Wedding Etiquette | Should You Invite Your Ex To The Wedding?

ex wedding

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Let’s not sugar coat it. We all have a past. Chances are, if you are preparing for your wedding day, you have gotten over that past and have moved forward. However, it’s not always that easy; especially if the past reappears in the present in the form of an amicable relationship. So where does that leave your wedding guest list? Should you invite your ex to the wedding?

Usually, there are two schools of thought in regards to bringing past relationships into the wedding celebrations. There are those who are very traditional and completely against it and those who say the more the merrier. Of course what “they” say isn’t what matters. While etiquette experts suggest that exes shouldn’t be present at the wedding, your fiancé, friends and family just might be okay with it. If your fiancé agrees to extend the invitation after considering your current relationship with this ex and how it may affect his or her feelings during the wedding there are just a few more things to consider. For example, will inviting your ex impact guests’ experience? Those who know about your past relationship may be less inclined to celebrate openly in front of your ex in an effort to be sensitive towards his or her feelings.

wedding etiquette ex

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Inviting an ex may also have a negative impact on children; especially if you were previously married. If you and your ex were once married, its important that your children see that you will always be connected to your ex in some way, but you are now part of a new family. Inviting the ex could blur those lines of connection in the eyes of children and ultimately confuse them. However, some experts argue that inviting an ex to the wedding can be good for children as well. They say inviting an ex sets a good example for children and allows them to see the importance of not burning bridges and maintaining amicable relationships. Ultimately, this may be something for you, your ex, and your fiancé to discuss keeping your children’s maturity in mind.

If after deep thought you do decide to invite your ex, there are a few rules you should absolutely abide by. First and foremost, do not dance with your ex at the wedding under any circumstances. You also shouldn’t spend too much time speaking to your ex when making your rounds to each table. Don’t linger and limit the conversation to a few minutes. Introduce your ex to others as an “old friend”. There is no need to clue people in on your past relationship if they don’t already know. Lastly, encourage your ex to bring a date to the event. You certainly don’t want your ex or fiancé to feel uncomfortable should him or her arrive solo.

Have you attended a wedding where exes were invited?

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  1. Ring

    I don’t think that it depends on the significance of the previous relationship. If it was a “grand amour”, then no, the ex should not come. If it was a brief relationship, then yes, it’s fine.

    Why would you want someone with whom you shared a big relationship to come and watch you marry someone else? And for that matter, why would they want to come???

  2. Top Wedding Questions

    There are people who date or divorce and then go on to be friends, though probably few and far between.

  3. Writing By Terri

    Ring, I actually agree with you. But as Donna stated, those “friendly exes” do exist. I certainly wouldn’t want to have any exes at my wedding. I think it may give attendees something to gossip about at the wedding. I also think that sometimes the ex could end up “stealing the spotlight” while others speculate what really happened to end the relationship.

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