Who to invite and who to exclude | VailDaily.com

Who to invite and who to exclude

David Lokey

Some wedding invitations seem like they should come with instructions that read: “… And everyone will play nice.”

Who to invite to your wedding is becoming a more complicated question in these more complicated times.

With encore weddings ” second and third marriages ” becoming common, some couples ask themselves whether they should invite the ex?

Etiquette queen Emily Post is clear with her advice: Don’t invite the exes, said Peggy Post, great-granddaughter-in-law of the etiquette expert. Still, in her writings she point out that it’s a guideline, not a law.

“But generally, it makes people uncomfortable. And that’s the general rule of thumb,” Post said in her writings. “What’s considerate? What’s respectful? And what’s going to make the most people feel comfortable? There’s no perfect answer here.”

When children are part of the mix, clear communication is the best approach, say regional wedding planners. Of course the conversation will be awkward, but it will be worth it. The kids might want the ex to attend; it might make them feel a little more stable. Ask the ex, and ask them.

Which often means involving children meaningfully in the ceremony. For a second marriage a regional wedding planner put together a couple years ago, the couple gave their young daughters rings and their sons watches during their exchange of vows — both circular representations of the bonds they intended to keep not just between themselves, but between the entire family.

And how to deal with divorced parents?

A wedding planner can mediate conversations between family members on their level of involvement, on financial contributions and even seating. Sometimes both parents walk a bride down the aisle, sometimes one hosts the reception and another hosts a brunch the next day. Sometimes, one gets left out completely if he or she refuses to play nice.

It’s all about respect and honesty, which is what marriage is about anyway.

Vail, Colorado

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