Would You Invite an Ex to Your Wedding?
How to Invite Your Ex to Your Wedding
If party planning isn’t tough enough, now you want to invite your ex to your wedding. And while there is no clear cut etiquette answer on the suitability or otherwise of having an ex at a wedding – Prince William and Princess Catherine invited ex-flames to their wedding – it is important that both you and your fiancé are comfortable with the decision and have talked it through.
Having an ex at your wedding takes tremendous tact and an extremely understanding fiancé––hopefully one who is confident enough in your relationship to freely admit if he or she feels uncomfortable with having your ex at the wedding or is truthful when stating he or she is totally fine seeing your ex sitting in the congregation. It also matters why you're inviting your ex, as extending an invitation to your ex should be executed with grace and class and only if you parted ways on amicable grounds and no longer have romantic feelings for each other.
In this article, you'll learn how to approach the possible complications and the delicacies involved in asking an ex to your wedding.
Think over why you want your ex at the wedding.There are not many compelling reasons to include an ex at a wedding but the exceptions might be sufficient in your own case to override any concerns. For starters, if you're on speaking terms with an ex-spouse, ex-fiancé or an ex from a long relationship, at the very least inform them of the engagement. If you're not on speaking terms, write a note to let them know. If children are involved, your ex needs to know about your marriage and agreed arrangements as to the children's involvement should be arranged. Whatever you do, don't leave it up to the children to answer your ex-spouse's questions about your wedding. Reasons that you might wish to go beyond merely informing your ex and actually inviting them to the wedding include:
- You're still really good friends with your ex and there is no animosity between you. There are lots of reasons for why people part amicably and still remain firm friends; that's totally your call and your business. However, if you intend to remain in touch with your ex post-wedding, then the sooner this is clarified for your fiancé, the better.
- You want your ex-spouse to be present because you had children together and it will help everyone to meld properly. Again, this is only provided you get along with your ex.
- You may have no choice. Your ex may be the husband or wife of a brother, sister or other family member. In which case, there isn't going to be much more to discuss, as it's assumed everyone is going to behave nicely!
- Wanting to rub your ex's nose in it isnota valid reason for inviting him or her to your wedding. Your fiancé won't appreciate this motive and neither will your ex; if guests also work out that this is the motive, you'll be publicly shamed.
Ponder any consequences to inviting your ex.After exploring why you think you want your ex to come to the wedding, also think about any reason why you shouldnotinvite your ex. Is the venue for your reception a place that holds romantic connotations for the two of you? Are you going to use music, poetry, songs or other elements that have a romantic meaning or memorable attachment from the time the two of you were together? Or does your ex become confrontational when he or she drinks or gets over-emotional at a social event? Any potential for emotional explosiveness should be thoroughly explored and dismissed before deciding that it's a good idea to invite your ex to the wedding.The last thing you want is a movie scene style sequence of your ex jumping up and objecting to the marriage out of spite or inability to get over you!
- If your ex isn't over you and is liable to cry at your wedding ceremony, ditch the whole idea. There is nothing more uncomfortable for everyone present than a public display of weeping for lost love. What a downer!
Discuss the notion with your fiancé.The most important step is to make sure your fiancé is completely comfortable with you inviting your ex to the wedding. The best way to approach your betrothed with the invitation is to choose a quiet area in your home or at a restaurant to review the guest list.
- Review the list of friends you’d like to invite and ask your fiancé his or her feelings about inviting your ex. Approach the query with an open-ended question and let him or her have the floor to express his or her full opinion. By now, it should be absolutely clear to your fiancé that you are still in regular contact with your ex and have a good friendship.
- Make sure that your fiancé knows that you have no strong feelings about having your ex at the wedding. Take a casual approach to whether or not he or she is invited so your fiancé doesn’t have to worry about hurting your feelings. If you want your ex there because of the children, then say so, as this can actually make it easier on your fiancé who will see that this is about broader family implications, not just about old feelings.
- Tell your fiancé to be completely honest with his or her feelings and to express his or her gut reaction. Let your fiancé know that it's fine to say no but that you hope for [whatever reason you've given] that your fiancé will agree. Be conscious that the thought that goes through the minds of many a person asked to cope with an ex at a wedding is: "Is he/she going to look at that person and remember all the good timestheyhad together?"
