they remain very close friends” 

    This just gives guests who might not know a little bit of context. It also acknowledges your parent’s friendship and respect for one another.

    The only problem with doing this is that it neglects any partners of your parents who may feel a little left out.

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    In all honesty, how you introduce divorced parents at a wedding will come down to you as a couple. It will also be determined by your relationship with your parents and how well they get along with each other.

    There’s only really one scenario that we think will work to introduce them together. That’s if they are still friends and single. Simply put we don’t think it’s fair on their new partners if you exclude them from the introductions.

    At the same time, we really believe that you shouldn’t overthink this and just go with the flow. 

    Equally, if it’s causing you so much grief perhaps skip the introductions of your parents altogether. Instead just stick with the wedding party, the groomsmen, the bridesmaids, and yourselves, the newly married couple.

    Good luck! And don’t forget to smile when you make your big entrance to the wedding reception. It makes for fantastic photos!