Post # 1
Christmas Eve my future mother in law and I were looking online for her wedding attire. Aside from her freak out about my mother being so much more ‘darling’ and her being the ‘big fat mother of the groom,’ all of a sudden she says ‘What about Jessica, I want Jessica to wear purple.’ I said oh, well my bridesmaids are wearing eggplant purple. She made a bunch of evasive comments and I was so taken aback that I didn’t really say much of anything other than, purple is fine as long as its not eggplant.
Really it’s not fine. I’d rather she confront or even nag me about her daughter not being a bridesmaid instead of just deciding to outfit her like one anyways. Also, my fiancee’s sister is mentally challenged and she has the mind and hobbies of a 10 year old and a mother who still controls her behavior and clothing as though she’s 5. I personally didn’t want to deal with the stress of adding both their personalities to the bridesmaid/wedding planning.
Everyone says its better to include family and my FMIL even gave the same speech three times but I really don’t want to budge on this. To be honest I feel this decision is my last act of selfishness because in twenty years my sister in law will probably be our responsibility. I feel horribly guilty and shallow about not including her but what do I do about my FMIL? I couldn’t sleep that night wondering what to do and still don’t even understand her approach. Does she expect me to all of a sudden change my wedding party after 8 months of planning? Sigh.
Post # 3
Of course she wants her daughter to be included. I’m sure to her it feels like you are trying to leave out her daughter because she is mentally challenged.
My fiance’s little sister is severely profound. She is 14 and can’t walk, talk, feed herself, etc. His mom has said she understands if his sister isn’t up front the whole time because she can make a lot of noise, but I wouldn’t dream of excluding her. She is my "junior maid of honor" and my 7 year old nephew, the "junior best man" is going to push her wheelchair down the aisle.
I’m sorry, but I don’t think badly of your FMIL at all for wanting her daughter to be involved. When I told my fiance I was going to have his sister be a bridesmaid he teared up. It meant so much to him that I was doing that. I’m sure she would have a similar reaction. Sure you may think it’ll add "extra stress" but honestly, sometimes that is what you have to deal with when you have someone in your family with special needs.
Post # 4
One question… if she wasn’t mentally challengned would she be included? If so, then she should be included in some way…not necessarily as a bridesmaid, but in some other way would work as well. If she wasn’t going to be a part of the bridal party at all, dont make her part just because your FMIL wants you to. Its just the beginning of the FMIL thinking she can control all yours and your husbands decisions…trust me, i know :S
Post # 5
I don’t think you have to change your wedding party. Your FMIL just said she wants your SIL to wear purple, right? That’s probably just her way of emphasizing that she wants her daughter to be included. Although she’s not a bridesmaid, make a point of letting her wear a (different) shade of the wedding color, get her a corsage, etc., and show your FMIL that you’re ready to celebrate her as part of your future family. I think that’s more than sufficient.
Post # 6
I think that your FMIL looks at this is that one and only time your FSIL will be apart of something like this. I think you are doing the right thing by standing your ground, if you don’t feel you want her up front with the wedding party and in essence having 2 extras with her and your FMIL tagging along everywhere – then don’t. It’s YOUR day. And especilly if your FH doens’t have any issue with it then so be it.
It sounds like FMIL gets caught up in making sure that FSIL gets all the experiances a normal woman should. What she fails to realize, because she has her "Mom Blinders" on is that FSIL is not a normal woman and though capeable and wonderful and very much loved by you, standing in front of a crowd for 10-45 minutes (or longer if you’re going Catholic service) isn’t something she may want to do.
Guilty feelings I think are normal, you’d be second guessing yourself though if you asked her to be in the wedding and that’s not any good at all. Maybe find something special for her to do, of make up a silly title for her to have to make FMIL hush up.
Always do what you want, this is your day!
Post # 7
I totally agree, this is your wedding it should be what the bride and groom want. Not what others pressure them into. With that said, here is my personal take on your future MIL & SIL.
Unless she is the MIL from hell, which you do not indicate in your post, she is a mother first. There is no other bonding any closer than that of a mother and her child. We give birth to our children and love them unconditionally no matter their limitations.
All of my children were born completely healthy, but if one of them wasn’t I could see myself dedicating my life to making them as happy & included as possible. I would lay down my life to keep my child from feeling hurt. Your FMI knows that FSI may never have a wedding experience of her own. I can’t honestly say that I wouldn’t be a little hurt in her situation too. But that is the life of a mother…wanting all of our children to be happy all the time.