- Be prepared to drop the notion of inviting your ex if it seems likely to create deep anxiety for your spouse-to-be and is likely to ruin his or her wedding experience.
- Involve your fiancé in laying down ground rules if the ex comes to the wedding. Let your fiancé know that your priority is the wedding and the marriage. Allow your fiancé to establish the ground rules based on his or her comfort level and stick to them. For example, during the reception, you can only have small talk with your ex and no dances or lengthy discussions. Or perhaps your ex is only allowed to attend the wedding but not the reception. Work out together what sits most comfortably for both of you.
Ask your parents and/or family for their input.In some cases, the ex may be a family friend, which will negate any issues with the invitation on your parents’ part. However, if you originally didn’t part ways on a high note or if your parents or other relatives have a beef with your ex, you may want to broach the subject with the relevant relative. Avoid springing the announcement on the family during a public occasion such as dinner if a family member is uncomfortable with your ex. Instead, as with your fiancé, discuss the matter in a quiet, private room where you can open the discussion to honest feelings and opinions.
Consider whether inviting your ex will cause problems for any other wedding guests.As with your family, consider if your ex’s presence will set off another guest. The last thing you want is a boxing match or a showdown at your elegant affair. Mentally review your entire guest list to ensure there are no conflicts, no other complicated relationship skeletons in the closet that could spring forth during the heady emotionalism of a wedding. If you discover a potential for conflict, determine if you can discuss the invitation with the relevant guest or even consider not inviting that particular guest, if feasible. Naturally, this will involve weighing up who is the most apt to invite to your wedding out of the guest with a potential for conflict or your ex.
Get your ex’s opinion.Obviously, if you want to invite your ex, it's presumed that you're still on friendly terms. All the same, he or she may be uncomfortable with the whole concept of being invited to your wedding and their feelings should be respected. When asking them if they'd mind coming, explain your reasons for having them come along. In addition, explain how the ceremony will play out and what type of reception you plan to throw (if you're planning on inviting your ex to the reception as well). Be sure to let your ex know who else is invited and reassure your ex that he or she is absolutely allowed to bring a date.
Involve your fiancé in seating arrangements.Avoid seating or locating your ex near any other ex-flames or anyone who might be unhappy being near him or her. In the church or hall, your ex should be seated or located away from the front rows, where immediate family sits or stands. At the reception, your ex should not be seated at any of the primary tablesunlessthis is important for keeping an eye on very young children. Even then, it would be better to ask other family members to do that instead if the children need to be at the primary tables. At all times, be considerate as to who will be forced to mingle with whom as a result of seating arrangements.
QuestionWhat should I do if my spouse threatened to hold me at gunpoint if I arrived at my wedding?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerCall the police and notify them that someone is threatening your life.Thanks!
- You may wish to discuss the suitability or otherwise of your ex giving the two of you a gift. In this instance, a constant reminder may not be something your fiancé much cares to see.
- Don’t ditch close friends or relatives in order to fit your ex onto your guest list––he or she shouldn’t trump the people who have been there for you through thick and thin.
- Only extend an invitation to an ex if you have the purest and best of intentions.
- Don’t extend an invitation if you suspect your ex may try to sabotage or ruin your wedding.
- If you're having cold feet or are reconsidering your marriage, don’t invite your ex and seek counseling.
- Never ask an alcoholic or drug-addicted ex to your wedding. That is simply asking for trouble.
- Avoid asking an ex you've only recently broken up with. What "recent" means depends on your circumstances but if your fiancé thinks it's recent, that's telling you.
- Never invite your ex to “show him or her up” or try to make your ex feel bad that you are married and he or she is not.
Video: Your Ex-Husband's Ex
Drop earrings not bombs: The Syrian refugee story you haven’t read yet
How to Tune Your Guitar to Nashville Tuning
How many molecules of ATP can be created through the aerobic system with 5 molecules of oxygen
How to Be a Good Vegetarian Guest
Hair expert reveals why shampoo could actually be terrible for our hair
How to Get a Body Like a Victorias Secret Angel
More Designers Are Moving Their New York Fashion Week Shows to Los Angeles
Be Ready for Anything
How to End a Letter of Apology
How to Cope with Parental Alienation of Children
The Best Leggings For You, Based On Your Zodiac Sign
What Accounts for Increase in Childhood Bipolar Diagnoses