Divorce is difficult for everyone involved. Its repercussions stretch far, wide, and deep not only for the two parties separating ways, but also for their children, parents, and other close family and friends.
Divorce is always inconvenient. Splitting two lives which were meant to stay together ’til death do them part will always be messy. But one of the most inconvenient times to go through divorce is during a wedding season. Even when all seems to be going wrong in the midst of legal work, family dissociation, and new step-families, do not despair! You can still have a relaxing, meaningful, and best-day-of-your-life-type of wedding if you maintain a healthy perspective on the situation.
#1: It is not your problem
You did not choose, plan, or desire for this divorce between your loved ones to occur. You did nothing to cause the event and you can do nothing to fix it. Although it may be painfully difficult to accept such a sad reality, you really have no choice. Coming to terms with this reality really isn’t an act of acceptance, it’s simply the necessary course you must take in order to move on with life.
Life delivers obstacles around every bend, and you must choose whether to be destroyed by them or to learn from them. In the midst of divorce, learn what you can, avoid blaming yourself, and release that which you cannot control.
#2: Communicate with the divorcees
Even after you have personally resolved to not allow divorce to affect you on your big day, you need to make sure the other involved parties are on the same page. You can prepare all you want, but unless the divorcing parties and other affected individuals are on the same page, your efforts will all be for naught.
First, sit down with the two people who are currently going or have recently gone through the process of divorce. This conversation will be awkward. But, like pulling off a band-aid, it’s better to just get it over with. Write down all you want to discuss on a piece of paper beforehand to ensure that you touch on every necessary subject, and so that you do not need to call another meeting.
Simply let them know your thoughts, where you are coming from, and how you are feeling. Ask them, for your sake, to get along at least for one day. Clearly outline every wedding-related event in which they will need to be in each other’s presence, so that they are not caught off-guard. After you share your thoughts, listen to what the divorcees have to say in order to maintain mutual respect and honesty.
#3: Communicate with other involved individuals
In addition to meeting with the divorcees themselves, you should also communicate openly with other involved individuals. If it is your parents going through divorce, talk to your siblings. If it is your aunt and uncle splitting ways, talk to your cousins. If it is your grandparents annulling their marriage, sit down with various family members. If it is your friends breaking up, call a meeting with other members of your friend group.
As previously mentioned, divorce affects many more people than just the two parting ways. These people are hurting, just like you, and may be struggling to come to terms with the divorce of their loved ones. Hold a therapeutic conversation, allowing each other to talk honestly, cry freely, and start on the road to recovery. Bringing shared personal struggle into the light will help to avoid tension and conflict on your big day.
#4: Healing takes time
In addition to intention effort, healing also requires time. No matter how hard you try, you cannot expedite this process. Emotional, mental, and spiritual recovery will continue to take place after the event of your wedding. Do not feel you need to work out every ounce of tension before your wedding. It is an unrealistic goal that will only leave you disappointed when you fail to achieve it. You cannot rush healing. A wedding, one day, without conflict is possible after some of the beginning steps of divorce recovery. But remember that you, and the divorced parties, will have to work out the rest later.
#5: Don’t let it ruin your perspective on love
Divorce should be an exception. Even though divorce is shockingly common in this modern world, it should not be the case. Marriage is a lifelong commitment between two people who love each other. Marriage should not be entered upon lightly.
Marriage is beautiful, but it is not without its difficulties. It involves disagreements, compromise, sacrifice, and struggle. You must put your spouses needs ahead of your own and make decisions with two people in mind instead of just one. Perhaps a failure to recognize the entire scope of the union that is marriage is the reason so many people settle for divorce.
But if you understand all that marriage entails — the good, the bad, and the ugly — and are still excitedly anticipating spending the rest of your life with your betrothed, you have no need to worry. God created marriage as a gift of love and companionship for humankind. Marriage is amazing when entered upon for the right reasons and with the right person. Love is real and soulmates exist. Hold to these truths and don’t allow divorce to cause you to question your marriage.
No one would ever choose to hold a wedding in the midst of a divorce, but it is the reality for many couples, maybe even you. While divorce is never convenient, you can take several steps towards healing wounds and preventing conflict in order to still have a beautiful wedding day. Take these steps and enjoy your relaxing wedding!