Never invite your ex, (or exes if you have more than one) to your wedding! Never create drama when it can be avoided. No matter how well you all get along, weddings tend to bring out the emotional side in people. There is nothing worse than looking over during your vows to see your hubby’s ex-girlfriend sobbing and mouthing “It should have been me!” or worse, looking longingly at him while showing ample cleavage and a thigh-high split skirt.
Hmmm. “How did she manage to get in the first row anyway?”
As a rule of thumb, if the thought of inviting any individual gives you more than a moment’s pause, that person does not belong at your event. Who is so important that you can’t imagine getting married without them there? When it comes to the people in our pasts, the decision to keep them there or bring them into our futures can leave us totally perplexed.
When deciding whether or not to scratch off or add your ex’s name to the guest list, ask yourself why you want to invite this person to your wedding and be honest when giving your answer.
It is generally better to leave your ex out of your big day plans, especially if:
• Your break-up was messy and complicated and there remains unsolved issues between the two of you
• One of you still harbors romantic feelings for the other
• The sight of your ex brings up mixed emotions or feelings and takes your mind off, in some way, your fiancé and your wedding day
• Your motive for inviting them is primarily to show off how happy you are, now that you are with someone else (not a good idea!)
• Your fiancé does not feel comfortable having them at the wedding
• It will make family and friends uncomfortable
While amicable divorces are not the norm, an increasing number of couples have ongoing contact with their exes, experts say. If you’re uncomfortable with ex-girlfriends or ex-boyfriends coming, even if your fiancé is on friendly terms with them. . . you better speak up now!
My opinion. . . unless there is a VERY GOOD reason for inviting your Ex (other than we are still friends). . . I say, “No exes. That’s a no-no!” No – you should NOT invite your ex-fiancé (or husband or wife) to your wedding. It makes everyone uncomfortable.
Need another reason for not inviting the ex? No matter how amicable your divorce, it can be awkward for your guests to show happiness for you in front of a former partner with whom things didn’t work out. It says a lot about you that you can remain friends after a break-up however, on your wedding day, the declaration of your love and commitment to your real fiancé should be the main focus. It’s your wedding. Have fun and don’t worry about your ex.
There ought to be an ex etiquette (wedtiquette) rule that states that you should never invite an ex-wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, or ex-anything-else to your wedding, regardless of how much they tell you that they’re over you or you say you are over them.
One final thought: If you and your ex have children together, then you may all decide that it would be for the best for your ex to also come along for the occasion. Children are very sensitive to the way their parents feel about each other, even after they have been divorced for years. If they sense any sort of exclusion or animosity, then they might become distressed to still see their parents at loggerheads with one another.
But before coming to this decision, try to gauge your childrens’ feelings on the subject of your marriage. Do they want to see their father or mother at your wedding? Have they expressed indifference? Based on their feelings and the feelings of your new partner, you should then decide what the best course of action will be. At the very least telling your ex about the wedding ensures that your kids don’t have to break the big news – and that they won’t have other plans with your ex the day of your wedding.
Ubertraditional etiquette expert Peggy Post agrees that exes shouldn’t be present, but her concern is mainly for the children, if you have any, and those coming to your wedding. In her book, Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette, Fifth Edition (Harper Resource, 2005), she says that even when you have children with an ex-spouse, it’s better not to invite your ex. “It can be confusing to your children, who need to see you and your new groom (or bride) as a family unit, separate from the ex. They also need to understand that while you are all still their parents, you are otherwise not connected to each other.”
Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you discuss your options with your new partner.
NOTE: Thank you to the Knot for contributing to this article.
Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 455 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.
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