ILLUSTRATION | Sarah Holliday
Prince Harry invited two ex-girlfriends to his wedding. Is it right to ask former flames to come and celebrate your new union?
People always eyeball me strangely when I tell them I’m pals with my ex. Not only that, but I’m friends with his ex (in fact, I went to her wedding!), and when the time comes for my as-yet-hypothetical nuptials, they’ll both be on the guest list.
That may sound like the awkward social situation from hell, but it’s been so long since we were together that I genuinely view him as a friend more than an ex-partner.
We broke up eight years ago after three-and-a-bit years together, and because our relationship was built on a solid friendship and ended on reasonably positive terms, we decided we’d make an effort to remain friends.
Adapting to our new dynamic took a while to get used to but we got there in the end, and now the idea of us ever going back to what we once were is as likely as Trump turning humanitarian.
We aren’t bessies who hang out 24/7 – months pass where we don’t see one another – but like all close pals we can always pick up where we left off.
I can tell him anything without fear of judgement and we’re in a unique position when it comes to giving relationship advice because we know exactly what each other’s blind spots are!
Of course, I’m not so naïve to presume that my future husband would be comfortable exchanging vows in front of a guy that used to winch his soon-to-be wife, so I obviously wouldn’t post the invite without having a discussion first.
However, I like to think I’ll be marrying someone who trusts me and my choice of friends.
My ex will never be the guy standing up to object during the ceremony, just as I’ll never be the woman having second thoughts about him at the altar.
Your wedding provides a unique opportunity to surround yourself with the friends and family who have helped shape your life and, ultimately, the person you are.
My ex is one of those people, so why would I exclude him?
I suppose I need to first of all say that I am not friends with any of my ex-partners.
I’ve never had a breakup on a level with Gwyneth and Chris’s conscious uncoupling.
So to be honest, I don’t have exes as pals that I would be inviting to my wedding anyway.
My soon-to-be husband isn’t friends with his ex either, but they didn’t end on bad terms, so I’ve had to imagine a scenario where he
tells me that he wants to invite her to our wedding.
I don’t for a second think that he would decide, on the wedding morning, to skip off into the sunset with her leaving me with a mountain of debt and wedding cake to sob through.
But I think if anyone says they wouldn’t be even a tiny bit put out by the thought of someone who has also seen their husband or wife’s most intimate bits sitting among their guests is fibbing.
As an ex myself (obviously), I can’t think of a more uncomfortable situation than sitting watching someone I used to be in love with getting married to someone else, no matter how much water is under the bridge.
A wedding is, at the very heart of it, the beginning of a new and exciting chapter in a couple’s relationship.
Having an ex there brings an element of your past into it, which I don’t like the idea of.
Every couple is different. Perhaps the ex is so far in the past that actually, you and your partner are both friends with them now.
Maybe it was a daft wee fling or a teenage kiss that didn’t even matter much at the time.
Those situations are different and, as long as everyone is comfortable, then of course it’s fine.
However, I really feel like if you were in a serious relationship with them, perhaps living together or engaged, then that element of your life shouldn’t be present at your wedding.
If your ex is a true friend, I’m pretty sure they’d understand that too.