Post # 1
I don’t post on here too often but I could really use some advice. I am asking my FI’s sisters to be BM in our upcoming wedding. I am planning on sending out homemade/creative invites to ask all my BM’s (9 total) but the my FI brought up the topic early with his family to let them know the sisters would be involved. Both sisters are younger (one in college, the other a senior in high school) and I have spent loads of time with both of them and we all really get along so much so that they call me their big sis every now and again.
When the topic came up, the older sister was thrilled that she would be in the wedding party and the other really didn’t say a whole lot. Weeks later I found out from FI’s mom that the younger sister was not sure she wanted to be in the bridal party and was worried she would look awkward/out of place (she is kind of an amazon and a little bigger compared to the size 2/4 BM’s that will be in my wedding). Her mom asked that we give her more time, which I completely understood. Fast forward a few months and she still isn’t sure. I can’t book my hair/makeup people for the big day because they need an exact count on BM (I also have to pay up front). I feel like I shouldn’t push her too hard to get an answer because she is SUPER sensitive and gets angered easily (her mom is also afraid to push her for this reason).
I’m not sure where to go from here….I don’t mind if she doesn’t want to be a BM & I’ve offered up lots of ideas (like doing a reading, mistress of ceremonies, etc) and I’ve assured her I would make sure she was comfortable in whatever she’s wearing. I’m finding it difficult to see it from her perspective because I was over the moon with my brother’s fiance asked me to be a BM and I couldn’t imagine reacting the same way FI’s sister has (although I’m not 6’2′” ).
My mom thinks it’s rude, selfish and disrespectful of her. She doesn’t think I shouldn’t take the time to make a beautiful BM invite for her only to have her say “no”. FI thinks she should make a decision but also says that “this is just how his sister is with everyone”.
Any advice? What might you do in this situation? I want everyone to be happy/comfortable but I also would like to not have things that should make me happy, be stressful instead…
Post # 2
balletbride12: if your wedding date is correct in your profile, I suggest you have loads of time before you need to give any more thought to this.
Being 6’2″ and still in high school, is it any surprise that she might feel a little awkward? Cut her some slack.
Post # 3
Oh, I need to fix that! My wedding has moved up to next July
Post # 4
and yes, I agree she could feel very out of place/awkward but she has been cut a lot of slack as it is. We can’t even look at BM dresses yet because if she wants to do it, I want to make sure we get something she is comfortable wearing. I feel like I am stuck in the middle because if I had never considered her to be a BM, FMIL would have been very angry I am sure. I do sincerely want her to be a part of the bridal party though, as I think of her like a little sister. She just tends to get her way a lot (and get away with it) and I think the 6 months she’s had is more than a fair amount of time to make a decision.
Post # 5
balletbride12: I don’t think you need to wait for her to agree to send the invites – generally the other way around actually 😉 Perhaps sending the invites out will cue her in that she’ll need to give you an answer. Also I think even if she says no it’d be a nice gesture to send her the invite, it sounds like you’re making something special and I’m sure she’ll treasure it either way. Maybe you can write on her invite that you understand her qualms about being a BM and you’re happy with whatever level of participation she feels comfortable with.
Post # 6
My FSIL is incredibly shy and while I absolutely do not want to force her to do something she’s not comfortable with, I too, really need an answer. As it stands, she will be my only BM and that’s IF she agrees. I asked her to be a BM about a week after we got engaged and she said that she had to think about it. I’m still waiting on a decision.
OP, I would just send her the invitation and let her decide from there. Hopefully that will be the push she needs in order to make a decision.
Post # 7
She’s a senior? So 17-18? Right, she’s not 12. Have a conversation with her and her mom.
“I love you like a sister, that’s why I asked you to be in my wedding. No matter what you choose, I’ll love you. But, I need an answer now. There are a lot of details that need to be addressed, and I can’t address them until I have your answer.”
Boom. Easy peasy. No pushing, some reassurance and you get your answer.
Post # 8
balletbride12: she obviously doesn’t want to or she would have said yes. shes just dreading saying no. I would call her and say “hi future sis, I take it that you arent that interested in being a BM which is totally fine. I get that it can be a pain and I am happy to have representative of your fam with (other sister) are you sure you don’t to though? Id love to have you but I totally understand if you’d rather not.”
