Post # 1
Hi everyone! First ever post here. Needed some unbiased advice. I have a very difficult future SIL and I’m not certain how best to handle the situation at my upcoming wedding.
A little background: this is my brother’s 2nd fiancé and soon to be 2nd wife within two years. His first marriage was about a month long. FSIL insisted that she and my brother were engaged first when she learned my Fiance was planning to propose (he’s my one and only, a love of each others lives situation). As a result they were engaged 3 weeks before we were — my fiancé changed his plan to accommodate their engagement. Despite my best efforts to be lovely to this woman, she has been consistently awful. Called my modest engagement ring cute, refused to allow us to get married in the same season by “reserving” 8 weekends worth of dates for her wedding event, constantly comparing me to “doppelgängers” who are significantly older and heavier than I am (think a 20 yr old to a 45+).
In the past I have tried to kill her with kindness and ignored her remarks but at a tiny destination wedding I really don’t know how much I can deal with. How can I tactfully minimize my exposure to her at the wedding? For instance, I want some family photos without her (ideally she wouldn’t be in any photos because she bought a bright red ball gown to wear, and then put me on the spot by asking if it was “ok” and of course I said it was fine and smiled. Because she is terrible and I didn’t have any alternatives in front of a group of people.) my brother had us get rid of all photos that contained his precious wife, and I really don’t want to have to put away my wedding photos in the future because they contained wife #2. Literally everyone is concerned about their marriage being a good idea, but since he didn’t listen to my sisters concerns when they started their relationship—they started dating off an app the week his divorce was finalized—we have all been as loving and friendly as we can be.
i just want the whole weekend to be full—full of love and people who care about us. Any tips for diffusing the inevitable mean behavior from FSIL? How inclusive does etiquette require me to be? She is insisting on attending my girls night, I tried to tell her she didn’t need to feel required to attend the event, and I have not invited her to get ready before the wedding… I honestly just don’t want to see her and have her put me down while I (once again) smile and repay her cruelty with kindness.
Post # 2
bridezgal : How did she plan 8 weekends of wedding events, like what could she possibly have planned that would require EIGHT WEEKENDS of wedding shit?
Invite her to the wedding, that’s all you really need to do.
She doesn’t need to be in all the photos (talk to your photographer about this ahead of time), and she doesn’t need to go to your girls night. Don’t give her details and dont talk to her about stuff you don’t want her to be included in.
You will be so distracted with other things on your wedding day, you probably won’t notice her.
Post # 3
refused to allow us to get married in the same season by “reserving” 8 weekends worth of dates for her wedding event, I’m confused. How, pray tell, does she have the power to refuse a grown couples’ ability to get married when they want??? Is she a goddess of time, space and venue?
I’m just amazed at the power you’re giving to this girl. You’re a grown ass woman. Get married when and where you want and stop cowering to her. Open up your mouth and demand that she treat you in a respectful manner!
Post # 4
Seeing as the rest of your family seems to feel the same way about her (other than your brother), I would not feel bad about excluding her as much as reasonably possible. Be dodgy about the details of the ladies night and if she figures out the when and where, ignore her as much as possible. Don’t invite her to join you morning of and if she asks, be very clear that it’s just you and your bridal party (and mothers if they’re part of it). Provide your photographer with a set list of photos you want and ensure there is a decent number of photos that are immediate family only, sans partners. Will they already be married by your wedding? If not, you could also have your photos essentially be married spouses only.
Honestly, with the way this woman acts towards you and your lack of confidence that their marriage will go the distance, along with your family’s similar thoughts on it, I would have no qualms whatsoever about excluding her and could not care less about how it made her feel.
Post # 5
bridezgal : As far as the photos go, give a list with specific shots for your photog to get. They will shuffle people around for you. Give them a heads up on the issue too. They csn position the bright red ballgown towards the back as well. There’s a ton of tricks to the trade. They’ve undoubtedly dealt with this type of thing before.
