Post # 1
So here’s the deal: initially Mr. Bluebicycle and I had decided no bridesmaids/groomsmen because I didn’t feel like I needed them and, important factor here, he doesn’t have any friends. LONG story but Mr. B is a cowboy and has worked largley on really isolated ranches where he hasn’t had a lot of opportunity to make buddies. He is a wonderful guy, he just hasn’t had a lot of social opportunities in his life. It’s like, “I Love You Man” (but Mr. B is way cuter than Paul Rudd).
Anyhoo — when we announced our engagement my Mom called me afterwards to let me know that my older sister was really upset that i hadn’t asked her to be a bridesmaid. My older sister is disabled and hasn’t had a ton of friends in her life. Her two close friends recently got married and neither one asked her to be a bridesmaid (presumably for aesthetic reasons?) and that made her really sad. My sister will probably never get married and know it so being a bridesmaid is really important to her.
I’m happy to have bridesmaids in order to make her happy, but then I’d also want to include my friends. I have four really good girlfriends who I’d want to stand up with me since the truth is I’m not really close to either of my sisters. So that creates a situation where I have six bridesmaids (because I can’t include one sister without including the other) and Mr. B has no one. He has two brothers but for complicated reasons I won’t get into here he doesn’t want to ask either of them to be his groomsman.
Some of my guy friends have offered to step up and be Mr.B’s dudes, but that seems weird to me. It might look even, but essentially everyone up there will be “my” friend or family member. Gah!
So Bees, help me out. I don’t know what to do. I want to be nice to my sister, but if I am going to have anyone stand up with me I want to have people who I am close to, and not my sisters (with whom I have very little contact). I feel like a jerk but I don’t want to be aj jerk! Help!
Post # 3
Is there another way your could incorporate your sister, maybe have her do a reading or something during the ceremony?
Post # 4
Reading isn’t really the best option — and we had to get legally married earlier due to visa issues so she can’t sign the wedding license either since that has already been done.
Post # 5
This is just my opipion but if it means that much to you sister and there is no other way to include her in the wedding. I would ask your two sister to stand up with you. I feel sad that her only 2 friends didnt not ask her to be a bridesmaid either.
Post # 6
@Mandydee — Yeah, I feel terrible about it too. But then I feel a tiny bit selfish and I’m like “I want my friends!” but it’s just so assymetrical that way. Bah.
Post # 7
Yea that would be a really hard situtation. I think maybe I am just feeling pity for your sister and thats definitley not a reason to have her up there. Have you tried to explain the whoe sistation and maybe she will understand.
Post # 8
Is it the worst thing in the world to have an uneven amount of bridesmaids and groomsmen? Here’s my little humble opinion on it. It’s your wedding. I’m a really empathetic person, and reading your OP, you mentioned it would mean alot to your sister to be a bridesmaid. You said she was upset that she wasn’t going to be in your wedding (I’m taking it to mean SAD upset instead of ANGRY upset). Please brides, all of you, please don’t take for granted that ppl CARE about your wedding at all. Fiance and I are having to have enough enthusiam for EACH OTHER bc no one really could care less about our wedding. Your older sister is disabled and doesn’t have alot of friends. And for some reason you think your other sis will never get married…? Awwh, that’s mean to say. But either way, I say have the 6 bridesmaids walk 2 by 2 and enjoy your day. I don’t believe in “fillers” either…if your Fiance doesn’t have close friends or fam, it’s ok in my opinion for him not to have anyone stand w him. Different people have different life experiences and our generation is making new traditions in weddings!! You can do whatever you want!
SN: I’m not having a bridal party at all. I don’t have any “bridal party” relationships. ((Shoulder shrugs)). Sure, there are “fillers”, I could come up withh some people, but I never wanted just anyone. And I don’t have anyone that’s genuinely that close to me.
Post # 9
Didn’t read your post before I wrote mine but I agree. For some reason, I really feel bad for her sisters. Both of them.
Again, for me, I’d take asymetrical any day over having my sisters be sad and/or not having my closest girls stand with me.
Post # 10
What about havingher be a greeter instead? Someone to welcome guests as the enter and hand out programs, bubbles, confetti, whatever?
Post # 11
You said exactly what I was trying to say ! I completely agree!
Post # 12
- Wedding: May 2011 - Vandiver Inn
Honestly I faced this, but due to other factors it was easy for me just not to have a bridal party.
If we’re being empathetic, I think the groom deserves a little empathy too in the situation. I toptally get where everyone is coming from with the sister, and I feel the same way. But take the groom’s situation into consideration too. How would it make him feel to have no one stand beside him when the bride has 2-6 people next to her? Will he feel left out and unloved? I know Mr. Lox would have. Didn’t even have to ask to know how uncomfortable and lonely that would make him feel.
