Post # 1
I only have one sibling. She is five years yonger than I am. Right now there is a mini drama unfolding with her.
She wants to invite her best friend (who is a family friend- merely because she lives next door to us) and her current room mate to our wedding. & my sister wants to invite her current boyfriend (of 1 yr & ~3 months) to our wedding. My parents already covered the cost of the hotel room for my sisters two friends and my sister (it’s a one bedroom suite).
The issue is two fold. Should I be obligated to invite her friends? The next issue is, my parents and I don’t like her boyfriend. But having said that, I am FINE with him coming. But she had previously expressed he may not be able to come because he has another wedding to attend on the east coast, and she wasn’t sure if he could afford to fly back to Northern Cali to our wedding. So I thought the point was mute.
Now we haven’t sent out invites yet. But she called my mother yesterday in tears about how she can’t believe we haven’t ‘officially’ invited her boyfriend, how my parents can’t accept him, and how she doesn’t want to be my bridesmaid anymore because if he isn’t considered a member of our family then she isn’t either. My sister continued to tell my mom how she loves this guy, he means the world to her- how all her friends like him too except her family- and she doesn’t understand why (my mom spelled it out for her that moment, which doesn’t help things). I told my mom I said he was FINE to come- but evidently my sister wants my parents blessing- which she isn’t going to get. and even though I said he could come, my sister says ‘it’s the principle of the thing’.
My parents are concerned because (well they just don’t lke the guy, they think my sister can do better in general) & they fear the boyfriend depends on my sister financially. (he is still in college, my sister graduated ahead of him and has a full time job) And they would rather not have my sister pay his way to come to the wedding. And they don’t know where he would stay if he came, and my parents would most certainly not want them staying together in the same hotel rm.
My sister is the type of person where she always needs her posse around her to help her ‘escape’ her own perceived uncomfortable situations. Although we aren’t the closest sisters on the planet, I could really use my sister on my wedding day to help out with everything. But I don’t know if she will be ‘100% present’ on our wedding day if she is brewing in the corner because her room mate isn’t there (because my fiance& I drew the line on the room mate), and her boyfriend isn’t there (even though I said he could come). Plus- why does she even need her friends to be there? Shouldn’t she be there for the family and for us? I fear she will just decide to go have an adventure on her own w/out the family. That would make me disappointed and look bad overall. But I have enough on my plate that maybe I shouldn’t care?
So what should I do to alleviate this? It is certainly not my obligation to invite her posse (right?). We (my fiance & I) are fine with the Boyfriend coming- but my parents would not be what-so-ever. I hate feeling like who comes and doesn’t come to the wedding is some sort of tool to maintaining family dynamics. And I don’t think it is fair either for family members (my sister) to say "well then I will pay for my friends and boyfriends plates so they can come- you don’t have to worry about them". But what if I need my sister to help pay for my extended family who I think is more important? I have three cousins ages 16-20 coming and could use some help financially with activities that week… -It’s not a birthday party! Not just anyone can come! Right?
Post # 3
**bump** Has anyone been in the same boat I am in with my sister? Inviting ancillary guests (my sisters two friends) and including a significant other that the immediate family doesn’t care for? How did you resolve the issue in time so everyone can enjoy being together? Should I email my sister so it is spelled out in black and white? Or should I wait till this mini storm passes over and re-address it later? Or leave it be, and let my mom deal with it since it was a conversation between the two of them?
Post # 4
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. She’ll be pissy and not 100% present if you don’t invite them, and she’s probably still not going to be completely present if you do (because I feel like she’ll be paying more attention to them, rather than you, the way you’re describing her).
Are you allowing other guests +1s? If so, I really don’t see any reason why you should withhold her boyfriend’s invitation, even though you and your family don’t particularly care for him.
To keep the peace, I’d compromise and say that she can bring her boyfriend as her date, but not the other 2 girls. Don’t give her the option to start paying for people’s plates — that can get out of hand very quickly.
Post # 5
If you haven’t sent out the invites it sounds like you have a little time for this to blow over, which is good. I think you should invite your sister +1 like everyone else on your guest list. Let your mom and sis battle it out the rest of the way themselves. It’s not your responsibility to deal with the issues between the two of them, and it’s only going to stress you out more than you already are with the wedding.
Sounds like your sister is still pretty young (at least mentally) and unfortunately you won’t be able to rely on her too much. Hopefully you have other bm’s and your mom to pick up the slack though!
Post # 6
Speaking from recent personal experience, I think I would lay some of this on the table with your parents and your sister. There should be a reasonable solution that involves some compromise on your sister’s part, but where she is going to be comfortable enough to still be present (as you say). You shouldn’t have to be the bad guy in this.
I would say pick your battles. Weddings have a way of invoking or re-invoking past family drama. It is good to get that tough stuff out of the way well before the wedding. Putting on a concerned, but somewhat detached demeanor can go a long way in facilitating some compromise. Not talking about it just breeds ugly resentment.
I hope this helps. Please let us know how it unfolds!
Post # 7
Wow! Sparkles, you’ve just got trouble all around!!
I’d say tell your sister she can only bing +1, just like the rest of the wedding party, no exceptions. Allow her to pick whoever she wants for that +1. If it’s her flavor-of-the-week, then when that’s over, you can say "told you so", or if you don’t feel confortable saying THAT, then at some point when she’s looking at pictures of your wedding and saying "That loser!!! Why’d I even bring him!!" you can say "Gee, I don’t know. Too bad he’s in every single cute picture of you. It ruins them all, doesn’t it?"
So deliciously passive-agressive!!!
Also, if you’re only doing +1’s for your wedding party, a +1 is all your sister needs too. It’s unfair to allow her to bring a posse if no one else gets to.
Post # 8
All of the above posters gave great advice. I’d like to add that this a very common situation that happens within families during wedding planning, so you are NOT alone! My mom cried and threw a temper tantrum because I didn’t want to invite 3 of my cousins to the wedding (long story) — the point is that you invite who you want to invite, but you need to understand that there will be hurt feelings. From personal experience, once it is all said and done it will all work out. The gamat of emotions in the meantime will be considerable.
Post # 9
I think you need to have an adult talk with your sister. It doesn’t sound like you involved her much in your wedding process – and she may not really grasp the cost of a wedding, let alone how special and intimate the event is. She needs to understand it is not *her party* and she cannot cry if she wants, too.
I don’t think you need to invite her posse or her bf, but like the other comments – give her a +1 and allow her to decide. Also tell her how much she means to you as a sister and as family, and it really means a lot to have her by your side on your wedding day.
Also let her know that while it is also a financial thing, it’s your wedding and when she gets married, she can invite whomever she wants, but for your wedding, you just want your close friends and family with you, and that includes her.
Post # 10
I would let your sister invite her bf, it’s not your parents’ place to decide who she can and can’t have in her life. All the drama about where he will stay (if the parents are paying for the hotel room) isn’t you issue. Let your sis and parents fight that out amongst themselves. I agree that you aren’t obligated to invite her posse. It’s the day you surround yourself with people that matter to you, not her. Just make sure that photos are taken of her and your family sans bf so that if they don’t end up together forever you’ll still have a wedding album with everyone that matters. And if they do, she’ll have some cute pics of them "back then." Try not to get between her and your parents, I don’t think that’s your battle. Good luck!