Please help with a tricky wedding issue

Someone is getting married whose parents divorced five years ago. The parents haven’t talked to each other since the divorce. They are both coming to the wedding.

The problem is that they are both dating now and they both don’t know if they should invite their significant other. They both asked the groom if it was ok.

The father doesn’t care too much about whether his girlfriend comes or not. The mother wants her boyfriend to come, but is worried it will create problems with her ex-husband and his friends, who will all be at the wedding.

Any advice?

They should abide by what the bride and groom decide. If they choose to offer a plus one to mom and dad, great. If not, great.

ETA: Regardless of what the decision is, it’s final and mom and dad should take it as such. No passive aggressive, aggressive aggressive, or guilt-trippy attempts at changing the bride and groom’s minds.

The child should tell his/her parents, “This is my wedding. I want you both there. You two work it out.”

There’s no indication that there’s been an ultimatum given; the OP clearly says both parents are coming to the wedding. The question is whether they should bring their current dating partners or not. That is not a ‘you guys work it out’ scenario; it’s a bride and groom decision, period. The bride and groom are the ones who have control over the guest list.

Divorced people surely know their ex will date or marry. Unless there has been past unseemliness I wouldn’t spend a lot of time worrying about it. These are grown ups not jr.high kids at a party.

I guess I wasn’t clear, but I’m asking what should the groom tell the parents? Or should he just leave the decision up to them?

What did the groom say? That seems like the most important answer here. Personally, if the parents have been apart for five years it seems pretty silly that there would be an issue with either of them bringing their current SOs to the event. My SO was at both of my daughters’ weddings; the first one five years after their father and I separated and the second one 14 years after we’d separated. My ex didn’t have a significant person in his life during the time of either wedding, but if he had, she would have been welcome. The day wasn’t about us, it was about our daughter.

The bride and groom must (not should, MUST) decide who is allowed to attend.

When they have decided that, they invite whoever is allowed. And whoever is allowed, gets to decide whether they will accept the invitation.

The groom is presumably an adult, and is aware that the parents are divorced and have moved on. Thus it’s down to:

  1. Are these dating partners of longer than a few months? A FWB is unlikely to be an appropriate wedding guest, but a significant other of longer than a few months would be.
  2. Is this a tiny, intimate wedding? It doesn’t sound that way if “friends of dad” will be there, but is there room on the guest list for both partners?
  3. What does the bride say?
  4. Is there a reason the groom would be unwilling to invite either or both partners?

He should NOT leave the decision up to his parents. He should confer with his intended and they should make the decision.

Sorry, saw this AFTER replying. Unless either parent is known to be someone who will cause a scene at the wedding (which I just can’t imagine after five years apart, but I don’t know them), I think it would be a disservice to his parents not to allow them to invite a guest, especially if either SO is a long-term partner and has a relationship with the groom. It’s kind of a slap in the face to the SO and to the parent’s relationship.

  1. Both relationships started around November last year.
  2. Around 150 guests.
  3. Bride wants parents to be free to bring their dates, but she’s deferring to groom because she doesn’t know them well enough to judge if there will be issues.
  4. Groom doesn’t know how parents will react to each other after five years. There is a chance they will react poorly. The last interaction they had with each other wasn’t exactly pleasant.

The groom isn’t really not allowing the SOs. The parents were allowed to invite as many friends as they want. The issue is that the mother isn’t sure if bringing her boyfriend will cause additional drama, which might hurt her relationship with her boyfriend. She’s thinking her boyfriend might come and her ex-husband and his friends might give her boyfriend a hard time.

No one really knows how the father will handle it. It was a pretty bad divorce five years ago, but now, five years later, who knows?

But the boyfriend came years after the breakup. Why would they give him a hard time?

Very bitter divorce that ended a 25 year marriage. People can get emotional.

Tell them to grow the f&ck up. This isn’t middle school and adults can handle being civil for a couple of hours.

And I could kind of understand it if the boyfriend was the guy she was boning and that ended the marriage. He had nothing to do with it. Giving him a hard time is unbelievably petty especially since she found someone new.

Groom needs to lay down the law. Tell all parties to come and act like the adults that they are. If that’s not possible they should stay home.

If there are potential safety issues, then the “proper thing to do” becomes moot.

If the ex-husband is inviting friends who are prone to fighting, then maybe the ex-husband and his friends ought to be specifically told to stay away.

If you’re starting fights at your kid’s wedding, you don’t deserve to be out in public.

Ask him how he feels?
I’d be inclined to “plus one” both of them. He can hardly make a fuss if he’s got his own new girlfriend along, he’s not going to want to look like a juvenile dickhead hung up on his ex-wife in front of her, is he?

That’s what I was thinking. They’re grown ups, let them work it out.

My suggestion is that if the parent’s dates don’t know the kids, they can stay home. No reason for them to be there if there’s a chance of drama.

If they do know the kids and want to be there, invite them, seat them far enough apart that they won’t have line of sight with each other and perhaps tell them that they’ll be asked to leave if they start anything.

Considering they started dating these people almost 5 years after the divorce, they can probably suck it up for a few hours.

I’ve had to be in the same room as my ex and the guy she cheated on me with and ultimately married. Ya know what, I found a seat at the other end of the room and managed to survive for a few hours. I don’t like it, but it’s something I have to do for my kid and it’s not stopping any time soon.

I think the kids need to talk to their parents and ask them if they can keep to themselves and remain civil for a few hours. If not, can they do it if their dates aren’t there? If they can’t do that tell them they either can’t go invite one set to the ceremony and the other to the reception.

Lastly, it wouldn’t hurt for them to have someone (preferably not afraid of some confrontation) to keep an eye on them throughout the night. As long as they stay in their corners, fine. But if either of them get roudy, drunk or they get in each other’s faces, this person can ask them to leave.

PS: It probably wouldn’t be a bad idea for the parents sans their dates, to send have a quick phone/text/face to face conversation about. It’s entirely possible they can agree to put everything aside for the day or that they simply can’t be in the same room with each other and only one/none will attend.

TL;DR. They’re grownups, tell 'em if they can’t work this out on their own, they are going to have to sit out.