Is there perhaps a halfway point you can meet? Can you explain that you’re not having bridesmaids, but make the sisters feel special? Have them get ready with you and take pictures with you before the ceremony. Have them listed specially in the program. Have them sit up front and include them in the ceremony somehow. Definitely ask your older sister to hold your bouquet when it comes to that part. Do a thank you toast to your guests at the reception and thank your sisters for being with you. (Bonus points if you specifically call out your older sister as the Maid/Matron of Honor you didn’t have.) What about a special dance with your sister to a special song you pick out just for her?
Those are just ideas that I’ve been toying with to make my own bridal-party-that-isn’t feel special and included. I hope maybe some of it helps.
Post # 13
First of all, props for even caring about this! I know that seems like a small thing, but there are people who would have just said “tough ShXt”.
Does your sister draw/sing/do art? If so, can you ask her to write/make/sing a piece at your wedding? Or, are you having a ring-warming as part of your ceremony? Maybe she can be in charge of that?
IMO, I would definitely try to incorporate her since she wants to be part of the wedding. If your ceremony is such that it does not lend itself to your sister doing something extra, then I would ask her to be a BM/MOH. So what if your bridal party is lopsided? I have seen plenty of weddings where there is a lopsided bridal party, and it has looked and been fine.
Post # 14
If you’re worried about it looking uneven or asymetrical, why not change up how the bridesmaids stand? Unless you’re really traditional, there’s no reason all the girls have to stand on your side, while Fiance has no one on his. They could stand in a semicircle behind you two, or each girl could be act as ushers for important guests like family then take a seat, or they could stand in the back. I’m sure if you explain to them your FI’s situation, they won’t feel bad about not standing at the front in the traditional way so as not to hurt his feelings.
Post # 15
Aw you seem really sweet. I think you should definetly include your sisters (and maybe your friends) regardless of what your man does. Here’s a few options:
* Only use your sisters, and have them stand next to you.
* Use your sisters and friends and have guy friends act as a party for Fiance. It doesn’t have to be even but this way you won’t have 6 girls next to you while he has 0 guys.
* Use all sixe friends, but don’t have them stand next to you. Have them walk down the aisle and then sit in the front row. This way it’s only you and your Fiance up front, but you still have your girls.
I personally like the last option the best, but do what feels right for you. There can be a compromise in this situation.
Post # 16
Somehow I stopped geting the email notifications that people were responding so I thought no one was responding. Hence the delay. So to answer all the questions:
My concern with the asymmetry was exactly what Ms. Lox said, “But take the groom’s situation into consideration too. How would it make him feel to have no one stand beside him when the bride has 2-6 people next to her? Will he feel left out and unloved?” If I have six people standing up with me he’ll feel like crap. And also it just turns the whole thing into a “ME!” party, which I certainly do not want. We’re big on equitability and it just seems wrong for me to be showcasing my freinds when he doesn’t have any. I stress that he isn’t like a lonely-woe-is-me type of guy, but still, this would feel so wrong to me. The asymmetry issue is NOT about aesthetics.
Also, to clarify @katieebee, my older sister is disabled and so likely won’t ever marry. It’s sad but realistically that’s the way things are for her. I don’t think it is mean of me to say. My younger sister, on the other hand, has no disability but we are not close. To put this in perspective, I have never called her on the phone. I know this isn’t typical and that most girls are very close with their siblings but sadly that is not the case in my family. So I wasn’t planning on including Younger Sis but I can’t include Older Sis and not Younger Sis otherwise I am a major a-hole.
I can’t figure out an option I am comfortable with, and I can’t think of something “extra” for her to do that would work. Having her hand out programs would be good but I think this is sort of an all or nothing situation. It’s not that she wants to be involved in the wedding per-se, I think she just wants the pretty dress/walk down the aisle experience. Does that make sense? I want to give it to her but I am at the same time reluctant because like I said, we’re not close and it doesn’t feel sincere.
Man. I sound like such a jerk here but I’m just trying to be honest.
I think maybe I’ll skirt the issue — maybe I won’t have any bridesmaids and instead I’ll just include my close friends in the typical bridesmaidy things like helping me find a dress, etc. Maybe I can find a nice necklace or something to give each of them as like a “Hey, I love you, thanks for being such a wonderful part of my life” sort of token. I dunno maybe I’ll take my sister out and let her pick out a really nice dress that i’d then buy for her?
Thanks for helping ladies, I really appreciate your words. Especially since this feels like a really lonely struggle for me sometimes.