(Closed) Fiance's family angry that his sister isn't a bridesmaid…

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 47
Member
6300 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

I had my SIL as a bridesmaid and my DH has my brother as a groomsmen. It’s definitely very common down here in the south, and I Just consider it good manners and building family relationships. Is his sister one of my closest friends? Not even close, but I do love her and wanted her to feel included and part of our day.

I certianly feel like who you choose is up to you, but is it worth starting your marriage off with a rift between you and your in-laws? My brother’s girlfriend was upset she was not asked be a bridesmaid in my wedding. They are engaged now (got engaged 3 months after my wedding) but at the time they weren’t engaged. I do consider her a friend, but obviously not close enough to include.

I hear a lot of arguments about how your bridal party should be “your closest and dearest” friends. Yes, I agree. Here’s some food for thought though. Who is to say that over the years your future SIL won’t become one of those people? My best friend married a guy with 4 siblings. Her SIL’s are now some of her (and mine too!) cloestest friends. Over the years they’ve developed a close bond and friendship. 

Post # 48
Member
6300 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

Just another thought…..ask yourself….Is this a hill you want to die on? Personally, I’d save my battles for more important things, like the no kids argument. 😉

Post # 49
Member
231 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@roseglass6370:  I’m sorry that they made it a big deal.. I didn’t have my SIL as my beidesmaid but then again I only had 4 bridesmaids.. 2 which are my actual sisters, 3rd one was my cousin who is like a sister and 4th one was my best friend since 3rd grade.. I wanted to add 2 more bridesmaids but my dh said no 4 was good.. He picked who he wanted and so did I…No one made a big deal about it.. You should ask your Future Sister-In-Law why she didn’t just tell you how she felt.. Have a talk with her.

Post # 50
Member
1245 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I would find room to include her in your bridal party, because it’s clearly very important to her and  his family.  The two of you are about join families and you want to do as much as you can to keep the peace.  It would be different if you maybe only had your sister as an attendant, but you already have so many people in your bridal party.  What’s one more?

 

 

 

Post # 51
Member
2336 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I agree 8 bridesmaids may make your Future Sister-In-Law more hurt she was not selected.  That said, it’s over and done with and an ask at this point will not help much.

Pull Future Sister-In-Law aside and tell her you had no idea she would want to stand up there, and apologize (not for not asking) for not realizing.  Find out if SHE is upset, or just Future Mother-In-Law.

Can you ask her to do a reading?  I was adament that my side is my people, his side his people.  He could ask his sister to stand with him – in which case, I’d ask my brother to stand with me, but I wanted it small and I wanted the “sides” to be those near and dear to our own side w/o crossovers.  I had met his sister twice (meals only) prior to getting engaged, so while I may have a future relationship, HE was the one actually with the current relationship.  DH didn’t want to stray from traditional gender roles so instead we stuck to 3 each – our same-sex sibling and two friends for each of us (well, for me, it was my cousin and my brother’s wife, whom I had known for 8 years rather than pick and choose friends).  We asked DH’s sister and my brother to each do a reading.  His sister actually declined our request (but did agree to be an officiant for her other brother’s wedding)…  At DH’s brother’s recent wedding, they asked the in-laws (me and the sister’s husband to do a reading together).

Post # 52
Member
1486 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I really think that if neither you OR your fiance thought to make his sister a bridesmaid or groomswoman, you are not close enough with her to include her. I also don’t get all the people insisting you do – you know that if you choose her out of obligation and then she doesn’t do her things or otherwise creates drama, all the comments will be that you shouldn’t have chosen someone you weren’t bffs with.

What does your fiance think about this? I think it’s pretty telling that he was fine with her not in the bridal party when y’all were left to your own devices.

Post # 53
Member
13568 posts
Honey Beekeeper

@starfish0116:  “I hear a lot of arguments about how your bridal party should be “your closest and dearest” friends. Yes, I agree. Here’s some food for thought though. Who is to say that over the years your future SIL won’t become one of those people?”

+1.   I’m a few years older than some of you and can tell you from broad experience  that the chances of remaining  close to ALL  8 bridesmaids once life, family  and careers take people in different directions are slim.   Right now you think nothing will ever stand in the way of the close bond  between you and your BMs.   Of course, for the nearest and dearest among them  that may  be true, but for others, not so much. Your SIL will hopefully be a constant  in your life for many, many years  to come.

