Widower Wednesday: Wedding Receptions

Quick reminder: I’ll be appearing on an internet radio show tomorrow (Thursday) at 10:00 a.m. EDT to discuss marrying a widower. You can find a link to listen to the show and a call in number here.


The other day I received an email from someone who’s about to marry a widower. Though she was excited to be starting a new life with this man she wasn’t looking forward to their wedding reception. She felt that most of the guests he invited were the late wife’s friends and her family members. Even though the reception is for them, she felt like it was going to look like “their” reception—only without the late wife. When she talked to the widower about it, he didn’t understand what the big deal was since he was inviting people who were still close to him. His response left the woman feeling hurt, in tears, and unsure if she could get through this special day.

Wedding receptions are occasions for the bride and groom to celebrate their marriage and receive friend and family for the first time as a married couple. The soon-to-be husband was married before and so it seems natural to me that he’d want to invite friends of him and the LW as well as her family. Back when Marathon Girl and I tied the knot, I invited many friends that the late wife and I hung out with as well her brother, grandmother, and other family members. I would have been upset if Marathon Girl objected to inviting those who I cared about simply because they were friends with or related to the late wife.

So unless your future husband is inviting people who are going to cause a scene or are extremely upset that he’s remarrying, I don’t see a problem with having the LWs friend and family in attendance. If anything, attending the reception might be a good way for them to realize that he’s starting a new chapter in his life and help them start a new chapter in theirs.

Instead of worrying about who’s coming to the reception and look forward to a new life with your new husband. As long as he has your back and is treating you like number one now, then, and for the rest of your life together, what does it matter who comes to the reception? Though lots of people came, I can only clearly recall a handful of people who attended mine. What I do remember about that day is that Marathon Girl looked gorgeous and I was so damn excited to start a new life together with her by my side. (I still wake up thinking I’m the luckiest guy in the world.)

Instead worrying about who’s coming, relax and make the most of a day that’s meant to publicly celebrate your new life and future together. As long as you feel like the center of his universe, you’ve got nothing to worry about.