Every Wednesday we deal with the wedding label. Sometimes it will be a reader question or a question from a colleague, friend or family member, and sometimes we will cover a popular topic. (Note: questions can be edited for clarity and brevity.)
question: My brother has been going exclusively with his girlfriend ‘Jenny’ for a few weeks now. They were casually dating about a month earlier. If things go well they will achieve a month of exclusivity when my wedding runs around. Due to COVID-19, this is a very small wedding for families only. We like Jenny and are happy to host her, but we don’t know what to say to the photographer. Should my brother’s girlfriend be included in the wedding photos?
Reply: If your brother were only casually dating Jenny, she wouldn’t be expected to be included in the photos. However, since they have also become exclusive for a short time, this changes a bit. First, ask yourself: How would I feel if they were married or a life partner with or without children and she wasn’t in the photos? If you’ve got to know her well over the past few months and you’d feel bad leaving her out, include her. Otherwise, don’t include her in the group photos but ask the photographer to bring one or more of her and your brother together so that she is not left out entirely. Most people in newer relationships wouldn’t expect to be accepted, but we cannot assume that we know how they feel about their commitment and the many factors that go into matters of the heart. If you want to include them, be sure to mix up the group photos (some with girlfriends and spouses, some without). This serves as a fail-safe measure in the event of a separation. Second, another option is to ask your brother if he would like her to be included in the pictures. He can’t wait for the gesture as their relationship is that side of the new. If not, it is up to you to refer to the earlier question and make the decision. Of course, you and your fiance cannot predict the future, but you can at least take into account each scenario and the feelings of everyone involved.
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