Wedding Woes

If family will be there, mom doesn't need to be.

Dear Prudence,

My fiancé and I are planning our wedding. He has two girls (7 and 9) from a previous relationship. We alternate weeks with their mother; the wedding date falls on the end of custody week so we can take our honeymoon before our next time with the kids. I have a good relationship with the girls but not much of one with their mother, beyond small talk. My fiancé deals with his ex, and she has requested to come to the wedding to “support” the girls. The girls have not expressed any stress over the wedding to their father or the rest of the family. In fact they are very excited to give their dad away during the ceremony. I don’t want this woman at my wedding. She isn’t a horrible human being, but she was not happy when I started dating her ex-husband. She has subsequently made a few attempts at “reconciliation.” Our guest list is small, and I honestly don’t want to have anyone there who isn’t going to support us as a couple. We are starting our lives and our family together. Is it all right to put my foot down? My husband just doesn’t want to cause a rift right before everything gets thrown into wedding mode. We are juggling a lot of balls in the air. If the girls were small, I would understand, but not this.

—Ex at the Wedding

Re: If family will be there, mom doesn't need to be.

  • Keep up the dialogue with the H.   And then ask him if he is comfortable talking to a different family member who can be in the support / supervisory role of the girls while you are not.

    If you can orchestrate all of this so the kids have an aunt,cousin or set of grandparents that can be there for them and are happy to assume the in-charge role while you are doing wedding-related activities then your FI needs to have a polite but firm conversation with the ex and say that he appreciates her desire to watch the kids and it's under control so she isn't needed.   The kids will be with that side of the family for the day and you can now work on arrangements for the time that they'll be returned to mom. 


    short+sassycharlotte989875OliveOilsMom
  • I really do understand where this woman is coming from. 

    Having said that, it's not worth the fight it will cause for anyone and perpetuate and ex-wife is totally looking to start one.  This sounds like her usual MO.  I'd smile, be gracious, and welcome her with open arms.  I'd put someone in charge of keeping her TF away from me on the day, but TBH, I suspect ex-wife doesn't show up once her teeth are defanged.  She isn't going to outsparkle the couple and if she does, she'll be the one who looks gross.
  • VarunaTT said:
    I really do understand where this woman is coming from. 

    Having said that, it's not worth the fight it will cause for anyone and perpetuate and ex-wife is totally looking to start one.  This sounds like her usual MO.  I'd smile, be gracious, and welcome her with open arms.  I'd put someone in charge of keeping her TF away from me on the day, but TBH, I suspect ex-wife doesn't show up once her teeth are defanged.  She isn't going to outsparkle the couple and if she does, she'll be the one who looks gross.
    That's also a good point.   If the ex is more likely to create a shit storm of fury at an anticipated lack of invitation up to and including the exclusion of the kids then welcome her with a smile and instead of asking someone to look over the girls, as someone to run interference.  It's not like the FI is going to kiss the wrong woman that day. 
    VarunaTTdowntondiva
  • I never understand when an ex wants to be at the wedding. It's just awkward - good relationship or not.

    But if ex-wife puts up a fight then LW has to think "is this the hill I want to die on?" The answer is likely no. Maybe LW's FI should ask the ex honestly if there is a reason she wants to go and during that convo, offer to have another family member support/be there for the girls.
    VarunaTTdowntondivakerbohl
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I don't think this should be up to LW at all. LW really doesn't have a relationship with the ex. It's really up to this dude to decide if he wants his ex there and what's best for the kids. It could be good for the kids to see their mom there while their dad gets remarried. 

    LW says the ex wasn't happy when they started dating, but it doesn't sound like this is a situation where the ex is going to create a scene either. 
    charlotte989875
  • He just needs to say no. It’s not her day, it’s a wildly inappropriate request, just say no calmly. 
    charlotte989875CasadenaOliveOilsMom
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    VarunaTT said:
    I really do understand where this woman is coming from. 

    Having said that, it's not worth the fight it will cause for anyone and perpetuate and ex-wife is totally looking to start one.  This sounds like her usual MO.  I'd smile, be gracious, and welcome her with open arms.  I'd put someone in charge of keeping her TF away from me on the day, but TBH, I suspect ex-wife doesn't show up once her teeth are defanged.  She isn't going to outsparkle the couple and if she does, she'll be the one who looks gross.
    This. 

  • While I understand where the LW is coming from, I think she needs to take her FI's cue on this.  This isn't a hill that HE wants to die on.  And, even with a smaller wedding, she doesn't have to spend a lick of time with this woman, other than to say, "Thank you so much for coming."

    She looks like the bigger person, while she can happily rip the other woman apart in her head.  Being as mean and unfair as she wants to be, lol..."Did she seriously wear those shoes out in public?  What a terrible, chunky necklace.  Pfft, I can't believe she showed up, knowing she was going to look so frumpy next to me."

