Art By Jim Paterson
lanning a wedding under
ideal circumstances is dif-
ficult enough. Even if your
family and your groom's
family are the best of friends, there
may be disagreements. Your mother
wants fish for the main course. You
want chicken. And your future
mother-in-law wants beef.
These kinds of problems crop up
all the time and are worked out
amicably. But to make the situation
more interesting, let's suppose
another set of circumstances. The
groom's mother and father are di-
vorced and refuse to walk down the
aisle together; the bride's parents,
who are both remarried, want their
new spouses involved in the cere-
mony. Suddenly, old feelings and
hurts are stirred up, and the bride's
and groom's dream of a harmonious
wedding dissolves in tears.
Here's what some experts say about
making a wedding work, in spite of
a divorced family situation.
Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?
Mala Burt, a clinical social worker
whose Baltimore counseling center
offers assistance for stepfamilies, says
that the wedding day belongs to the
couple, and parents and their
spouses have to remember that.
Mrs. Burt, who is herself remarried
and a stepparent, and whose son was
married last summer, says that
parents may need to bury old, painful
feelings in order to make the couple
BY MELINDA GREENBERG
as comfortable as possible. "Adults
shouldn't say things like, 'I'm not
going to go if he's there. That attitude accomplish that without having the
puts the kids back in the middle person walk down the aisle or stand
under the chuppah. Readings are a
The bride and groom should check particularly easy way to give someone
with their rabbi on what can be done a role in the wedding, says Mrs. Burt.
Wedding professionals, like photog-
to make their wedding as problem-
free as possible. If, for example, a raphers and party planners, can make
stepparent with whom neither the the day run smoothly, but they must
bride nor the groom is close wants learn to be sensitive to stepfamily
recognition at the ceremony, the situations.
At Mrs. Burt's son's wedding, for
rabbi may be able to suggest ways to
have the right to
insist on a
The Jewish News 63