When is it Appropriate to Invite an Ex to You Wedding?

We’ve all heard the stories of brides or grooms who have invited their ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends to their weddings. However, does that make it okay for you to do it in your own wedding?

This can be an extremely sensitive issue to touch on for some couples where one is still friends with, has children with, or otherwise is still in contact with their ex.  As each case is unique, let’s take a look at some things to consider when deciding on whether or not to invite your ex to your wedding.

What If you’re Best Friends with Your Ex?

If you and your ex are still best friends then chances are good that you’ll want to invite them to your wedding. This is natural, since most people want their closest friends there to celebrate with them on their special day. However, it is still a topic that you’ll want to discuss with your fiancé because it can cause a lot of tension prior to the wedding day.

One way that you could make the issue a bit less sensitive is to invite an entire “group” who may have been associated with your ex.  It will create a lot less tension as well as less drama between you and your fiancé.

Think About Children

One of the only times when it is socially acceptable to invite your ex is if you’ve had a child with them. This is something that your fiancé is going to need to accept. If a child isn’t invited to the wedding because of this issue then it could create some resentment issues between the exes as well as the children.

When Bruce and Kris tied the knot in 1991, their children also participated in the ceremony.

When Bruce and Kris tied the knot in 1991, their children also participated in the ceremony.

Traditionalists like Peggy Post have opined that it is better to not invite an ex even when you have children with them, as “it can be confusing to your children, who need to see you and your new groom (or bride) as a family unit, separate from the ex.  The children also need to understand that while you (and your ex) are all still their parents, you are otherwise not connected to each other.”

On the other hand, another school of thought believes that maintaining a good relationship with an ex can be beneficial to the children, especially since society as a whole is reevaluating its definition of what it means to be a family.  Experts following this thinking encourage the invitation of the ex so the kids can have extra parental support on what will be an extremely emotional day for them.

When Shouldn’t You Invite an Ex to Your Wedding?

If children are not involved in the equation, you should seriously rule out the possibility of inviting your ex to your wedding.  Many human behavior experts agree that once two people have been lovers, they can never be just friends.  Inviting your ex in these cases will likely make your spouse uncomfortable with the gesture and lead them to wonder how committed you are in respecting their wants and needs.

Remember that this day is about BOTH of you, and that your ex is not a major part of your wedding day no matter how you feel about them. Having a nostalgic reminder of your past there won’t allow you to fully focus on the happiness that you’re supposed to feel when starting a new life with someone else.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you invite an ex to a wedding just to show them that you’re happier or better off without them! Not only is this childish and immature but it is again going to cause a lot of problems between you and your fiancé.

Other Considerations

Keep in mind that there is likely going to be a lot of gossip regarding this issue if you decide to invite your ex to your wedding.  If you and your fiancé DO decide to forward an invitation, allow them to bring a guest so they won’t feel alone, and seat them at a table with friends for the same reason.

DO NOT give your ex any special attention, or otherwise have them stand out in any way.  Don’t speak too much to them, introduce them to others as your ex (simply as a friend), or dance with them.  If at all possible, discretely ask them to skip the catching of the bouquet/garter so it doesn’t make anyone uncomfortable.  Finally, don’t drink too much during the festivities…this is a day you will want to remember forever, not regret!


Above anything, remember that communication is crucial. Speak with your fiancé before inviting an ex and always weigh the pros and cons of such a move before making it. It can be a sensitive topic that can hinder the happiness that your significant other feels on your special day, so tread carefully!

Have you or someone you know invited an ex to a wedding?  If so, how was the experience?  Would you advise for it or against it?