    FWIW, when my cousin got married, her H's ex-wife was invited and went to the wedding.  I got the impression it was also at her request "to support their daughter".  Who was 12, lol.  But I don't think either my cousin or her H minded.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    charlotte989875VarunaTT
  • If your FI doesn’t want to rock the boat I think that’s something to take into account. But I also think LW has a say in the guest list. They both do.

    I wouldn’t want a woman who tried to reconcile with my husband their when we got married, either. I don’t think she’s out of line for not wanting to invite the ex, but I don’t think this is something either LW or the FI can unilaterally decide. 
    mrsconn23
  • @mrsconn23, those are good points too!  I keep vacillating back and forth on this one, lol.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • mrsconn23 said:
    I would be on team 'let it go and let her come to the wedding' IF the ex had not meddled in their relationship at the beginning and tried a reconciliation with LW's FI.   Yes, there's 'being the bigger person', but you do that A LOT in step-parenting.  I just don't feel the actual wedding day is the time to do that. 

    The FI's argument for not starting a 'rift' is too tepid IMO.   His ex had no issue trying to do so when LW and FI were trying to establish their relationship.  He's not saying he's concerned about the kids emotionally or child watching/wrangling issues. 

    They're involving the kids (which they're excited about), they've arranged the wedding around the custody schedule, and LW doesn't have an established, at minimum cordial relationship with the ex, so I say not inviting her is OK and/or FI needs a better reason for his case to invite her. The kids are young enough that these conversations/negotiations should not be occurring around them so they should be none the wiser. 

    Also, trying to get yourself invited to someone's wedding is rude.  Sorry, not sorry.
    Meh - I had a guest at my wedding who tried to break DH and me up.

    She was a friend in college and dated a friend of mine at the time.   They broke up and she went crazy (he called her psychohosebeast) and then anytime we attempted to be civil anything I did was an argument.  I knew she had feelings for DH at the time time I did but I pounced first and then we started dating.   In the first few months of our relationship she asked if it was true that I was bad in bed, told him he was welcome to help her move but when I offered to bury the hatchet I was NOT welcome to join in on the manual labor and then when moving day arrived and she was done she asked him to just "stay and hang out".  He got off the highway at the next exit and turned around and joined me and never looked back.   We're together 15 years (married over 12) now. 

    Then, the friend relocated to the same area where DH's best friend lives.   He told the friend, "Look dude - I'm warning you.   She's bad news bears.   Be warned."  Friend took the warning and we found out after we got engaged that they were an item.   DH had a visceral and physical reaction.   He's normally a "whatever blows your hair back" kind of guy but looked at his friend and said, NOOOO!   Well, fast forward a few months and the relationship is starting to sour.   We knew things were off, hoped that the friend would end it (I honestly hope that she's changed but she was just toxic at the time) and I truly questioned whether or not she could be trusted.    I did the thing that you aren't supposed to do and invited the friend 'and guest' not naming her on the invitation so that there was zero chance she could try to claim that she was an invited guest if they broke up.

    Wedding day approached and I asked my BMs to be on duty in case anything went down - but luckily NOTHING happened.   Because we were all adults and knew better.   The relationship with DH's best friend ended and I don't know what she's up to but he's moved on.   

    I know it's not the same as the OP's situation but I think they need to pick their battles here especially if a fit could be thrown and it could affect the attendance of the kids. 

    short+sassy
  • mrsconn23 said:
    I would be on team 'let it go and let her come to the wedding' IF the ex had not meddled in their relationship at the beginning and tried a reconciliation with LW's FI.   Yes, there's 'being the bigger person', but you do that A LOT in step-parenting.  I just don't feel the actual wedding day is the time to do that. 

    The FI's argument for not starting a 'rift' is too tepid IMO.   His ex had no issue trying to do so when LW and FI were trying to establish their relationship.  He's not saying he's concerned about the kids emotionally or child watching/wrangling issues. 

    They're involving the kids (which they're excited about), they've arranged the wedding around the custody schedule, and LW doesn't have an established, at minimum cordial relationship with the ex, so I say not inviting her is OK and/or FI needs a better reason for his case to invite her. The kids are young enough that these conversations/negotiations should not be occurring around them so they should be none the wiser. 

    Also, trying to get yourself invited to someone's wedding is rude.  Sorry, not sorry.
    I actually super agree with you. 

    That's also why I think the, well I'm just going to say it, manipulative and smart way to handle it is "sure, go ahead!"  That takes away any and all tactics she has in her present arsenal.  Then have someone run any interference at the actual ceremony/reception in case she tries to misbehave there.  If she does misbehave, the arsenal now belongs to LW and FI.  After my own experience and others, most misbehaving people get whisked away from the happy couple really quickly if someone's on the lookout.
    MyNameIsNotmrsconn23
  • VarunaTT said:
    mrsconn23 said:
    I would be on team 'let it go and let her come to the wedding' IF the ex had not meddled in their relationship at the beginning and tried a reconciliation with LW's FI.   Yes, there's 'being the bigger person', but you do that A LOT in step-parenting.  I just don't feel the actual wedding day is the time to do that. 

