New This Month

Is It Inappropriate to Invite an Ex to Your Wedding?

According to a recent survey, many couples surprisingly say no. See our etiquette advice on asking an old boyfriend or girlfriend to be among your guests on your big day. 

Photography by: Courtesy of Vera Wang Fine Paper

Q: Is it inappropriate to invite an ex to your wedding?


A: This is a highly personal decision with no right or wrong answer. In fact, a quick survey of our office found Martha Stewart Weddings editors on both sides of the aisle, with several copping to inviting exes to their own nuptials. But for every one who did, there were others who called doing so “weird” and, perhaps most passionately, “hell to the no!” Popular opinion is a little less divided according to a 2014 survey released by a U.K. special-events company, which found that two-thirds of couples would invite a former flame to their weddings.


Whether you do include an ex in your celebration comes down to circumstances. If this person has remained in your social circle, then presumably he or she is also friendly with your betrothed, meaning that (hopefully) everyone has moved on. In that case, an invitation to share in your special day seems natural. On the other hand, if your soon-to-be-partner doesn’t know this person from your past, and shows even the slightest objection to inviting him or her, you should do some soul-searching. Ask yourself what you hope to gain from revisiting ancient history. After all, the only guests who should be at your wedding are those who fully approve of and support your new union. If you honestly can’t say that about your ex, save the postage. Plus, as another MSW staffer points out, “An ex might not even want to attend your wedding—in which case it’s just awkward for all parties involved.”

About the Author

Jaime Buerger

A senior editor at MSW, Jaime edits the planning section of the magazine and writes stories on flowers, home décor, stationery, and more. Since she started, she's learned the difference between buttercream and fondant, what the 4Cs of diamonds really measure, and how to properly address both the outer and inner envelopes of an invitation. She also eats more than her fair share of...


Be the first to comment!


Don't Miss…