I would not make this a contest of wills and I would not put a symmetrical pretty picture above the feelings of people.  I would also never ask a Bridesmaid or Best Man to step down for the sake of a photo op. You have your whole life to set boundaries with your Future Mother-In-Law.  I agree with the pp that I would not choose to die on this battlefield. 

Post # 54
Member
5136 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

@weddingmaven:  I agree she should ask her but now the inlaws are going to say that she only asked the sister to be a Bridesmaid or Best Man because the mother got upset.

its a lose-lose situation at this point.

Post # 55
Member
358 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

My fsil is a bridesmaid and along with her daughter. But 8 wow that is a lot. I have 4 bms and 1 moh. I am also a bm in her wedding. I dont think its necessary for the fsil but its all up to the bride I think who she chooses. 

Post # 56
Member
13568 posts
Honey Beekeeper

@Daizy914:  I think that would depend entirely on how the OP handled it.  There might be some feelings that an invitation didn’t come from the outset, but if discussed tactfully and with sincerity  , I think they will get over it quickly.  The alternative, that they  hold this against her for years to come, is worse IMO.  

I don’t see how it’s necessarily  lose-lose at all.  

 

Post # 57
Member
1203 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

UGH I hate the idea that your Future Sister-In-Law has to be in your wedding party.  I would never in a million years think to have my Future Sister-In-Law as a bm.  People say this would be good time to get to know her better, connect with her, etc.  But I don’t think that is what a bridal party is for, these woman are picked because you are already close to them and you want them to support you on the big day.  This day is about my Fiance and me, not getting pleasing his sister, I am including her other things with the wedding and treat her well but I don’t think I should give her the same title as the woman closest to me.  Yes she will be my SIL but doesn’t mean we have to be best friends or ever will be because we are SO different, why try to force it?

Stick with your plans and don’t let them control your decision on this because ultimatly it is your and FI’s day, not theirs.

 

Post # 58
Member
5136 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

@weddingmaven:  you’re right- I just feel like with the reaction that the Future Mother-In-Law gave, no matter what OP does now, she will look bad you know what I mean?

I also do feel that the only way to resolve this is to ask the Future Sister-In-Law to be a Bridesmaid or Best Man but the family is still going to talk behind her back and that sucks.

No one should feel obligated to ask someone, no matter who it is, to be in THEIR wedding party

Post # 59
Member
4023 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2019 - Canada

I agree that it would be a nice gesture, and would make her feel like you’re making an effort to become “sisterly”. I’d add her as an extra if it wouldnt embarass her at this point. I dont think your Future Mother-In-Law went about this is a good way, and that its really none of her business, but as PP said, she may have a daughter with hurt feelings that she’s protecting. I was a groomswoman for my brothers wedding and my SIL had 8 bridesmaids. If I hadnt been asked to be part of the party i would have felt snubbed, I would understand that its their day and their choice, but 8 people and none are family, que hurt feelings!

Maybe your Fiance could have her as a groomswoman seeing as though shes HIS relative?

Post # 60
Member
6300 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

@weddingmaven:  I 100% agree. I got married in my late 20’s, after college and well into my carear. The girls who stood up for me are people I know will be in my life forever. Some were childhood friends, and marriages and kids haven’t busted that bond. Others are people I didn’t become friends with until later in life. Like you said, hopefully the OP’s SIL will be in her life forever. I have another friend, who is much younger, and just got married. She found out that exact thing, even in just the short 9 months she was engaged. She picked pretty much all childhood friends, and by the time her wedding rolled around she had already seen a shift in their friendship – and a much closer relationship with those who had not been included. 

Post # 61
Member
8373 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

@MrsTVLover:  

+1. My brother’s wife asked me to be member of her bridal party, even though she has a huge number of close friends, and even though we really didn’t know each other well. I have many close and special friends, but I chose to have DH’s two daughters and his daughter-in-law in my bridal party as well as my sister-in-law — even though that meant I could only have three of my own friends — because including family was very important to DH and me. He included my brother as one of his groomsmen.

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