    The FI's argument for not starting a 'rift' is too tepid IMO.   His ex had no issue trying to do so when LW and FI were trying to establish their relationship.  He's not saying he's concerned about the kids emotionally or child watching/wrangling issues. 

    They're involving the kids (which they're excited about), they've arranged the wedding around the custody schedule, and LW doesn't have an established, at minimum cordial relationship with the ex, so I say not inviting her is OK and/or FI needs a better reason for his case to invite her. The kids are young enough that these conversations/negotiations should not be occurring around them so they should be none the wiser. 

    Also, trying to get yourself invited to someone's wedding is rude.  Sorry, not sorry.
    I actually super agree with you. 

    That's also why I think the, well I'm just going to say it, manipulative and smart way to handle it is "sure, go ahead!"  That takes away any and all tactics she has in her present arsenal.  Then have someone run any interference at the actual ceremony/reception in case she tries to misbehave there.  If she does misbehave, the arsenal now belongs to LW and FI.  After my own experience and others, most misbehaving people get whisked away from the happy couple really quickly if someone's on the lookout.
    Right!  

    If the ex is now going to turn this into a situation where now the FI has to fight to have his kids there because she's a manipulative wench then she wins.   She gets to tell the kids, "Oh you would have been there but your evil future step mom didn't want everyone to see your Daddy get married that your Mommy thought should be there and I didn't think it was safe for you to go.   I'm sure you would have had a good time too." 

    Or letting her attend means that there is no more wiggle room for a fight.   If she shows up and throws a hissy fit she's clearly not going to stay.

    In my situation I was flipped out but realize in hindsight that she was not going to do something to hurt her current relationship which meant making a scene.  


  • mrsconn23mrsconn23 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited November 2019
    banana468 said:
    mrsconn23 said:
    I would be on team 'let it go and let her come to the wedding' IF the ex had not meddled in their relationship at the beginning and tried a reconciliation with LW's FI.   Yes, there's 'being the bigger person', but you do that A LOT in step-parenting.  I just don't feel the actual wedding day is the time to do that. 

    The FI's argument for not starting a 'rift' is too tepid IMO.   His ex had no issue trying to do so when LW and FI were trying to establish their relationship.  He's not saying he's concerned about the kids emotionally or child watching/wrangling issues. 

    They're involving the kids (which they're excited about), they've arranged the wedding around the custody schedule, and LW doesn't have an established, at minimum cordial relationship with the ex, so I say not inviting her is OK and/or FI needs a better reason for his case to invite her. The kids are young enough that these conversations/negotiations should not be occurring around them so they should be none the wiser. 

    Also, trying to get yourself invited to someone's wedding is rude.  Sorry, not sorry.
    Meh - I had a guest at my wedding who tried to break DH and me up.

    She was a friend in college and dated a friend of mine at the time.   They broke up and she went crazy (he called her psychohosebeast) and then anytime we attempted to be civil anything I did was an argument.  I knew she had feelings for DH at the time time I did but I pounced first and then we started dating.   In the first few months of our relationship she asked if it was true that I was bad in bed, told him he was welcome to help her move but when I offered to bury the hatchet I was NOT welcome to join in on the manual labor and then when moving day arrived and she was done she asked him to just "stay and hang out".  He got off the highway at the next exit and turned around and joined me and never looked back.   We're together 15 years (married over 12) now. 

    Then, the friend relocated to the same area where DH's best friend lives.   He told the friend, "Look dude - I'm warning you.   She's bad news bears.   Be warned."  Friend took the warning and we found out after we got engaged that they were an item.   DH had a visceral and physical reaction.   He's normally a "whatever blows your hair back" kind of guy but looked at his friend and said, NOOOO!   Well, fast forward a few months and the relationship is starting to sour.   We knew things were off, hoped that the friend would end it (I honestly hope that she's changed but she was just toxic at the time) and I truly questioned whether or not she could be trusted.    I did the thing that you aren't supposed to do and invited the friend 'and guest' not naming her on the invitation so that there was zero chance she could try to claim that she was an invited guest if they broke up.

    Wedding day approached and I asked my BMs to be on duty in case anything went down - but luckily NOTHING happened.   Because we were all adults and knew better.   The relationship with DH's best friend ended and I don't know what she's up to but he's moved on.   

    I know it's not the same as the OP's situation but I think they need to pick their battles here especially if a fit could be thrown and it could affect the attendance of the kids. 

