Post # 1
My fiance and I decided to have a short engagment (5 months) for spiritual and personal reasons. However, we still want a nice wedding so we have been keeping ourselves very busy. I’ve picked out my bridesmaids, many have ordered their dresses, and things are coming together nicely!
Last night, my fiance’s sister came by to have dinner with us. She asked what she could at our wedding. Both my fiance and I had decided to ask her to play clarinet in a clarinet/piano duet with her uncle for our ceremony. She had agreed previously, and I mentioned to her during our dinner that I had still thought that it would be nice if she would contribute in that way. She said that she would be happy to do that and then asked, “So, I’m not going to be a bridesmaid?” I replied that I had already picked my bridesmaids and that I really would love for her to play for the ceremony because I thought that would be very nice. I then asked if that was okay with her, and she said yes. I thought everything was fine and she didn’t seem overtly hurt or upset.
Later that night, my fiance’s mother texted him absolutely livid that his sister was not to be included in the wedding party. She said that it is always “assumed” that the sister of the groom would be in the wedding party. Furthermore, she added that she told his sister that she WOULD have a bigger role in the wedding.
I was taken aback. I had never known that having the sister of the groom in the bridal party was “assumed.” I love his sister and we get a long very well, but I would not consider her one of my close friends. I never wanted to exclude her, I just didn’t feel like she was someone that I really wanted up there with me on the big day. I always thought the bridesmaids were who the bride wanted supporting her and helping her on her big day and the groomsmen were the same for the groom. (Neither my mother, my father, nor my best friend and her fiance included siblings of their future spouses in their wedding parties.)
We already have an unusually large wedding party (I have 8 bridesmaids and he has 8 groomsmen). I don’t see how I could change things now. I feel like it may look worse that I have 8 bridesmaids and STILL didn’t include her, but it really did not occur to me that I was supposed to. The girls in my party are all very dear and close friends of mine. I told them the situation and one of my bridesmaids even offered (without my asking) to step-down so that his sister could take her spot in order to alleviate my stress. I don’t want her to have to do that, but I don’t want feelings hurt either. I feel so pressured and cornered now. For the record, my fiance agrees with me that it should be up to each individual to pick who they want as their bridesmaids or groomsmen. However, he is equally (if not more) frustrated with the entire situation. I think he feels rather torn.
I don’t want my relationship with my future in-laws to be ruined. I love them all very much and couldn’t sleep last night due to agonizing over this. Everything was going great until now. What do you guys think?
Post # 3
- Wedding: October 2013 - Rustic mill, historical site
I dunno, I’d stick to my guns, your FMIL is butting in where she has no business, she doesn’t get to decide who your bridesmaids are and the sister of the groom does not automatically get to be in the wp. If SHE told her daughter she’d had a bigger role, then SHE has to tell her that she lied and it’s not up to her. You could come up with something else for her to do aswell, but don’t add her just because your FMIL has a big mouth.
Post # 4
- Wedding: September 2013 - Creek club at ion, SC
@roseglass6370: This situation really irritates me because I went through exactly the same thing
Dont let your in-laws throw their weight around in your relationship as I promise you it will continue. It is so important to stand your ground in a polite but firm way. Dont let them use FI as the middle man either.
Maybe sister is upset but in my case the aunty and father cared more than the sister did. I would talk to the sister and make everything right with her. Once you guys have hashed it out and both are happy no-one else can really say anything about it.
Post # 5
Ooooh, toughie. I tend to agree with your thoughts on who should stand up with you. However, I did have my DH’s 2 sisters in the wedding party but that was b/c he really wanted them to (I had only been around them probably 5 times when we chose our party). Since your husband agrees with you, I think you should stick to what you want, but have a discussion with the sister about all the concerns and reasoning you said above. Tell her how you love her and don’t want this to ruin your relationship, but having siblings in the bridal party wasn’t something norm for you and you chose those you grew up with/are very close with. Hopefully she will understand if you explain that you didn’t purposely try to leave her out and do care about her feelings.
Post # 6
It does seem odd to me that the Groom’s sister wouldn’t be a bridesmaid, especially if you’re already having a large bridal party. My FI’s sister is a bridesmaid and I only have 4 (My sister, his sister and 2 friends). Would it be really hard to add another bridesmaid?
It’s up to you, I can see if he had a lot of sisters why you wouldn’t but for 1, well I would and I just always assumed that that was the norm (but then I haven’t really got much of a clue about wedding etiquet).
Post # 7
@roseglass6370: I would not include her. You are m eant to have those that mean the most to you. Once you do that because of your MIL forcing you to, she is going to think she has a “hold” on you. Good thing you have your FI on your side.
I feel like this is one of those damned if you do, damned if you don’t situations. Without going into detail after we got engaged my MIL said, “Well, you’re including your sister in the bridal party right?” We siad yes, but that was because we had already decided we would ask her. She said yes, but apparently, in the middle of planning, she started getting real bitchy about everything and claimed she was “forced” into being in the wedding by us, MIL and grandmother in law. So we would have had hurt feelings either way. You can’t please everyone unfortunately.
Post # 8
I agree with PP that said to stick to your guns, just to set the standard that you won’t be bullied or coerced moving forward.
That being said, I’m not at all surprised they got upset. Everyone I have ever known has included their SIL as a BM to prevent just such an issue. I’m not saying either choice is the correct one, I’m just not suprised they flipped. If we were having attendants, I’d include his sister to make everyone feel included…but thank god we aren’t 🙂
They were very out of line to say anything at all, and your FMIL was especially inappropriate to say she “WILL have a bigger role.” She obviously seems pretty confident she can strong-arm you. Stand your ground.
Post # 9
@roseglass6370: If its assumed – have her be a groomsmen.
It should never be assumed that you will have someone from outside your friend group as a bridesmaid – that is reserved for people close the bride to support as she gets married.
Technically she is there to support her brother – so she should be a ‘groomsmen’.
It’s nto that crazy I was even a best man for one of my really good guy friends int he military – I was his friend not hers – so I should stand on his side – not hers.
Post # 10
Woops, looks like this thread is a duplicate. Please head over to this thread to continue the conversation. Thanks!