Post # 6
sboom : Yes OP this! You’ll have to just straight up say no to fsil.
Post # 7
I’ve learned the hard way that if you allow people to be this way towards you, they will. Stick up for yourself firmly yet gracefully and if she whines and moans, let her.
My response to her calling your ring cute would have been “it’s more than cute, it’s the perfect ring for me and FH could not have picked a better one. He knows me so well!”
My response to her trying to block off 8 weeks would have been “We haven’t quite decided on a date yet, but we were actually considering this season as well. Don’t we have excellent taste”.
My response to the red dress: “it’s a little much for our venue but I’d want you to feel your best so if that’s the dress for you, by all means, go for it!”
I am sure other bees here could think of better responses that get the point across, I am not the best at thinking of quick responses haha.
The point is to not roll over.
Post # 8
Do not invite her to your girls night or any of your pre-wedding events and do not discuss them around her.
Give your photog a heads up about her and her red gown. He will be able to move her to the side and cover most of it up by angling her body between other family members (or putting her back row if you have very large families). Make sure to get “siblings and parents only” photos with you and your spouse and then call up spouses & children later.
As for her behavior, you have two choices:
1: continue to turn the other cheek
2: put her in her place.
It’s really up to you but I would err on the side of growing a backbone and a mouth;)
Post # 9
If by girls’ night you mean a bachlorette sort of thing, you won’t be planning that yourself anyway. The people who plan and host it will ask you who you’d like invited; leave her off of the list and tell them verbally not to invite her.
Post # 10
To the red dress, you should have said yes, sure… but are you sure you want a dress that makes you look that sallow (or hippy or whatever)? Make her rethink the dress without knowing you think it’s tacky or upstaging.
but really… get a backbone and do what you want for your wedding.
Post # 11
bridezgal : give your photographer a list of photos. Have him do ones with her included and without her. Tell them that you don’t love your SIL and would prefer her not being in panoramic type photos of your wedding day. They should be able to frame her out of the shots.
As for your girls night/day thing, just say you are only having your beasties with you if she asks but keep it on the down low and be cagey about any details when she asks. Practice saying this so you are ready when she asks you.
I’m not sure what is happening. The girls are planning it for me. It’s a surprise.
Then change the subject and deflect by asking
What did you do for yours? Did you enjoy yourself?
Post # 12
If there are photos she impedes on have her stand on the end so it’s easy to crop out
Post # 13
I would only allow her to attend the wedding (no other wedding related events) and I would only have her participate in one family picture and I’d put her on the outer end.
Separate from the wedding stuff- is she being rude to you in front of your brother? If so, I would let him know and tell him that since he’s responsible for bringing her around, he is responsible for addressing her poor behavior. And I’d keep putting it back to him.
Post # 14
Bee, you don’t have to allow people to treat you this way. Make your wedding events for whatever damn weekend you please–people will either choose to attend yours or her two-effing-month-deep-wedding horseshite.
No, no one you disdain to this degree is invited to your girls’ events. People don’t go places if they don’t have information, so you simply don’t provide it. And if she gets lippy, you DO actually need to be assertive; let her know that this is a private event for the ladies with whom you’re the closest. It doesn’t MATTER if you “hurt” her feelings. You DO have every right to spend your time with those you choose. You do not choose her. She does not get a pity invite. She does not get an invite because you’re afraid of her either.
Oh, yeah, and another thing… stop being afraid of her! You’ll kick yourself for it later.
Post # 15
8 weekends? She can only “reserve” those weekends if you let her. You don’t have to give in to this kind of behavior. In fact I’d encourage you to speak up in a way that will embarrass her. ” Why are you saying I look like an overweight 50 year old? Is there a reason for this? Because i think you need your vision checked. Failing eyesight is one of the firat signs of aging you know”.
Anyway, she’s a jerk. Don’t invite her to anything. She can come as your brother’s +1.