    The kid's attendance should not be affected at all, since they have the wedding scheduled during their parenting time.  If she tries to not turn over the kids because of a wedding invite, they have bigger issues and also, she'll lose if it is ever to be decided by family courts.  And yes in blending families, you do have to pick your battles.  However, I believe in this battle being had because you do have to establish your family life/dynamic.  Ex is part of it, but she needs to know her place just as much as OP does. 

    If this were one of the kid's bday parties and ex wanted to be there, OP doesn't have a leg to stand on. Or a concert, game, practice, etc.  I don't believe from what LW says, that the Ex's place is at their wedding based on the arguments presented by the FI and the Ex, even through it is an event that involves the kids.  I hope one day down the line, OP and ex can have a cordial relationship for the kids and ease of life.  However it sounds like it's currently non-existent, which is pretty common.  Most people I know did not communicate with the Ex until they were married and an officially legal part of the kid's lives.  Especially the older kids get and more activity coordination needs to be done. 
    charlotte989875
  • mrsconn23 said:
    banana468 said:
    mrsconn23 said:
    I would be on team 'let it go and let her come to the wedding' IF the ex had not meddled in their relationship at the beginning and tried a reconciliation with LW's FI.   Yes, there's 'being the bigger person', but you do that A LOT in step-parenting.  I just don't feel the actual wedding day is the time to do that. 

    The FI's argument for not starting a 'rift' is too tepid IMO.   His ex had no issue trying to do so when LW and FI were trying to establish their relationship.  He's not saying he's concerned about the kids emotionally or child watching/wrangling issues. 

    They're involving the kids (which they're excited about), they've arranged the wedding around the custody schedule, and LW doesn't have an established, at minimum cordial relationship with the ex, so I say not inviting her is OK and/or FI needs a better reason for his case to invite her. The kids are young enough that these conversations/negotiations should not be occurring around them so they should be none the wiser. 

    Also, trying to get yourself invited to someone's wedding is rude.  Sorry, not sorry.
    Meh - I had a guest at my wedding who tried to break DH and me up.

    She was a friend in college and dated a friend of mine at the time.   They broke up and she went crazy (he called her psychohosebeast) and then anytime we attempted to be civil anything I did was an argument.  I knew she had feelings for DH at the time time I did but I pounced first and then we started dating.   In the first few months of our relationship she asked if it was true that I was bad in bed, told him he was welcome to help her move but when I offered to bury the hatchet I was NOT welcome to join in on the manual labor and then when moving day arrived and she was done she asked him to just "stay and hang out".  He got off the highway at the next exit and turned around and joined me and never looked back.   We're together 15 years (married over 12) now. 

    Then, the friend relocated to the same area where DH's best friend lives.   He told the friend, "Look dude - I'm warning you.   She's bad news bears.   Be warned."  Friend took the warning and we found out after we got engaged that they were an item.   DH had a visceral and physical reaction.   He's normally a "whatever blows your hair back" kind of guy but looked at his friend and said, NOOOO!   Well, fast forward a few months and the relationship is starting to sour.   We knew things were off, hoped that the friend would end it (I honestly hope that she's changed but she was just toxic at the time) and I truly questioned whether or not she could be trusted.    I did the thing that you aren't supposed to do and invited the friend 'and guest' not naming her on the invitation so that there was zero chance she could try to claim that she was an invited guest if they broke up.

    Wedding day approached and I asked my BMs to be on duty in case anything went down - but luckily NOTHING happened.   Because we were all adults and knew better.   The relationship with DH's best friend ended and I don't know what she's up to but he's moved on.   

    I know it's not the same as the OP's situation but I think they need to pick their battles here especially if a fit could be thrown and it could affect the attendance of the kids. 

    The kid's attendance should not be affected at all, since they have the wedding scheduled during their parenting time.  If she tries to not turn over the kids because of a wedding invite, they have bigger issues and also, she'll lose if it is ever to be decided by family courts.  And yes in blending families, you do have to pick your battles.  However, I believe in this battle being had because you do have to establish your family life/dynamic.  Ex is part of it, but she needs to know her place just as much as OP does. 

    If this were one of the kid's bday parties and ex wanted to be there, OP doesn't have a leg to stand on. Or a concert, game, practice, etc.  I don't believe from what LW says, that the Ex's place is at their wedding based on the arguments presented by the FI and the Ex, even through it is an event that involves the kids.  I hope one day down the line, OP and ex can have a cordial relationship for the kids and ease of life.  
    Totes!  And it could be a court battle.  And court battles take time and if people can't be trusted they love to use lawyers.   I worked with a guy who was brought back to court over plastic pastry bags and cheap spoons.   She was just vindictive and did anything she could to put the screws to him.   

    My point in saying I could be OK with it is that the OP should gauge the shades of crazy that is the ex.  They are more than OK to say no however if she's crazy enough to make their lives a living hell about it it may not be worth it. 
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards