Bridesmaid in brother's wedding?

posted 3 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 2
1441 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

If you don’t support the marriage, then no, you should not be in the wedding party or even attend. But kiss your relationship with your brother good bye. 

Post # 3
822 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

You listed 4 reasons for not being in the wedding. I don’t think reasons 1, 3, or 4 are good enough to say no. First of all, this is your brother getting married who you said you are close with. You don’t seem to agree with the age gap, but your brother is an adult and he should be able to make his own choices without being judged by his family.

He’s in a top grad school and I think he has so much going for him.  Since he’s the quiet studious type, she is his first serious girlfriend, at least that my parents and I know of, and they’ve only been together 1.5 years.<br /><br />Well, it’s great he has a lot going for him, but he obviously also wants to be with his FI and it’s not really something you should be questioning, in my opinon. Also, who cares that it’s his first serious girlfriend *that you know of*? He’s 25 and seems like he has had enough life experience to make a decision like this. 1.5 years isn’t terribly long, but it seems like a pretty normal amount of time for 2 people to get engaged. 

FSIL is nice but seems extremely controlling.

Okay? You’re not the one marrying her. Again, let your brother be the judge of his own choices.

4. My parents are not on good terms after their recent divorce and it will be bad enough having them in the same room. 

I just don’t see how you being in the wedding party has anything to do with your parents not being on good terms.

All that being said, I’m sorry that you were in an abusive relationship and I praise you for getting out of it. If you think being a bridesmaid will have a negative effect on your own healing process, then I think that’s a fine reason for saying no and I dont’ think it’s something you need to explain to your FSIL. Maybe just sit down with your brother and explain this to him.

Whatever you decide, good luck.

Post # 4
6048 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2012

I don’t really think you have a valid reason for not being in the wedding.  You run the risk of your adult brother cutting you out of his life over this….. this is his family he’s starting and wants you there.  

Sure if you make this all about you, your trauma, your unwillingness to do things for other people (because you truely don’t know if she is controling or not) then standing up for your brother may be something you don’t want to do.  but there are consequences.  Maybe instead of talking to everyone else you should talk to your brother about how he feels about his soon to be wife, not your baggage, just listen to what he has to say. 

Post # 5
3653 posts
Sugar bee

Nope. If you’re not 100% there for them, don’t put yourself through the hassle. Declining politely is a lot better than reluctantly saying yes, and having to suffer through it. They’ll be able to tell. I don’t see how it will reflect on your relationship with your brother, in any way; I’m sure he doesn’t care.

Post # 6
1629 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Church

kimcarrey9:  The short answer is no, you do not need to accept the position. Your reasons are your reasons. Is there any other reason other than their age gap? Also saying no would open up a can of (what would you be prepared to say when the inevitable question of why would come up?). I also do not understand what your parent’s relationship has to do with their upcoming wedding. Saying yes may be a good way to get to know your FSIL because whether or not you support their relationship, she is going to become a part of your family. However, I would not say yes as you are not prepared to be happy for them or support them – and your FSIL deserves that much from her bridal party.

Post # 7
22 posts

It is perfectly accpetable to decline an invitation to be a bridesmaid. Many times it’s related to the financial obligations and brides should be prepared that someone may say no. I would talk with your brother and explain that it is just not something you are comfortable being involved in at this point. If he is really upset by it then maybe reconsider.. but hopefully they will be understanding about it.

Post # 8
2055 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

First, sorry you were in an abusive relationship, but high-five for getting out of it! I was in a similar situation so I understand your feelings, and further, your reasons for hesitating in being a bridesmaid in this particular wedding.

I think you should decline since you only listed reasons you would not want to do it. There wasn’t one reason you listed that was in the pro category, only cons, so follow your instincts. Clearly, you need to do a lot of healing first before you can be in a healthy enough position to help out someone else.<br /><br />In the meantime, talk with your brother and ask if maybe there’s a less-involved way you can help him out for the wedding. That way, you’re still there for him, but maybe not quite so steeped in it as you would be as a bridesmaid.

Last, if you’re really, really concerned for your brother’s welfare what with your observations of his controlling lady, and if this isn’t just a reflection/projection of your own experiences, you should gently check in with him about that if you haven’t done so already. I’m not saying to impose your thoughts upon him or debunk his plans necessarily as that is his decision alone, but to ask a couple of questions to be sure he has his eyes open and is being safe for himself. I’ve seen too maybe people walk down that road only to divorce later due to the very same problems they finally fully recognized years later. Maybe that’s the road he needs to take to learn and grow on his own terms, but perhaps you can have a brother-sister conversation about this to show you care and that you want to support him in talking it out.


Post # 9
1662 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

kimcarrey9:  It’s totally understandable that you wouldn’t want to be a bridesmaid given the circumstances. Of course you have every right to decline! I know that’s easier said than done.

I disagree with pp, it DOES matter if she might be controlling. You might have to deal with all kinds of bridal requests, and I’d say you’ve have enough bossing around for the next ten years.

Here’s what I would do, assuming FSIL is the least bit reasonable:

Grab coffee together, or have a phone conversation, no text. I’d explain directly to her about your previous relationship and how you don’t feel up to being swept in wedding things right now. This way, she hears the exact reason from you without any glossing over and it could potentially pave the way for smooth communication between the two of you in the future. 

I’d go with that reason because you’ll just appear be taking care of yourself, and she doesn’t really need to know that you don’t fully support this marriage yet. They’re going to to it anyways, so it’s better to keep the peace unless you see major red flags.

My younger brother has an older lady too, but she is cray cray! But, it’s his life to ruin if it goes sideways.

Post # 10
1236 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - San Francisco, CA

If you genuinely think being in a wedding would be a triggering experience for you, then you have every right to say “No.” Put on your own oxygen mask first, as they say, and take care of what YOU need to heal from your trauma.


All the rest is just judgment, though.

Post # 11
7055 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

kimcarrey9:  I say you should do it for the sake of your brother.

I’ve been at weddings with my parents whern they were recently divorced, and I don’t see how it would have much difference whether I was in the bridal party or not. If you’re the only sibling, then you being a bridesmaid might help, in that they don’t need to decide which parent to sit you with (since they’ll be sitting your parents well apart, or they should).

I’m very sorry about your broken engagement, but perhaps have a heart to heart with both of them (your brother and his fiancee) that you’re still getting over your breakup and can’t get too involved.

I don’t think their age should come into it.

Post # 12
410 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

IMO, not marrying someone because of age is like not marrying someone because they’re fat. It’s all about the body in that case, not for who they are as a person. If they love each other, and if your brother is TRULY HAPPY, no matter how controlling she may seem, then you should be happy for them if you love your brother. If he’s marrying the woman he loves, then what’s the problem?

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