For years, inviting ex-partners to the marriage of you and your current companion was a huge no-no. No matter how amicably the two of you got on, there are some lines that were not to be crossed. Until the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, that is.
The royal wedding changed our perception of many wedding related topics, including the practice of not inviting of ex-partners. Prince Harry didn’t just invite one of his ex-girlfriends, but two, with both Cressida Bonas and Chelsy Davy showing up to the ceremony at Windsor Castle. Whilst we’ll never know just why Harry invited the pair along, many marrying couples have their own reasons why they are for or vehemently against ex-partners or -spouses being a part of their wedding guest lists. Here we explore what every bride- or groom-to-be should consider before sending out save the dates to former loves.
How will it affect you and your fiancé?
You need to appreciate the impact an ex-partner’s presence will have on both you and your fiancé. Could you bear to do the usual newlywed meet and greet with your ex when working the room at your wedding? Or will you be tinged with rage when you glance over and see your partner’s ex comfortably seated at your nuptials?
Even if you don’t have a problem socialising with your ex on an everyday basis, you or your partner may find it painful for them to be present at such a special, relationship-affirming occasion. Sit down with your partner and have a frank discussion about any inclusion of exes on your guest list, and honour each other long before you exchange vows. Your fiancé may need some words of reassurance from you if you do decide to go ahead and invite them to your ceremony or reception, so make sure you spell out that they are the only one for you.
What type of ex are they?
The type of ex your ex-partner is can make a huge difference on whether inviting them to your wedding is the right thing to do. There is, after all, a world of difference between an ex you shared a brief fling and stayed firm friends with, and one that you almost walked down the aisle with. A person you shared a casual relationship with or one you never bedded in the first place may be a good candidate for a wedding invite if their friendship is important to you now.
Considering how you feel about your ex now and what emotions are conjured up by recalling the memories you shared together will also be an indicator of whether or not inviting them is the right choice for you.
Do you share kids with your ex?
If you share children with your ex-partner, overcoming the issue of whether or not to invite them is a whole other kettle of fish! Relationship and etiquette expert April Masini explains why inviting a person you have children with is one of the few instances where it’s ok to share the occasion with an ex-partner:
“In some cases, when you have children together and you’re remarrying, it’s a show of good will towards the complicated blended family culture to have your ex at the wedding, or simply to invite him… 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.”