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How to Handle Your First Father’s Day as a Married Couple

Your father and father-in-law both deserve a celebration.

Contributing Writer
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Photography by: Joe Goger

Even though you just married the love of your life, one other man will always hold a special place in your heart: Your father. Whether he was cheering from the soccer field sidelines or helping with tricky math homework, dad never failed to be your biggest supporter throughout the years. But as much you'd love to shower your dad with gratitude all throughout Father's Day, marriage introduces another father figure into your life. You're suddenly tasked with splitting the special holiday between your own dad and your father-in-law. To navigate the sticky situation, read our guide about how to tactfully determine whose family to spend your first married Father's Day with.

 

Gifts for Dads and Fathers-in-Law

 

Start a Conversation

Always talk to your husband before making concrete Father's Day plans. Deciding whose family you'll spend Father's Day with may be easy, especially if one of your dads lives far away or if one family doesn't typically celebrate the holiday. Other times, however, both husband and wife want to spend the holiday with their respective parents. In this situation, compromise is necessary to make the best decision.

 

Split the Day

If families live close together, splitting Father's Day between both dads may be the best choice. Perhaps you'll have brunch with your father and dinner with your father-in-law. Or maybe you'll accompany your father-in-law to a morning game of golf and meet your dad for a backyard BBQ later in the evening. The possibilities are endless, and as long as both men feel loved and appreciated throughout the festivities, you're doing the right thing. If you'll have to rush through one outing to make time for the other, opt for a different compromise instead.

 

Delegate the Weekend

A married couple may also consider delegating one full day to each dad. This means spending Saturday with your father and Sunday with your father-in-law, or vice versa. Splitting days allows you to have an equal amount of time with both men, and you won't need to rush through plans or feel overwhelmed.

 

Swap Plans Each Year

In some instances, splitting the day or weekend between two father figures proves difficult. If this is the case, your best bet may be swapping Father's Day every year; for example, spending your first married Father's Day with your dad and the second with your father-in-law, and switching every year thereafter. To ensure that neither man feels ignored, always explain the scenario and express your apologies about missing the day when necessary. Consider compensating for your absence with a heartfelt card or special gift, such as sporting game tickets or grilling gear.

 

Throw a Joint Celebration

To give your father and father-in-law a completely equal experience, why not invite both men to a combined Father's Day bash? A joint celebration can bring both sides of the family together—including mothers, siblings, and children—and create lasting memories. However, you should only throw a combined celebration if you already know the fathers get along, and neither will be offended by the concept. After all, you don't want any hurt feelings or awkward conversations on Father's Day!

 

Understand Your Individual Situation

Of course, every married couple has a different relationship with their parents and in-laws. Some couples may opt to spend the special day with their respective dads, particularly if they aren't close with their in-laws or put a large emphasis on family tradition. Others may need to split time with stepdads, grandparents, and their own children as well. No matter the scenario, always maintain open communication with your husband, father, and father-in-law. Make sure both men feel loved and included throughout the day, and enjoy the quality time you spend with the father figures in your life.

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About the Author

Nicole Harris

Nicole fell in love with the bridal industry after a summer internship with Martha Stewart Weddings. Although she's still a couple of years away from tying the knot, she can't help planning her own Big Day. She's crazy about creative DIY décor, classic lace gowns, colorful invitations, and huge (preferably endless) dessert spreads. Until it's time to pick her first dance song, though,...

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