I don’t think you should change your plans, but you might want to add something for you FSIL. I don’t know her limitations, but maybe help at the guest book? Gifts? Programs?…if not create a job title for her and find her a purple dress and a corsage…not like the bidesmaids, but similar….down the road I think you will be glad you did.
Just my thoughts…and Best Wishes to all of you
Post # 8
Beccs, I couldn’t tell you if she’d still be in the wedding if the circumstances were different. To me, my bridesmaids are those closest to me (my own sister and two best friends) and I can’t say whether or not we’d be close. I am the one who pushed my fiancee to ask his brother to be in the wedding so obviously my fiancee doesn’t have a problem with excluding his siblings. When we first got engaged I suggested she be part of the house party and he shot that down. I am still going to push that because it seems to me a way for her to participate
And although we’ve been together for seven plus years, I am still trying to grasp with our responsibilities once my MIL passes, even more so now that we are engaged. My bottom line is, if she were to be in the wedding she would say that she was happy to be a bridesmaid because her mother told her to say that and would not have any real interest in actually being in the wedding. As far as the purple dress thing, maybe I shouldn’t have my fiancee say anything and just let her do what she wants. Kind of ignore the whole situation. I appreciate and agree with pinkie mostly because I know there are things in the future I will not be able to take a stand on. It is my wedding, after all.
Post # 9
Your MIL’s feelings are understandable and I don’t think you’re being a bad person by having the bridal party that you have which happens not to include your future SIL. Everyone is going to feel one way or another and you can’t please everyone. After the wedding is over, honestly, no one will remember and it will all be water under the bridge. If she wants SIL to wear purple then fine. Just let her do whatever. Whatever you decide, just stand firm.
Post # 10
Wedding planning is a stressful time… Take a look at the big picture, no one is going to think that your FSIL is a bridesmaid when she a.) doesn’t walk down the aisle, b.) doesn’t stand up front with the rest of the wedding party and c.) doesn’t appear in the program under the bridesmaid section…
Another way to look at this (let his sister wear purple) situation, is how good his family pictures will turn out if everyone is dressed in matching hues of the wedding. Our wedding guests wore a lot of nice shades of our colors, and it really looked nice in photos.
This really is a small problem, and I think that your future husband will respect you more for keeping the peace with his mom over something silly. Now if his mother suggested that you let his sister wear a wedding gown I would more understand your point of view.
Good Luck, keep in mind that the important thing is the union between you and your husband… for your own sanity, try to laugh at the things that are out of your control
Post # 11
- Wedding: September 2018 - The Desmond Hotel in Malvern, PA
I don’t think your FSIL wearing a similar shade to your bridesmaids is anything to worry about. Think about it like this: are you putting out a memo to all of your guests to not wear eggplant-colored attire? I’m guessing no. Chances are, someone might wear something that is similar to your bridesmaids, but you know what? Everyone is going to be looking at YOU, the bride, and your handsome groom! I think the color that everyone else is wearing (including your bridesmaids) will end up being a trivial detail in the grand scheme of things. I know that we brides all stress about the color(s) our ‘maids will wear, but most people will be looking at the happy couple and none of your guests will even notice if someone else happens to be wearing something comparable to the bridesmaids.
In terms of your FSIL not being in the wedding party, I understand your point, but I agree with Beccs and Amysue in that you might need to be a bit more sympathetic to your FMIL’s feelings. I think what you should consider doing is having a candid, honest, and sympathetic conversation with her about your FSIL. Being stubborn and avoiding her obvious (although passive) attempts at a discussion about your FSIL’s place (or lack thereof) in the wedding will just make things worse, in my honest opinion. Sit her down and explain to her that you chose your bridal party based on the women in your life to whom you are closest, but you will be giving your FSIL a lovely corsage to wear and you’d be happy to help her choose an outfit that will complement your wedding colors. She’ll probably be thrilled to know that you’ve actually thought this out, and she’ll feel like her daughter won’t be left in the dust.
Ignoring the situation as you suggested might just create tension that could be brought to the surface later on, and I don’t think it’s worth it. Despite whatever shortcomings you may see in how she treats her daughter and her disabilities, try to consider what she has gone through as the parent of a mentally challenged child.
Post # 12
Thanks cupcake and everyone, I really appreciate the candid open dialogue and will definitely take it all in!