Fiancé What?

Can Someone on the “Ex-List” Make it to the Guest List?


While we’re pretty full of ourselves here at The Plunge, we admit that sometimes we have no idea what women want out of the wedding planning process. That’s why we turn to our friends at BRIDES whenever we need an honest, female point of view. Check out this latest insight from the bride’s side.

There are three topics universally declared “off limits” for a first date—politics, religion, and past relationships. But now that you and your fiancé are getting married, surely y’all can discuss anything—including whether or not it’s okay to extend a wedding initiation to a former flame. While we’re convinced there’s a rousing chorus of voices out there belting “Never!” we’re willing to play devil’s advocate here (especially if we get a pointy pitchfork to poke people with). There may be some cases for an individual on the “ex-list” making it on the guest list. To figure out if yours is one of them, try answering the below five questions. (Note: Present this litmus test to your fiancé if she’s the one attempting to negotiate an “ex-vite.”)

What Kinda Ex?

Girlfriend? Wife? Baby-Mama? Sloppy hook-up after too many sake shots and a drunken karaoke rendition of “Let It Go?” A serious ex-girlfriend or wife will require more conscientious consideration than a one-time mistake with a co-worker you remain close to platonically, or who ended up pairing off with an even closer friend that you were definitely planning to invite. If she’s the mother of your child, and you’re on good terms, it might even be nice to have a built-in babysitter for the day. The takeaway consideration is: how do you catalogue them in your mind? If “pal” or “like a sister” or “co-parent” seems more apt than “love interest,” you could be in the clear.

How Long Ago Did You Have Intimate Relations?

A childhood family friend you held hands with on the playground in elementary school twenty years ago is a fine invitee. Anyone you had sex with less than 24 months ago (or longer depending on how long you’ve been exclusive) better not be within 24-feet of you on your wedding day.

Were You Emotionally Destroyed When Things Ended?

If you felt intense feels then, the sight of your ex at your wedding—quite possibly the most emotional day of your life—is bound the bring unwanted emotions bubbling back up at full boil. Did you move cities or go into therapy because of this ex? Did you keep this ex as a back burner and orbit her social media for years? (If you’re still doing that, we need to talk off-thread.) Consider your marriage the right time to permanently cut ties with that one—even if this individual is still in your peripheral friend group.

Does Your Partner Have Something to Say About It?

Bizarre scenarios do exist in which a current and former lover become besties—like in that Kate Upton movie or the real-life example of TV producer Brad Falchuk and Coldplay’s Chris Martin. It’s even rumored Martin could be the best man at Falchuck and noted woo-woo serum peddler Gwyneth Paltrow’s upcoming nuptials. It’s weird, but apparently, it happens. If the ex is a mutual friend or someone with whom your fiance takes zero issue with being there—great! Just confirm the sincerity levels when she assures you she won’t feel jealous/uncomfortable/bothered. If you’re skeptical, skip the ex-vite.

Are You Honestly Okay Giving the Ex A Plus-One?

Aha! This is perhaps the real question you must ask yourself to suss out whether having your ex there will spawn drama. How will you feel watching potential giggling and cooing with another person? Will you care if they start making out on the dancefloor during the “Cupid Shuffle?” Will it trouble you to watch your ex-squeeze another’s hand and mouth the words, “We’re next!” during your vows? If you wouldn’t be alright one day attending her wedding with the dashing suiter she brought to yours, you can’t invite her. And if you truly feel that way, you might want to make sure your fiancé still wants to invite you.

Two beautiful girls having a night out and drinking outdoors

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