Post # 1
I’m in a bit of a pickle regarding my FSIL and would appreciate any and all advice.
I got engaged to my fiancé around 2 weeks ago, and we started to plan the wedding immediately. At first I wasn’t really even thinking of having a bridesmaid or a Maid of Honour, as I’m not super close to any of my friends and my only sister severely mentally disabled and wouldn’t be able to do any of bridesmaid’s/MoH’s tasks (including standing quietly during the ceremony), and she’s not interested in it anyway. However, my future sister-in-law told my fiancé that she wanted to be part of the wedding party and basically made herself my bridesmaid (note that she never asked me about this or even discussed the matter with me in person). This surprised me quite a bit but I was okay with it. I thought it’d be good to have another bridesmaid as well, and I asked one of my friends if she’d like to do it, and she said she’d love to. However, I didn’t feel that I was close enough to my FSIL or my friend to make either of them the Maid of Honour, but then I had an unconventional idea: I asked my brother to be my Man of Honour. We’re not having a traditional wedding anyway, and he said he’d be glad to do it.
Yesterday we got a card from the FSIL congratulating us on our engagement, and she had signed it “from [FSIL’s name], the Maid of Honour (hint hint)”. I almost fell off my chair. I have never been close to her at all, and I’ve probably met her less than 10 times in my entire life. We never do anything together and I don’t think we’ve ever actually had a proper conversation together. She doesn’t know that much of me, nor I of her. Future in-law or no, I don’t see any reason why I would choose specifically her as my MoH, and I don’t understand why she thought the position would be hers.
Anyway, the fiancé sent her a text thanking for the card, and told her that unfortunately she wouldn’t be the MoH and that instead I would be having my brother as the Man of Honour. She absolutely flipped. She said that it was a tradition to have a Maid of Honour. That he had no consideration for his family (I guess she forgot that I have a family as well). That it wasn’t important that she didn’t know me. Their (texted) conversation got so heated that it started to look like she wouldn’t be coming to the wedding at all. I spent the rest of the day worried and mortified, scared that I had severed my fiancé’s and his sister’s relationship. Fortunately everyone else was on our side on the matter.
But miracle of miracles, several hours later she apologised (and the fiancé told me that this was a rare occasion). They agreed that everyone should calm down and that we all should do something together and get to know each other better. Next Saturday the fiancé and I will go to her and her boyfriend’s place to hang out or something. But now I have no idea what to do about her position in the wedding party. I don’t even know if she wants to be in the wedding party anymore or not. And if she wants to be, I don’t know if I’d be comfortable with that. In my opinion she clearly showed that she would not be suitable to be a bridesmaid, let alone a Maid of Honour, and I’m not sure if she would be able to offer any kind of support to me. I strongly suspect that she only wanted to be a Maid of Honour because it’d give her great status (though I’d never say it to her face). However, I don’t want to insult her and I certainly don’t want any drama.
So… any opinions what I should do? Keep the powderkeg as a bridesmaid or no?
Post # 2
Wow. She seems really pushy. At this point it would probably be easier to keep her as a bridesmaid. But don’t feel bad, at all, about having your brother as your Man of Honor! It’s not even that unusual these days. I had both my brother and a male friend in my bridal party! I would also, generally, just get used to putting your foot down about wedding things. Practice this statement “That’s an interesteding idea, and I appreciate the oppinion, but we’ve alread decided ___. Did you see that new Steve Martin movie?” Or something along those lines.
Post # 3
I’m not sure it’s fair to say that this shows she is unsuitable as a bridesmaid. It sounds to me like she’s the type to get way over-excited and over-enthusiastic and, yes, very presumptious about things. It’s why she assumed she’d get to be a bridesmaid and she was probably extremely disappointed to feel like she was coming in second place to an unconventional idea (in her mind).
If you can, try to be patient and understanding. Has she been to many weddings? If so, she’s probably used to the more conventional aspects (sisters as bridesmaids/MOH), if not, she’s probably just ecstatic to go one. My youngest brother, who is significantly younger than me, had friends (who I’ve never met) that expected to be invited to my wedding just by virtue of knowing my brother. They were young kids and had never been to a wedding before.
My SIL, who I love dearly, knew that she was my only bridesmaid for a long time (before I asked my other girls) and even asked my husband (her brother) if that meant she was MOH. And not even because she’s a presumptious person, just because she was excited and confused since I’d never clarified her position directly.
If/when you can, you and your husband should take her out to coffee or invite her over alone. Speak to her in person as calmly as you can. Apologize for not making things clearer by discussing them with her directly, but state that you’d rather she ask than assume any aspect of your wedding that is unclear to her. Say you’d be honoured to have her as a bridesmaid but that your brother has accepted the ‘honour’ position. Do it for your husband. 🙂
Post # 4
Siniria: my very first thought? Your brother is your Man of Honor, and his sister is his Best Woman. Problem solved! I honestly think that would be so cool!
Post # 5
Be careful with this little get together you have planned. FSIL might be thinking that once you get to know her better then she’ll be your MOH, since not knowing her is the reason you gave previously for not making her MOH. Make sure it’s clear that she will not be MOH at all and that your brother has taken the role.
Post # 6
- Wedding: November 2009 - New York, NY
Siniria: “I strongly suspect that she only wanted to be a Maid of Honour because it’d give her great status”
Not sure what this means, but you state that she apologized for her tantrum and it seems she wants to spend time together with you. Let the incident cool off and see where your relationship goes from here. If I was you, I would include her in the BM communications, being that you agreed to have her and she hasn’t bailed out. Dropping her may just bring more drama and it’s not like you have a lot of options of other bridesmaids, as you state in your OP.
Post # 7
She apologized, and it’s not like she came after you and tried to ruin your marriage. this is your FI’s sister, so you need to let him take the lead unless she does something unforgivable aimed at you specifically.
Also, what status do you think she is trying to glean by being your MOH?
Post # 8
Siniria: At this point I would keep the peace and keep her in the wedding. You’re going to be in each others lives forever, no sense in making it more awkward. After the wedding you can go back to normal. Who knows, maybe getting to know eachother will be good for your relationship.
Post # 9
Have to admit I laughed out loud at this one… She sounds RIDICULOUS!! Since you’re not close I’d be firm about not having her as the MOH. sounds like a lot of the conversation is going through texting and things can be miscommunication that way. When you see her in person ask her to be a bridesmaid, stress that you’d reallllly like to get to know her better and are really excited to have this chance, make her feel important but mention a couple times about how you guys haven’t really spent any time together and maybe she’ll get how crazy her expectations were.