Ask Brittany: My Fiancé Invited His Ex To Our Wedding

    My fiancé and I did our guest lists separately and gave them to our wedding planner. I just peeked at his list out of curiosity and noticed he invited a girl he dated in college. I knew they were still friends and she is currently in a pretty serious relationship, but this still doesn’t sit right with me. Am I overreacting?

    That is a tough spot to be in. I’m just glad you didn’t find out at the wedding! I don’t know that you are overreacting, but inviting an ex to the wedding is a question that, surprisingly, comes up over and over again. Here’s the thing: inviting exes to the wedding is rarely a good idea, but, you don’t want to dismiss people that could be close to your fiancé either. The fact that you made separate guest list indicates you’re both pretty independent and clear about who you want to share your day with. So just ask him, in a non-confrontational way, why he chose to include her.

    Maybe you’ll learn something new. If his answer still doesn’t sit right with you, let him know. But I would encourage you to come from a place of really understanding their friendship rather than what it might look like to other people. At the end of the day you can’t have any drama at your wedding and since he gave you the ring, there is no competition between the two of you—but people important to your fiancé should also be important to you. 

    I would encourage you to come from a place of really understanding their friendship rather than what it might look like to other people.

    There are a couple of exceptions for inviting ex-significant others to a wedding, including if everyone is now friends or if there are children involved. In the case of kids, relationship and etiquette expert, April Masini, suggests including a spouse to help ease things for children involved: “When the kids see you can all get along and the marriage is condoned, they’ll have a much easier time with the new relationship dynamics created by the wedding.”

    However, this might be a little too modern family, for even my taste. Depending on the age of the children and the length of time of the new relationships, I’m not sure this is a real indication of healthy co-parenting. Of course, if everyone is so close you want to invite them, that’s wonderful but I believe kids adjust to the new dynamics based on the tone set by the adults. If you are in a healthy enough co-parenting relationship that your ex could come to your wedding, then that is already likely reflected in the relationships with the children. I think a simple family talk would suffice. Plus kids have an amazing BS reader, so you could inadvertently trigger loyalties if the kids know one parent isn’t really happy to be there.

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    Cali Pitchel

    Cali Pitchel is Joy’s Director of Marketing. She lives in San Francisco with her soon-to-be-husband and three houseplants. She was born in Boston, raised in Arizona, is a voracious reader, a lover of the great outdoors, and a photography junkie.

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