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Wednesday Wedding Tip: Ex Marks the Spot (Guest Blog)

August 10, 2011

Gail, my dear sweet college roommate, is an amazing person. Actually, she is one of my most favorite people in the world, one of my dearest friends, and I am pretty sure I’d go nuts if I didn’t have her and her sense of humor in my life. I mean really, who else would help me fish my cell phone out of a toilet after I dropped it in one at in a public bathroom? She is a true friend and a good blogging buddy, I have no problem admitting that she does it much better that I do! I have often been a guest blogger on her site (site name removed for privacy) but this is the first time she has been on mine! So enjoy the blog from a bride of one of my MANY weddings last year!

When Puff and I got engaged in December 2009, I couldn’t wait to rush to tell every single person I could find. I also couldn’t wait to rush into some heat, since it was a mere 18 degrees in Central Park that evening. But that’s beside the point. Phone calls and texts abounded those next few days and the planning wheels were already in motion. It was the happiest of times. Except, there was one person I had to tell and I knew telling them wouldn’t be easy. In fact, it could potentially be a fatal blow.

Mr. Smith, and I dated 10 years ago. We were friends first; great friends. It evolved and twisted and turned into a relationship, accompanied by post-it notes of “I heart Mr. Smith” all over my dorm room. As times changed and lives changed, our relationship stalled, cut off, and we went years without speaking. A rekindled friendship 6 years ago got us back on track; on track to become the best of friends. We were each other’s rock during hard times, our biggest supporters during the good times. He was the angel on my right and we wove our friendship in and out of other romantic relationships with other people, always there for advice or a good kick in the ass. We never crossed any lines over the years. Not even once. But that didn’t mean there weren’t some lingering feelings in the dark pits of our stomachs. We have an unquenchable love for each other. He is my soulmate. But he is not the man I wanted to marry.

In retrospect, he was fabulous about the news. We celebrated with rum and a congratulatory hug once I saw him weeks later. Most importantly, he helped me keep my heels on, so I didn’t go running away from the giant commitment I was about to make. And he graciously agreed to attend the wedding with his girlfriend. Those who were not my closest friends started to question the decision: Was it proper etiquette to invite an ex to your wedding?

The truth is, probably not. Our scenario is a strange one and a friendship that not many understand. (He was even at my bachelorette party!) But I wasn’t about to go through the single most important day of my life without his presence. It was a calming piece of the puzzle to know that he supported my marriage, unconditionally. I did, however, make sure it was OK with Puff. He was the one I was marrying, and had he not been OK with it, then Mr. Smith would have been left off the guest list. The open communication with Puff about all of it was key. There were boundaries set and expectations to meet. Puff is the most awesome of men to understand, but most men are not that way. Alas, most ex’s-being-friends arrangements don’t work out anyway. We are a strange anomaly. Therefore, I would say if you are pondering the decision to invite an ex to your own wedding, that you sit down with your fiance and have a deep, serious, heart-to-heart. There are always lingering feelings that can cloud decisions and muddy the waters.

Even a year later.

Which is when I received a text from Mr. Smith, in response to advice I was soliciting for a friend in her dilemma of having a “determine the relationship” talk with her most recent beau. His advice? “You need to have the talk and find out. Otherwise, you’ll end up being a guest at their wedding wondering what might have been.”


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