Shell either say omg I don’t know how you got that impression id love to! Or honestly, thank you- I’d rather not. Just be nice, give her an out, and don’t make seem like your feelings are on the line.
Also its pretty rude to refer to her as an amazon- I hope you’re not adding to her insecurity in real life.
Post # 9
Tell her you’re going bridesmaids dress shopping and ask her to join in. If she says no (to either going or trying dresses on), then you will have your answer.
More than likely, she is afraid of hurting your feelings by saying no to you and has not said anything in order to avoid saying no.
Just let her know that you understand and are ok with a no.
Post # 10
balletbride12: is she worried that she won’t find a BM dress? If it has to do with that, you could ask her if she would feel more comfortable if you guys went shopping and tried on BM dresses to see what’s out there. No pressure though. If she found something she liked, it could help her decision but with your comment on her being sensitive it could also mean that she may decide against being a BM if she can’t find something. It could help get you an answer and if she decides against you could always let her know that you still would want her as a BM if she would ever change her mind. I will say though I dislike your moms comment on things. I have the outside perspective but don’t see where you guys gave her any indication that she needed to rush to make a decision. therefore what she has done shouldn’t be called rude or disrespectful. If you know the reasons she is waiting to make her decision then ask her if there is anything you can do that will help her make her decision. When you offered the readings or other things she could do what was his sisters response?
Post # 11
balletbride12: When my FSIL asked me to be a bridesmaids, I was so excited and happy to be in my brother’s wedding.
I don’t know, I kind of find is selfish of her that she doesn’t want to be in it because she’s really tall. It’s her brother’s wedding. She needs to put her feelings aside and think about him and you.
Post # 12
balletbride12: you still have loads of time!
Post # 13
I agree with a lot of PPs…she’s stalling saying no
Post # 14
If she wanted to be a bridesmaid, she would have said so. It is really hard to turn down being a bridesmaid; as you said, your mom thinks she is being selfish and rude. There are plenty of people who think there is no polite way to turn down being a bridesmaid, because to turn it down at all is a horrible offense to them. A high school girl who doesn’t want to be a bridesmaid is thus in an awkward position because she will not want to be offensive, but has no clue on how to say no in a way that won’t make her own family and your family angry at her. She is looking for excuses that aren’t persuading anyone. Many teenagers avoid conflict by just shutting down, using stalling tactics, or being evasive.
I think she does not want to be bridesmaid, but does not want to be blamed or to take responsibility for that opinion. She is pushing this decision off on you. If you uninvite her, then no one can be angry at her — but she can tell random aunts and cousins that she wasn’t invited (if they ask). If you force her, or get her mom to force her to be bridesmaid, then she doesn’t have to take responsibility for accepting a role she finds awkward and can justify acting surly. Avoiding a decision is more rude than saying that she would rather go as your guest and just sit with her parents. I notice that she has not spoken about this with you, but rather sent her mom as ambassador. To me, it sounds like she does not have the maturity to be your bridesmaid and will be a pain in the neck for the rest of your wedding prep.
You have to decide on how badly you want to force a passive-aggressive teen into being forthright. This does not sound like an enjoyable task. You could certainly do so, in any of the numerous polite ways mentioned on this thread.
I think it would be easier on everyone for you to take the responsibility off her shoulders and send the invitation to the sister who has let the words, “I would like to be your bridesmaid,” escape her lips. The teen has had several months to express in some fashion that she would like to be your bridesmaid, and she has done the opposite. Not getting that invitation is the natural consequence of treating you like she doesn’t want to be your bridesmaid for months.
Alternatively, you could ask her an open-ended question of what, if anything, she would like to do at your wedding ceremony or as part of your wedding prep. It may be that she wants to show up, watch the ceremony, and eat cake, and that should be fine.
Post # 15
It might seem important to you but for her its almost a year away so she might not realize you need a decision now. Also, you might want to consider whether you really do need a decision now? I would try asking again and giving her a date you need to know by and an explanation of whyyou need to know by then. I don’t know if I would bother with the whole special invite in this situation until she says yes. Which is a little silly but I’m not sure the fancy invite will help anything.