When John and I got married, our wedding party consisted of one person each. My Maid of Honor was my best friend of twenty years, Kate. His Best Woman was his ex-wife, Katie. My biggest concern was that people would mix up their names.
Since then, I have been told a dozen times, “You let his ex-wife be his Best Woman? That's so weird! I could never do that.” Usually it's followed up by a little laugh, as if it's common knowledge that all ex-wives are evil and all new wives should be jealous of them and hate them.
I try to set aside my issue with them suggesting that I “let” John choose his Best Woman, and I point out that I adore Katie as well.
I met Katie about a year before my wedding in Las Vegas at the wedding of my now in-laws. I could have gone to their wedding already planning to hate her for her role in my husband's past. I could have gone there planning to chase her away from my John's present. But I chose to trust him and keep an open mind about her because planning negativity is a sad way to live.
Katie and I clicked instantly. While John was busy helping his mother prepare for her wedding, or handle the challenges of navigating Las Vegas, Katie and I stood off on the side giggling about cats and love and life. I would have naturally picked her out of any crowd as my new best friend. By the time our weekend in Vegas was over, I'm pretty sure John was worried that I'd go home with Katie instead of him.
I sometimes think it's a bit weird how similar my husband's ex-wife and I are, but it makes sense. He picked us both! We have similar builds and coloring. We love cats and alternative religions. We would be happy to spend every weekend at Ren Faires (in costume, of course!), and we share the same sarcastic sense of humor.
She has known John much longer than me and knows his idiosyncrasies. Warnings she gave me when we were dating have come to mind a dozen times and helped me weather a few rough spots with him. Advice she gave him has helped him be the partner I need. We honestly wouldn't have gotten to the altar without her.
So when John announced his choice of Best Woman, I was thrilled that his ex-wife would be in our wedding. Since then, I have remained grateful that Katie was there and that she held such a special place in our wedding party. She has proven herself our friend and an ally to our relationship. What else could I ask of a Best Woman?
How are you including exes in your wedding?