You can't invite a former boyfriend or girlfriend to your wedding if their presence on your big day will upset your fiancé. That's just a hard and fast rule and you're not allowed to break it.
I've blogged about how incestuous some wedding parties seem - everybody has dated or slept with somebody else in the wedding party. Half the bridesmaids either hate or adore half of the groomsmen, and vice versa. It would be just plain funny if it didn't frequently cause drama once people have had too much to drink. And that's why I recommend figuring out your love triangles before you choose your wedding party.
But today's blog is about the question of whether the actual bride or groom should invite a former lover to his or her wedding day to another person. It's a tricky question and there's not one simple answer.
If the fiancé and your ex are friends and regularly socialize anyway, why wouldn't you both want to invite that person to your wedding? Obviously, there are no bad feelings. And we've seen that at a number of weddings we've planned. In fact, I've had ex-husbands as guests at two different weddings because everybody is co-parenting and they want it to be a positive family experience.
A problem with extending the invitation only exists if either the bride or groom does not want to have the former girlfriend or boyfriend invited to the wedding. And really, it shouldn't even be an issue. If your fiancé objects to you extending an invitation to a former paramour of any level, you should respect your future spouse enough NOT to invite that person.
Unfortunately, not everyone is as considerate as you would think. And apparently, not every bride or groom is smart enough to understand how hurtful such an invitation would be if the fiancé objects to extending it.
I received the following question via my "Ask Sandy" page from a groom who is very hurt and very frustrated. It was the inspiration for this blog.
"I just learned that my fiancé sent a save-the-date to one of her old flings. A drinking buddy that she hooked up with a few times. She said she didn't consider him a 'true ex' and didn't see the problem with it and assumed that I would be okay with the 'situation.' I'm uncomfortable with it. Someone who knows my bride to be in such an intimate way, I don't want to see them on our wedding day. I've only met him once and I was unimpressed, so it isn't like we have a friendship, but he's in her circle of close friends. I have seen pictures of them online and they certainly look like a couple. One picture looks especially romantic at her brother's wedding that we attended last year (when I met the FWB). He has his arms around her and they look happy as can be. I'll say it again, I do not want to see him on our special day. Is it too late now that he was one of the first people she sent a save the date to? I'm I stuck thinking about their prior escapades on my wedding day? Can I ask her to call and explain my hesitations? What options do I have since he's already expecting a formal invitation? Thank you."
First of all, no save-the-dates or invitations should be mailed to ANYONE before both the bride and groom have approved the list. That's just common sense and the best way to avoid ending up in this situation.
Second, this groom needs to seriously think about what's going on in the relationship here. If he's been uncomfortable about his fiancé's relationship with this guy all along, the fact that "he was one of the first people she sent" a notice to should actually concern the groom. Everything might be totally kosher and nothing is going on, but they're really good friends. In this case, the groom is going to have to get over his insecurities and work on building a friendship with the former FWB (Friend With Benefits) or their friendship will eventually destroy his marriage.
It's perfectly okay to have a friendship with a former lover, but not if that friendship isn't also copacetic with your mate. If your relationship with that ex as your friend is more important than your fiancé's feelings, you probably shouldn't be getting married. For real.
Hopefully, this bride will listen to her upset fiancé because this situation can still be reversed. She messed up. She never should have invited somebody like that to the wedding without getting her fiancé's blessing on it first. Only she can fix it, but it is fixable.
She needs to pick up the phone and tell her former FWB that she erred when she sent the invitation, and that she and her fiancé have agreed it's best not to invite each other's former lovers to their wedding. She should say she's sorry and she's embarrassed, but then let it go at that. There will be no formal invitation to follow. The save-the-date was a mistake that never should have happened.
If she isn't willing to do that, there are deeper issues at play here and both halves of this couple need to re-evaluate whether they're ready to take vows "til death do us part" yet or not.
End of day, don't invite anybody to the wedding until both of you have agreed upon the entire guest list. If you don't agree on somebody, that person probably shouldn't be invited.
Until next time, happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques and Sandy Malone Weddings & Events!