Post # 1
So this post (my first 🙂 ) has been sitting in the back of my head since the day I got engaged and I am turning to the hive for some help. This is a little long so hang in there with me if you can!
I am the oldest of 4 girls and growing up thought that I would have a “ready-made” wedding party. In the last 5 – 10 years I have only grown farther apart from my sisters, one in particular. The sister closest in age to me has always been a pretty horrible person. She has lied to, cheated, stolen from and manipulated me and my entire family for as long as I can remember. She came and went from our lives when she needed something up until the birth of her first son 4 years ago when she decided that she needed all of us to help her raise her child since she was 20 and doing it alone. I let her move in with me and basically raised her child for the first 6 months until she told me she was pregnant again and I realized that she was just using me. Over the past 4 years she has lived in the same town as me and my FI but only calls when she needs something (usually money) or when she has done something horrible to one of my other sisters and wants to try and feed me her story before they get to me and give me the truth. She has “punished” me when I don’t give her money by saying that I am not allowed to see my nephews or even talk to them. My FI just hates how she treats me and sees how it breaks my heart each time she does something to me or my other sisters. It has been the cause of a lot of fights between us but in the last year I have really worked on keeping her out of our life.
My question is….Is it okay to not have my sister be in my Wedding? Is it worth the drama and questions from the extended family as to why she is not a bridesmaid?
Post # 3
I think it is 100% okay not to have her IN the wedding. I mean, really, she sounds awful, I’m so sorry =(. Did you want your nephews in it? Do you think she’ll hold that over your head? WZill you other sisters be in it? If anyone says anything, just say you have personal reasons or you’ve drifted apart or something like that. I’m sure most of your family will understand or already know why she’s not in the wedding if she behaves like this and causes drama with everyone.
Post # 4
I don’t think that you need to ask her to be in the wedding. Being engaged and planning a wedding can be stressful enough on their own, and it sounds like your sister would only add to the stress. If she comes to you when she needs money,which sounds like it could be a somewhat regular event, she might need or expect you to pay for her wedding related costs. I’m sorry that she treats you this way.
Post # 5
Iagree with EJS. I’m sorry for the situation. She might need some tough love.
Post # 6
@EJS – I am not sure if my other sisters will be in the wedding either. One is scheduled to graduate Nusring School in South Carolina 2 weeks after my wedding so we are hoping she can make the trip up for Wedding Day but probably won’t be able to be around for much of anything else. The youngest is 8 years younger than me and just had a baby so I am not sure if she will be able to commit to being in it either. I think I am just going to have to ask each of them if it is even something they want to do.
@lkbphmd – My mom and I just had the conversation about how stressful wedding planning is and that this decision is only adding more stress to the situation!! Lucky for me my Mom is AMAZING and will support any decision I make.
@Tanya – Tough Love has been the only kind I have had for her for many years 🙂
I am lucky to have some of the BEST girlfriends a girl could ask for and I am closer to them then I am my sisters so who to ask will not be a problem I guess I am just struggling with the fact that 1 if not more of my sisters will not be in my wedding.
Post # 7
Yikes. That’s a really awkward situation. I don’t think there’s any reason why you should feel obligated to include her in the wedding party. If people ask, you can always cite the fact that she’s a single parent of two young children and has her hands full without all the extra time and expense associated with that level of participation. It might be politic, though, to offer her another position, like guestbook attendant.
Edited to add: Since it doesn’t sound as though you’ll be including all of your sisters anyway, I doubt her absence from the wedding party will raise eyebrows or provoke comment.
Post # 8
Maybe you can just ask some close friends to be in your bridal party, and then nicely explain to your sisters (or at least the 2 who you are a bit closer with) that you know how busy their lives are around the time of your wedding, and that you don’t want being a bridesmaid to be an extra burden.
Post # 9
You are not obligated in any way to include this sister! And I’m glad that your mom will be supportive of your decisions.
Sorry you’ve got this situation to deal with.
Post # 10
You definately dont have to have her in your wedding, happens allllll the time. Maybe she can do a reading at the ceremony, a good friend of mine isnt in the wedding but she is helping my BM’s plan my shower and bachelorette party. Even though she isnt IN the wedding, she is still your sister and should want to be involved somehow from her heart
Post # 11
I agree with everyone above. You should only have people in your wedding party that you WANT there and folks who will be loving and supportive.
Another thought – it looks like your wedding is in Sept 2011. That means you have over 19 months until the wedding. Why not wait a while and plan to ask your wedding party in the Fall of this year. Maybe new and different light will be shed on the situation in all directions. No need to stress now.
If people ask you say it’s so far in advance you have started planning the ‘wedding party’ yet 🙂
Post # 12
I don’t have any suggestions for you cause Lord knows, I have my own sibling drama – just wanted to say I’m sorry you’re going thru this. Weddings are supposed to bring out the best in people, not be hurtful.
Post # 13
I’m usually all about having siblings as mandatory parts of the wedding party, but in this case, you should absolutely not ask this particular sister. End of story.
As for the others, I would approach it as, “Your my sisters, and I would love for you to be in the wedding under no obligation for doing anything but showing and buying your dresses, but if you think it’s too much, my feelings will not be hurt if you say no.”
I would at least extend the offer to them. BUT, pick one of your friends to be MOH. A friend of mine is getting married this summer, and she has two sisters that she’s not that close to. She asked them to be in the wedding party, but she picked a good friend to be MOH, and she’s so happy with her decision.
Post # 14
You most certainly do not have to have her in your wedding! My sister is not in mine, for many of the same reasons you listed in your post. Don’t worry about the whole “but she’s my sister” thing…family ties do not mean you have to have someone who uses and maniuplates you participate in one of the most memorable days in your life.
I agree with Jilian above – don’t stress about who will be in your wedding right now. Just tell people you haven’t selected the wedding party yet. Good luck!
Post # 15
Why don’t you have your nephews in your wedding . . . you can assign her to keep track of them. It’d be too much to be a BM and keep track of 2 little guys!
Post # 16
I just went through this recently and recommend NOT having your sister in the wedding party. As for the other ones, if you wouldn’t be thrilled to have each one of them stand up for you and trust them to handle all the tasks a BM has with good cheer, then don’t have them either.
I asked my niece to be a flower girl exclusively to please my sister (my husband and I didn’t want any), and my sister became so demanding that when I put my foot down, it became a family feud the likes of which I’d never seen, much less been the center of. I basically fired my sister, not just from involvement from the wedding party, but from my life. I told her not to come to the wedding, the rehearsal, or the Sunday brunch, and I’d be glad to never see her again in my life. It’s a decision I don’t regret. What I regret was asking her to be involved, even by proxy, in the first place.
My sisterless wedding was perfect, and I never had to look over my shoulder worrying what trouble she was brewing because she wasn’t there.