Post # 1
Hopefully this isn’t too long…
So, I’m kind of stuck in a weird place. My fiance + I got engaged in January, and we are getting married in December of this year. Right after we got engaged/picked a date I wanted to ask all of my ladies to be bridesmaids. Since I wasn’t able to ask my SIL in person, I decided to call her to ask if she would be in the wedding party. Well, right after I asked her on the phone, she started crying + told me that she and my brother weren’t doing well and she wasn’t sure if they would be together by my wedding. Considering no one in my family knew of any of this, it was definitely quite the shock. So I told her no matter what happens, she’s still my sister and I would leave it up to her whether she would like to be in the wedding. We had plenty of time to sort things out and we would decide during the next couple months–as they figured things out themselves.
So we’ve touched base about 2-3 times since then and each time she still isn’t sure, and we agree that we will wait until my last Bridesmaid or Best Man orders her dress. My brother doesn’t tell anyone what’s going on in their marriage, and we’ve ‘heard’ things varying on both ends of the spectrum, but as far as anyone knows papers have not been filed. My parents are holding out hope that things will work out.
A little over 2 weeks ago, I texted her and let her know that my last Bridesmaid or Best Man ordered her dress, and asked if she wanted me to let the dress shop know if there would be another girl in my party or not. I suggested that if she wasn’t ready to make a decision, we could always end up having her be a personal assistant if she chose to be, which would still allow her to be part of the day. She never texted me back, which is the first time I haven’t gotten any response. I even texted my brother last night and asked him if he knew anything regarding her decision, and he also didn’t respond.
Which brings me to…what do I do now? I understand that this is still such a difficult time that they are going through + the last thing I want to do is nag on something as trivial as a Bridesmaid or Best Man dress, but I’m getting to the point where I really need to know one way or the other so I can make sure I properly plan everything and everything is in place. When we first talked about it, we decided that May/June would be the time where we could decide for sure, and those dates have now passed. I feel like I’m pressuring someone, and it really makes me feel uncomfortable since I think I’ve given ample time. But on the other end, I realize this isn’t an easy time for her so it’s not the biggest deal in the grand scheme of things. Should I just wait it out? I don’t know what my next step should be, or when a good time to follow up would be. It’s been over two weeks since I last asked her about it.
Post # 3
I think it would be highly uncomfortable for your brother to see her as a close part of your day when they (may/are) going through a divorce at the time. I suspect further followup is stressful for them, particularly as they are private people. I would ask her to be a reader so she is involved (personal assistant sounds more like work than an honor) but something that can be replaced at the last minute if needed. Maybe ask her for coffee to see how she is doing…and in the middle, figure out a polite way to say you didn’t hear from her so you went forward with the others but you hope she’ll be involved as X.
Post # 4
Don’t bug her any more about it or follow up. Just proceed as if she won’t be in the wedding party. Later on, if she decides she wants to be involved you can either give her another role or maybe you can find a way to rush order the dress. Not to sound mean, but in her world your wedding is probably the last thing on her priority list and she may be feeling bad about her situation. You have reached out enough so she can’t say that you didn’t try, now I would just leave it be.
Post # 5
Whatever they’re going through right now is obviously really personal, and she probably doesn’t want to have to be the one to make the decision on if she’s going to be in your wedding or not, so make the decision for her. If later on, they end up working out, add a reading for her or something. Personal assistant sounds so degrading to me and like she wasn’t good enough to be a bridesmaid.
Post # 6
- Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA
I would call her, not text and get a straight answer. If she’s avoiding your calls too– then leave her out of the wedding party. She knows what’s going on in both your lives, and she’ll understand that you need to keep your things on track too.
Post # 7
Thanks, everyone–I agree about the personal attendant (which is why I wasn’t planning on having one originally)…I was just thinking it would be a way that we could add her in last minute if she decided to be a part of the day, and could give her more time to decide (I already have readers, unfortunately). I also asked my brother his feelings on her being in the wedding, and he said that they discussed it and it’s up to her and he’s fine with it. Obviously, that might not be the case but I’m trying to take everyone’s feelings in consideration.
I think I will just let the situation be, and let things happen as they do. I feel bad even asking her about it since this definitely is not a great time in her life. I’ve reached out on several occasions to talk (I live in another state) but I think with being that the problems are with my brother, it’s not the most ideal for her. I’m just trying to find the most appropriate and sensitive way to handle this.
Post # 8
If need be, you can always add another reader to the queue (even if full and already selected, you find another reading, it only adds 2-3 minutes particularly if a short reading).
I’d also say half the times, it’s truly the thought that counts. We asked someone to be a reader who declined for fear of public speaking specific to churches (which we didn’t know about) but was honored to just be asked. She felt that me wearing her wedding necklace and being invited to stop by the bridal suite while getting ready was an honor enough and she didn’t need anything further (certainly not something that terrified her). Plus her husband was a groomsman. So your SIL will know she is loved by the asking even if she isn’t in the ceremony in the end! 🙂