Inviting his former In-Laws to our wedding

3/26/2014, 4:41 p.m.
Dear Alma, I am having my second marriage. My fiancé and I are in our early 40s. His first wife ...

Dear Alma,

I am having my second marriage. My fiancé and I are in our early 40s. His first wife died and he has been raising their 14-year-old daughter as a single parent for the past six years. The two of them have a rock-solid relationship with her maternal grandparents, and I think that’s great. His daughter and I get along well, and she seems excited about us getting married. His in-laws are cordial toward me. The mother has broken down and cried at family functions we’ve attended because she misses her daughter, and I can fully understand that, as I am a mother too. My fiancé and I have been through a lot, and we see our wedding as a new blessing. My question is: Do I have to invite his ex in-laws? He added them to our guest list, but I’m having reservations.


Hey now GC, congratulations on your wedding! I know you’re excited. As can be expected, nestled in your stream of excitement are a few gravel stones pinching at the bottom of your feet. In all the planning and preparing, you want to make sure you’ve got everything covered. That’s what brides do. But hold up, my sista. The emotions and reactions of your guests can be crossed off your to-do list. Listen to what I’m saying for just a minute. I know you want your moment. It’s your day, and I totally agree that it should be, and will be, all about you. Tears will be flowing from both sides of the aisle: Tears from your mother, her mother, best friends who are happy for you, girlfriends who wish they were getting married and, ok, let me stop right there; you get the picture. Women cry at weddings all the time, and for many reasons. Her mother won’t be the only one dabbing her eyes. I’m sure this woman is gracious enough to get through the wedding and pull herself together to attend the reception. Otherwise, she would surely decline your invitation. She’s grown up enough to determine what her grief will allow. It’s gonna be your day, so don’t feel you have to compete with a woman who will never step foot on this planet again. On the day of your wedding, you – yes you, the beautiful bride – will be Queen of the day!


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