Words Of Wedding Wisdom: EX PARTNERS AT WEDDINGS

Welcome to this series of articles based on my popular book, “The A to Z of Wedding Wisdom” … a few juicy extracts that you might like, to give you a taster of what the book can do to help make your wedding (or a friend or relative’s wedding) superbly successful.

This time, we look at…

Ex partners

There’s a big difference between telling your ex that you’re getting married (or married again) and actually inviting him or her to your wedding. In the former category there are some moral obligations, but in the latter category it’s entirely up to you.

Tell them or not?

No matter how estranged you are from the other parent of your child or children it’s only right that you should tell them if you’re getting married. In any case your children will know and unless they’re estranged from their other parent, they are bound to mention it.

This is fair not only because of the change that will take place in your life, but also because of the relationship that your child or children will have with your new spouse.

If you don’t have children with your ex then whether you tell him/her or not is entirely dependent on how well you get on with him/her now. You’re under no obligation, but unless you absolutely hate each other it’s courteous to let him/her know.

Invite them or not?

This is a big one. Nowadays it’s very fashionable to have “blended families” where current partners and former partners all get along as one big happy unit, and provided their feelings are genuine that can provide many benefits for all – especially children. But sometimes I wonder just how genuine those “happy family” feelings really are. No matter how civilized a break-up has been, in my view usually there is still a bit of lingering baggage. And even if there’s just a tiny bit, do you really want that at your wedding?

The issue of whether it’s good for your children to have their other parent (your ex) at your wedding is another hot potato. Ostensibly it may seem very grownup and mature to mix everyone together but some experts believe that it can be confusing, especially for younger children. The idea is that it’s better for the children to acknowledge you and your new spouse as an item without the added complication of your ex being around – especially if the children might be inclined to draw comparisons.

If you do invite your ex, make sure you invite their current partner or a “date” as well, to even things up. If you’re doing a sit-down meal it’s a good idea to ensure they are placed with people they already know, if possible. And be tactful; don’t spend too much time chatting or dancing with your ex and don’t rub your new spouse’s nose in it by introducing your ex as such. It’s better to describe them as an old friend, or as your children’s Mom or Dad.

What about their parents?

Once again, if you and your ex have children together then it’s courteous to tell your ex’s parents that you’re getting married again. You do not have to invite them to the wedding but if you’re still on good terms with them, if they approve of your marriage, and if they’re close to your children, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be invited.

For all 174 pages of helpful tips and advice, grab your copy of “The A to Z of Wedding Wisdom” from Amazon (USA), Amazon (Canada), Amazon (UK) and all other Amazons.