Can I Invite My Ex?

Q: My fiancée and I have a very good relationship with my ex-wife. We all get along and I would like to invite her—and our daughter, of course—to my wedding. What is the etiquette on this?

A: As a rule, it’s usually recommended that ex-spouses not be invited to the wedding, even if you have an extremely amicable relationship. There are several reasons for this: Your child may be confused by her mother’s presence at your nuptials. Guests, too, may feel a bit uncomfortable and not know what to say to your ex (putting the focus on her instead of on you and your new wife). Finally, your former wife may not really want to see you tie the knot, and she’ll be in the uncomfortable position of having to decline.

However, I do believe that these situations should be assessed on a case by case basis, and if you and your fiancée have a great relationship with your ex, go ahead and send her an invite. (After all, Bruce Willis happily attended the marriage of his former wife, Demi Moore, to Ashton Kutcher!) Just be absolutely sure that your fiancée is OK with it. If she indicates even the slightest bit of hesitation or doubt, don’t do it. After all, you wouldn’t want your wedding day to be marred by any misgivings or regrets. You should celebrate your commitment to your new wife to the fullest.

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